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Laboratories running high-temperature simulated distillation test methods to optimize petroleum refining processes are probably familiar with the term ‘reference oil 5010’, described in ASTM test methods D7500, D6352, and D7169.

Reference oil 5010 is used as a QC reference material to validate whether the gas chromatograph is performing in accordance with the specifications described in the test methods.

Laboratories using reference oil 5010 may be unaware that global supply is depleted and there is no plan to replace it. Fortunately, ASTM’s D02.04 subcommittee approved an alternate reference standard in December 2019. The material is referred to as the ‘gravimetric blend.’ Fortunately, there’s a very abundant supply of the new standard today, and it will be readily available for years to come.

What Is the Difference Between Reference Oil 5010 and the Gravimetric Blend?

While reference oil 5010 is composed of a single petroleum fraction or cut (Figure 1), the gravimetric blend contains two petroleum fractions (Figure 2), which are mixed gravimetrically in proportions of equal weight.


Figure 1 – Reference Oil 5010 Chromatogram


Figure 2 – Gravimetric Blend Chromatogram


The two fractions that the gravimetric blend is comprised of cover a broader boiling point range (186.9 C to 626.4 C) than reference oil 5010 (426.9 C to 656.1 C) (See Figure 3).


Figure 3 – Chromatogram of reference oil 5010 (green) overlaid with chromatogram of the gravimetric blend (red).

As such, the boiling point distribution of the gravimetric blend compares somewhat better to the boiling point distribution typically found for the samples analyzed by the high-temperature simulated distillation methods.

Reference Oil 5010 (RO 5010) was comprised of a single petroleum fraction and used to determine if the performance of the GC is within the specifications outlined in the test methods(ASTM D7169, D6352, or D7500).

The blend of two petroleum fractions is a mixture formed by carefully measuring and combining substances by weight.

How to Obtain and Use the Gravimetric Blend 

The gravimetric blend is available from Separation Systems in a 5 mL or 25 mL bottle.  The part numbers are SD-025-05 (5 mL) and SD-025-25 (25 mL)

  • Industry and Application: The gravimetric blend is the only ASTM-approved QC standard for high-temperature simulated distillation test methods ASTM D7169, D6352, and D7500 currently available.
  • Instrumentation: Because the gravimetric blend is materially different than reference oil 5010, the performance of the gas chromatograph (GC) used for high-temperature simulated distillation test methods ASTM D7169, D6352, and D7500 must be revalidated before sample analysis can begin.
  • Accuracy and Precision: Consider the level of accuracy and precision required for your analysis. Gravimetric blends may offer flexibility but may require rigorous characterization and validation.

Separation Systems Can Help You!

As experts in simulated distillation, Separation Systems is uniquely qualified to help you meet or exceed all your analysis demands. We offer the broadest range of products for simulated distillation in the industry, including: 

  • QC and retention time calibration standards
  • SimDis Expert software for converting GC data files into actionable information
  • Replaceable/consumable items including inlet septa, liners, ferrules
  • High-performance analysis columns tailored for each test method
  • Pre-tested ‘turn-key’ GC analyzers with specially configured instruments
  • Included SimDis Expert software, standards, consumables, onsite installation, performance verification, and training
  • Comprehensive onsite services, including test method setup/validation, scheduled preventative maintenance, method revalidation, and training

Separation Systems is an ISO/IEC 17034 certified company. Contact us now to learn more

Telephone: 800-340-3302 (North America); +1 850-932-1433 (International)