acid number

Total Acid Number

The Total Acid Number is the amount of potassium hydroxide in milligrams that is needed to neutralize the acids in one gram of oil. It is an important quality measurement of crude oil. The TAN value indicates to the crude oil refinery the potential of corrosion problems. It is usually the naphthenic acids in the crude oil that causes corrosion problems. This type of corrosion is referred to as naphthenic acid corrosion or NAC.

TAN value can be deduced by a couple of different methods, eg: by color indicator titration, by potentiometric titration.

Potentiometric Titration

The sample is normally dissolved in toluene and propanol with a little water and titrated with alcoholic potassium hydroxide (if sample is acidic). A glass electrode and reference electrode is immersed in the sample and connected to a voltmeter/potentiometer. The meter reading (in millivolts) is plotted against the volume of titrant. The end point is taken at the distinct inflection of the resulting curve corresponding to the basic buffer solution.

Color Indicating Titration

An appropriate pH color indicator eg: Phenolphthalein, is used. Titrant is added to the sample by means of a burette. The volume of titrant used to cause a permanent color change in the sample is recorded and used to calculate the TAN value.

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