This document specifies a laboratory method for the determination of the distillation characteristics of light and middle distillates derived from petroleum and related products of synthetic or biological origin with initial boiling points above 0 °C and end-points below approximately 400 °C, utilizing either manual or automated equipment. Light distillates are typically automotive engine petrol, automotive engine ethanol fuel blends with up to 85 % (V/V) ethanol, and aviation petrol. Middle distillates are typically aviation turbine fuel, kerosene, diesel, diesel with up to 30 % (V/V) FAME, burner fuel, and marine fuels that have no appreciable quantities of residua.
NOTE For the purposes of this document, the term "% (V/V)" is used to represent the volume fraction of a material.
The distillation (volatility) characteristics of hydrocarbons and related products of synthetic or biological origin have an important effect on their safety and performance, especially in the case of fuels and solvents. The boiling range gives important information on composition and behaviour during storage and use, and the rate of evaporation is an important factor in the application of many solvents. Limiting values to specified distillation characteristics are applied to most distillate petroleum product and liquid fuel specifications in order to control end-use performance and to regulate the formation of vapours which may form explosive mixtures with air, or otherwise escape into the atmosphere as emissions (VOC).