Determining Water Content in Oil

Determining Water Content in Oil

If you are trying to determine the water content in an oil sample, one of the most common test methods is called the Karl Fischer Titration method.

Karl Fischer Titration to Determine Water Content in Oil

When we are using Karl Fischer Titration to determine water content, it is best to use it on samples that do not include free water. This is because it can be difficult to homogenize and transfer the vial that runs on our instrument.

Some common sources of water that we detect can originate from condensation, leaks, through seals, breathers, hatches, and fill cups. You can have internal leaks from heat exchangers, and water jackets are other potential sources of water contamination.

When we run our Karl Fischer tests, the samples are placed in sealed vials that are placed in a temperature-controlled oven. The vial is then pierced with a needle through which water vapor travels to a titration vessel. Only the water is evaporated, while the oil sample will still remain in the vial. And this eliminates interferences and contamination. Water content is then determined by a reaction with iodine, and the titration point is reached when the instrument detects underreacted iodine.

Karl Fischer Units

By default, our results are displayed in percentage. But we have a lot of customers who prefer the results to be in parts per million or PPM. These units can easily be converted by recognizing that one percent equals ten thousand PPM.

You can also think of it as moving the decimal point four places. If you're starting PPM and want to convert to a percentage, you want to move the decimal point four places to the left. And this will result in a percentage.

If you're starting with a percentage and you want to convert to parts per million, you would want to move the decimal point four places to the right.

Learn More About Water in Oil

If you are interested in learning more about determining the water content in your oil samples, download our free eBook, Water in Oil. You can also contact us today with any questions!

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