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In chemistry and physic study, volatility refers to the tendency of the substance to vaporize
at given temperature. Volatility is one of importance characteristic which needed to be assure high
enough for the usage. For automotive, the volatility of fuel need to be acceptable for engine start-
up, warm-up, acceleration and throttle response under normal driving conditions. The substance
with high vapor pressure will vaporize more readily than the substances with low vapor pressure.
So the more volatile the substance will contribute to higher pressure of the vapor in dynamic
equilibrium with its vaporizing substance. The vapor pressure of a substance is the pressure at
which its gaseous phase is in equilibrium with its liquid or solid phase. It is a measure of the
tendency of molecules and atoms to escape from a liquid or solid. There are two kind of device
that can measure the volatility which is Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) and the other one is True
Vapor Pressure (TVP). Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) is a testing method for crude oil, fuel, other
refined petroleum products, and petrochemicals in order to measures the vapor pressure of a
substance. RVP also can be defined as the absolute pressure exerted by a mixture, can be
determined 37.8oC and at a vapor to liquid ratio of 4. On the other hand, TVP is a common measure
of volatility of petroleum distillate fuels. It is defined as the equilibrium of the vapor pressure with
condensed phase at a specific temperature. The different between RVP and TVP is that RVP is
more convenient approximation of the absolute vapor pressure that vaporized at 37.8oC compare
to TVP. The main purposes of this experiment are to determine the Reid vapour pressure of
petroleum products and to compare with another source. The Reid vapour pressure (RVP) was
tested on different types of oil which is petrol, kerosene and diesel in order to determine the
volatility of liquid hydrocarbons.

Vapor pressure is very important physical property of volatile liquids. This is because it is
used to determine the vapor pressure at 37.8oC of petroleum products and crude oils at above 0oC
initial boiling point. At atmospheric pressure, when the liquid has reached its boiling point, the
liquid changes its state from liquid to a gas through its bulk and it’s called normal boiling point.
The tendency of molecules to escape from the liquid phase to gases phase depends on the
temperature, vapor pressure and volatility. The higher volatility and higher vapor pressure, will be
low tendency of molecule to escape its phase. Petroleum products are usually grouped into three
categories which are Light distillates (LPG, gasoline, naphtha), Middle distillates (kerosene,
diesel), and lastly Heavy distillates (heavy fuel oil, lubricating oils, wax, asphalt) which result
kerosene and diesel are classified under middle distillate and petrol is light distillate. The
classification of petroleum product distinguish the carbon contain. Heavy distillate contains high
number of carbon than the others. The lower the number of carbon, which at the top of the
fractionating column have lower boiling points, which means the higher the vapour pressure and
the higher volatility of a fuel by increasing the temperature, which means a highly volatile fuel
will vaporize more at a faster rate than a fuel with a lower volatility. High volatile oil which are
petroleum product at top distillate tend to flame and explode easily than the fractions at the bottom.
The RVP for petrol is typically in the range from 40 to 60 kPa or 6 to 9 psia.