# K factor (crude oil refining)

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The K factor or characterization factor is a systematic way of classifying a crude oil according to is paraffinic, naphthenic, intermediate or aromatic nature. 12.5 or higher indicate a crude oil of predominantly paraffinic constituents, while 10 or lower indicate a crude of more aromatic nature. The K factor is also referred to as the UOP K factor or just UOPK.[1]

In the oil and gas engineering industry as well as many other industries, the K-factor formula is used to calculate head loss across fittings or a set of fittings in a piping system. The formula may be expressed as:[2][3][4]

∆h = K v 2/ 2g

CAUTION: The "K-values" for characterization liquids to be separated by distillation are supposed to facilitate vapor-liquid equilibium calculations. The "K" values in this equation are for pressure drop calculations in pipe and associated fittings. This entire page needs drastic editing. I will try to provide more useful editing later. Please see [5] for K-Factors used in crude oil refining.

where, when using the customary U.S. units:

• ∆h = head loss in feet of fluid
• K = the frictional coefficient
• v = the fluid velocity in ft/s
• g = acceleration due to gravity = 32.17 ft/s2

where, when using the SI metric units:

• ∆h = head loss in metres of fluid
• K = the frictional coefficient
• v = the fluid velocity in m/s
• g = acceleration due to gravity = 9.81 m/s2