Reid vapor pressure

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Reid vapor pressure (RVP) is a common measure of the volatility of gasoline. It is defined as the absolute vapor pressure exerted by a liquid at 100 °F (37.8 °C) as determined by the test method ASTM-D-323. The test method applies to volatile crude oil and volatile nonviscous petroleum liquids, except liquefied petroleum gases.

The matter of vapor pressure is important relating to the function and operation of gasoline powered, especially carbureted, vehicles. High levels of vaporization are desirable for winter starting and operation and lower levels are desirable in avoiding vapor lock during summer heat. Fuel cannot be pumped when there is vapor in the fuel line (summer) and winter starting will be more difficult when liquid gasoline in the combustion chambers has not vaporized. Thus, oil refineries manipulate the Reid Vapor Pressure seasonally specifically to maintain gasoline engine reliability.

The Reid vapor pressure (RVP) differs slightly from the true vapor pressure (TVP) of a liquid due to small sample vaporization and the presence of water vapor and air in the confined space of the test equipment. That is, the RVP is the absolute vapor pressure and the TVP is the partial vapor pressure. Conversion between the two measures can be found here, from p. 7.1-54 onwards.


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