ASTM Standard will cover alternative for banned solvent.

Press Release Summary:

ASTM D7553, Test Method for Solubility of Asphalt Materials in n-Propyl Bromide, will provide alternative for ASTM D2042 Method for Solubility of Asphalt Materials in Trichloroethylene. Trichloroethylene has been banned as ozone depleter by Kyoto Protocol, and n-propyl bromide has been approved by USEPA under Significant New Alternatives Policy as alternative to CFCs. Standards that specify D2042 for solubility will be revised once statement is completed and D7553 has been revised accordingly.

Original Press Release:

New ASTM Standard Covers Alternative for Banned Solvent

Test for Solubility of Asphalt Materials in n-Propyl Bromide

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., August 5, 2009 - A new ASTM International standard on solubility of asphalt will provide an alternative for a solvent that has been banned as an ozone depleter by the Kyoto Protocol, an international environmental treaty with the goal of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations that may help minimize global warming.

The new standard, ASTM D7553, Test Method for Solubility of Asphalt Materials in n-Propyl Bromide, was developed by Subcommittee D04.47 on Miscellaneous Asphalt Tests, part of ASTM International Committee D04 on Road and Paving Materials.

According to Stephen Burhans, manager, asphalt quality assurance/quality control, Paramount Petroleum Corp., and a D04 member, the main impetus for developing ASTM D7553 was that almost all asphalt specifications have a requirement for a maximum amount of insoluble matter to ensure that undesirable materials are not blended into the products. However, the specified test to verify conformance (D2042, Test Method for Solubility of Asphalt Materials in Trichloroethylene) is now rarely used because trichloroethylene is a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) banned by the Kyoto treaty.

The solvent covered by ASTM D7553, n-propyl bromide, has been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under its Significant New Alternatives Policy as an alternative to chlorofluorocarbons. Committee D04 had previously approved n-propyl bromide as a trichloroethylene replacement in ASTM D2172, Test Methods for Quantitative Extraction of Bitumen from Bituminous Paving Mixtures.

"Since ASTM D7553 does not have a complete multi-laboratory precision statement, it cannot yet be substituted in the various specifications for buying and selling purposes," says Burhans. "We will be working with ASTM's interlaboratory studies staff to seek participants in a round robin study to develop a complete precision statement later this year."

Once the precision statement has been completed and ASTM D7553 has been revised accordingly, Burhans says the process of revising those standards that currently specify ASTM D2042 for solubility will begin. Standards from Committees D04 and D08 on Roofing and Waterproofing that reference ASTM D2042 will be revised at that time.

ASTM International standards are available for purchase from Customer Service (phone: 610-832-9585; or at For technical information, contact: Steve Burhans, Paramount Petroleum Corp., Paramount, Calif. (phone: 562-748-4713; ASTM Committee D04 meets Dec 8-10 during December committee week in Atlanta, Ga.

ASTM International welcomes and encourages participation in the development of its standards. ASTM's open consensus process, using advanced Internet-based standards development tools, ensures worldwide access for all interested individuals. For more information on becoming an ASTM member, please contact Daniel Smith, ASTM International (phone: 610-832-9727;

Established in 1898, ASTM International is one of the largest international standards development and delivery systems in the world. ASTM International meets the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles for the development of international standards: coherence, consensus, development dimension, effectiveness, impartiality, openness, relevance and transparency. ASTM standards are accepted and used in research and development, product testing, quality systems and commercial transactions around the globe.


Barbara Schindler, ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, W. Conshohocken, PA 19428



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