ASTM-D6890 Standard Test Method for Determination of Ignition Delay and Derived Cetane Number (DCN) of Diesel Fuel Oils by Combustion in a Constant Volume Chamber

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Standard Test Method for Determination of Ignition Delay and Derived Cetane Number (DCN) of Diesel Fuel Oils by Combustion in a Constant Volume Chamber



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1.1 This automated laboratory test method covers the quantitative determination of the ignition characteristics of conventional diesel fuel oil, oil-sands based fuels, hydrocarbon oils, blends of fuel containing biodiesel material, diesel fuel oils containing cetane number improver additives, and is applicable to products typical of ASTM Specification D975 grades No. 1-D S15, No. 1-D S500, and No. 1-D S5000, and grades No. 2-D S15, No. 2-D S500, and No. 2-D S5000 diesel fuel oils, European standard EN 590, and Canadian standards CAN/CGSB-3.517 and 3.520. The test method may also be applied to the quantitative determination of the ignition characteristics of diesel fuel blending components.

1.2 This test method measures the ignition delay of a diesel fuel injected directly into a constant volume combustion chamber containing heated, compressed air. An equation correlates an ignition delay determination to cetane number by Test Method D613, resulting in a derived cetane number (DCN).

1.3 This test method covers the ignition delay range from 2.64 ms to 6.90 ms (75.1 DCN to 31.5 DCN). The combustion analyzer can measure shorter and longer ignition delays, but precision may be affected. For these shorter or longer ignition delays the correlation equation for DCN is given in Appendix X2.

1.4 For purposes of determining conformance with the parameters of this test method, an observed value or a calculated value shall be rounded “to the nearest unit” in the last right-hand digit used in expressing the parameter, in accordance with the rounding method of Practice E29.

1.5 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.7 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

Significance and Use

5.1 The ID and DCN values determined by this test method can provide a measure of the ignition characteristics of diesel fuel oil in compression ignition engines.

5.2 This test can be used in commerce as a specification aid to relate or match fuels and engines. It can also be useful in research or when there is interest in the ignition delay of a diesel fuel under the conditions of this test method.

5.3 The relationship of diesel fuel oil DCN determinations to the performance of full-scale, variable-speed, variable-load diesel engines is not completely understood.

5.4 This test may be applied to non-conventional fuels. It is recognized that the performance of non-conventional fuels in full-scale engines is not completely understood. The user is therefore cautioned to investigate the suitability of ignition characteristic measurements for predicting performance in full-scale engines for these types of fuels.

5.5 This test determines ignition characteristics and requires a sample of approximately 100 mL and a test time of approximately 20 min on a fit-for-use instrument.


cetane number; derived cetane number; diesel performance; ignition characteristic; ignition delay;

To find similar documents by ASTM Volume:

05.05 (Combustion Characteristics; Manufactured Carbon and Graphite Products; Catalysts)

To find similar documents by classification:

13.220.40 (Ignitability and burning behaviour of materials and products)

43.060.40 (Fuel systems)

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Publication Date

July 20, 2021

Document Type

Test Method

Page Count

19 pages

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