Laboratory Services

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The laboratory’s primary function is to ensure that the products we supply to the market (whether it is produced or imported) meet all legal and contractual specifications. To do this, samples are tested and analyzed from all process unit streams and blended products to ensure that it meets the specifications required by the Refinery. Each batch of fuel (which includes gasoline, kerosene, automobile diesel, heavy fuel oil, LPG, ethanol and asphalt), is analyzed, if the product meets the specifications it is certified by the laboratory before being made available to our customers.

The methods used are those set by the international regulatory organizations for the petroleum industry, these include The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), the Institute of Petroleum Standard (IP) U.K., International Standards Organization (ISO) and others.
Petrojam has the capability to analyze water, industrial waste water and the following petroleum products:

  • Butane;
  • Propane;
  • Turbo jet fuel (kerosene);
  • Bitumen;
  • Diesel oils;
  • Residual fuel oil;
  • Motor gasoline;
  • Lubricating oils;
  • Ethanol. 

The Petrojam Quality Assurance Laboratory benchmarks its accuracy and precision by comparing our laboratory test results with those of certified petroleum labs in the United States, using the ASTM Quality Assurance Crosscheck Programme.

Listed below are some of the highly specialized tests which Petrojam is equipped to perform:

  • Octane Testing
    These tests are carried out with two American Society for Testing Material and Cooperative Fuels Research (ASTM-CFR) engines which rate motor gasoline to determine Research Octane Number (RON) and Motor Octane Number (MON) respectively. Road Octane at the gas pump is the average of RON and MON.

    Precision and repeatability of data are maintained at high levels by good maintenance and regular standardization of engines.

    Measurement of octane level is critical for ensuring that there is optimum performance of petrol engine driven motor vehicles.

  • Chromatography
    The Lab has a complement of seven gas chromatographs which are used in the analysis of Liquefied Petroleum Gases (LPG), Hydrogen, , Gasoline, Ethanol. These units are fitted with either thermal conductivity of flame ionization detector.
  • Chemical Analysis
    Instrumentation used for analyses includes an Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer and a Rotating Disc Electrode Emission Spectrophotometer, X-ray Fluorescence Analyzer, Fourier Transform Infra Red Spectrophotometer  for gasoline analysis,  Petrojam also has an Ultra Violet Scanning Spectrophotometer for the analysis of organic compounds, boiler feed and waste water.
  • Trade Surveys for Fuel Quality and Special Industry Related Testing
    The laboratory performs trade surveys from time to time to verify key gasoline and diesel quality. We assist the Bureau of Standards upon request. These results are used by the Bureau of Standards, Ministry of Energy, Mining and Telecommunications, and the Petroleum Marketing Companies to verify that the quality of petroleum purchased by the consumer is not contaminated in transit to them.
  • Industrial Hygiene
    The laboratory is equipped to monitor health hazards in the work environment. Petrojam has skilled personnel and equipment to conduct the following analysis:
    • noise level meters;
    • radiation monitor;
    • microwave radiation detector;
    • Poisonous gas detection, inclusive of
      • Hydrogen Sulphide;
      • Hydrocarbon;
      • Benzene;
      • Sulphur Dioxide;
      • Carbon monoxide. 

We also have portable electronic monitors for oxygen measurement and heat stress and equipment for the monitoring light levels in the workplace.

The laboratory staff is continuously being trained in new Quality Assurance procedures to ensure future accreditation with the ISO 17025 Quality Management System. This programme of continuous improvement in the Quality Assurance management for the Petrojam Laboratory has provided more reliable service to both internal and external customers of the Laboratory, and results in significant cost savings to the Refinery.
The Key Benefits of Standards Accreditation are:

  • Positive International and Local recognition
  • Improved Quality Assurance  practices
  • Greater productivity and minimal business interruption through quality failure.
Being the only fully equipped petroleum and ethanol laboratory in Jamaica, Petrojam offers laboratory facilities for product testing and analyses to Jamaican businesses and the scientific community. The laboratory may be contacted to determine the rates.
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