Test Methods
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Many years ago, the Technical Committee of the Pulp Chemicals Association, inc., published the first edition of the manual "Analytical Procedures for Tall Oil Products."  This manual was widely used in the industry for many years, but in 1993 the Recovery Committee of the Pulp Chemicals Association recommended that the methods be updated.  Very few copies of the original manual remained, variations of these standard methods were being used, and new analytical techniques were available.  In addition, new regulations governing the handling and disposal of solvents and other hazardous chemicals had been enacted into law.  Consequently, the Executive Committee of the Pulp Chemicals Association Inc., authorized the revision of the outdated manual.

All PCA members were invited to volunteer experts in analytical techniques and quality assurance to serve on a committee to update the methods.  Subsequently, the following members served on the committee:

Robert DePriest (Westvaco Corporation)

Herman Dolezal and Charlie Gardner (Champion International)

Angie Carlson (Union Camp Corporation)

John Hinson and Wayne Trainor (Arizona Chemical)

Marshall Probst and Priscilla Zawislak (Hercules Incorporated)

Milton Steinberg, Susan Whitfield and Tony Woods (Georgia Pacific Corporation)

Vic Uloth (Pulp & Paper Institute of Canada)

Dr James Russell served as the chairman of the committee.

This committee met first to establish which methods should be included in the new manual, and later to revise and update the methods.  Three methods were dropped.  These were:

PCA -5:  Pitch Residue in tall oik

PCA-18: Rosin acids in fatty acids

PCA-22: Free alkali in black liquor soap

One new method was added, that being the measurement of the viscosity of crude tall oil.  Other methods were updated.  Two additional methods for the measurement of moisture content, PCTM 4B and PCTM 4C, were added. Methods PCA-8 and PCA-9 for the measurement of impurities in soap were combined to give PCTM 8.  Hazardous solvents such as benzene, the use of which is no longer permissible, were eliminated and whenever possible, toluene was replaced by the more acceptable xylene.

Precision statements were added to a few methods.  These precision statements were based on round-robin studies carried out by ASTM Subcommittee D01.34, Naval Stores, using tall oil fatty acids, distilled tall oil and rosin as the test materials.  Although the round-robin studies did not include crude tall oil as a test material, it was concluded that inclusion of these statements would enhance the value of the methods.

The wording of the scope of the methods was examined in order to better explain the value of the method and its underlying science.  Wherever possible, references to other related analyses, especially ASTM and TAPPI methods, have been included.


The procedures described in these test methods require the use of a wide variety of chemicals and laboratory techniques.  In order to keep the methods easy to follow, individual test methods do not address all the safety problems associated with their use.  It is the responsibility of the user of these standards to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

In order to ascertain the hazards associated with any of the chemicals mentioned in these test methods, the user should consult the Material Safety Data Sheet for that chemical. Also, the user should refer to their location's chemical hygiene plan to ascertain the appropriate personal protective equipment to where while carrying out these tests.