Chemicals Used for Solvent Cut Test

Topic Version1Published11/11/2016
For StandardWITSML v2.0

The solvent cut test is useful in determining the quality of the show. You can use different solvents for this test:

  • chloroform (trichloromethane)
  • carbon tetrachloride (tetrachloromethane, perchloromethane)
  • ethylene dichloride (sym-dichloroethane, 1,2-dichloroethane, ethylene chloride, dutch oil)
  • methylene chloride (methylene dichloride, dichloromethane)
  • 1,1,1-trichloroethane (methyl chloroform, chlorothene)
  • 1-1-2-trichloroethane (vinyl trichloride, beta-trichloroethane)
  • trichloroethylene (ethylene trichloride, triclene, tri, trike or TCE)
  • acetone
  • petroleum ether

The most common reagents used by the geologist are chlorothene, petroleum ether, and acetone. The next topic provides a list of reagents that can be used for the solvent cut test. The use of ether gives a more delicate test for soluble hydrocarbons than chlorothene or acetone. However, the ether being used should be tested constantly, for the least presence of: any hydrocarbon product will contaminate the solvent and render it useless. Chlorothene is recommended for general use althoughit too may become contaminated after a long period. Acetone is a good solvent for heavy hydrocarbons but is not recommended for routine oil detection.

CAUTION: CARBON TETRACHLORIDE is a cumulative poison and SHOULD NOT BE USED for any type of hydrocarbon detection.

CAUTION: Proper ventilation is important when using petroleum ether as it may have a toxic effect in a confined space. In addition, PETROLEUM ETHER AND ACETONE are very INFLAMMABLE and must be KEPT AWAY FROM OPEN FLAMES.