Difference Between Cloud Point and Pour Point

Cloud Point vs Pour Point

Cloud point and pour point are important physical properties of any liquid fuel. Cloud point, as the name suggests is the temperature at which a cloud of wax crystals first appear in a liquid fuel when it is cooled under special testing conditions. The cloud point of any petroleum product is an indicator of how well the fuel will perform under cold weather conditions. Pour point is just the opposite of cloud point as it refers to the lowest temperature at which movement of oil is observed and the fuel can be pumped easily. As such there is only a slight difference in these two temperatures on the temperature scale but the difference between cloud point and pour point is significant in the use of any fuel. Let us find out more about these two physical characteristics of any liquid fuel.

What is Cloud Point?

In the industry, cloud point is taken as the temperature below which wax in fuel tends to form a cloudy appearance. This is a condition which is detrimental for any engine as solidified wax makes the fuel thick and it clogs the fuel filters and injectors. This wax also gets applied on the pipeline and has a tendency to form an emulsion with water. This is a property that holds great significance in cold weathers. Cloud point is also referred to as Wax Appearance Temperature (WAT).

What is Pour Point?

On the other hand, pour point is the lowest temperature at which the fuel continues to flow. Pour point of a fuel is an indication of the temperature at which fuel can still be pumped. Alternately, pour point can also be described as the lowest temperature at which a fuel performs satisfactorily and beyond this temperature, the fuel stops flowing and starts to freeze.

In brief:

Cloud Point vs Pour Point

• Pour point and cloud point are two important physical properties of any fuel or lubricant.

• While cloud point refers to the temperature at which there is a presence of a wax cloud in the fuel, pour point is the lowest temperature at which the fuel can flow and below which the fuel tends to freeze or ceases to flow.

• In cold weather conditions, certain additives are added to the fuel to keep its pour point and cloud point higher.