What is bitumen?
Bitumen occurs in nature in several forms.
Harder: Easily crumbled bitumen in rock asphalt
Softer: More viscous material which is present in tar sands and asphalt ‘lakes’. Another way in which it can obtained is via petroleum processing in this manner bitumen is essentially residue yielded thru distillation petroleum process. Though it can found in natural form, the world currently relies for all goals on petroleum. Material has been produced in this way for over 100 years.
In addition, tars derive as condensates from processing of coal (at very high temperatures), petroleum, oil-shale, wood or other organic materials. Pitch is produced when a tar is partially distilled so that the volatile components have evaporated.
pars universal bitumen has different grades include:
- viscosity grade
- polymer modified bitumen
- performance grade
- blown asphalt
Petroleum bitumen is typically referred to asphalt. In Europe for instance bitumen means the liquid binder. In North America, on the other hand the liquid binder is referred to as asphalt, or asphalt cement.
Difference between Bitumen and Asphalt
It`s actually liquid binder that holds asphalt together. The term bitumen is often mistakenly used to describe asphalt.
A bitumen-sealed road has a layer of bitumen sprayed and then covered with an aggregate. This is then repeated to give a two-coat seal.
Asphalt is produced in a plant that heats, dries and mixes aggregate, bitumen and sand into a composite mix. It is then applied through a paving machine on site as a solid material at a nominated or required thickness, relative to the end use. Asphalt results in a smoother and more durable surface than a bitumen-sealed road.
working with bitumen requires warm and dry weather as laying bitumen in the rain has about as much effect as applying paint to a wet surface. So if new roads and road extensions have to be built, then they have to be built in the summer. That’s 3 short months to get things done, not forgetting the fact that when it comes to highways, the serious pounding of the tarmac comes in the winter – particularly in the colder climates of the Northern Hemisphere where water freezes, expands and ends up cracking surfaces.
Come the summer then, all of these holes, cracks and craters also have to be repaired in the same short period of time. So next time you see the boys from the black stuff holding up the traffic, don’t curse them. They probably don’t want to be working during the holidays themselves. Instead we should thank them for quite literally holding our infrastructure together.
It primarily used for paving roads. Other uses are for Bituminous Waterproofing Products, including the use of bitumen in the production of roofing felt and for sealing flat roofs.
Naturally occurring crude bitumens is the prime feed stock for petroleum production from tar sands currently under development in Alberta, Canada. Canada has most of the world’s supply of Natural Bitumen, covering 140,000 square kilometers (an area larger than England), giving it the second largest proven oil reserves in the world. The Athabasca oil sands is the largest bitumen deposit in Canada and the only one accessible to surface mining, although recent technological breakthroughs have resulted in deeper deposits becoming producible by in-situ methods.
Because of oil price increases since 2003, upgrading bitumen to synthetic crude oil has become highly profitable. As of 2006 Canadian crude bitumen production averaged about 1.1 million barrels (170,000 m3) per day and was projected to rise to 4.4 million barrels (700,000 m3) per day by 2020.The total amount of crude bitumen in Alberta which could be extracted is estimated to be about 310 billion barrels (50×109 m3), which at a rate of 4.4 million barrels per day would last about 200 years.
In the past, bitumen was used to Waterproof Boats, and even as a coating for buildings with some additives. The Greek historian Herodotus said hot bitumen was used as mortar in the walls of Babylon. It is also possible that the city of Carthage was easily burnt due to extensive use of bitumen in construction.
Vessels for the heating of bitumen or bituminous compounds are usually subject to specific conditions in public liability insurance policies, similar to those required for blow torches, welders, and flame-cutting equipment.
Bitumen was also used in early photographic technology. It was most notably used by French scientist Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in the first picture ever taken. The bitumen used in his experiments were smeared on pewter plates and then exposed to light, thus making a black and white image.
Thin bitumens plates are sometimes used by computer enthusiasts for silencing computer cases or noisy computer parts such as the hard drive. Bitumen layers are baked onto the outside of high end dishwashers to provide sound insulation.
The world has become increasingly concerned over the global climate change thought to be caused by greenhouse gases, chief among them anthropogenic carbon dioxide which is released into the atmosphere from burning carbon fuels. This has led to the introduction of bitumen alternatives that are more environmentally friendly and non toxic. Bitumen can now be made from non-petroleum based renewable resources such as sugar, molasses and rice, corn and potato starches.
It can also be made from waste material by fractional distillation of used motor oils, which is sometimes disposed by burning or dumping into land fills. Non-petroleum based bitumen binders can be made light-colored. Roads made with lighter-colored pitch absorb less heat from solar radiation, and become less hot than darker surfaces, reducing their contribution to the urban heat island effect.
It `s black or dark-colored (solid, semi-solid, viscous), amorphous, cementitious material that can be found in different forms, such us rock asphalt, Gilsonite, tar and bitumen derived from oil, which is referred to as petroleum bitumen. Currently most of the roads globally are paved with this material. Today the world’s demand for asphalt accounts for more than 100 million tons per year which is approximately 700 million barrels of bitumen consumed annually.
Petroleum asphalt is typically referred to as bitumen or asphalt. In Europe it means the liquid binder. In North America, on the other hand the liquid binder is referred to as asphalt, or asphalt cement. Origin In general the term “bituminous materials” is used to denote substances in which it presents or from which it can be derived. Bituminous substances comprise of primarily bitumens and tars. It occurs in nature in several forms: hard one – easily crumbled bitumen in rock asphalt and softer, more viscous material which is present in tar sands and asphalt ‘lakes’.
Another way in which bitumen can be obtained is through petroleum processing in this manner the bitumen is essentially the residue yielded through a distillation process of petroleum. Although bitumen can be found in natural form, the world currently relies for all purposes on petroleum.
The material has been produced in this way for over a hundred years. Tars on the other hand do occur in nature. Tars derive as condensates from the processing of coal (at very high temperatures), petroleum, oil-shale, wood or other organic materials. Pitch is produced when a tar is partially distilled so that the volatile components have evaporated.