Use of Gilsonite - PUB LTD

Use of Gilsonite

Gilsonite is a naturally occurring asphaltite, also known as uintaite, found in the Uinta Basin in northeastern Utah, USA. It is a unique and valuable natural resource with a wide range of applications across various industries. Let’s delve into the properties and uses of Gilsonite.


  1. Composition and Physical Properties:
    Gilsonite is composed of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons, primarily consisting of carbon and hydrogen. It has a high carbon content, typically ranging from 80% to 90%. The physical properties of Gilsonite include a brittle texture, high melting point, and low solubility in common solvents. It is available in different forms, including powder, granules, and lumps.


  1. Industrial Uses:
    Gilsonite finds extensive use in several industries due to its unique properties. Some of its prominent applications include:

    • Asphalt and Road Construction: Gilsonite is widely used as a binder in asphalt mixes to enhance the durability, flexibility, and resistance to rutting and cracking. It improves the performance of roads, highways, and other pavement surfaces.


    • Oilfield and Drilling: Gilsonite is utilized in the oil and gas industry as an additive in drilling fluids and cementing operations. It improves the fluid loss control, lubricity, and shale stabilization during drilling operations.


    • Foundry and Metal Casting: Gilsonite is added to foundry sands to enhance the properties of molds and cores. It improves the resistance to high temperatures, reduces veining, and enhances surface finish in metal casting applications.


    • Ink and Coatings: Gilsonite is used as an additive in printing inks and coatings to enhance viscosity control, color intensity, gloss, and UV resistance. It improves printability and provides a protective barrier on the surface.


    • Adhesives and Sealants: Gilsonite  is incorporated into adhesives and sealants to improve adhesive strength, flexibility, water resistance, and compatibility with different substrates. It ensures reliable bonding and sealing properties.


    • Chemical and Carbon Black Industry: Gilsonite is used as a raw material in the production of various chemicals, including carbon black. It provides carbon precursors and acts as a reinforcing agent in rubber and plastic applications.


    • Other Applications: Gilsonite is also utilized in diverse applications such as foundry molds, electrical insulation, waterproofing, paint pigments, and wood preservatives.
  1. Environmental Considerations:
    Gilsonite is a natural resource, and its extraction and processing have environmental considerations. Proper mining practices and waste management should be followed to minimize the impact on the surrounding ecosystems. Additionally, efforts should be made to ensure sustainable sourcing and reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation and processing.


In conclusion, Gilsonite is a valuable natural resource with various industrial applications. Its unique properties, such as high carbon content, low solubility, and high melting point, make it suitable for a wide range of uses. From asphalt to ink, adhesives to foundry molds, and oilfield operations to chemical production, Gilsonite plays a vital role in enhancing performance and quality in numerous industries. However, it is essential to conduct responsible mining practices and consider sustainability to minimize its environmental impact.