What is Bitumen?
Bitumen is a mixture of Organic Liquids that are highly Viscous, Black, Sticky, Entirely Soluble in Carbon Disulfide, and composed primarily of highly condensed Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons.
What is Crude Bitumen and Refined Bitumen?
Naturally occurring or crude bitumen is a sticky, tar-like form of petroleum which is so thick and heavy that it must be heated or diluted before it will flow. At room temperature, it is much like cold molasses. Refined Bitumen is the residual (bottom) fraction obtained by fractional distillation of crude oil. It is the heaviest fraction and the one with the highest boiling point, boiling at 525 °C (977 °F).
Asphalt - Tar
In British English, the word 'Asphalt' refers to a mixture of mineral aggregate and bitumen (or tarmac in common parlance). The word 'Tar' refers to the black viscous material obtained from the destructive distillation of coal and is chemically distinct from bitumen.
Asphalt/Bitumen - Global Reference
In American English,Bitumen is referred to as 'Asphalt' or 'Asphalt cement' in engineering jargon. In Australian English, Bitumen is sometimes used as the generic term for road surfaces. In Canadian English, the word bitumen is used to refer to the vast Canadian deposits of extremely heavy crude oil.Diluted Bitumen (diluted with Naphtha to make it flow in pipelines) is known as dilbit in the Canadian Petroleum industry, while bitumen upgraded to synthetic crude oil is known as syn crude and syn crude blended with bitumen as syn bit. It is also referred that the city of Carthage was easily burnt due to extensive use of bitumen in construction.
Elements of Bitumen
Most bitumen contain sulfur and several heavy metals such as Nickel, Vanadium, Lead, Chromium, Mercury and also Arsenic, Selenium, and other Toxic Elements. Bitumen can provide good preservation of plants and animal fossils.
Historical and Present Applications :
Asphalt / Bitumen / Tar is used as an oil refinery product primarily used for paving roads.
The Greek historian Herodotus said hot bitumen was used as mortar in the walls of Babylon.
Bitumen / Asphalt / Tar was also used in early photographic technology. French scientist Joseph Nicephore Niepce notably used in the first picture ever taken and was used in his experiments were smeared on pewter plates and then exposed to light, thus making a black and white image.
Bitumen / Asphalt / Tar is used in the production of bituminous waterproofing products, Roof shingles, Roofing felt & for sealing flat roofs.
Bitumen / Asphalt / Tar Used as a coating for buildings with some additives and thin Bitumen 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.