What is bitumen
To answer the most questioned matter, what is bitumen , we can first refer to the bitumen constituents which are mainly 2% oxygen, 11% hydrogen, and 87% carbon. To be less general, this product is a high molecular weight hydrocarbon containing oils, resins, and asphaltene. It is good to know that the presence of 5 to 30% asphalt in bitumen causes the hardness of bitumen. Now, let’s see what is bitumen its applications and types. Bitumen is mainly applicable in construction, road construction, road insulation, asphalting of streets, or roof insulation. Bitumen divides into different types and grades according to different production processes and physical tests such as penetration test, viscosity test, flash point test, solubility test, softening point test, gravity test and other items.
What is bitumen production process?
In the refinery, specialists obtain various products such as oil, paraffin, waxes, bitumen, gas, and some other items from crude oil.
Needless to mention that the cuts from the distillation of crude oil in the refinery distillation tower may not be usable in the first place.
In fact, they are semi-finished products, so each cut reduces to other units such as catalytic conversion, depending on how it is and how high it is. In the following, engineers remove the viscosity with solvent to produce the final products. Then, crude oil slightly heats after entering the refinery and then drives to the distillation tower, where it becomes important oil cuts under atmospheric pressure and vacuum.
In fact, these cuts have different purposes. Sometimes some of these sections may be available as a final product, but usually, other refining operations perform on these first sections, and hydrocarbons mixes to obtain the final product. Some of the most important products from crude oil (with a boiling point in degrees Celsius) are as follows:
- Liquid gas – 4/44 to 1/1
- Aircraft gasoline 2.2 to 149
- Engine fuel 2.32 to 215
- Jet fuels 8/37 to 288
- kerosene 176 to 288
- Diesel fuel oil gas 204 to 399
Other products such as furnace fuel, lubricating oils, bitumen, solvents, wax, sulfur, and special products are also from crude oil.
We will discuss some in the following.
The first thing to be mentioned is a bitumen. Let’s see what is bitumen.
- Bitumen: Bitumen is a hydrocarbon that is usually from distilling and refining certain crude oil at the bottom of the refining vessel. Its specific gravity is 1 to 1.3 and its melting point (140-110) degrees Celsius. This substance is also in nature in some parts of the world.
- Lubricating oils: Another petroleum product is lubricating oil, which is the most appropriate substance for keeping machine components lubricated. The amount of oil from oil is less than 2% of all other products.
- Therefore, the same amount of oil plays a prominent and important role in today’s industry and life, because from scissors and sewing machines to giant cranes and giant machines, everyone must use oil to work well.
- Kerosene: Kerosene is a colorless liquid that is slightly heavier than gasoline. Kerosene has been the most important petroleum product for 50 years from the beginning of the oil industry. Its first application was as lamp oil and light production. Today, it is mostly applicable as a source of power and in some aircraft turbines and special tractor engines.
What is bitumen market in the world?
To better examine the global market, experts divide it into three main sections, which are the type of product produced, the type of application (applicant industries), and the areas of consumption. According to estimates, PMB bitumen will have the largest share of global bitumen market growth in the next 6 years. This type of bitumen, which is appropriate for repairing and paving roads and various industries, has a high viscosity These features allow the final product to endure high pressures. A review of statistics from the last decade shows that the trend of road, highway, and street construction in different parts of the world has been on the rise. Increasing population and improving living standards along with increasing car production have been among the main reasons for this trend.
The average global :
The average global road growth rate is about to reach about 4% over the next six years. Insulation and waterproofing are also among the most important applications of bitumen. The global share of this product is also about to reach about $ 15 billion by 2024. The waterproof property of bitumen has led to its widespread use in the pipe and roofing industries. Experts divide the world’s bitumen consumption regions into 5 main regions; North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East-Africa. In 2015, North America had the highest demand for bitumen and this trend will continue until 2024.
Besides, increasing government funding for the repair and development of existing roads and the construction
of new highways are among the reasons for the growing demand and consumption of bitumen in the region.
On the other hand , the growing trend of housing modernization in the United States will lead to an increase in the use of waterproof products, which has a direct impact on increasing demand for bitumen.
The two regions of Latin America and the Middle East-Africa will also see an increase in demand for bitumen
due to governments’ determination to develop economic and trade infrastructure. The volume of the market in the Asia-Pacific region (mainly China, India, and Japan) is expected to grow by about 5% annually by 2024.
In terms of market volume, this region ranks first. Hope you now know about the question “what is bitumen” and its market, applications, and trends.