Print      What is Bitumen?

The terms bitumen and asphalt are mostly interchangeable, except where asphalt is used as an abbreviation for asphalt concrete.

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.

Naturally occurring or crude bitumen is a sticky, tar-like form of petroleum that is so thick and heavy that it must be heated or diluted before it will flow. At room temperature, it has a consistency much like cold molasses.[1] 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).