The Info List - Asphalt

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ASPHALT /ˈæsˌfɔːlt, -ˌfɑːlt/ , also known as BITUMEN /ˈbɪtʃəmᵻn, bᵻˈtuːmᵻn/ , is a sticky, black, and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid form of petroleum . It may be found in natural deposits or may be a refined product, and is classed as a pitch . Before the 20th century, the term ASPHALTUM was also used. The word is derived from the Ancient Greek ἄσφαλτος _ásphaltos_.

The primary use (70%) of asphalt is in road construction, where it is used as the glue or binder mixed with aggregate particles to create asphalt concrete . Its other main uses are for bituminous waterproofing products, including production of roofing felt and for sealing flat roofs.

The terms "asphalt" and "bitumen" are often used interchangeably to mean both natural and manufactured forms of the substance. In American English , "asphalt" (or "asphalt cement") is commonly used for a refined residue from the distillation process of selected crude oils. Outside the United States, the product is often called "bitumen", and geologists worldwide often prefer the term for the naturally occurring variety. Common colloquial usage often refers to various forms of asphalt as "tar ", as in the name of the La Brea Tar Pits .

Naturally occurring asphalt is sometimes specified by the term "crude bitumen". Its viscosity is similar to that of cold molasses while the material obtained from the fractional distillation of crude oil boiling at 525 °C (977 °F) is sometimes referred to as "refined bitumen". The Canadian province of Alberta has most of the world's reserves of natural asphalt, covering 142,000 square kilometres (55,000 sq mi), an area larger than England .


* 1 Terminology

* 1.1 Etymology * 1.2 Modern terminology

* 2 Composition * 3 Occurrence

* 4 History

* 4.1 Ancient times * 4.2 Continental Europe * 4.3 United Kingdom * 4.4 United States * 4.5 Canada * 4.6 Photography and art

* 5 Modern use

* 5.1 Global use * 5.2 Rolled asphalt concrete * 5.3 Mastic asphalt * 5.4 Asphalt emulsion * 5.5 Synthetic crude oil * 5.6 Non-upgraded crude bitumen * 5.7 Radioactive waste encapsulation matrix * 5.8 Other uses

* 6 Production

* 6.1 Oil sands * 6.2 Alternatives and bioasphalt * 6.3 Albanian deposits

* 7 Health and safety * 8 See also * 9 Notes * 10 References * 11 Sources * 12 External links



The word "asphalt" is derived from the late Middle English, in turn from French _asphalte_, based on Late Latin _asphalton_, _asphaltum_, which is the latinisation of the Greek ἄσφαλτος (_ásphaltos_, _ásphalton_), a word meaning "asphalt/bitumen/pitch ", which perhaps derives from ἀ-, "without" and σφάλλω (_sfallō_), "make fall". The first use of asphalt by the ancients was in the nature of a cement for securing or joining together various objects, and it thus seems likely that the name itself was expressive of this application. Specifically, Herodotus mentioned that bitumen was brought to Babylon to build its gigantic fortification wall. From the Greek, the word passed into late Latin, and thence into French (_asphalte_) and English ("asphaltum" and "asphalt"). In French, the term _asphalte_ is used for naturally occurring asphalt-soaked limestone deposits, and for specialised manufactured products with fewer voids or greater bitumen content than the "asphaltic concrete" used to pave roads.

The expression "bitumen" originated in the Sanskrit words _jatu_, meaning "pitch," and _jatu-krit_, meaning "pitch creating" or "pitch producing" (referring to coniferous or resinous trees). The Latin equivalent is claimed by some to be originally _gwitu-men_ (pertaining to pitch), and by others, _pixtumens_ (exuding or bubbling pitch), which was subsequently shortened to _bitumen_, thence passing via French into English. From the same root is derived the Anglo-Saxon word _cwidu_ (mastix), the German word _Kitt_ (cement or mastic) and the old Norse word _kvada_.


In British English , "bitumen" is used instead of "asphalt." The word "asphalt" is instead used to refer to asphalt concrete , a mixture of construction aggregate and asphalt itself (also called "tarmac " in common parlance). Bitumen mixed with clay was usually called "asphaltum", but the term is less commonly used today.

In Australian English , "bitumen" is often used as the generic term for road surfaces.

In American English , "asphalt" is equivalent to the British "bitumen". However, "asphalt" is also commonly used as a shortened form of "asphalt concrete " (therefore equivalent to the British "asphalt" or "tarmac").

In Canadian English , the word "bitumen" is used to refer to the vast Canadian deposits of extremely heavy crude oil , while "asphalt" is used for the oil refinery product. 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 "syncrude", and syncrude blended with bitumen is called "synbit".

"Bitumen" is still the preferred geological term for naturally occurring deposits of the solid or semi-solid form of petroleum. "Bituminous rock" is a form of sandstone impregnated with bitumen. The tar sands of Alberta, Canada are a similar material.

Neither of the terms "asphalt" or "bitumen" should be confused with tar or coal tars .


See also: Asphaltene

The components of asphalt include four main classes of compounds:

* Naphthene aromatics (naphthalene ), consisting of partially hydrogenated polycyclic aromatic compounds * Polar aromatics, consisting of high molecular weight phenols and carboxylic acids produced by partial oxidation of the material * Saturated hydrocarbons ; the percentage of saturated compounds in asphalt correlates with its softening point * Asphaltenes, consisting of high molecular weight phenols and heterocyclic compounds

The naphthene aromatics and polar aromatics are typically the majority components. Most natural bitumens also contain organosulfur compounds , resulting in an overall sulfur content of up to 4%. Nickel and vanadium are found at

* ^ _The Building News and Engineering Journal_ contains photographs of the following roads where _Clarmac_ was used, being "some amongst many laid with 'Clarmac'": Scott's Lane, Beckenham ; Dorset Street, Marylebone; Lordswood Road, Birmingham ; Hearsall Lane, Coventry ; Valkyrie Avenue, Westcliff-on-Sea ; and Lennard Road, Penge .


* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ Abraham, Herbert (1938). _Asphalts and Allied Substances: Their Occurrence, Modes of Production, Uses in the Arts, and Methods of Testing_ (4th ed.). New York: D. Van Nostrand Co. Retrieved 16 November 2009. Full text at Internet Archive (archive.org) * ^ asphalt Archived 9 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine ., Chambers 21st Century Dictionary * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Anja Sörensen and Bodo Wichert " Asphalt and Bitumen" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2009. doi :10.1002/14356007.a03_169.pub2 http://www.qrpoil.com/site/?bitumen * ^ "Oil Sands – Glossary". _Oil Sands Royalty Guidelines_. Government of Alberta. 2008. Archived from the original on 1 November 2007. Retrieved 2 February 2008. * ^ Walker, Ian C. (1998), _Marketing Challenges for Canadian Bitumen_ (PDF), Tulsa, OK: International Centre for Heavy Hydrocarbons, archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-13, Bitumen has been defined by various sources as crude oil with a dynamic viscosity at reservoir conditions of more than 10,000 centipoise. Canadian "bitumen" supply is more loosely accepted as production from the Athabasca, Wabasca, Peace River and Cold Lake oil-sands deposits. The majority of the oil produced from these deposits has an API gravity of between 8° and 12° and a reservoir viscosity of over 10,000 centipoise although small volumes have higher API gravities and lower viscosities. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ "ST98-2015: Alberta\'s Energy Reserves 2014 and Supply/Demand Outlook 2015–2024" (PDF). _Statistical Reports (ST)_. Alberta Energy Regulator. 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2016. * ^ ἄσφαλτος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, _A Greek-English Lexicon_, on Perseus * ^ σφάλλω, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, _A Greek-English Lexicon_, on Perseus * ^ Herodotus, _The Histories_, 1.179.4, on Perseus * ^ Abraham, Herbert (1938), p.1 * ^ Béguin, André. "A technical dictionary of printmaking - Bitumen". _www.polymetaal.nl_. Retrieved 27 January 2016. * ^ _A_ _B_ "What is Oil Sands". Alberta Energy. 2007. Archived from the original on 5 February 2016. Retrieved 10 January 2008. * ^ _A_ _B_ "2007 Canadian Crude Oil Forecast and Market Outlook". Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. June 2007. Archived from the original on February 26, 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2008. * ^ Muhammad Abdul Quddus (1992). "Catalytic Oxidation of Asphalt". _Thesis submitted to Department of Applied Chemistry; University of Karachi_. Pakistan: Higher Education Commission Pakistan: Pakistan Research Repository. p. 6, in ch.2 pdf. Archived from the original on 5 February 2011. * ^ Muhammad Abdul Quddus (1992), p.99, in ch.5 pdf * ^ Speight, James G. (2015-10-01). _ Asphalt Materials Science and Technology_. Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN 9780128005019 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Bunger, J.; Thomas, K.; Dorrence, S. (1979). "Compound types and properties of Utah and Athabasca tar sand bitumens". _Fuel_. 58 (3): 183–195. doi :10.1016/0016-2361(79)90116-9 . * ^ Selby, D.; Creaser, R. (2005). "Direct radiometric dating of hydrocarbon deposits using rhenium-osmium isotopes". _Science_. 308: 1293–1295. PMID 15919988 . doi :10.1126/science.1111081 . * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ "Facts about Alberta’s oil sands and its industry" (PDF). Oil Sands Discovery Centre. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 November 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2015. * ^ T. Boden and B. Tripp (2012). _ Gilsonite veins of the Uinta Basin, Utah_. Utah, US: Utah Geological Survey, Special Study 141. * ^ Hayatsu; et al. _Meteoritics_. 18: 310. CS1 maint: Untitled periodical (link ) * ^ Kim; Yang. _Journal of Astronomy and Space Sciences_. 15 (1): 163–174. CS1 maint: Untitled periodical (link ) * ^ McIntosh, Jane. The Ancient Indus Valley. p. 57 * ^ Herodotus, Book I, 179 * ^ Abraham, Herbert (1920). _Asphalts And Allied Substances_. D. Van Nostrand. * ^ Pringle, Heather Anne (2001). _The Mummy Congress: Science, Obsession, and the Everlasting Dead_. New York, NY: Barnes & Noble Books. pp. 196–197. ISBN 0-7607-7151-0 . * ^ Pedanius Dioscorides. _De Materia Medica_. . Original written ca. 40 AD, translated by Goodyer (1655) _or_ _(Greek/Latin)_ compiled by Sprengel (1829) p. 100 (p. 145 in PDF). * ^ Connan, Jacques; Nissenbaum, Arie (2004). "The organic geochemistry of the Hasbeya asphalt (Lebanon): comparison with asphalts from the Dead Sea area and Iraq". _Organic Geochemistry_. 35 (6): 775–789. ISSN 0146-6380 . doi :10.1016/j.orggeochem.2004.01.015 . * ^ Arie Nissenbaum (May 1978). " Dead Sea Asphalts—Historical Aspects ". _AAPG Bulletin_. 62 (5): 837–844. doi :10.1306/c1ea4e5f-16c9-11d7-8645000102c1865d . * ^ The Megalithic Portal and Megalith Map. "C.Michael Hogan (2008) \'\'Morro Creek\'\', ed. by A. Burnham". Megalithic.co.uk. Retrieved 27 August 2013. * ^ Africa and the Discovery of America, Volume 1, page 183, Leo Wiener , BoD – Books on Demand, 1920 reprinted in 2012, ISBN 978-3864034329 * ^ "Nothing New under the Sun (on French asphaltum use in 1621)". _The Mechanic\'s magazine, museum, register, journal and gazette_. 29. London: W.A. Robertson. 7 April – 29 September 1838. p. 176. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Miles, Lewis (2000). "Section 10.6: Damp Proofing". _in Australian Building: A Cultural Investigation_ (PDF). p. 10.06.1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 December 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2009. . Note: different sections of Miles' online work were written in different years, as evidenced at the top of each page (not including the heading page of each section). This particular section appears to have been written in 2000 * ^ _A_ _B_ R.J. Forbes (1958), _Studies in Early Petroleum History_, Leiden , Netherlands: E.J. Brill, p. 24, retrieved 10 June 2010 * ^ Salmon, William (1673). _Polygraphice; Or, The Arts of Drawing, Engraving, Etching, Limning, Painting, Washing, Varnishing, Gilding, Colouring, Dying, Beautifying and Perfuming_ (Second ed.). London: R. Jones. p. 81. * ^ Salmon, William (1685), _Polygraphice; Or, The Arts of Drawing, Engraving, Etching, Limning, Painting, Washing, Varnishing, Gilding, Colouring, Dying, Beautifying and Perfuming_ (5th ed.), London: R. Jones, pp. 76–77, retrieved 18 August 2010 Text at Internet Archive * ^ "Specification of the Patent granted to Richard Tappin Claridge, of the County of Middlesex, for a Mastic Cement, or Composition applicable to Paving and Road making, covering Buildings and various purposes". _Journal of the Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania and Mechanics\' Register_. Vol. 22. London: Pergamon Press. July 1838. pp. 414–418. Retrieved 18 November 2009. * ^ "Comments on asphalt patents of R.T. Claridge, Esq". _Notes and Queries: A medium of intercommunication for Literary Men, General Readers, etc. Ninth series._ Volume XII, July–December, 1903 (9th S. XII, 4 July 1903). London: John C. Francis. 20 January 1904. pp. 18–19. Writer is replying to note or query from previous publication, cited as _9th S. xi. 30_ * ^ "Obituary of Frederick Walter Simms". _Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society _. London: Strangeways & Walden. XXVI: 120–121. November 1865 – June 1866. Retrieved 12 November 2009. * ^ Broome, D.C. (1963). "The development of the modern asphalt road". _The Surveyor and municipal and county engineer_. London. 122 (3278 & 3279): 1437–1440 & 1472–1475Snippet view: Simms & Claridge p.1439 * ^ Phipson, Dr T. Lamb (1902). _Confessions of a Violinist: Realities and Romance_. London: Chatto & Windus. p. 11. Retrieved 26 November 2009. Full text at Internet Archive (archive.org) * ^ "Claridge's UK Patents in 1837 & 1838". _The London Gazette_. 25 February 1851. p. 489. * ^ _A_ _B_ Hobhouse, Hermione (General Editor) (1994). "British History Online". _\'Northern Millwall: Tooke Town\', Survey of London: volumes 43 and 44: Poplar, Blackwall and Isle of Dogs_. pp. 423–433 (see text at refs 169 & 170). Retrieved 8 November 2009. * ^ "Claridge's Scottish and Irish Patents in 1838". _The Mechanic\'s magazine, museum, register, journal and gazette_. 29. London: W.A. Robertson. 7 April – 29 September 1838. pp. vii, viii, 64, 128. * ^ _A_ _B_ "Joint Stock Companies (description of asphalte use by Claridge's company)". _The Civil Engineer and Architects Journal_. Vol. 1. London. October 1837 – December 1838. p. 199. Retrieved 16 November 2009. Full text at Internet Archive (archive.org). Alternative viewing at: https://books.google.com/books?id=sQ5AAAAAYAAJ&pg * ^ Miles, Lewis (2000), pp.10.06.1–2 * ^ _A_ _B_ Comments on asphalt patents of R.T. Claridge, Esq (1904), p.18 * ^ _A_ _B_ Miles, Lewis (2000), p.10.06.2 * ^ "1838 bitumen UK uses by Robinson's and Claridge's companies, & the Bastenne company". _The Mechanic\'s magazine, museum, register, journal and gazette_. 29. London: W.A. Robertson. 22 September 1838. p. 448. * ^ _A_ _B_ Gerhard, W.M. Paul (1908). _Modern Baths and Bath Houses_ (1st ed.). New York: John Wiley and Sons. (Enter "asphalt" into the search field for list of pages discussing the subject) * ^ "Claridge\'s Patent Asphalte Co. ventures into tarred slag macadam", _Concrete and Constructional Engineering_, London, IX (1): 760, January 1914, retrieved 15 June 2010 * ^ "Registration of Clarmac Roads", _The Law Reports: Chancery Division_, Vol. 1: 544–547, 1921, retrieved 17 June 2010 * ^ "Clarmac and Clarphalte", _The Building News and Engineering Journal_, Vol. 109: July to December 1915 (No. 3157): 2–4 (n13–15 in electronic page field), 7 July 1915, retrieved 18 June 2010 * ^ Roads laid with Clarmac _The Building News and Engineering Journal_, 1915 109 (3157), p.3 (n14 in electronic field). * ^ _A_ _B_ Clarmac financial difficults due to WW1 Debentures deposited _The Law Reports: Chancery Division_, (1921) VOL. 1 p.545. Retrieved 17 June 2010. * ^ "Notice of the Winding up of Clarmac Roads", _The London Gazette_ (29340): 10568, 26 October 1915, retrieved 15 June 2010 * ^ _A_ _B_ Claridge\'s Patent Asphalte Co. compulsorily wound up Funds invested in new company _The Law Times Reports_ (1921) VOL.125, p.256. Retrieved 15 June 2010. * ^ "Claridge's Patent Asphalte Co. winds up 10 November 1917". _The London Gazette_. 16 November 1917. p. 11863. * ^ Hobhouse, Hermione (General Editor) (1994). "British History Online". _\'Cubitt Town: Riverside area: from Newcastle Drawdock to Cubitt Town Pier\', Survey of London: volumes 43 and 44: Poplar, Blackwall and Isle of Dogs_. pp. 528–532 (see text at refs 507 & 510). Retrieved 8 November 2009. * ^ Stockton, Nick (23 June 2017). "Plastic Water Bottles Might Have Poisoned Ancient Californians". _ Wired (magazine) _. Retrieved 26 June 2017. * ^ McNichol, Dan (2005). _Paving the Way: Asphalt in America_. Lanham, MD: National Asphalt Pavement Association. ISBN 0-914313-04-5 . * ^ "Robert C. Fitzsimmons (1881-1971)". Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame. 2010. Retrieved 2016-01-20. * ^ "Bitumount". Government of Alberta. 2016. Retrieved 2016-01-20.

* ^ Niépce Museum history pages. Retrieved 27 October 2012. Archived 3 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine . * ^ The First Photograph (Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin). Retrieved 27 October 2012. * ^ Spiegelman, Willard (2009-08-21). "Revolutionary Romanticism: \'The Raft of the Medusa\' brought energy to French art". _The Wall Street Journal _. New York City. Retrieved 2016-01-27. * ^ _The Asphalt Paving Industry: A Global Perspective, 2nd Edition_ (PDF). Lanham, Maryland, and Brussels: National Asphalt Pavement Association and European Asphalt Pavement Association. February 2011. ISBN 0-914313-06-1 . Retrieved 27 September 2012. * ^ "How Should We Express RAP and RAS Contents?". _Asphalt Technology E-News_. 26 (2). 2014. Archived from the original on 9 June 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-13. * ^ "Highway Statistics Series: Public Road Length Miles by Type of Surface and Ownership". Federal Highway Administration . 2013-10-01. Retrieved 2015-08-13. * ^ " Asphalt Pavement Recycling". _Annual Asphalt Pavement Industry Survey on Recycled Materials and Warm-Mix Asphalt Usage: 2009–2013_. National Asphalt Pavement Association. Retrieved 13 August 2015. * ^ _A_ _B_ "Crude Oil and Petroleum Products". National Energy Board of Canada. Retrieved January 21, 2016. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ "2015 CAPP Crude Oil Forecast, Markets & Transportation". Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers . Archived from the original on 20 January 2016. Retrieved January 21, 2016. * ^ "The Project". North West Redwater Partnership. Retrieved January 21, 2016. * ^ Rodier, J., Scheidhauer, J., & Malabre, M. (1961). The conditioning of radioactive waste by bitumen (No. CEA-R—1992). CEA Marcoule. * ^ Lefillatre, G., Rodier, J., Hullo, R., Cudel, Y., & Rodi, L. (1969). Use of a thin-film evaporator for bitumen coating of radioactive concentrates (No. CEA-R—3742). CEA Marcoule. * ^ Sato, Y., Miura, A., Kato, Y., Suzuki, H., Shigetome, Y., Koyama, T., ... & Yamanouchi, T. (2000). Study on the cause of the fire and explosion incident at Bituminization Demonstration Facility of PNC Tokai Works. In Nuclear waste: from research to industrial maturity. International conference (pp. 179-190). * ^ Okada, K., Nur, R. M., & Fujii, Y. (1999). The formation of explosive compounds in bitumen/nitrate mixtures. Journal of hazardous materials, 69(3), 245-256. * ^ Johnson, D.I., Hitchon, J.W., & Phillips, D.C. (1986). Further observations of the swelling of bitumens and simulated bitumen wasteforms during γ-irradiation (No. AERE-R—12292). UKAEA Harwell Lab. Materials Development Division. * ^ Phillips, D. C., Hitchon, J. W., Johnson, D. I., & Matthews, J. R. (1984). The radiation swelling of bitumens and bitumenised wastes. Journal of nuclear materials, 125(2), 202-218. * ^ Ait-Langomazino, N., Sellier, R., Jouquet, G., Herbert F. Shurvell (2010). "X-ray fluorescence detection of waste engine oil residue in asphalt and its effect on cracking in service". _International Journal of Pavement Engineering_. 11 (6): 541–553. ISSN 1029-8436 . doi :10.1080/10298436.2010.488729 . Retrieved 2014-03-24. * ^ Heat Island Effect. From the website of the US Environmental Protection Agency. * ^ Giavarini, Carlo (March 2013). _Six Thousand Years of Asphalt_. SITEB. pp. 71–78. ISBN 978-88-908408-3-8 . * ^ , Selenice Bitumi for more information about Selenizza * ^ Giavarini, C.; Pellegrini, A. "Life cycle assessment of Selenice asphalt compared with petroleum bitumen". _The 1st Albanian Congress on Roads_: 234–237. * ^ "CDC - NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards - Asphalt fumes". _www.cdc.gov_. Retrieved 2015-11-27. * ^ IARC (2013). _Bitumens and Bitumen Emissions, and Some N- and S-Heterocyclic Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons_. 103. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer . ISBN 978-92-832-1326-0 . Retrieved 2015-12-07. * ^ Cavallari, J. M.; Zwack, L. M.; Lange, C. R.; Herrick, R. F.; Mcclean, M. D. (2012). "Temperature-Dependent Emission Concentrations of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Paving and Built-Up Roofing Asphalts". _Annals of Occupational Hygiene_. 56 (2): 148–160. ISSN 0003-4878 . doi :10.1093/annhyg/mer107  . * ^ Eco roofing * ^ – History of roads.


* Barth, Edwin J., _Asphalt: Science and Technology_ Gordon and Breach (1962). ISBN 0-677-00040-5 . * Forbes, R.J. (1993) , _Studies in Ancient Technology_, Volume 1, The Netherlands: E.J. Brill, ISBN 90-04-00621-4 * Lay, Maxwell G (1992), _The Ways of the World: A History of the World\'s Roads and of the Vehicles that Used Them_, Rutgers University Press, ISBN 0-8135-2691-4


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