What is bitumen?
Bitumen is a complex and very complicated material that has long been known by humans and has been used in the manufacture of construction and decorative items, artificial prostheses, ship waterproofing and even mummification.
Bitumen occurs naturally from under the earth's crust in the form of springs, lakes and surface mines in solid and liquid form. In fact, it was natural Bitumen that was used by human ancestors in the past and was used in road construction in the late nineteenth century. Asphalt surfaces made with Bitumen today provide very smooth and safe roads for light and heavy vehicles and quality runways for landing and take-off of aircraft and even excellent rail infrastructure for trains.
Building moisture insulation and industrial applications such as protective coatings for oil and gas transmission line pipes and power transmission lines all indicate the Bitumen coverage and water resistance.
Bitumen is a colloidal compound consisting of several components. The main components of Bitumen are asphaltene and Maltin?. In this colloidal system, high-molecular-weight, highly polar asphaltene suspended molecules are dispersed in the oily medium of Maltin solvent. Maltin is an attached phase that contains saturated, aromatic and resin compounds.
Carbon and hydrogen are the two main constituents of hydrocarbons in petroleum bitumen, in addition to which other elements such as oxygen, sulfur, nitrogen and a small amount of some metals are also found. Recognition of hydrocarbons, which are the major constituents of petroleum bitumen, affects all physical, chemical, mechanical and, consequently, Bitumen behavior.
Each of the main constituents of Bitumen affects the properties and performance of bitumen. The chemical and physical properties of Bitumen in general should be evaluated as a result of the effect of these compounds according to their quantitative ratios that differ in different bitumens. Asphalt, for example, causes Bitumen to harden, and Maltin provides its adhesion and ductility properties. Maltin affects the bituminous properties of bitumen.
How was bitumen discovered?
Bitumen has been used as a waterproofing material since ancient times and in the time of Sumerians, Assyrians and even many previous civilizations, and it has been mostly used in building and insulating ships against water intrusion and sinking. Also in ancient Egypt and Greece, Bitumen was used to embalm corpses, as well as sculptures and decorations, and even in wars to defend the enemy at the gates of cities.
This valuable material has also been used in combination with baked bricks as mastic in the construction of temples and bridge pillars or as paving the streets and houses. Another application of this very valuable material has been its use as a moisture-proof material and a connecting agent in water storage devices.
Recorded use of Bitumen dates back to about 3800 years ago, the time of the Sumerians. The role of Bitumen in ancient Iran, which was known as (Mamaton) was also very basic. Khuzestan bitumen, which is known as "Mamaton" during the Achaemenid period, had many applications such as use in tool making, making utensils with bitumen, stamping and ornaments, etc., and also over time this material has religious, military, architectural and He found medicine and played an essential role in the growth and development of the Achaemenid civilization.
The Achaemenid dynasty used Bitumen for sealing and waterproofing the palace with the grandeur of Persepolis. Remains of it can be seen in the historical complex of Persepolis. Ancient Susa artists used a mixture of Bitumen and heated it to obtain a composition that was very similar to stone. They used this material to make various objects as well as to make sculptures and fossils.
Types of bitumen
Bitumen extracted from oil or special minerals is called pure bitumen, which is classified according to its formation. Pure Bitumen are also subjected to other industrial processes in order to find the desired properties for different purposes, and we classify different types of Bitumen according to the quality of their material in the following order.
Petroleum Bitumen are solid and semi-solid that are obtained directly from the distillation of crude oil or by other additional operations such as blowing air. Residual or heavy oil Bitumen is the distillation of crude oil. The amount of crude oil Bitumen varies from zero to more than half of it. In addition, Bitumen obtained from different sources can have many differences. Therefore, Bitumen refineries must carefully choose their crude oil to ensure the quality of bitumen.
Bitumen is a natural hydrocarbon resin that has been rediscovered in modern history on the Bonita River in northeastern Utah. This natural asphalt has hardened like a crude oil asphalt. "Natural bitumen, like natural asphalt, is soluble in aliphatic and aromatic solvents." Due to the high compatibility of this product, it is usually used to harden dilute petroleum derivatives.
Types of Bitumen Chemically, there are different classifications for bitumen, two of the most common of which are based on the natural or petroleum nature of Bitumen and the most common case is based on the type of Bitumen supply source, oil or coal or wood.