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Bitumen Extraction and Monitoring Methods

Bitumen Extraction and Monitoring Methods

What is Bitumen?

Asphalt is a sticky substance that is black or dark brown. It is obtained from the processing of crude oil or natural pitch.

People use it in various industries including road construction, insulation, protective coatings as well as building.

Tar is also useful because of its high resistance to water, heat as well as chemicals.

The pitch  is a hydrocarbon material that dissolves in carbon sulfide and carbon tetrachloride.

If there is a hydrocarbon in tar, it can have unique characteristics such as high adhesion, impervious to moisture & water as well as industrial applications.

According to the origin of bitumen production, this material is also divided into three main categories including  natural pitch, petroleum tar and distillate bitumen.

Modes of Tar

Pitch is solid at ambient temperature.  If you raise the temperature, this material  will also become liquid.

Types of Pitch

Oil pitch

Petroleum pitch is also  produced from distillation of crude oil.  People distill crude oil in two phases to produce the oil tar.

Natural Tar

If individuals evaporate crude oil, they can produce natural pitch.

This type of pitch is more durable than distilled tar. Natural bitumen is mined in lakes and mines.

Blown Tar

In this way, people blow air into the tar of a hot refining to remove some impurities.

Blown pitch has a lower penetration degree than pure tar, but it is softer and less responsive to temperature changes.

Tar Solution

Tar is a mixture of tar and a suitable solvent such as kerosene or gasoline.  It is liquid at ambient temperature.

This type of  pitch  gets stiff in gasoline very quickly. Because gasoline has a high evaporation rate, so people call it rapid curing.

 If you dissolve tar in oil, it becomes stiffer later. People call it medium-curing asphalt.

 Pitch Emulsion

If we mix tar, water and an emulsifying material, pitch emulsion will be produced.

The amount of emulsifying material is very low and is about 0.3 to 0.5% and the water of this type of bitumen is about 30 to 50 percent too.

Natural Bitumen Applications

The most important applications of natural tar are as follows :

Agricultural, recycling industry,  road &  road construction as well as transportation industry,  construction Industry,  fuel,  insulating equipment,   coke Industry  as well as  isolation industries such as oil and gas.

Natural Bitumen Extraction Methods

The main methods for natural pitch extraction are as follows:

Open Pit Mining

In this way, people extract natural tar from the ground surface.  This is the simplest method of natural pitch extraction, but it can damage the environment.

This method is one of the surface mining methods that people use it to metal, copper and iron mines.

Underground Mining

In this way, humans extract natural pitch from underground mines.

This method is more complicated and expensive than the open method, but it take less damage the environment.

Bitumen Refinery Methods

There are three main methods for refinery tar. They are as follows:

Vacuum Distillation

In this method, persons heat crude oil under  vacuum to separate lighter products such as gasoline and diesel from it.

The remainder of the process is refinery tar.

Air Blowing

In this method, persons  blow air into the tar  to remove some impurities from it.

This method helps to increase the quality of the refinery pitch.

New Methods of Bitumen Refining

In recent years, people have introduced new methods for refinery tar.

It helps to improve its quality and reduce its environmental impact

Bitumen Refining Stages

People purify tar in a few steps. They are as follows:


At this stage, individuals also heat the refinery pitch.

Separation of Impurities

  Humans also remove impurities such as water and suspended particles from it.


In this stage,  humans  evaporate the solvent  to increase its viscosity.

Viscosity Control

Individuals adjust the viscosity of refinery tar at the desired level.

Factors Affecting the Quality of Bitumen

Natural pitch has higher quality than refinery tar.

The quality of tar depends on various factors including crude oil or natural tar, refining method, operating conditions, high softness point, low penetration as well as feed type.

Different applications of refined bitumen are as follows:

Road construction & pavement

Pitch is also one of the most important materials in the construction & maintenance of roads and other pavement surface.

People use tar to connect stone materials and create a smooth and resistant surface due to its high adhesion and water resistance.


Tar is a proper insulation for buildings and other structures due to its high resistance to water and moisture.

Bitumen resistance to water damage to buildings. Humans use pitch in insulating roofs, walls and floors of buildings.

Protective Coatings

This material is a suitable protective coating for pipes, tanks and other metal structures. It also  protects structures against rust and corrosion.

Construction Industry

Other applications of pitch in the construction industry including brick construction, tar sealant, production of rubber, paints and adhesives.

The Impact of Bitume Extraction and Refining on the Environment

The environmental impact of tar extraction as follows:

Air pollution, soil pollution, water as well as  greenhouse gas emissions.

Air Pollution

When people extract tar, they release gases and particulate matter into the air .

It can also cause breathing problems and other health problems.

Soil and Water Pollution

They release gases and particulate matter into the air, if persons extract tar. It can harm the environment and human health.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions:

When persons extract bitumen, they can release greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide into the air that it could cause global warming and climate change.Follow us on Instagram

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