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Information @ a Glance

 General
  • Asphalt is a sticky, black and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid that is present in most crude petroleums and in some natural deposits. It is most commonly modeled as a colloid, with asphaltenes as the dispersed phase and maltenes as the continuous phase . In U.S. terminology, asphalt is the carefully refined residue from the distillation process of selected crude oils. Outside North America, the product is called bitumen.
  • Asphalt can be separated from the other components in crude oil (such as naphtha, gasoline and diesel) by the process of fractional distillation, usually under vacuum conditions. A better separation can be achieved by further processing of the heavier fractions of the crude oil in a de-asphalting unit, which uses either propane or butane in a supercritical phase to dissolve the lighter molecules which are then separated. Further processing is possible by "blowing" the product: namely reacting it with oxygen. This makes the product harder and more viscous.

Process

  • Crude petroleum is separated into its various fractions through a distillation process at the oil refinery. After separation, these fractions are further refined into other products which include asphalt, paraffin, gasoline, naphtha, lubricating oil, kerosene, and diesel oil. Since asphalt is the base or heavy constituent of crude petroleum, it does not evaporate or boil off during the distillation process. Asphalt is essentially the heavy residue of the oil refining process.
  • The refining process starts by piping the crude petroleum from a storage tank into a heat exchanger or tube heater where its temperature is rapidly raised for initial distillation. It then enters an atmospheric distillation tower where the lighter and more volatile components, or fractions, vaporize and are drawn off through a series of condensers and coolers. It is then separated for further refining into gasoline (considered a "light" distillate), kerosene (considered a "medium" distillate), diesel oil (considered a "heavy" distillate), and many other useful petroleum products.
  • The heavy residue from this atmospheric distillation process is commonly called topped crude. This topped crude may be used for fuel oil or further processed into other products such as asphalt. Vacuum distillation may remove enough high boiling fractions to yield what is called a "straight run" asphalt. However, if the topped crude contains enough low volatile components which cannot be economically removed through distillation, solvent extraction—also known as solvent de asphalting—may be required to produce asphalt cement of the desired consistency.

Technology

  • Asphalt technology have played a key role in expanding the highway network, as well as in expediting pavement maintenance and rehabilitation operations with minimal delays to the traveling public. The goal in developing highways has been and will be to achieve ultimate comfort, safety, and efficiency for highway users in a cost-effective way.

  • Recent developments in asphalt emulsion technology have focused on the ability to control the particle size and size distribution of the emulsion during the emulsification process, and consequently to influence the emulsion properties. Static mixer technology (SMEP = static mixer emulsion process) is fully commercialized and holds the possibility of adjusting the particle size distribution of the emulsion and so controlling physical and performance properties of the emulsion.

Market

  • Asphalt - Market Size, Market Share, Market Leaders, Demand Forecast, Sales, Company Profiles, Market Research, Industry Trends. The US asphalt market will reach 38.8 million tons based on new highway and road spending and a recovery in non residential building activity. Modified bitumen and built-up roofing will pace gains in the higher value roofing segment. Emulsified asphalt will benefit from the use of in-place recycling, micro surfacing and chip seal paving.

  • Global demand for asphalt in roofing applications is expected to approach 12million metric tons. Growth in the Asia/Pacific region, the Africa/Mid east region and Eastern Europe will help offset a deceleration of demand in the large US market. Building construction activity in developing   countries will generate opportunities for asphaltic membrane roofing.

  • The latent demand for asphalt across the states or union territories and cities of India. The smallest cities have few in habitants. This long-run function applies despite some of these states or union territories having wealth; current income dominates the latent demand for asphalt. So, latent demand in the long-run has a zero intercept.

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