Bitumen Gains Popularity as Environmental Paving Material of Choice

Published Date : Jun 01, 2016

Bitumen is a highly viscous hydrocarbon produced as a byproduct from the distillation of petroleum. The distillation can be a result of a natural phenomenon or may be undertaken in refinery units using crude oil. Bitumen has many excellent characteristics which make it the material of choice for paving and binding purposes.

As the global network of highways and roads continues to rise to sustain the ever increasing modernization needs of the mounting global population, an increased amount of bitumen is also being consumed for use in bituminous asphalt concrete for building these structures. Bituminous asphalt concrete has been recognized as a highly popular choice for building pavements among architects in the past few decades.

Some of the crucial characteristics of bitumen that make for its high demand across the globe include high durability, insulation, and resistance to water. However, there are also many properties of this material that make it the apt choice for constructing these structures among environment conservationists. These include:

High Sustainability: the use of bitumen is accredited with the development of structures that do not wear out easily. The maintenance of such roads is fairly easy: Only the upper layer needs to be replaced and the process is very quick and economic. As the complete reconstruction and removal of roads built by using bitumen is not required, there is a complete eradication of the enormous waste produced otherwise as well as substantial savings in terms of energy and fuel utilized to make new structures from scratch.

What’s more, through a process called rubblization, the pavements made with the use of bitumen are also reused as a base for new bitumen roads. This saves vast amount of fuel and the need for virgin materials that are otherwise required for building new road bases.

Recycling and Low Consumption of Energy: Bitumen is America’s leading recycling industry. The industry reclaims a vast portion of its products every year and reuses or recycles over 95% of it annually. Bitumen is also a highly economic option when it comes to the consumption of energy. Analysts have noted that building bitumen-based pavements requires at least 20% less energy as compared to building structures from conventional concrete mixes.