Bitumen : Major Cause Of Pollution
Goa Power Minister recently said that bitumen used in road construction is a major cause of pollution.
- Bitumen is a dense, highly viscous, petroleum-based hydrocarbon.
- It is found in deposits such as oil sands and pitch lakes(natural bitumen) or is obtained as a residue of the distillation of crude oil.
- At the temperatures normally encountered in natural deposits, bitumen will not flow. In order to be moved through a pipe, it must be heated and, in some cases, diluted with a lighter oil.
- Bitumen can deform permanently under heavy loads. Continued stress on the material can result in cracking
- It owes its density and viscosity to its chemical composition—mainly large hydrocarbon molecules known as asphaltenes and resins, which are present in lighter oils but are highly concentrated in bitumen.
- In addition, bitumen frequently has a high content of metals, such as nickel and vanadium, and nonmetallic inorganic elements, such as nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur.
- Bitumen is known for its waterproofing and adhesive properties and is commonly used in the construction industry, notably for roads and highways.
- It is commonly used to waterproof boats and other marine vessels.
- It is also used by companies that create and manufacture roofing products.
- It is used for sealing and insulating purposes in various building materials such as carpet tile backing and paint.