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India is looking to start large-scale production of bio-bitumen from biomass or agricultural waste, a move that would help reduce imports of the material used for asphalting of roads.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • It 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.


  • It is a petroleum-free alternative to bitumen, or asphalt.
  • It’s made using non-petroleum-based renewable resources and can be made from vegetable oils, synthetic polymers, or both, making it a more sustainable model long term.