Showing posts with label Viscosity grade bitumen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Viscosity grade bitumen. Show all posts

October 21, 2015

Bitumen Market Research Report 2015

Global Bitumen Market (Paving Bitumen, Oxidized Bitumen, Cutback Bitumen, Bitumen Emulsion, Polymer Modified Bitumen and Others) for Roadways, Waterproofing, Adhesives, Insulation and Other Applications -

Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 - 2020
102 pages   Published Date: 2014-09-09  

Bitumen is primarily used as a binder in road construction along with other applications such as electronics, waterproofing for roofing, and in adhesives due to its resistance to water, insulation properties and high durability.

The properties of bitumen can be altered by adding polymers to it, thereby increasing its application scope. Bitumen is known as “asphalt” or “asphalt cement” in North America.

However, “asphalt” is a term used for a mixture of sand, small stones and other filler materials in the rest of the world. This mixture contains about 5% of bitumen. The mixture is known as “asphalt concrete” or more particularly “blacktop” in North America.

Bitumen is available in a number of grades based upon the standard mentioned by certain tests such as penetration test. Bitumen 80/100, bitumen 60/70 and bitumen 40/50 are the most commonly used bitumen, where the numerical values represent hardness of bitumen.

Softer bitumen represents greater penetration units.

Similarly, VG-10, VG-20, VG-30 and VG-40 are the viscosity grades of bitumen. Thus, different grades of bitumen are often represented as bitumen 80/100/VG-10.

Infrastructure activities to improve road networks in developed and developing nations are expected to drive the growth of the bitumen market. Furthermore, increasing applications of polymer modified bitumen (PMB) as chemical additives and adhesives in household and road construction are anticipated to boost the demand for bitumen. Additionally, rising construction activities for industries, commercial buildings and housing are estimated to drive the demand for bitumen over the next six years. However, environmental issues associated with the extraction of bitumen from oil sands are projected to hamper market growth. Increasing substitution of bitumen by concrete is also likely to adversely affect the bitumen market. However, development of bio-based bitumen or bio-bitumen and its commercialization over the next few years is expected to offer opportunities for the bitumen market. Furthermore, development of bio-bitumen is anticipated to ease the production pressure on the depleting fossil fuel reserves.

Paving grade bitumen, which is used in roadway application as a binder for asphalt, was the largest consumed type of bitumen in 2013. It accounted for over 65% of the market share in 2013.

Polymer modified bitumen (PMB) is expected to be the fastest growing segment of the market due to its increasing demand in road construction and roofing applications. Polymer modified bitumen is increasingly used in construction of roadways and waterproofing applications as it offers various advantages such as heating at lower temperatures, ability to increase porosity of roads and enhancement of performance of the applications.

With over 80% share in 2013, road construction was the largest application segment for bitumen due to its high viscosity and stickiness.

Other applications of bitumen include its usage in roofing industry, paints and enamels, adhesives, automotives and decorative applications, and as an insulator in electrical and electronics industry.

Focus of national governments of China and India on improving road network and the consequent inclusion of the same in the five-year plans is anticipated to fuel growth of bitumen in Asia Pacific over the next six years.

However, waterproofing is expected to be the fastest growing application of bitumen during the forecast period, due to growth in infrastructure activities in developing countries such as China and India.

North America was the largest consumer of bitumen in 2013 due to the significant network of roads in the U.S. The region accounted for over 30% of the market in 2013.

Redevelopment and repair of existent roads accounts for the primary consumption of bitumen in this region. This is in contrast to emerging economies where the consumption is driven by development of new infrastructure.

However, Asia Pacific (including China) is expected to be the fastest growing market for bitumen during the forecast period due to rapid industrialization in the region. This is expected to drive infrastructure development in the next few years.

The bitumen market is highly fragmented, with the top eight companies accounting for approximately 39% of the total market share in 2013. Leading bitumen manufacturing companies include Shell Bitumen, NuStar Energy, ExxonMobil, Marathon Oil Company and Valero Energy Corporation.

Source - Transparency Market Research

November 23, 2013

Buffet Continues to invest in Bitumen

Buffett Increases His Oil Sands Stake With $3.45 Billion Exxon Mobil Investment

Ron Daems, President of Strata Oil & Gas Inc., discusses how Warren Buffett's latest oil investment affects shareholders

It has now been revealed that Warren Buffett's oil sands exposure has increased again, with his 40.1 million share purchase of Exxon Mobil, one of the world's leading producers and a major player in Alberta's enormous bitumen play through its 70% stake in Imperial Oil.

This is Buffett's second recent high-profile oil investment, the first being in June when Berkshire Hathaway announced it had taken a $500-million stake in Suncor Energy Inc., the world's leading oil sands producer and Canada's largest integrated operator.

Tellingly, Buffett increased his stake in Exxon Mobil right around the time it was acquiring the enormous Clyden in-situ bitumen project from ConocoPhillips - a company whose stock he just sold, reducing his holdings in it by 44 percent.

ExxonMobil/Imperial also owns the Kearl project - another massive Alberta-based bitumen project with 4.6 billion barrels of bitumen resource and a project lifespan of over 40 years. Production is already at 80,000 barrels per day.

In short, Buffett's ExxonMobil stake gives him ownership in Imperial Oil - one of Exxon Mobil's jewels-in-the-crown, partly because of its enormous Canadian oil sands position.
Ron Daems, President of Strata Oil, provided these comments to shareholders:

"Strata Oil views Buffett's increased stake in ExxonMobil as good news for Alberta's bitumen producers, and a real endorsement of the future potential of the resource. Many of the leading 'Carbonate Triangle' companies have already attracted the investment dollars of some of the world's major investment institutions including Warburg Pincus, Blackstone Capital, and Goldman Sachs. But there's no doubt that Buffett's $3.45 billion stake in ExxonMobil/Imperial and his earlier $500 million stake in oil-sands producer Suncor is the kind of good news that really bodes well for Alberta's bitumen production," said Mr. Daems.

"All these developments mean that momentum is building in Alberta's bitumen carbonate play, and Strata Oil has one of the largest and most attractive projects in the industry. We acquired our project in 2005 and 2006, making us one of the earliest companies to position in the carbonates. Through drilling and geological analysis, we now have a recoverable resource of 887 million barrels of crude, and a total resource of 3.4 billion barrels. We believe our company offers substantial value to its shareholders."

Strata Oil's Cadotte Central project is estimated to have a Net Present Value (NPV) of USD $1.3 billion. Its newly updated total of 887 million bbls of recoverable bitumen provides significant additional upside potential which hasn't been factored into the $1.3 billion calculation yet.

Source- einews

September 28, 2012

Bitumen Cartel Fined Again by EU

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) won a 25 percent reduction in a fine for its role in a bitumen industry cartel, while other members including Total SA (FP) and Royal BAM Group NV lost their appeals at a European Union court. 

Shell’s fine was cut to 81 million euros ($104.2 million) from 108 million euros because antitrust regulators failed to show that the company “played the role of instigator and leader in the infringement,” the EU General Court ruled today.

The European Commission, the EU’s antitrust watchdog, in September 2006 fined 14 companies 266.7 million euros for fixing the price of bitumen, a petroleum byproduct used to make asphalt, over eight years on the Dutch market. Shell, whose fine was increased for being a repeat offender, received the biggest penalty. BP Plc (BP/) escaped a fine because it cooperated in the probe, the commission said.

Dutch companies Ballast Nedam (BALNE) NV, Heijmans NV (HEIJM), Koninklijke Volker Wessels Stevin NV, Royal BAM Group and Swedish company Nynas AB lost their appeals today. Only a subsidiary of Ballast Nedam had its liability for its fine reduced, while the total fine on its parent was upheld today.
Total was fined 20.25 million euros, the third highest penalty in the cartel, behind Koninklijke Volker Wessels Stevin, which was told to pay 27.4 million euros.

Today’s ruling “proved that the decision to appeal in 2006 was well founded,” Wendel Broere, a spokesman for Shell in The Hague, said by phone.

Shell ‘Regrets’

“Shell does recognize that competition law was infringed” and “regrets this,” said Broere. “Shell is committed to complying with competition laws and we have an extensive compliance program.”

Total, Europe’s third biggest oil company, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment to its press office.

The penalties were part of a crackdown on the construction industry by the commission and regulators in EU countries such as Finland and Sweden.

The commission said at the time that the Dutch cartel was led by Shell and Koninklijke Volker Wessels Stevin. It was made up of eight suppliers and six purchasers of road bitumen in the Netherlands, according to the commission.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at

Source- Businessweek

September 12, 2012

Bitumen - One Delivery Many Claims
Bitumen Packed in Drums and Polybags for Delivery
Blame bumpy rides and large potholes on city roads on a bitumen scam. An AMC inquiry into the poor condition of some of the city's roads revealed some contractors were not just cutting corners but also submitting the same bitumen purchase bills for multiple road contracts.

"Preliminary investigations suggest that unscrupulous contractors are not adhering to quality standards specified and over-charging the corporation by submitting copies of the same bitumen bills for multiple projects," said a senior AMC official.

"This is not all, none of the contractors quote the same price of constructing one kilometre of road. This is because AMC's contracts have no standardized rates for road construction and constractors exploit this condition and bank crores of the taxpayers' money," says a senior AMC official.

Beside this, another major flaw is that, though mandatory, no contractor mentions the date of construction of the road or even submits a timely report of the repairs carried during the five-year guarantee period. "The guarantee term ends when a gas agency or a telephone company digs up the road. The bill of repairs is then borne by AMC and partly by the company which dig up the road, instead of the contractor. The municipal corporation has lost crores to such careless digging," adds the official.

Engineering experts suggest that contractors be made liable to repair roads even after such digging work and the money be claimed from the companies that dug up the road.

Source- Times of India

September 6, 2012

Asphalt Association

Promotion of asphalt and bitumen bound products within the pavement industry
Australian Asphalt Pavement Association (AAPA) promotes sustainable use and growth of bitumen products in Australia's pavement industry. 
Formed as a non profit organisation in 1969, The Australian Asphalt Pavement Association (AAPA) promotes the economic use of asphalt and bitumen bound products which are based on sound technical and commercial grounds. With a progressive and innovative approach, AAPA throughout it’s history has maintained it's major objective as being the continued improvement in Australia’s pavement industry by promoting the sustainable use and growth of asphalt and bitumen based products.

AAPA membership is open to all organisations involved in the industry which includes suppliers of bitumen and asphalt as well as sprayed surface operators. Local governments and state government road authorities are also invited.

The association’s activities fit into five categories:

  • Enhancing industry performance
  • Product positioning
  • Technology and research
  • Education and training
  • Health, safety and environment.
At all times the AAPA and it’s members will act professionally with a great deal of honesty and integrity in the hope that the associations reputation is always kept at a high standard.

Source- Infolink

August 2, 2012

Asphalt and Cancer- Is there a Link ?

Roofers and road construction workers who use hot asphalt are exposed to high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published this week in the British Medical Journal Open shows that roofers have higher PAH blood-levels after working a shift and that these high levels of PAHs are linked with increased rates of DNA damage, and potentially with higher cancer risk.

“We’ve known for some time that roofers and road workers have higher cancer rates than the general population, but we also know roofers have a higher rates of smoking, alcohol use and higher UV exposure than the general population. It’s been difficult to pinpoint the cause of higher cancer rates – is it due to higher PAHs or is it due to lifestyle and other risk factors?” says Berrin Serdar, MD, PhD, investigator at the CU Cancer Center and assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at the Colorado School of Public Health.

Her study, completed with colleagues at the University of Miami, studied 19 roofers from four work sites in Miami-Dade County. Participants’ urine samples, provided before and after a 6-hour shift, showed that after acute exposure to hot asphalt, PAH biomarkers were elevated. Overall, biomarkers of PAH exposure and oxidative DNA damage (8-OHdG) were highest among workers who didn’t use protective gloves and workers who also reported work related skin burns, pointing to the role of PAH absorption through skin.

“PAHs are a complex mixture of chemicals some of which are known human carcinogens. They are produced by incomplete combustion of organic materials and exist in tobacco smoke, engine exhaust, or can come from environmental sources like forest fires, but the highest exposure is among occupational groups, for example coke oven workers or workers who use hot asphalt,” Serdar says.

“We can’t say with certainty that exposure to hot asphalt causes roofers’ increased cancer rate,” Serdar says, “but that possibility is becoming increasingly likely. Hot asphalt leads to PAH exposure, leads to higher PAH biomarkers, leads to increased DNA damage – we hope to further explore the final link between DNA damage due to PAH exposure and higher cancer rates in this population.”

Serdar and colleagues at the CU Cancer Center have initiated a wider study of roofers in the Denver metropolitan area. This study will simultaneously investigate air, blood, and urine levels of PAHs and their link to DNA damage in samples collected over a workweek.
Source-  abcforums

June 23, 2012

Re Application of Novel Oil Sands Project

E-T Energy Ltd., Calgary, indicated it will refile an application for commercial-scale production of bitumen in Alberta based on a proprietary electrical heating system.

The provincial Energy Resources Conservation Board returned an application filed in July 2009 saying the company hadn’t demonstrated that the system, ET-DSP (for electrothermal dynamic stripping process), can obtain or sustain commercial bitumen production rates. The ERCB cited a lack of production data.
E-T said the application didn’t include results of a crucial field test that remains in progress. It said the test, which it calls Step 3, won’t establish the recovery factor and energy-oil ratio required to produce bitumen until later this year or early next year.

The returned application was for a 10,000 b/d project. “In light of the recent decision by the ERCB, the timing of the Step 3 results, and weak capital markets, management will be considering other alternatives, including a smaller project building upon the existing Step 3 field test surface assets,” E-T said in a statement.
The company holds acreage in the Athabasca oil sands region adjacent to Fort McMurray. The ET-DSP system, based on a grid of production and electrode wells, has been used by the environmental industry for remediation of contaminated sites.

E-T wants to apply the technology to recovery of bitumen from Lower Cretaceous McMurray formation zones too deep to be mined, more than about 75 m, and too shallow to be produced by steam-assisted gravity drainage, less than about 150 m.

 By OGJ editors

October 4, 2011

Waste Recycling

Rebuilding C&D Waste Recycling Efforts in India

In India nearly 50% of Construction & Demolition waste is being re-used and recycled, while the remainder is mostly landfilled. Professor Sadhan Ghosh explains why the management of this material is becoming a major concern for town planners, and challenges of increasing awareness about recycling.

In India it's common practice for large Construction and Demolition (C&D) projects to pile waste in the road, resulting in traffic congestion. C&D waste from individual households finds its way into nearby municipal bins and waste storage depots making the municipal waste heavy, and degrading its quality for treatments such as composting or energy recovery. The Indian construction industry is highly labour intensive and has accounted for approximately 50% of the country's capital outlay in successive Five Year Plans, and projected investment continues to show a growing trend. Out of 48 million tonnes of solid waste generated in India, C&D waste makes up 25% annually.

Rapid economic growth leading to urbanisation and industrialisation is generating waste, which is adversely effecting the environment. The percentage of India's population living in cities and urban areas increased from 14% at the time of independence to 27.8%. Projections for building material requirement by the housing sector indicate a shortage of aggregates to the extent of about 55,000 million m3. An additional 750 million m3 of aggregates would be required to achieve the targets of the road sector. There is also a huge demand for aggregates in the housing and road sectors, but there is a significant gap in demand and supply.

Estimated waste generation during construction is 40 kg per m2 to 60 kg per m2. Similarly, waste generation during renovation and repair work is estimated to be 40 kg per m2 to 50 kg per m2. The highest contribution to waste generation comes from the demolition of buildings. Demolition of pucca (permanent) and semi-pucca buildings, on average generates between 300kg per m2 and 500 kg per m2 of waste, respectively.

The presence of C&D waste and other inert matters makes up almost one third of the total MSW on an average, but so far no notable development has taken place for using this in an organised manner. At present, private contractors remove this waste to privately owned, low-lying land for a price, or more commonly, dump it in an unauthorised manner along roads or other public land.

Taking action

The fine dust like material (fines) from C&D waste is not currently being used and is thus wasted. In more than 95% cases wastes such as bricks, metal, wood, plastics and glass have some market value and there are contractors who focus solely on dealing in C&D wastes. The use of these materials requires them to be sorted and separated, and is dependent on their condition, although the majority of this material is durable and therefore has a high potential for reuse. It would, however, be desirable to have quality standards for the recycled materials.

An investigation revealed that total waste from India's construction industry could reach 12-14 mt per year

In view of the significant role of recycled construction material in the development of urban infrastructure, the Technology Information, Forecasting & Assessment Council (TIFAC) has conducted a techno-market survey on 'Utilisation of Waste from Construction Industry', targeting the house building and road construction industries. The total quantum of waste from the construction industry is estimated to be between 12 million to 14.7 million tonnes per annum, out of which seven to eight million tonnes are concrete and brick waste. According to the survery's findings 70% of the respondents said they were "not aware of the recycling techniques" as the reason for not recycling C&D waste, while the remaining 30% have indicated that they are not even aware of recycling possibilities. Furthermore, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and other codal provisions do not provide specifications for the use of recycled products in construction activities.

In July this year, in West Bengal, a consultative committee comprising top level municipal management and experts from the Centre for Quality Management System and Mechanical Engineering of Jadavpur University and government departments was formed to address solid waste management issues, including C&D Wastes.

Construction waste in Delhi

Gurgaon Municipal Corporation near Delhi is planning a C&D waste recycling plant on five acres of land. There is considerable construction activity taking place in Gurgaon, but no place to dump the C&D wastes. The fast pace of the construction and renovation work will continue for at least the next five years. Hence, there is need for a C&D waste processor.

With the three existing landfill sites having exhausted their capacity some time ago, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has given the go-ahead for the establishment of a sanitary landfill facility at Narela-Bawana in northwest Delhi.

The Rs 700 million ($15.5 million) integrated solid waste management facility is being developed to meet Delhi's garbage disposal needs for the next 20 years. The site is being developed as the first engineered landfill site in the city and is spread over 150 acres. Approximately 50 acres will be kept aside for disposing of C&D wastes.

The landfill site will take care of refuse from Rohini and Civil Lines zones, and has an initial capacity to handle 1000 tonnes per day, and is planned to expand to handle 4000 tonnes per day. Around 6500 tonnes per day of MSW is generated in Delhi. The Narela-Bawana landfill site has been notified under Master Plan 2021. In addition, the MCD has also carried out a feasibility study on use of C&D waste in road and embankment construction.

Recycled roads in Kolkata

As in many other countries, in Kolkata the recycling of bituminous material is carried out using hot or cold mixing techniques either on site, or at a central asphalt mixing plant. It offers benefits including reduced use of asphalt, energy savings and a reduction in aggregate requirements. Cold in-situ recycling is done by pulverising chunks of road material to a certain depth, mixing in cement, bitumen emulsion or foamed bitumen and compacting. This recycling process is best suited to roads with light traffic.

For hot in-situ recycling, the upper layer of the road is pre-heated and the asphalt is loosened by milling devices. It is mixed together with a recycling agent and the mixture is spread along the road and compacted. Both practices are widespread in Kolkata.


In India there has yet to be a concerted effort to enact legislation governing C&D waste management. There are however some initiatives in different states to address the issue in isolation, or in tandem with the existing Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000.

One example of this is the state of Maharashtraa, which has taken a pioneering step to include a separate collection and disposal of debris and bulk waste in its Action Plan. Under the plan each city is required to have a mechanism for the collection and disposal of waste and construction debris from bulk producers. The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai has enacted the "Construction, Demolition and De-silting Waste (Management and Disposal) Rules".

Waste recycling plans should be developed for construction and demolition projects, prior to beginning construction activity. The plans should identify the wastes that will be generated and designate handling, recycling and disposal methods.

A minimum of 4% of the total site area should be allocated for storage and pre-treatment of the waste. This storage area should be covered and the pollutants from the waste should not affect the surrounding. Demolition contractors specialise in planned deconstruction that enables the recovery of good material for re-use to be maximised. Recovery rates vary from 25% in old buildings to as high as 75% in new buildings. The demolition of old buildings usually generates wastes such as brick, wood and steel. In India most of the old buildings are mainly made up of good quality bricks. The foundation of the old buildings is of load bearing type where a huge number of bricks were used. When an old building is demolished, almost all the materials are sold at reasonable price. Table 1 shows the quantity and make up of C&D waste per annum in India.

Analysis shows that reuse of construction waste can reduce the cost of low budget houses by approximately 30% to 35% without compromising the durability of the structure.


Legislation needs to specifically address C&D waste management. In addition, the awareness level and availability of technology for C&D waste re-use and recycling needs to be improved to make a sustainable change in India. Quality standards for the recycled or re-used products need to be developed and monitored by Bureau of Indian Standards.

Not much effort has been made in this sector and data on generation and characteristics is scarcely available. There should be a proper institutional mechanism to take care of the collection, transportation, intermediate storage (if necessary), utilisation and disposal of C&D wastes. Appropriate rules should be framed and implemented. Separation of C&D waste should be promoted at source and private enterprise can be gainfully employed for the collection and transportation of the waste. Public-Private-Partnership schemes may be a possible mechanism of implementation of C&D waste management in India.

Sadhan Ghosh is president of the International Society of Waste Management, Air and Water (ISWMAW), India and professor of Mechanical Engineering at Jadavpur University, Kolkata. e-mail:

Co-authors include Sannidhya Ghosh, a day scholar at the university and Asit Aich, executive engineer, department of municipal affairs, Government of West Bengal, Kharagpur.

September 26, 2010

Viscosity Grading of Bitumen

Grading of Bitumen, although various standards are in place, the property whether Penetration or Viscosity has to be determined for the effective selection of the material for construction of roads is discussed here.

The grading of bitumen through penetration test at 25°C was first adopted in the early Sixtees on Paving Bitumen, which was in practice till today . The key requirements for bitumen were the specific gravity, penetration, water content, flash point, softening point, ductility, loss on heating
test and solubility in trichloroethylene. Bitumen conforming to this standard was performing well , when construction specifications like surface dressing and premix carpet were largely in practice. With the increased use of designed dense mixes, increased traffic volume and loading, higher road user's expectations and changes in crude quality, was felt essential lately . Hence new standards were developed like penetration ratio, paraffin wax, Frass breaking point, Loss on heating by Thin Film Oven Test (TFOT) and absolute viscosity at 60°C and 135°C were introduced.

Penetration ratio is an indicative test for temperature susceptibility, while the wax content in excess of 5% is considered harmful as it produces tender mixes due to the lowering of viscosity at 60°C. Refineries are generally producing only two grades of bitumen viz 80/100 and 60/70 penetration grades. The specified values of viscosity for these two grades of bitumen are minimum 750 and 1500 Poise respectively, which are not considered adequate to control rutting at high pavement temperatures (say, 60-70°C). Therefore, viscosity based specifications were extensively deliberated by experts in the BIS forums and ultimately decided to switch over from Penetration based grading system to Viscosity based grading system .

The revised grading system is yet to be implemented both by manufactures and by highway construction industry , though the choice of viscosity grades is simple since the following criterion of equivalency holds good .

Advantages of Viscosity Grading Concept

• Viscosity is fundamental property; testing is independent of test system and sample size
• Viscosity is tested at 60°C which is regarded as maximum pavement temperature in summer
• Temperature susceptibility can be controlled by viscosity test results at 60 and 135°C.

However, all said, refineries are mostly producing / specifying in terms or Penetration grades till now.