Published Tue, Mar 8th 2016
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
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Bitumen is a highly viscous, dark-brown-to-black hydrocarbon produced as a residue from the distillation of petroleum. The distillation can be a natural phenomenon, resulting in the formation of tar pits or asphalt lakes, or may take place in petroleum refinery units processing crude oil. Bitumen is also commonly referred to as asphalt or asphalt cement in North America. In 2013, the global bitumen market totaled almost 108,348 kilo tons of bitumen and held a net worth of nearly US$71.4 billion. Use of bitumen to build pavements for roads and highways constituted the largest end-use application of bitumen, holding over 80% of the total market.
The global network of roads and highways is continuously rising, and an increasing volume of bitumen is being consumed in bituminous asphalt concrete – a mineral aggregate material bound together with bitumen and used in road construction. Bituminous asphalt concrete has come across as the primary choice of architects for building pavements over the past four to five decades. High durability, resistance to water, and insulation are some of the chief properties that generate abundant global demand for bitumen. However, there are many other properties of bitumen that make it the right choice for environment conservationists.
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Here’s a brief account of those properties:
When designed and constructed in an appropriate manner, roads built using bitumen do not wear out easily. Maintenance of such roads is also very simple: only the top layer is replaced, in a process that is quick and highly cost-effective. Complete removal and reconstruction of these roads is not needed.
Bitumen also makes reusability of concrete pavements possible through a process called rubblization. At the end of their useful life, concrete pavements usually require to be completely removed and replaced. Conversely, by processing the worn-out concrete with bitumen through ‘rubblization’, the material that would otherwise have gone to waste can be used as a base for a new bitumen-based road. Rubblization saves a lot of fuel and utilization of virgin materials that would have been used for building a new road base.
The high level of smoothness achieved in road surfaces due to the use of bitumen also helps maintain superior contact with vehicle tires, leading to improved road safety.
Recycling and Low Energy Consumption
The bitumen industry is America’s leading recycler. The industry reclaims an overwhelming majority of its products every year and recycles or reuses more than 95% of it on an annual basis. Bitumen-based pavements are also highly economic when it comes to energy consumption. The construction and production of such pavements requires at least 20% less energy than concrete or other types of pavements.
Bitumen-based pavements are faster to rehabilitate and construct, allowing bitumen roads to be opened for traffic as soon as the pavements are cooled and compacted. These factors heavily reduce the chances of congestion, which may lead to unnecessary fuel consumption and formation of emissions.
Very Low Greenhouse gas Emissions
Studies have revealed that emissions from bitumen plants, including those of greenhouse gases, are not only very low but also very well controlled. Over the past years, the global bitumen industry has decreased the amount of total emissions produced by it by more than 95%, while also increasing the production volumes by over 250%. The emissions from bitumen plants are so low that they are usually considered negligibly minor sources of pollution.
Preserving Water Quality
By replacing nonporous surfaces in roads, parking lots, and other applications with porous bitumen systems, runoff water can be turned into infiltration, thus helping restore the hydrology of a site or even improve it, improve the quality of water, and eradicate the need for detention basins for runoff water. The fact that bitumen pavements do not leach also makes them ideal for the preservation of the environment.
Mr. Sudip .S
Transparency Market Research
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