11 Facts About Bitumen and Asphalt


  1. Bitumen is actually the liquid binder holding asphalt together. The term bitumen is often used by mistake to describe asphalt.
  2. Highways paved in asphalt can reduce noise levels by 3-5 decibels, compared to highways that have noise walls. Also, the smoother the pavement, the better fuel consumption a vehicle will get.
  3. Bitumen is a form of petroleum and we can find in natural deposits or as a refined product.
  4. The recycling process of asphalt can also help recycle other products such as roofing shingles, metal casting and old tires are recycled.
  5. Bitumen is one of the most recycled product. According to the National Asphalt Pavement Association, the industry recycles it at a high rate of 99%.
  6. Asphalt is occasionally called as “bitumen.” It also goes by the following names “macadam,” “blacktop,” or “tarmac.”
  7. In the early 1990s, it would cost the asphalt industry billions of dollars to manufacture the product and the emissions were pretty high. Today, however, we have found an optimal way to make the creation of this material much cheaper and much better for the environment.
  8. The average asphalt surface drops only 40% in condition during the first 75% of its life. This means that if you maintain your pavemnt over the years, it will last you a long time.
  9. There are nearly 2.3 million miles of paved road in the U.S., and over 90% are of asphalt.
  10. According to Wikipedia, the earliest use of asphalt dates back to the 13th century by indigenous people. They used it as an adhesive for making tools.
  11. In the beginning of 1800s, a Scot, John McAdam, discovered the right mixing of sand and stone with tar to create a hard road pavement. He’s also the reason why asphalt sometimes goes by the term “macadam.”

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