Gilsonite is a natural, resinous hydrocarbon. This natural asphalt is similar to a hard petroleum asphalt and is often called a natural asphalt, asphaltite, uintaite, or asphaltum. Gilsonite is soluble in aromatic and aliphatic solvents, as well as petroleum asphalt. Due to its unique compatibility, Gilsonite is frequently used to harden softer petroleum products. Gilsonite in mass is a shiny, black substance similar in appearance to the mineral obsidian. It is brittle and can be easily crushed into a dark brown powder. When added to asphalt cement or hot mix asphalt in production, Gilsonite helps produce paving mixes of dramatically increased stability.
How Gilsonite is made?
Natural asphalt or mineral bitumen is a sedimentary rock formed in wide, low-lying equatorial swamps crossed by large rivers and covered by forests of primitive animals. Here, the remains of animals saved from biodegration and oxidation by mud and water. Gilsonite is usually black in colour but sometimes it occurs as a brownish-black colour. There are four broad ranks or types of Gilsonite depending upon its age. Commencing with the youngest and lowest carbon content.
Gilsonite and its Physical and Chemical Characterization
- Black color
- Similar in appearance to the mineral obsidian
- Highly brittle and easily crushed into dark brown powder
- Melting temperature between 160 and 220 C
- High-content of Asphaltene
- High solubility in organic solvents
- High purity and compatibility
- High- content of nitrogen