Do you know what the biggest use of bitumen is? Bitumen is “low-grade crude oil which is composed of complex, heavy hydrocarbons.” It is composed of sand,water and viscous oil, and needs a lot of energy to make it into any kind of useable product. It is what the oil sands around Fort McMurray are full of.
Once refined, 85 percent of all bitumen product is used as a “binder” in asphalt applied on roadways, airports, and parking lots. Add in gravel and crushed rock to bitumen, heat it up, and you are good for road building.
The City of Vancouver has experimented with “eco” asphalt in the past, being one of the first in Canada to use a plastic based wax to create a “lower-heat” asphalt mix in 2012.
But as Maurits Kuypers in Innovations Origins.com describes the Dutch have gone one step further in their adaptation of “bio” asphalt~asphalt that uses plant-based lignin to replace bitumen. This of course also fits in with using less oil based products.Read more »