Where Does Asphalt Come From

Some of the backgrounds to the question " Where does asphalt come from ?"

Some of the asphalt in the world comes from natural asphalt lakes.

These lakes include Pitch Lake in Trinidad and Tobago, Bermudez Lake in Venezuela, Gilsonite, the Dead Sea between Israel & Jordan, and Tar Sands.

However, most of the asphalt used in building roads is actually a by-product that comes from the crude oil refining process.

In this refining process, the process that separates the asphalt is called fractional distillation, usually under vacuum conditions.

In fact, a better separation result/efficiency can be achieved by further processing of the heavier fractions of the crude oil in a de-asphalting unit.

This unit uses either propane or butane to dissolve the lighter molecules which are then separated. Further processing is possible by reacting it with oxygen.

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