Properties of Gilsonite


Gilsonite is mined ore as natural resinous hydrocarbon, and it is also called natural asphalt. This natural asphalt is similar to hard petroleum asphalt and is often called a natural asphalt, asphaltite, uintaite in US, or Asphaltum. This ore is soluble in aromatic and aliphatic solvents, as well as petroleum asphalt and it reacts with petroleum compounds as a polymer chemical substance. 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.

Gilsonite, is very important in fuel processing industry, matching and interpreting the results from different techniques. The Gilsonite was characterized by elemental analysis (EA) to determine the concentrations of C, H, N, S, and O, by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy for comparative analysis of the chemical structures, by Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy of hydrogen (1 H NMR) to ascertain the aliphatic and aromatic hydrogen fractions, and by Thin layer chromatography-flame ionization detection (Iatroscan TLC FID) to quantify saturated and aromatic hydrocarbons, and resin/asphaltene fractions

It has low hydrogen to carbon atomic ratio 1.44, it has low sulfur value 0.27 % and high nitrogen 3.25 % contents were the main characteristics. FTIR revealed the presence of alkane, aromatic rings, phenyl rings, alcohols, carbonyl groups, organic sulfoxides, and sulfate salts, confirming the fact that Gilsonite is composed of high molecular weight polycyclic constituents comprising of nitrogen, sulfur and oxygen heteroatoms.

As one of materials It is believed that these factures were once filled with a heavy, viscous crude oil that lost of its volatile constituents and then solidified. Much Gilsonite is used directly in its crude form, as insulation for pipelines, particularly hot pipes, as waterproofing and undercoating for wood and metal, and as paving, roofing and other uses identical with crude asphalt. Gilsonite is also blended with refinery produced asphalt and petroleum products to obtain certain desired characteristics. It is used in saturating felts and building construction papers.

The chemical composition of Gilsonite are required in order to achieve a better exploitation of this natural bitumen deposit. This unique mineral is used in more than 160 products, primarily in dark-colored printing inks and paints, oil well drilling muds and cements, asphalt modifiers, foundry sands additives and a wide variety of chemical products. Gilsonite was a shiny, black substance similar in appearance to the mineral obsidian. It was brittle and can be easily crushed into a dark brown powder. The configuration of the internal structure of bitumen is largely determined by the chemical constitution of the molecular species present. Bitumen is a complex chemical mixture of molecules of a predominantly hydrocarbon nature with a minor amount of structurally analogous heterocyclic species and functional groups containing sulfur, nitrogen and oxygen atoms. Bitumen also contains trace quantities of metals such as vanadium, nickel, iron, magnesium and calcium which occur in the form of inorganic slats and oxides or porphyrine statures

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