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Bio bitumen

20th June, 2024 Environment

Bio bitumen

Source: Economic Times

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  • The Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) focuses on research and development in road and runway infrastructure and promotes the use of bio-bitumen as a sustainable alternative to traditional bitumen.
  • Bio-bitumen, derived from organic materials through pyrolysis, offers environmental, economic, and import-reduction benefits, addressing India's growing demand for bitumen in road construction.


Key Points

  • Bio-bitumen:
    • Definition: A sustainable, petroleum-free alternative to traditional bitumen, also known as bio-asphalt.
    • Sources: Manufactured from organic materials such as bio-char, bio-oil, and lignins derived from plant cell walls.
    • Production Process: Produced through pyrolysis, which involves heating waste materials to around 500°C without oxygen.
  • Benefits of Bio-bitumen:
    • Reduced Imports: Decreases dependency on imported bitumen, leading to savings on foreign exchange.
    • Environmental Impact: Utilizes organic waste materials, addressing issues like stubble burning and promoting sustainability.
    • Economic Benefits: Substantial savings on foreign exchange and promotion of renewable resources.
    • Promotion of Bio-economy: Encourages the use of sustainable resources in construction, boosting the bio-economy.
  • Bitumen:
    • Definition: A black substance derived primarily from crude oil, composed of complex hydrocarbons and elements like calcium, iron, sulphur, and oxygen.
    • Properties: Renowned for waterproofing and adhesive properties, making it vital for construction.
  • India’s Current Situation – Bitumen:
    • Demand Growth: Increased road construction activities have significantly raised bitumen consumption.
    • Import Dependency: India imports approximately half of its annual bitumen requirement.
    • Statistics: In 2023-24, India imported 3.21 million tonnes and produced 5.24 million tonnes of bitumen locally.


Economic Times


Q. Consider the following statements regarding bio-bitumen:

1Bio-bitumen is derived primarily from crude oil.

2.The production process of bio-bitumen involves pyrolysis, heating organic materials to around 500°C without oxygen.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: b)