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Is bitumen a polymer

  1. Sep 19, 2008 #1
    Hey
    I am trying to find out if bitumen is a polymer, and if it is please direct me to resources where I could see its structure.Thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 19, 2008 #2

    Mapes

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    Bitumen is a highly heterogeneus mixture of hydrocarbons, so yes, it is composed of polymers. From a quick look online, it looks like bitumen can be divided into the chemical families of saturates, aromatics, resins, asphaltenes; this might help your search.
     
  4. Sep 28, 2008 #3
    I didn't know hydrocarbons were polymers, I only knew polymers could be synthesized from hydrocarbons.How then does bitumen become a polymer.Im a little confused
     
  5. Sep 28, 2008 #4

    Mapes

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    That's because I misspoke. Polymers consist of many repeating units, often hydrocarbon units, and I assumed that bitumen's many components would include some examples of long chains. However, I can't find evidence that any molecule in bitumen contains hundreds of units or more, so I shouldn't have said it was composed of polymers. Sorry about the error.
     
  6. Sep 28, 2008 #5
    Thanks
     
  7. Nov 13, 2008 #6
    No it isn't a polymer.
    Bitumen is a mixture of various residues from crude oil that remain after the lighter fractions are extracted for such things as petrol (gasoline), fuel oils and the various paraffinics that go on to be used in such applications as lubricants.
    There is quite a large concentration of PCAs in bitumen, but these cannot be classified as polymers as their molecules do not have multiple repeating units.
     
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