Bitumen / Asphalt production process and the right valve selection

Petroleum Bitumen, normally called “Bitumen” or “Asphalt” is produced by refining crude oil. Used as a binder in road-building products, it is a very viscous, black or dark brown material.

The crude oil is pumped from storage tanks, where it is kept at about +60°C, through a heat exchanger system where its temperature is increased to typically +200°C. More and more popular in the world is heating up the system of bitumen using thermal oil flowing through the coil system, integrated into the tank. For this process, ABO offers 2E-5 (5590) valves with a double eccentric and PTFE sealing (up to a maximum temperature of +200°C).

The crude is then further heated in a furnace to typically +300°C where it is partly vaporized into an Atmospheric Distillation Column. In this process, our customers use ABO triple offset butterfly valves with metal-graphite seal (for temperatures over +200°C).

Here the physical separation of the components occurs. The lighter components rise to the top and the heaviest components (the atmospheric residue) fall to the bottom of the column and pass through a second heat exchanger prior to treatment in a vacuum distillation column. Finally, Bitumen is obtained by vacuum distillation or vacuum flashing of atmospheric residue from the vacuum distillation column. This is „straight run bitumen”. This process is called bitumen production by straight run vacuum distillation. On these lines, our customers also use 2E-5 and 3E-3 valves depending on the medium temperature.

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Read full text: ABO solutions for „Bitumen processing“.