Bitumen – Transport and Storage

Bitumen is a mixture of organic substances that naturally occur on earth but are mainly won out of fossil oil. It is often used as sealing and isolation material and for instance processed to roof tiles or blacktop.

There is a widespread misbelief that bitumen can only be transported while it is in a liquid – and thus hot – state. Actually it is also possible to transport and store bitumen in so-called “bitumen cardboards” in a solidified and cold state.

Therefore, the inner surface of the box is equipped with a special coating that ensures a release without residues due to its high release properties. While liquid transports usually occur in barrels that have to be lavishly cleaned and disposed of as hazardous waste, the handling of cardboards is a lot easier. Since the cardboards consist of renewable raw materials, they can be normally disposed of.

The boxes are delivered flat, so the delivery volume of the empty cardboards is nominal. Through an easy folding technique, the bitumen cardboards can be set up quickly and immediately be filled with hot bitumen mass (at temperatures under 220°C / 428°F). Within the cardboard, the bitumen cools down and solidifies. Through this, the transport is not only facilitated, in contrast to liquid transport it is also not dangerous.

 

Due to the high temperatures of liquid transports (including loading and unloading), liquid bitumen is classified as dangerous goods. Liquid transports require temperatures of about 200°C (392°F), which is not only dangerous for the workers who load and unload bitumen in case of an accident, other traffic participants are endangered as well.

However, bitumen that is transported in a cold state is not classified as dangerous goods since it is neither dangerous to health, nor to the environment. Up to a temperature of 220°C (428°F), the storage of bitumen in cardboards is possible without any problems.

Following, the advantages of transport in bitumen cardboards instead of liquid transport are listed:

  • Less volume at delivery of the empty units (and thus less costly delivery)
  • Environmentally-friendly (no barrel-cleaning necessary)
  • No hazardous waste (in contrast to barrels)
  • Solidified bitumen can be easily removed from the cardboard
  • Empty cardboards can be energetically utilized

 

You can also watch the correct handling of bitumen cardboards on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWAjPr0mEXs.

 


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