AskDefine | Define bituminous

Dictionary Definition

bituminous adj : resembling or containing bitumen; "bituminous coal"

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Of or pertaining to bitumen.


  1. Bituminous coal.
  2. A type or grade of biuminous coal.

Extensive Definition

Bitumen is a mixture of organic liquids that are highly viscous, black, sticky, entirely soluble in carbon disulfide, and composed primarily of highly condensed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Naturally occurring or crude bitumen is a sticky, tar-like form of petroleum which is so thick and heavy that it must be heated or diluted before it will flow. At room temperature, it is much like cold molasses. Refined bitumen is the residual (bottom) fraction obtained by fractional distillation of crude oil. It is the heaviest fraction and the one with the highest boiling point, boiling at .
In British English, the word 'asphalt' refers to a mixture of mineral aggregate and bitumen (or tarmac in common parlance). The word 'tar' refers to the black viscous material obtained from the destructive distillation of coal and is chemically distinct from bitumen. In American English, bitumen is referred to as 'asphalt' or 'asphalt cement' in engineering jargon. In Australian English, bitumen is sometimes used as the generic term for road surfaces. In Canadian English, the word bitumen is used to refer to the vast Canadian deposits of extremely heavy crude oil, while asphalt is used for the oil refinery product used to pave roads and manufacture roof shingles. Diluted bitumen (diluted with naphtha to make it flow in pipelines) is known as dilbit in the Canadian petroleum industry, while bitumen upgraded to synthetic crude oil is known as syncrude and syncrude blended with bitumen as synbit.
Most bitumens contain sulfur and several heavy metals such as nickel, vanadium, lead, chromium, mercury and also arsenic, selenium, and other toxic elements. Bitumens can provide good preservation of plants and animal fossils.
bituminous in Arabic: البتومين
bituminous in Bulgarian: Битум
bituminous in Czech: Živice
bituminous in Danish: Bitumen
bituminous in German: Bitumen
bituminous in Estonian: Bituumen
bituminous in Spanish: Betún
bituminous in Esperanto: Bitumo
bituminous in Basque: Betun (hidrokarburo)
bituminous in French: Bitume
bituminous in Italian: Bitume
bituminous in Lithuanian: Bitumas
bituminous in Dutch: Bitumen
bituminous in Japanese: 歴青
bituminous in Norwegian: Bitumen
bituminous in Polish: Bitumy
bituminous in Portuguese: Betume
bituminous in Russian: Битум
bituminous in Finnish: Bitumi
bituminous in Swedish: Bitumen
bituminous in Vietnamese: Bitum
bituminous in Ukrainian: Бітуми
bituminous in Contenese: 臘青
bituminous in Chinese: 瀝青
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