Oil and Gas industries

Oxidation of the bitumen can achieve a desired softening point, penetration distance, viscosity, or other suitable characteristics. In an embodiment, the oxidation can be performed such that a combination of the bitumen mixture and the catalyst has a softening point of at least approximately 88° C. (190° F.), at least approximately 90° C. (194° F.), or at least approximately 93° C. (200° F.). In another embodiment, the oxidation can be performed such that a combination of the bitumen mixture has a softening point of not greater than approximately 110° C. (230° F.), not greater than approximately 105° C. (221° F.), or not greater than approximately 102° C. (215° F.).

The oxidation may be performed using air, nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, chlorine, another suitable oxidizing gas, or a combination of these gases at a time and temperature such that any needed or desired characteristic of the bio-source material or the bitumen source material (for example, softening point, penetration distance, viscosity, another suitable parameter, or any combination thereof) is achieved. In one embodiment, the oxidation can be performed in the absence of air. In a particular embodiment, the oxidation may be performed at a temperature in a range of approximately 100° C. (212° F.) to approximately 235° C. (455° F.). In a particular embodiment, the catalyst for oxidation is provided in a liquid form. In another particular embodiment, the oxidation can be performed without the addition of a catalyst. The oxidation can be performed until a needed or desired characteristic of the bitumen for example, softening point, penetration distance, viscosity, another suitable parameter, or any combination thereof is achieved. After reading this specification, skilled artisans will be able to determine the particular conditions used for the oxidation. For the purposes of this specification, an oxidised asphalt material includes a partially oxidized bitumen source, such as partially oxidized petroleum-based bitumen asphalt.