What is Gilsonite?
Gilsonite, also known as natural asphalt resinous found in southern Turkey since the 1930s. It is a hard hydrocarbon and is often referred to as a natural hydrocarbon, asphaltite, uintaite, or asphaltum. Gilsonite is soluble in both aromatic and aliphatic solvents, as well as petroleum asphalt. In Turkey, where Gilsonite mines are found, it is known locally as Bitumkaya or Kaya Asfalt, meaning \”bitumen stone.\” Its molecular weight is about 1500, and its softening temperature varies from 200 to 450 F, depending on the age and composition of the mine. Its composition is about 86% carbon, 11% hydrogen, and 3% nitrogen.
Gilsonite in Turkey named Bitumkaya
The principal deposit of Gilsonite is found in Hakkari, Turkey, where it fills vertical fissures in mountain calcareous shales, limestone, and sandstone. These veins vary in width from several meters to twenty meters and vary in length from a few kilometers to as much as thirty or forty km.
History of finding
Gilsonite\’s history dates back to the early 1860s when it was first discovered. However, it was not until the mid-1880s that Samuel H. Gilson began to promote it as a waterproof coating for wooden pilings, insulation for wire cable, and a unique varnish. His promotion was so successful that in 1888, he and a partner formed the first company to mine and market it on a commercial scale.
Originally, Gilsonite was sold as \”Selects\” and \”Fines,\” with \”Selects\” commanding a higher price due to its better purity, good solubility, and usefulness in the paint, stain, and varnish industries. However, processing now removes most of the inert contaminants, and newer, more powerful solvents make the higher softening point grades more attractive to users. Today, Gilsonite is graded by softening point and particle size, with all grades carrying a degree of quality far superior to those first marketed in the 1880s.
Gilsonite is a versatile natural resource that has numerous applications across different industries. It is compatible with Microcrystalline and Paraffin Waxes, Petroleum Resins and Oils, Rosins, Tall Oil Pitch, Vegetable Oils (Linseed, Soya, etc.), Petroleum Process Oils, and Petroleum Asphalts.
We are a Gilsonite powder factory and mine owner with a monthly capacity of 10,000MT of lump and 3,000MT of powder ranging from 10 mesh to 200 mesh and up to 600 based on API EN ASTM standard. Our accurate packing machine ensures that our products are properly packaged in 50LBS multi-pager bags, 25Kg, 300Kg, 500Kg, and 1-ton jumbo bags, which are ideal for use in fluid loss control in oil well drilling mud additives.
Gilsonite finds application in different industries, some of which include:
- Asphalt and Pavement: Gilsonite is used in the production of asphalt and pavement to improve its strength, durability, and resistance to water and chemicals.
- Oil and Gas Drilling: It is used as an additive in drilling fluids to control viscosity, prevent fluid loss, and reduce friction during drilling.
- Foundry and Steel Industry: It is used as a carbon additive in the production of iron and steel to improve the quality and strength of the material.
- Ink and Paint Industry: It is used as a black pigment in the production of ink and paint due to its unique color and ability to resist heat and chemicals.
- Adhesives and Sealants: It is used as a binder in the production of adhesives and sealants due to its ability to provide high adhesion and resist water.
- Carbon Products: It is used as a raw material in the production of carbon products such as carbon black, electrodes, and battery anodes due to its high carbon content.
- Concrete Industry: Gilsonite is used as a plasticizer in the production of concrete to improve its workability and durability.
- Agriculture Industry: It is used as a soil amendment and plant nutrient to improve soil quality and increase crop yields.
API mesh size
+35 (500 MICRONS) = 0.1
+65 (212 MICRONS) = 2.0
+100 (150 MICRONS) = 8.0
+200 (74 MICRONS) = 25.0
The price of Gilsonite is affected by various factors. One of the major factors is weather conditions, such as rainfall, which can impact mining operations and affect the supply of Gilsonite, leading to changes in its price. In addition, the international market prices of petroleum commodities like crude oil and bitumen can also have an impact on the price of Gilsonite, as they are closely related products. Market conditions, such as supply and demand, production costs, and competition, also play a significant role in determining the price of Gilsonite.
Packing of Gilsonite
Gilsonite powder is usually packed in recyclable bags, such as 25Kg or 50lbs multi-paper bags on pallets that are shrink-wrapped with plastic or wooden pallets. Each pallet can carry up to 34 bags, and there are typically 20 pallets per 20ft container, with a maximum weight of 28.8MT per 40ft container. Other packaging options include jumbo bags of 1000Kg or 25 and 50Kg polypropylene bags. The craft bags are recyclable and preferred by most oil companies.
- Gilsonite craft bag
- on pallet
- in drum
- polypropylene and composite bag
- in 25Kg bag in jumbo pallet
- lump in jumbo bag
- in jumbo bag on pallet
- Gilsonite 200 mesh in Jumbo bag
Gilsonite is a naturally occurring mineral that is initially in a chunk form and then pulverized into various mesh sizes using machines. Due to its fragile nature, the material shatters easily, and the best particle distribution is obtained by rolling the material between two drums. This pulverized form of Gilsonite is used as a raw material in various industrial sectors.
Solubility of Gilsonite
Gilsonite is a hydrocarbon and has moderate solubility in hydrocarbon solvents. It is more soluble in kerosene and naphtha and also in crude oil. When Gilsonite is mixed with cement, the effect of crude oil on the set cement is negligible beyond the dissolution of exposed particles. Gilsonite has a melting point of 385°F, and some softening occurs above 240°F, causing particles to fuse together. Gilsonite can be used in wells with a static bottom-hole temperature of 300°F or slightly higher due to the temperature reduction during circulation.
The ash content of Gilsonite can vary depending on the source and processing method, but typically ranges from 5% to 26%. Ash content is the inorganic residue that remains after the organic matter in Gilsonite has been burned off. It can consist of minerals and other impurities that are present in the original rock material from which the Gilsonite was formed, as well as any contaminants that may have been introduced during mining or processing.
Liquid Gilsonite is specially formulated to be used in most water-based systems and is highly effective in lignosulfonate, potassium, and PHPA polymer mud systems. The product is readily dispersible, allowing for easy addition of high concentrations to the mud system.
Gilsonite analysis and data sheet
SOLUBILITY IS CS2,WT%
SPECIFIC GRAVITY @25 C
NORMAL HEPTHAN INSOLUBLES,WT%
COLOR IS MASS
COLOR IN STREAK OR POWDER