The History and Origin of Liquid Asphalt
We come into contact with asphalt every day. It’s used to pave roads, driveways, and parking lots. Most of the time we don’t think about how much asphalt is used in the United States. In reality, the U.S. produces about 350 million metric tons of asphalt per year. That is used for everything from roads to parking lots.
But where did liquid asphalt come from? What was it traditionally used for, and how does liquid asphalt differ today from days of yore?
The Original Asphalt
In the rest of the world, asphalt is called bitumen, which is a much more accurate term. Bitumen refers to the liquid deposits in the earth, which we often think of as tar or oil. Asphalt is natural to the earth in the same way. Asphalt is really a natural petroleum product made up of organisms, animals, and reptiles that decayed over billions of years.