What is Gilsonite?

Gilsonite is a type of crude oil that appeared thousands of years after an earthquake due to pressure and temperature and is a shiny, brittle substance with many uses. Historically speaking, Samuel Gilson first discovered this product and sold it in the market. After registering this brand, he led the American company Gilsonite and today the whole world knows this product by his name. This valuable product contains more than 100 elements. It can combine and homogenize with 160 other materials. Besides, its soft temperature is between 148 to 240 degrees Celsius and its permeability is up to 4 hundred millimeters.

What is the difference between Gilsonite and Coal?

Many people mistakenly call all the black stones coal or charcoal. Therefore, in the following, we explain the differences to prevent this common mistake. The differences between coal and Gilsonite in the raw form are as follows:

In this regard, Coal is mainly from the experiment of plants and trees, but Gilsonite is from the decomposition of animals. The calorific value and carbon content of coal are much higher than that of Gilsonite, and with a simple experiment, the two will simply distinguish.

Where to find Gilsonite?

Gilsonite Mines of Iran and the middle east

About 30 Gilsonite mines are active in Iran and a total of 400,000 tons produce annually. These mines are mainly in Kermanshah, Ilam and Lorestan provinces and some in Bushehr (Assaluyeh). Additionally, one of the largest mines is in Qasr Shirin that can produce up to 500 tons of the substance per day. Therefore, Iran has a high rate of Gilsonite exports to China, Turkey, Tanzania, Kenya, and other countries annually. However, there are also other countries that are sources of the product which export to other countries.

It’s ineluctable to state that the quality of extraction from mines depends on the method of exploitation and its location.

To be more obvious, if it is underground, they extract it with a pickaxe or shovel, and if it is open,

they will apply a mechanical shovel with which the soil can mix.


Gilsonite applications

Application of Gilsonite in oil well drilling

Gilsonite can act as a drilling mud additive and depending on the type of drilling, drilling depth, soil and density as well as the pressure of the ground layers, the percentage of its use in drilling mud formula is different. It’s worth mentioning that if the drilling mud is wasted, very heavy damage to the well will happen. In fact, well drilling operations, including stuck pipes, well flow, volume loss of drilling mud and wasting drilling rig time all cost about $ 50,000 a day.

Application of Gilsonite in asphalt

Gilsonite in asphalt helps to increase the stability of asphalt and creates a high adhesion between macadam and bitumen. Therefore, this adhesion prevents the asphalt from cracking and also does not grow green in the asphalt of the plant. It also reduces the consumption of bitumen. Technically, most airports in the world with Gilsonite additive becomes asphalt and the most important reason is that it warms up during the friction of the aircraft wheels with the runway and does not deform the asphalt in summer and winter.

Application of Gilsonite in isogum

As a matter of fact, this substance has also uses in insulation and the production of isogum. By mixing Gilsonite, calcium carbonate, additives and bitumen with oil to increase the tensile strength of isogum appears, which makes the composite and increases the heat resistance of isogum and creates a stable and homogeneous coating. Let’s see the advantages of Isogum.

Advantages of using isogum:

  • Increase shear strength
  • Increase the resistance of the layers
  • Low-temperature flexibility is maintained
  • Reduce the tendency of isogum to move and use on sloping surfaces.
  • Reduce lubrication at high temperatures
  • A combination of low-temperature flexibility and high-temperature shear strength and motion resistance

Application in paints and inks

Printer ink is a combination of carbon black and bitumen, which with the help of Gilsonite, this compound becomes stickier and its durability is much longer. In other words, a large amount of this precious material in the production of newspaper ink also acts as organic ink. The most important thing it does in the ink industry is to streamline and stabilize materials. In fact, they can make all types of ink, the most famous of which are printer ink, newspaper ink, printing ink, lithographic and offset ink, gravure, kestrel and flexographic ink.

Application of bitumen in casting

Gilsonite additive in molding and casting sand acts as a resin and creates adhesion between the sand and other materials. Meanwhile, the mold surfaces remain very polished and will not be visible on the Mac surfaces.

Substance granulation

Gilsonite granulation varies depending on the type of use and starts from 10 meshes that appear with a hammer mill and can produce up to 100 meshes, but from 100 meshes to 400 meshes with Raymond mill, ball mill or a combination of Indo with Air sprayer and from 400 mesh to 600 mesh can soften and crush by jet mill. Fine granulation needs a closed system to use because it is very dusty and pollutes the environment. The largest size that buyers use in different industries mesh 200.

According to the mesh standard, 200 does not mean that 100% of the powder passes

through the sieve, and usually, 80% of it passes, the rest is larger sizes.