Bitumen can be replaced by a fraction extracted from pyrolysis oils providing a cheap, green alternative for fossil bitumen. One specific application demonstrated is the application in roofing material. Bituminous waterproofing systems are designed to protect residential and commercial buildings. Bitumen is a mixed substance made up of organic liquids that are highly sticky and viscous. The unique properties of the bitumen such as sustainable water resistance, excellent adhesion and easy handling are the main reasons for the large market share.
It appears that a fraction of the pyrolysis oil, a modified ‘lignitic fraction, is suitable as a raw material for the BIOtumen. This lignin is extracted from the raw oil and yields for the lignitic precursor are around 25 to 30 wt% of the pyrolysis oil. The pyrolytic lignin is subsequently further thermally treated to make it suitable for the processing into roofing materials. Belgium company Derbigum produced approximately 1200m2 roofing membranes replacing a few percent of the bitumen by pyrolytic lignin. This roofing material was placed on a residential complex in Nijmegen, as well as on a private house in Enschede, both situated in the Netherlands.
“Biotumen: Roofing membranes from pyrolysis oil”, Hans Heeres, PyNe newsletter No 32, 2012, pp 11-12.