A state-of-the-art review of Natural bitumen in pavement: Underlining challenges and the way forward

Kumar Anupam, Daniel Akinmade*, Cor Kasbergen, Sandra Erkens, Festus Adebiyi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

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The demand for alternative bitumen which could fully/partially replace Petroleum sourced bitumen for pavement construction is globally increasing. The increase in demand can be associated with several factors: depletion in crude oil resources, advances in crude oil refining processes, increased demand for highway infrastructure, and regional transportation-environmental policies. Since the production of Petroleum bitumen consumes energy and generates emissions, there is an effort to decrease harmful emissions which has inspired researchers to look for so-called "green alternatives". Natural bitumen could be considered a green alternative as it is a mixture of bitumen and mineral matter present naturally on earth, mainly if the Natural bitumen can be transported easily to the construction site. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art information on pavement construction using Natural bitumen from laboratory and field perspectives. The Physico-chemical properties, rheological properties and field behaviour of asphalts pavements containing Natural bitumen were assessed. Many road authorities would hesitate to utilise Natural bitumen for pavement applications due to a lack of available data, knowledge and a systematic research study. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, there is no comprehensive literature review article on Natural bitumen. Thus, the presented article aims to comprehensively review Natural bitumen resources and their types, Physico-chemical properties, application in pavement constructions, and reported field performances. At the end of the paper, future research challenges, future recommendations and a methodological framework is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number134957
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Bituminous sand
  • Gilsonite
  • Natural bitumen
  • Petroleum bitumen
  • Rock Bitumen properties
  • Trinidad Lake bitumen


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