Difference Between Bitumen and Tar

Difference Between Bitumen and Tar

Every day we need all kinds of resources to accomplish any activity. These resources include the various materials used to build something, be it parking lots, roads, footpaths, runways, garages, etc. All these materials are unique in their appearance, characteristics, quality, and application.

Different components are used to achieve different goals. Some materials cannot be used as an alternative because every material has a specific function to perform.

Tar and Bitumen are among the many substances that we use in our daily life. They are both common in daily activities. Both of them have different purposes.

Tar Vs. Bitumen

Tar is extracted from sources like petroleum and wood and exists usually in the liquid form while Bitumen is extracted from sources such as coal and oil and exists generally in the solid form. Tar and bitumen are similar when it comes to their properties, but the main difference is that tar can be easily separated into different liquids by dissolving and bitumen is usually extracted in its solid form.

Comparison Table Between Tar and Bitumen

Parameter of Comparison Bitumen Tar
Derivation Bitumen is a black, substance that’s derived from sources such as oil and coal . Tar is a thick, gooey substance that comes from the Earth’s most famous petroleum deposits and wood sources.
Exists in form of Bitumen is a thick liquid that exists as solid chunks. Tar is a sticky, gooey substance.
Color type The color of Bitumen is so dark it has a reddish tinge. Tar is so dark it’s almost black.
Nature Bitumen is a naturally occurring substance that can be found in the Earth’s crust. The Tar normally requires it to be distilled in order for transformation!
Carbon Content Bitumen has a medium carbon content. Tar is made up primarily of carbon.
Setting period The lifespan of a bituminous surface is usually about 20 years. The Tar time is more.
Cost Bitumen is a more expensive material than Tar. The Tar is an excellent alternative to Bitumen in terms of expense.
Molecular range of weight Molecular weight of bitumen is typically between 400-5000. The range of Tar molecular weights spans 150-3000.
Resistance to weather One of the reasons why bitumen is so effective at protecting our roads from weathering action, it has a higher resistance than other materials. The durability of tar is especially dependent on weathering action.
Usage Bitumen is an important material in the construction industry. Tar is the most common adhesive used in industry.
Temperature susceptible The black gooey substance that coats our roads is not as susceptible to the temperature fluctuations. Tar is a very sensitive material and its properties change drastically when exposed to heat or cold.

What is Bitumen?

A lot of people use bitumen. It is a commonly used material. The mixture is made up of different organic substances. The aromatic hydrocarbons are there. Bitumen is dark in color and forms in solid-state. In a few countries, Bitumen is sometimes known as asphalt.

There is a lot of organic matter in the environment where Bitumen is formed. Bitumen is formed in the same way as coal oil is. The majority of it is in marshes and lakes. The formation process of Bitumen is similar to how organic shale becomes coal. First, it must get buried in an area where temperatures are high enough and pressures sufficient enough so that it can alter its chemical composition while storing up energy over time; this results eventually in a hard black substance known as asphalt or pet coke (depending on location).

Bitumen is a durable and protective material that can withstand even the most demanding of conditions. It also has an added benefit in how it stays at or close-surface level, which leads to rich surfaces with plenty for traffic passing through!

What is Tar?

The Tar is a commonly used substance that can be found in many of our daily activities. It’s mostly used as an adhesive or sealant for roof tiles, boats and building interiors. But it also has other uses such as flavoring food items like candy bars and beverages with its pleasant smell which brings us back to using this wonderful product not just because we need something else now instead there was once upon a time when tar had great purposes beyond simply looking pretty on sidewalks.

Tar is a dark, sticky substance that can take on different shapes and forms. It’s made up mostly of hydrocarbons with other substances mixed in for good measure! Tar is a by-product of organic compounds.

The Tar Surface becomes too brittle at lower temperatures and cannot withstand frequent changes in temperature. Which makes it unsuitable for use where there is more fluctuation, such as near hot tubs or pool decks that experience cold winters with below freezing springs!

Tar is a commonly used material in the construction industry because of its affordability, low viscosity and high specific gravity. Tar has good penetrating power which makes it perfect for use on roads with aggressive surfaces such as asphalt or concrete mastic products that need to be sealed down quickly without too much risk from water absorption caused by cheaper softer types like ethyl chloride (which would turn into gas soon after being applied).

Difference Between Tar and Bitumen

  • Bitumen is a solid while tar can be found in liquid form.
  • The Bitumen and Tar come from different sources. Bitumen’s natural source is coal, oil or gas whereas Tars is a product created when wood goes through the process of being burned down into ashes.
  • Tars need purification, distillation and a lot of energy in order for them to become useful as fuel sources.
  • The content of carbon in Bitumen is of medium level whereas Tar has a very high level.
  • Even though Tar is less expensive than Bitumen, it’s still more cost-effective to use in many cases.
  • Tar is more susceptible to high temperatures whereas bitumen has a lower temperature threshold.
  • Bitumen is a more resilient material than Tar.


Tar and Bitumen are both dark organic liquids that seep from the ground. They have many similarities, but there are also some key differences between them such as when it comes to density or boiling points for example (bitumen’s range typically falls somewhere around 30° C while tars can reach up into excess of 60 °C).

The contrasting colors of Tar and Bitumen can be seen in many areas. One example is that both are often used for sealing during construction, but they have very different purposes when it comes down to what their main function actually entails!

However, the two substances are very different. Bitumen generally exists in its solid state whereas Tar can be found as a liquid or gas at room temperature and pressure; also known to humans through the distillation process (which requires heating).

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