What is Gilsonite?

Gilsonite is a natural, resinous hydrocarbon found in the Uintah Basin in northeastern Utah; thus, it is also called Uintahite. This natural asphalt is similar to a hard petroleum asphalt and is often called a natural asphalt, asphaltite, uintaite, or asphaltum. Gilsonite is soluble in aromatic and aliphatic solvents, as well as petroleum asphalt. Due to its unique compatibility, Gilsonite is frequently used to harden softer petroleum products. Gilsonite in mass is a shiny, black substance similar in appearance to the mineral obsidian. It is brittle and can be easily crushed into a dark brown powder. When added to asphalt cement or hot mix asphalt in production, Gilsonite helps produce paving mixes of dramatically increased stability.