Gilsonite is a Brand Name for Grahamite a type of Solid Bitumen which is exploited by American Gilsonite Company in USA. Solid Bitumen is categories into below names (some brands) and our commonly known as Gilsonite since American Gilsonite Company is a Pioneer in the field for a century.
Basically, a Solid Bitumen is categorized by the content solvable in Oil Solutions, such as CS2 (Carbon disulfide) and ease of being burnt by heat. Gilsonite is mostly solvable in CS2 (from 50-99% depending on the origin and mine characteristics) while it is hardly fusible since the FLASH Point of Gilsonite is above 300 Degrees Celcius.
To clarify the exact origin of Gilsonite, below are the given names to different Solid Bitumen worldwide. As observed, Gilsonite is actually a GRAHAMITE Branded Name only found in USA; while within the market any Grahamite is called Gilsonite such as Natural Bitumen from Iran and also SOME of Colombia mining sites which produce Grahamite.
– USA: Gilsonite, Uintaite
– Latin America: Asphaltite or Asfaltita
– Trinidad: Lake Asphalt
– China: Bituminous Rock, Pyrobitumen
– Middle East & India: Natural Asphalt, Asphaltum, Bitum
While having different characteristics from different origins and mines, Gilsonite is basically a Hydrocarbon and a CRUDE OIL which is mixed with Rocks and Earth during thousands of years while it has been trying to reach the surface. The high pressure of the ground, make the Crude lose some aromatic matter and provide SLURRY like product, called Grahamite or Gilsonite.