Also known as: bitumen, road oil
Asphalt is primarily made up of large, dense molecules called asphaltenes.
The major uses for asphalt are as a binder for road paving and in construction materials such as asphalt roofing shingles.
Although asphalt is generally valued lower than crude oil, it is considered a value-adding product because it is made from the densest, lowest-value part of crude oil, the vacuum resid, yet is typically valued higher than residual fuel oil. So the value to a refinery from making asphalt comes not from the high value of the product, but from the low cost of the feed stock.
Only a very limited number of refineries produce any asphalt because of the relatively small end market. So it is generally considered to be one of the specialty products.