ASPHALT (from the Greek word "asphaltos" (mountainous pitch) * EN: asphalf; DE: Asphalf; FR: asphalte; ES: asfalto; RU: асфальт) is the hard or viscous natural substance of almost black colour. It may be dissolved by turpentine, chloroform, carbon disulfide, partially by benzene, and alcohol. The elemental composition (%) is: C is 67%-88%, H is 7%-10%, P is 2%-23%. The density is 1000-1200 kilograms per cubic metre; the temperature of the melting point is from 20 to 80-100 degrees Celsius. It forms itself from the certain oils as the result of their oxidation, and of evaporation of the light fractions. It is the mixture of the oxidized hydrocarbons. It is widely distributed within the oil-and-gas-bearing basins within the regions of the shallow embedment, or of the outcrop onto the surface of productive strata (see the "Natural bitumina" article).

Asphalt saturates the pores of sandstones, cracks and caverns of limestones and dolomites, sometimes forms the thick crust on the surface of the large "oil lakes" (asphalt cover of the Lake Dead Sea; asphalt sea on the Trinidad island). The content within the rocks is from 2-3% to 20%. The deposits within the USSR are within the Kuibyshev and Orenburg provinces, Komi ASSR, at the north of the Yakutsk ASSR, abroad are within Venezuela, Canada, France, Jordan, Israel. At the industrial scale, they extract asphalt within 9 countries; the worldwide extraction is more than 3 million tonnes (1979). They use it mainly for the road construction, electrical technology, and chemical industry.