Maltene Insights: Real Science

According to the American Chemical Society, in an article published November 22, 1999, maltenes are one of two major categories of compounds that make up asphalt, the other being asphaltenes.

In recent years, a number of manufacturers have incorrectly used the word “maltenes” to mean whatever they want it to mean. When we use the term at PTI, we are using it as originally defined by our industry. For a more comprehensive understanding of the roles played by asphaltenes and maltenes in paving asphalt, The Asphalt Institute’s Educational Series No. 8 publication is available for a modest cost directly from the Institute by calling 1-859-299-4960.

Simply put, maltenes are the sticky oily components only found in petroleum and characterized by their solubility and low molecular weight. In contrast, the petroleum components known as asphaltenes are insoluble and are  higher in molecular weight.

Pavement deterioration is directly linked to the loss of petroleum maltenes. The ability to restore to aging asphalt the original maltene content is the hallmark of the asphalt treatments we manufacture and distribute.

Why it Matters

Back in the early 1960s, Dr. Fritz Rostler, while working for the Golden Bear Oil Company, discovered the origin of asphalt pavement degeneration. By separating the components of asphalt in laboratory conditions, Dr. Rostler determined that asphalt’s soluble, more reactive components, known as maltenes, degrade  when exposed to the heat used in processing asphalt-based formulations, and then further degrade as asphalt is exposed to the oxidizing effects of UV in field installations.

In collaboration with Golden Bear’s Richard White, Dr. Rostler set about developing a technology that would literally restore the petroleum maltenes to aging asphalt, rejuvenating its pliability and resilience, thereby significantly improving pavement durability and extending pavement life cycle.

Genuine petroleum Maltene Replacement Technology (MRT) remains the most sustainable process currently available for optimizing the service life of asphalt pavement.

Prove It

All of the products we make and most of the products we sell have extensive field test data available to validate our performance claims, much of it independently conducted by our public agency customers. Your local PTI service representative can share with you data from communities in your region, including before and after photographic documentation, to help you present the case for proven PTI technologies.

Read more about The Science of Pavement Preservation in real world applications.