Bitumen emulsion is a mixture of fine droplets of bitumen and water. But as the bitumen is a petroleum product it doesn't mix with water and as it is sticky in nature, it doesn't easily gets disintegrated into fine droplets. To overcome this problem an emulsifier is used.

Emulsifier can be defined as a surface-active agent. Emulsifier keeps the bitumen in its fine droplet state by disallowing it to mix with other droplets. As the droplets are very fine they suspend in water.