A pioneer in refining asphalt from crude oil, in 1894 Francis Byerley received basic patents from the United States and Canadian patent offices for the “Manufacture of Asphalt from Petroleum.”
A graduate petroleum engineer, he was engaged in oil refining since about 1870. The DeSmedt process for oxidizing petroleum asphalt was further developed by him. The resulting product, marketed under the name of “Byerlyte” attained great popularity, and he went on to found the Byerlyte Company, a long-time Asphalt Institute Member Company. Byerlyte recently became the Byerlyte Company of Koppers Company, Inc.
Mr. Byerley passed away in 1911.