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Old 4th October 2010, 04:22 AM   #1
Oystein
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"Iron-rich spheres" - scienctific explanation?

Hello to the more able among you! This goes out to those who already know what I am talking about by just reading the title of this thread:

What about them "iron-rich micro-spheres in the dust of WTC"?



You know: Jones, Harrit e.al. say that they found iron-rich micro-spheres after incinerating their famous red-grey chips.
J.R.Lee group found that about 6% of the dust found inside a building right next door to GZ was made up of iron, mostly in the form of tiny spheres.

I understand that micro-spheres form when the material cools from liquid to solid. So to me, the layman, it appears reasonable to say that iron-rich micro-spheres had a temperature above their melting point just before they formed. Jones and other truthers interprete this as evidence that fires must have burned that heated (macroscopic amounts of) steel above the melting point of steel - which most of us would consider highly unlikely from uncontrolled hydrocarbon fires.

I understand that such microspheres were certainly formed during clean-up, when steel was cut with blow-torches and mechanically. But I doubt that this process would deposit large amounts of such spheres to locations away from GZ.

It seems to me that most of these spheres must either have formed during the fires, or been present even before 9/11 and released during the collapses.

My questions thus are:
  • What do we know about this already?
  • Can ironspheres form during "normal" fires, and if so, how?
  • Did Jones and Harrit really find ironspheres, and did they really form when they burned their chips?
  • How many such spheres are already contained in building materials, such as concrete?
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Old 4th October 2010, 04:54 AM   #2
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Quick caveat: the spheres are described as "iron-rich", not "iron". This means that they could be, for example, compounds of iron which melt at much lower temperatures, including the iron-sulphur eutectic observed in corrosion of steel from WTC7. Describing them as "iron spheres" is equivalent to accepting a conspiracist interpretation which is not supported by the evidence.

Dave
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Old 4th October 2010, 05:20 AM   #3
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Flyash. Paint plus rust. Old buildings. Friction.

The truther study has not been truly independently verified. As a matter of fact, when a fellow doubter, henri co (a user here) tried to verify it, his dust sample mysteriouslycontained none of the alleged thermite chips.

TAM
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Old 4th October 2010, 05:39 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Quick caveat: the spheres are described as "iron-rich", not "iron". This means that they could be, for example, compounds of iron which melt at much lower temperatures, including the iron-sulphur eutectic observed in corrosion of steel from WTC7. Describing them as "iron spheres" is equivalent to accepting a conspiracist interpretation which is not supported by the evidence.

Dave
Sure. We are not talking about pure iron, so the textbook melting point of iron does not necessarily apply.
But the minimum melting point of an "ideal" eutectic does neither.
Eutectic corrosion is a slow process that would hardly contribute much to the dust clouds created by the collapses.

Look at the RJ LeeGroup Report:
Damage Assessment 130 Liberty Street Property - WTC Dust Signature Report

Just searching for "sphere" I find the following references:
Page 16
Quote:
2.3.5 Heat affected particulate and combustion products

Particles that either were formed as a consequence of high temperature or
were modified by exposure to high temperature are important WTC Dust
Markers for WTC Dust. Fires that were a part of the WTC Event produced
combustion-modified products that traveled with other components of WTC
Dust. Considering the high temperatures reached during the destruction of
the WTC, the following three types of combustion products would be
expected to be present in WTC Dust. These products are:
• Vesicular carbonaceous particles primarily from plastics
• Iron-rich spheres from iron-bearing building components or contents
• High temperature aluminosilicate from building materials
Page 24:
Quote:
Particle Type | Mean of Composition (%)
...
Fe Sphere | 5.87
So they tell me that "Iron-rich spheres from iron-bearing building components or contents" are expected combustion products, "(C)onsidering the high temperatures reached during the destruction of the WTC".
They don't tell me the process. And that is what I want to learn: Why is it excpected to find "Iron-rich spheres from iron-bearing building components or contents"? Is that normal after office fires? Or do they underrstand the physical and chemical processes, but don't bother to tell me?



But ok, I'll be carefull and talk about iron-rich spheres. I still want to know what they are, how they form, etc.
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Old 4th October 2010, 05:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Eutectic corrosion is a slow process that would hardly contribute much to the dust clouds created by the collapses.
Yes, but eutectic corrosion is just a single example of the formation of a eutectic; it's far from the only way eutectics can be formed and observed.

Dave
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Old 4th October 2010, 05:45 AM   #6
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What I find most interesting abou the RJLee report is their statements that the "iron rich microspheres" were "expected byproducts" of the fires.

How can they be "expected to be present in WTC Dust" of an ordinary office fire?

When I point this out to twoofs who datamine it, they handwave it away.

If they were "expected to be present in WTC Dust" that means one of a couple of things.
1. that in office fires finding "iron rich microspheres" is expected
2. they were in on it and wrote a paper and thought it woudl get through.

(I know which one I believe)

I have written to them to ask about the phrase and the terms, but they never wrote back. I have a feeling that they think I may be a twoof. It is too bad really, because if they would clarify the "why" finding "iron rich microspheres" are an "expected to be present in WTC Dust" it would clear up a lot of twoof nonsense.... (but then again twoofs would ignore it)
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Old 4th October 2010, 05:45 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by T.A.M. View Post
Flyash. Paint plus rust. Old buildings. Friction.
Ok. These are tag words. Now what are the processes here? How and when do iron-rich spheres form in flyash, paint plus rust, old buildings and friction? How much would we expect?

Originally Posted by T.A.M. View Post
The truther study has not been truly independently verified. As a matter of fact, when a fellow doubter, henri co (a user here) tried to verify it, his dust sample mysteriouslycontained none of the alleged thermite chips.

TAM
The RJ LeeGroup did not do a truther study. The made an assessment of the contamination of a building for the benefit of its owner.

The Harrit and Jones paper is bunk, I know that, but they did do something, and apparently they faithfully showed their images and data, no tampering there. Only their interpretation is biased and very stupid, and their method bad.
So did they really detect iron-rich spheres? Or is that another case of inept interpretation of their data? And if they really detected iron-rich spheres, when and how did they form? Can we rule out they formed when the paint chips burned?
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Old 4th October 2010, 05:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Yes, but eutectic corrosion is just a single example of the formation of a eutectic; it's far from the only way eutectics can be formed and observed.

Dave
You seem to be hinting at a theory here, which may look like this (abbreviated):

a1) Prior to 9/11, eutectics (what kind?) had formed (how? how much)) on iron and steel (which? )in the towers.
OR
a2) During the fires, eutectics had formed (how? how much)) on iron and steel (which? )in the towers.
b) Where the fires got hot enough (which temperature?), the eutectics melted
c) After cool-down, the melted eutected solidified to spheres

Correct so far? Some blanks to be filled in.
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Old 4th October 2010, 05:50 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TruthersLie View Post
...if they would clarify the "why" finding "iron rich microspheres" are an "expected to be present in WTC Dust" it would clear up a lot of twoof nonsense.... (but then again twoofs would ignore it)
That is exactly the aim of this thread!
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Old 4th October 2010, 05:54 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
The RJ LeeGroup did not do a truther study. The made an assessment of the contamination of a building for the benefit of its owner.
YOu misunderstood. He was talking about the nanothermite bunk in bentham.

Quote:
The Harrit and Jones paper is bunk, I know that, but they did do something, and apparently they faithfully showed their images and data, no tampering there. Only their interpretation is biased and very stupid, and their method bad.
So did they really detect iron-rich spheres? Or is that another case of inept interpretation of their data? And if they really detected iron-rich spheres, when and how did they form? Can we rule out they formed when the paint chips burned?
I think we need to have them complete their experiment again and rule out the 20 methodological errors (3 of them major) and then examine the results again.
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Old 4th October 2010, 05:55 AM   #11
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Oystein:

1. We have to take Jones et al word that the iron microspheres were not there before they ognited the chips.

2. I was not talking about the Lee paper. That paper, as you know, did not use Jones samples.

3. Flyash, iirc is a common component of concrete. Rust and paint, well that very well could be their chips, and you know what rust is made from...

4. Friction....well falling steel, hitting the ground, hitting off other steel. I am guessing sparks, and probably iron rich spheres might be produced.

I am not an expert in any of these fields, so the above are just my thougts on the matter.

TAM
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Old 4th October 2010, 05:57 AM   #12
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Welding slag

Spandrel plates tieing beams together in exterior wall welded on. Also imagine in building that size lot of other things welded

When was sample taken?

Iron workers with torches and "burning bars" (thermic lances) spent weeks cutting steel to remove it - plenty of slag from these operations flying around

Without "providence" - where and when sample taken an analysis is useless.....

Truthers like to complaint that site was not examined according to CSI standards then try to claim these samples as proof.....
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Old 4th October 2010, 06:01 AM   #13
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I doubt that they're actually byproducts of the fire to begin with. As I've said in the past, the RJ Lee report was written before the NIST study came out. Heck, if I remember correctly, it was written before the NIST report was even funded.

Anyway, given the composition of the spheres that Jones surveyed, I think it's quite reasonable and very well supported that the spheres were there as a normal byproduct of concrete manufacture, and their higher incidence over background is explained simply by the fact that the towers collapsed and fractured/broke apart large amounts of concrete, thus releasing otherwise bound and contained spheres into the atmosphere.

Would it be the only source? Almost certainly not; such spheroids would be ubiquitous in any area with modern construction. I once mused on the possibility of such spheres being produced by welding during the construction of the towers; while I'd rate my own thesis as little more than a minor contributing source, it's still a very possible one. And there are others; as has been noted in other sources, any iron friction surface can indeed produce such spheroids, and over time, those could indeed build up and deposit on the towers. Think of brakes, iron block engines emitting spheres in exhaust, ditto marine engines in the harbor, construction equipment for any projects anywhere near Manhattan, etc. All of those would also be very minor contributors relative to what would've been contained in the concrete, but on the other hand, the towers stood for decades. You can't tell me that there wasn't some rate of deposit from the environment.

Anyway, there is indeed a mundane explanation for where the spheres would've come from. But again, I think the ultimate "scientific" argument comes from Dr. Frank Greening (first link above): He tells us to look at McCrone's "Particle Atlas", pp 760 to 780, and note the EDX spectra for fly ash. They happen to match the EDX for the spheres Jones studied. And as Greening noted, fly ash would be a component of concrete. It doesn't get any more solid than that.
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Old 4th October 2010, 06:10 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by TruthersLie View Post
What I find most interesting abou the RJLee report is their statements that the "iron rich microspheres" were "expected byproducts" of the fires.

How can they be "expected to be present in WTC Dust" of an ordinary office fire?

When I point this out to twoofs who datamine it, they handwave it away.
Again, I think that's missing something; the RJ Lee group was working with the FEMA hypothesis at the time. That's almost certainly why they wrote what they did. Recall: In the days after the collapse, not even researchers thought anything about the fires being extremely high, steel-meltingly high even. It's the study in the aftermath that showed they weren't, and forced new hypotheses to be developed, but that initial mindset was the one the RJ Lee group was working within. They almost certainly picked up on the initial musings and simply ran with it. So in short, I don't think they considered the Twin Towers to be ordinary office fires.

Originally Posted by TruthersLie View Post
If they were "expected to be present in WTC Dust" that means one of a couple of things.
1. that in office fires finding "iron rich microspheres" is expected
2. they were in on it and wrote a paper and thought it woudl get through.

(I know which one I believe)

I have written to them to ask about the phrase and the terms, but they never wrote back. I have a feeling that they think I may be a twoof. It is too bad really, because if they would clarify the "why" finding "iron rich microspheres" are an "expected to be present in WTC Dust" it would clear up a lot of twoof nonsense.... (but then again twoofs would ignore it)
It would indeed be nice if they confirmed what they were thinking, true. I think that the ubiquity of spheres in modern urbanized environment is what they were referring to - recall, they also noted there was a background level present that had nothing to do with the towers collapse, and it's not a stretch to conclude that the higher post-collapse levels were simply due to liberation from enclosed structures - but I'd sorely like to see them acknowledge this, or tell me I'm wrong and explain their statement.

Meh... in the end, it's icing on the cake. Nice, but not actually necessary.
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Old 4th October 2010, 06:16 AM   #15
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Some of it is probably from welding fume. Note that many are rich in silicon. That would be a naturasl result of burning red rimer with a high content of kaolin or diatomaceous earth and iron oxice while wleding. Grinding with an emery wheel also produces such spheres. (Those pretty sparks are molten iron and whatever contamineants are caught up with them. You really never get all of them out of a building no matter how well you sweep and vacuum.

Some of them undoubtedly came in from the foundry with the steel. Foundries are dusty places. If I work a day at the Atlas Foundry, I cough up metallic dust for a day or two after. Somewhere around here we have a picture of primer peeling off of a piece of steel exposing metal spherees that were painted over.

Someone in another thread mentions brakes on elevators containing materials whch produce metal spheres.

Copy machine toner is iron-based, and there may be iron in carbonless copy paper.

I am still trying to figure out why anyone expects thermite to contain silicon in such quanties as the twoofers think it would.
Most of the spheres contain at least a bit of it.
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Old 4th October 2010, 08:17 AM   #16
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Formation Processes of Hollow Microspheres in the Fly Ash from Electric Power Stations.

I'm opening up a whole can of worms with that, but there you go truthers will inevitably not understand it and start picking data out to support their crazy theories, but I think that the paper goes some way to answering your question.

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Old 4th October 2010, 08:27 AM   #17
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Iron

Hi, There are many sources of iron in an office building. Paper clips, Ball point pins, staples, desks, chairs.belt buckles, blah blah blah
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Old 4th October 2010, 08:35 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Sure. We are not talking about pure iron, so the textbook melting point of iron does not necessarily apply.
But the minimum melting point of an "ideal" eutectic does neither.
Eutectic corrosion is a slow process that would hardly contribute much to the dust clouds created by the collapses.

Look at the RJ LeeGroup Report:
Damage Assessment 130 Liberty Street Property - WTC Dust Signature Report

Just searching for "sphere" I find the following references:
Page 16


Page 24:


So they tell me that "Iron-rich spheres from iron-bearing building components or contents" are expected combustion products, "(C)onsidering the high temperatures reached during the destruction of the WTC".
They don't tell me the process. And that is what I want to learn: Why is it excpected to find "Iron-rich spheres from iron-bearing building components or contents"? Is that normal after office fires? Or do they underrstand the physical and chemical processes, but don't bother to tell me?



But ok, I'll be carefull and talk about iron-rich spheres. I still want to know what they are, how they form, etc.
I've thought that some of the spheres might have formed from the burning of iron within the dust. Iron dust is flammable at about 430C. Smaller bits of iron like will also burn and or oxidize depending on the size of the piece and amount of oxygen.

Here is one example of steel wool burning.
http://www.popsci.com/node/9344

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Old 4th October 2010, 09:29 AM   #19
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Iron microspheres typically form a portion of fly ash produced in coal power plants where the temperature is around 1400 C. As fly ash is a component in concrete, and the iron rich materials don't readily react, any pulverization of concrete materials is going to release them.

Furthermore, iron microspheres are a very common component of dust, especially in an urban environment.

But more to the point in the OP, what can be determined about thermite being used to destroy a building from the iron microsphere content? Absolutely nothing. We know that iron microspheres are a common component of dust and ash. That means the question is if the use of thermite will produce MORE iron microspheres, and without a suitable standard experiment (i.e., one where two buildings of similar size and composition are destroyed, one with thermite, one without), nothing can be shown from the presence of these spheres.
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Old 4th October 2010, 09:40 AM   #20
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Iron

Hi, By mass the most common element is iron (35% of the earth)
Each year nearly 40,000 tons of cosmic dust fall to Earth from outer space.
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Old 4th October 2010, 11:14 AM   #21
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Thanks all for your ideas and hints!

@ TruthersLie: The 20 methodological errors in the Harrit-paper - you got a list of them? Do any of them apply to their analysis of iron-rich spheres? The authors claim that they found the Fe:O ratio in the samples after burning to be 2:1 to 4:1, which would roule out that all the Fe is oxidised, and they conclude that some of the Fe must be elemental. Which would also explain their shiny appearance. So, is there anything wrong with their interpretation? Maybe they overlook carbides (FeC)?

@ ElMondoHummus: Yeah, you might be onto something.

@ leftyseargent: No doubt some of the spheres found by RJ Lee come from welding and grinding during initial construction, or even from the foundry. However, I would imagine the total amount to be quite small, and not amount to a high percentage of all the dust; certainly not 6%. I guess we need to do a little number-crunching to verify this shot-from-my-hips guess. HZow much concrete was dustified such that it would be carried outside of GZ boundaries, what percentage of all the steel was chipped off...

@ Sunstealer: Good paper! Wikipedia's "Fly ash" also gives us information about the ubiquity of spheres, and the range of Fe2O3 content in them. However, we would not expect elemental iron there, or would we? Is rust magnetic?

@ Bullwinkle: Yes, iron is ubiquous in buildings, however, I am not merely talking about iron particles, but specifically iron-rich spheres. Spheres form as a product of molten material, so you'd have to explain what melted the "Paper clips, Ball point pins, staples, desks, chairs.belt buckles, blah blah blah". That isn't so easy to do. Typically, office fires don't get hot enough for that.

@ Kent: Hehe, 430°C is indeed the (minimum) ignition temperature for iron dust, and happens to me the same temperature where Harrit's red-and-grey chips started burning

@ The Almond: The RJ LeeGroup compared WTC dust with ordinary dust from other offices in NYC away from GZ. The iron-rich spheres were found in both, but much much higher percentage in the GZ dust. This is of course due to the fact that ordinary dust does not mainly form during the disintegration of entire buildings, but mainly through abrasion of surfaces, many of which are organic (skin, hair, clothes, carpets).


So fly ash seems to be the leading contender for the bulk of the spheres, right?
We'd have to veryfy that fly ash was (typically) used for light-weight concrete when the WTC was constructed. And we'd have to take a closer look at what Harrit e.al. found.

And then we have some additional material from welding, the foundry, laser printer and copier toner, and burning of small iron particels, as may have been shipped off during the collapses.
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Old 4th October 2010, 11:37 AM   #22
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Ash

Hi, It might not burn if it all comes down intact into a big pile. But if you first render by collapsing a building and it settles into a debris pile with fires that burn for an extended period. Now if the fires are burning they are getting air and smoke and ash are being released.
All the material anaylzed by RJ Lee was not produced on 9-11-2001 It collected from the event right up to the moment the samples were taken.
What is produced if you grind up a few stables and paperclips and then burn them and then collect the ash particles? Do they require other types of material to adhere to in order to form spheres?
I gather that they are found everywhere but the question is the higher levels in the test area.
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Old 4th October 2010, 11:44 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
So fly ash seems to be the leading contender for the bulk of the spheres, right?
That's what I'm seeing. Frank Greening's observation is what nails it for me.

Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
We'd have to veryfy that fly ash was (typically) used for light-weight concrete when the WTC was constructed. And we'd have to take a closer look at what Harrit e.al. found.
I haven't taken serious shots at verifying this, but what little I've done seems to indicate it was taken for granted. For example, page/slide 5 in the following document is very general and very vague, yet it mentions fly ash being used "since the early '60s":
http://www4.uwm.edu/cbu/Presentations/WS71-Pozza.pdf

... and another article saying much the same thing about concrete manufacturing in the 1970s:
http://www.nrmca.org/research/cif%20...0fly%20ash.pdf

The choice to use fly ash in concrete was, if I'm reading the sources on the web correctly, an environmental/pollution sequestration choice. It was thought to be better to use in in concrete than to just let it escape into the air, or to stick it in landfill. Because of this, it sounds like it was rather common, although I do have to warn everybody that I'm merely a layman referring to internet sources for that information; I have no way of knowing how accurate my information is. Regardless, what few sources I've discovered in quick, superficial sources suggests it was common.

And as far as what Harrit and Jones found: Their comments on the oxygenation level are compelling to me; that's why I personally rule out steel cutting during the cleanup as a source for at least the spheres they studied.

Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
And then we have some additional material from welding, the foundry, laser printer and copier toner, and burning of small iron particels, as may have been shipped off during the collapses.
That's my opinion. Whether it forms a significant portion of the overall environmental contribution is a whole other question, and one who's answer I don't know at the moment. Regardless, those are also possible contributors. And in many of those cases, known to have been either contained in the towers or be an element/event associated with its construction.
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Old 4th October 2010, 01:11 PM   #24
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In as much as NYC is just about always under construction somewhere, one might expect there to be a higher proportion of iron-rich spheres in normal office dust. How much that is might be useful data in this discussion.

More typical office dust would contain a lot of natural and synthetic fibers, dead skin cells, crumbled leaves of houseplant and potting soil, coffee and dairy products and whatever people track in from the street.

You would be amazing how much pure white dust will form on the top rail of the toilet stalls of a building with a high occupancy, just from the toilet paper that people use. This means that, although there would be iron in the normal dust, the proportions might be different.

Whatever event created or released the iron spheres need not have contributed the entire load of iron. Just think how much toner was released into the building over the previous twenty years or so.

We may be talking about less than 2% of the dust when we discuss iron spheres unique to 9/11.
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Old 4th October 2010, 01:28 PM   #25
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Paul J. Loiy et al paper analyzing 3 wtc dust samples.,

Page 709,

Quote:
In addition to the elements quantified by ICP/MS analyses, the SEM dispersive X-ray analyses showed large signals for iron and cal- cium, which are major components of con- struction materials.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti...110-000703.pdf

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Old 4th October 2010, 01:35 PM   #26
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Also from that same paper, are a few interesting tidbits...

1. Large quantities of sulfur containing molecules.
2. VERY LARGE percentage of the dust was CEMENT/CARBON

and this quote, from page 708

Quote:
The Cortlandt Street sample was mainly composed of con- struction debris [including vermiculite, plas- ter, synthetic foam, glass fragments, paint particles, glass fibers, lead (Figure 3), calcite grains, and paper fragments], quartz grains, low-temperature combustion material (including charred woody fragments), and glass shards.
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Old 4th October 2010, 01:56 PM   #27
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Another random thought just occurred to me.

The towers may have been, literally, a dust magnet.

I recall reading that large naval vessels need to be deguassed in order to prevent their creating local magnetic anomolies that would interfere with some navigational equiment or activate magnetic mine and torpedo proximity fuses. Would the towers themselves not have created a local magnetic anomoly that would have attracted welding fume from other construction projects in the area and the residue of fireworks and the usual cosmic rain of micrometeorites?

That's an awful lot of iron laid out in straight lines, end-to-end. If it did create any apprerciable magnetic field, I should expect its dust to contain a higher than average load of iron.
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Old 4th October 2010, 02:12 PM   #28
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I found shiny ferromagnetic spherical particles by dragging a cleaned magnet through wood ash from a fire of untreated wood of known origin (yard waste from my own yard).

Wood, like all plant tissue, contains ferritins, iron-bearing protein complexes. The iron in the ferritins is in the chemical form of macromolecules of ferrihydrate (about a thousand iron atoms each). That much is well established in the botanical literature.

It is also well established that wood fires leave behind ferromagnetic traces, a fact which is used in archaeological site surveys.

The steps in between, addressing the questions of the physical and chemical forms of the ferromagnetic residues and how they form in wood fires, do not appear to have been formally studied. I hypothesize that the ferrihydrate in wood, liberated when the proteins burn, condenses exothermically into iron-rich droplets in the hot reducing environment of the flame.

This could happen at well below the melting temperature of iron, and without any mechanical agitation, because the melting of bulk iron and the mechanical division of bulk melted iron into droplets are not involved in the process. The process is the condensation of already separate iron macromolecules into larger droplets.

This would also explain where the iron-rich microspheres in coal ash (fly ash) come from. (And I believe some explanation of that is needed, since unburned coal does not contain iron spheres and coal is not burned at temperatures at or above the melting point of bulk iron.)

Ferritins in wood would also end up in paper made from that wood. I believe there's sufficient evidence to say that quantities of wood and paper burned in the pre-collapse fires.

I could be completely wrong about exactly how the spheres form, but if you make an ordinary wood fire in a clean vessel and stir the ashes with a strong magnet afterward, I predict you'll find some. No thermite necessary.

Respectfully,
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Old 4th October 2010, 02:50 PM   #29
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Interesting, this analysis lists guess what, as a primary component of the wtc dust...you got it...PAINT.

http://www.aqsproductevaluation.com/...lding_Dust.pdf

See Table 4

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Old 4th October 2010, 02:56 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Hello to the more able among you! This goes out to those who already know what I am talking about by just reading the title of this thread:

What about them "iron-rich micro-spheres in the dust of WTC"?



You know: Jones, Harrit e.al. say that they found iron-rich micro-spheres after incinerating their famous red-grey chips.
J.R.Lee group found that about 6% of the dust found inside a building right next door to GZ was made up of iron, mostly in the form of tiny spheres.

I understand that micro-spheres form when the material cools from liquid to solid. So to me, the layman, it appears reasonable to say that iron-rich micro-spheres had a temperature above their melting point just before they formed. Jones and other truthers interprete this as evidence that fires must have burned that heated (macroscopic amounts of) steel above the melting point of steel - which most of us would consider highly unlikely from uncontrolled hydrocarbon fires.

I understand that such microspheres were certainly formed during clean-up, when steel was cut with blow-torches and mechanically. But I doubt that this process would deposit large amounts of such spheres to locations away from GZ.

It seems to me that most of these spheres must either have formed during the fires, or been present even before 9/11 and released during the collapses.

My questions thus are:
  • What do we know about this already?
  • Can ironspheres form during "normal" fires, and if so, how?
  • Did Jones and Harrit really find ironspheres, and did they really form when they burned their chips?
  • How many such spheres are already contained in building materials, such as concrete?
Here's what made the microspheres.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6h5sQqN_x8
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Old 4th October 2010, 02:57 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by bill smith View Post
Here's what made the microspheres.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6h5sQqN_x8
A youtube video?
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Old 4th October 2010, 03:23 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by DGM View Post
A youtube video?
A YT video with just a placaerd iudentifying Box Boy and his voice articulating the same old stupid crap. Oy!
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Old 4th October 2010, 03:35 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post

I could be completely wrong about exactly how the spheres form, but if you make an ordinary wood fire in a clean vessel and stir the ashes with a strong magnet afterward, I predict you'll find some. No thermite necessary.

Respectfully,
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Do you suspect the iron constituents to be elemental, rather than oxides?
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Old 4th October 2010, 04:00 PM   #34
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Have a look at what fellow "inside job" believer, Frederic Henry-Couannier had to say when he was given some samples from the same dust Jones used...

http://www.darksideofgravity.com/marseille_gb.pdf

From his section on "Problems with the nanothermite hypothesis"

Quote:
40 nm Al nanoparticules oxydize very fast in the open air! It is impossible for the chips to keep reactive 7 years after 9/11 if these particules were not efficiently protected by an appropriate coating. And even in this case the reactivity of chips tested by the authors after 7 years is very questionnable. http://www.darksideofgravity.com/Aging.pdf

I could not confirm a reaction producing molten iron. I was told that my red-red chips may have already reacted on 11/9, or be deactivated by heat, humidity and oxygen of the air ( natural aging). But if my chips are the same as those S.Jones &co discovered and studied in the dust, shouldnt mine have remained reactive as long as their owns (but K Ryan also confirmed the presence of red-red inactive chips in his samples)? Indeed in their initial publication, S Jones and co clearly state that all their chips reacted when heated producing molten iron and dont even mention the existence of red-red chips.

My critical way of analysing the nanothermite hypothesis and suggesting other ways resulted as far as I'm concerned in a genuine total embargo on WTC dust (I asked for other samples since other independent searchers willing to confirm my vs Jones results in Europe would need this material). This behaviour is unthinkable specially for searchers of the 11/9 truth.
and this is from a guy who believes in the whole inside job crap.

TAM

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Old 4th October 2010, 04:40 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by RedIbis View Post
Do you suspect the iron constituents to be elemental, rather than oxides?

Generally no, but I suspect that will vary depending on the specific flame conditions.

Ferrihydrite (typically 5Fe2O3.9H2O) is metastable and will spontaneously transform into hematite Fe2O3 if removed from the aqueous environment or ferritin protein structure in which it forms. So getting as far as hematite in a flame is a pretty safe bet.

The question is, how much further reduction we can expect to occur. Getting to magnetite (FeO.Fe2O3) is a very likely step, and one that would better account for magnetic signatures of fires. (The iron-rich spheres in coal ash and coal smoke are primarily magnetite.) In addition, the spheres I find are more strongly attracted to a magnet than I would expect for hematite, but consistently with magnetite.

But elemental iron? Maybe some, in a sufficiently fuel-rich ("oxygen starved") flame generating plenty of CO as a reducing agent — basically the same chemical reaction FeO + CO -> Fe + CO2 used in early iron smelting (in which the iron is not melted). This would be an undesirable operating condition for a coal burner, but could easily happen in portions of a passively drafted fireplace fire and even more likely in structure fires.

Magnetite, hematite, and elemental iron can all take on a shiny metallic appearance so the external appearance of the spheres isn't much help in making these distinctions.

By the way: I misspelled ferrihydrite as ferrihydrate in my previous post. Of course in chemistry such distinctions matter, so I regret the error.

Respectfully,
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Old 5th October 2010, 02:18 AM   #36
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Thanks again! I have a lot of reading to do, following your suggestions!

@ T.A.M.: Paul J. Loiy had a large Fe-signal, but doesn't quantify or qualify it. It's not something his study was interested in, and of course he expected large quantities.
I wasn't aware of Frederic Henry-Couannier analysis yet, so thanks a lot for that!

@ lefty: Dust magnet? Sounds bizarre... Would the towers not be in competition with all the other buildings around? I suppose most contain lots of iron and can be magnetized...

@ Myriad: This condensation process you describe is something I have privately imagined before, so I am happy someone else describes it! Also, the shiny appearance of Fe-oxides and their magnetic properties is news to me. Thanks! As for the details of chemical reactions - great to have that, but I am not competent enough to say much on it yet. That's where I have some reading to do!

@ DGM: I believe it is best to put Bill on ignore and not respond to him

@ RedIbis: I am not sure any researcher found and analysed significant amounts of elemental iron in WTC microspheres. Harrit e.al. assume that some elemental Fe must have been present in their spheres, but they only estimated the ratio Fe:O in a sample that contained a mix of compounds. C was also present, but excluded from analysis for methodological reasons (they had prepared the sample with a thin layer of C), so it is not possible to distinguish between pure Fe and Fe-carbides, for example. Do you know of any more conclusive studies that show elemental Fe in spheres?
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Old 5th October 2010, 03:11 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
@ lefty: Dust magnet? Sounds bizarre... Would the towers not be in competition with all the other buildings around? I suppose most contain lots of iron and can be magnetized...
The towers contained a lot more steel than most of the surrounding buildings and were not inches deep in a concrete or masonry sheath. They also stuck up higher in the air where they could grab more of the dust from fireworks. (They do stage some bodacious fireworks dispaly in NYC at times.) There is the aluminum to consider, I admit, and I knoew that aluminum repels a magnet. Not sure whether it shields a magnet, though.

At any rate, we do need to know more about the background levels of iron in typical dust in NYC to determine just how large an increase in iron content we need to account for here. We need not figure out where the entire 6% of the dust that was iron came from.
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Old 5th October 2010, 03:36 AM   #38
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Oystein,

Frederic Henry-Couannier, is a JREF member that goes by "henryco".

I warn you now though, he seems like a somewhat honest scientist, but he is full on truther. His explanation for the lack of "thermitic grey/red chips" in his samples, was that the FBi or other secret agency got to the samples at the post office, and took out the real chips, and replaced them with the red-red ones.

You've been warned.

TAM
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Old 5th October 2010, 04:00 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by leftysergeant View Post
The towers contained a lot more steel than most of the surrounding buildings and were not inches deep in a concrete or masonry sheath. They also stuck up higher in the air where they could grab more of the dust from fireworks. (They do stage some bodacious fireworks dispaly in NYC at times.) There is the aluminum to consider, I admit, and I knoew that aluminum repels a magnet. Not sure whether it shields a magnet, though.

At any rate, we do need to know more about the background levels of iron in typical dust in NYC to determine just how large an increase in iron content we need to account for here. We need not figure out where the entire 6% of the dust that was iron came from.
The 6% is a figure for dust at a specific location, namely inside the offices of 130 Liberty Street which had most of its windows blown out), across the street from GZ. Dust has a way of seperating and sorting itself, depending on distance travelled, air movement and such things. Generally, the denser and larger parts travel less far before settling than the lighter and smaller particles. I would expect to find much less iron-rich particles even only one block farther away from GZ.
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Old 5th October 2010, 04:05 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by T.A.M. View Post
Oystein,

Frederic Henry-Couannier, is a JREF member that goes by "henryco".

I warn you now though, he seems like a somewhat honest scientist, but he is full on truther. His explanation for the lack of "thermitic grey/red chips" in his samples, was that the FBi or other secret agency got to the samples at the post office, and took out the real chips, and replaced them with the red-red ones.

You've been warned.

TAM
I am warned

I have full confidence that truthers can do honest and valid research. In the end, we have to evaluate their arguments, not their overall position on things.

Some "truthers" disagree with one another on analytical details, but so do some "debunkers". For example, in this very thread, Myriad argues that combustions of organic materials, for example paper, would create a significant supply of iron-rich spheres; ElMondoHummus, on the other hand, doubts that they are a byproduct of the fires.
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