Friday, April 10, 2009

Building Takedown

American Scofflaw
A group of researchers says it has positively identified residues of undetonated explosives in dust samples collected soon after the collapses of three World Trade Center buildings on September 11, 2001. The positive outcome of tests carried out in painstaking detail appears to contradict the assertions by U.S. government experts that explosives were not used to take the buildings down.

The scientists examined small red and gray chips in four dust samples independently collected in the days and weeks after planes impacted the famous twin towers of the World Trade Center. The red portions of these chips were found to be primarily composed of iron oxide and metallic aluminum in a substrate of material made of silicon, oxygen, carbon and possibly hydrogen. A common incendiary called thermite relies on the reaction between iron oxide and metallic aluminum to achieve temperatures high enough to melt steel. The oxygen is transferred to the aluminum, reducing the iron to its metallic state in what is called an oxidation-reduction reaction. It is this incendiary, in an explosive form called "super thermite," that the scientists believe they have identified in the dust.

Using advanced techniques of chemical and physical identification, the scientists were able to determine the chemical identities of the components of the chips. When supplied with sufficient heat, the chips, which ranged in size from two tenths of a millimeter to three millimeters across, would ignite and explode, the researchers found. Byproducts of this reaction included iron spherules that are formed only when iron has vaporized and forms spherical droplets, which solidify upon cooling. These same iron spherules were present in World Trade Center dust, the scientists found. They established that commercially available thermite, when ignited, forms the same type of iron spherules. The scientists have thus claimed, in a peer-reviewed article published this month in The Open Chemical Physics Journal, that undetonated thermite, an incendiary or explosive, depending on how it is formulated, is present in significant quantities in World Trade Center dust. In a 25-page report, which goes into great detail about the composition of the chips, the scientists conclude that "the red layer of the red/gray chips we have discovered in the WTC dust is active, unreacted thermitic material, incorporating nanotechnology, and is a highly energetic pyrotechnic or explosive material."

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