Iron Micro Spheres

The presence of iron micro spheres in the dust collected from 911 collapses is considered the “smoking gun” for controlled demolition. While this site is not a de-bunking site, it is impossible to avoid many of the arguments put forth by CD proponents. Here is the flaw with iron micro spheres.

It is true that round spheres of iron can only be produced in an environment of liquidification, which requires heat. The leap is then made that steel must have melted in order to create the micro spheres. Melted steel means temperatures not attainable in the fires of 911, which can only mean thermate, the incendiary proponents claim was used to cut apart the structural members of the buildings.

The flaw is assuming steel must have melted. No where do the cited scientists consider that rust reverts to iron at it’s boiling point of 300c (572f), well within the temperatures achieved in all 3 buildings on 911.

Structural remains show considerable rust in all 3 buildings, and heavy rust in some areas of the Twin Towers. Failure to properly consider all sources for the micro spheres casts a dim light on the research. The “smoking gun” just became a water pistol. No grand jury will buy it.

The source link is no longer valid, but here is what I copied and saved of the article:

Entropy and The Second Law of Thermodynamics 


300 c is boiling point for rust.

Celsius to Fahrenheit: (deg Celsius x 9/5) + 32 = (300 x 9/5) + 32 = 572 deg Fahrenheit

Water freezes spontaneously below 0oC, and ice spontaneously melts above 0o C. and oxygen forms rust, but rust does not spontaneously change back to iron.  the temperature at which the process is reversible is the normal boiling point.

Walter S. Hamilton, Ph.D

Entropy and The Second Law of Thermodynamics

For a chemist, one of the main reasons for studying thermodynamics is to be able to predict whether or not a reaction will occur when reactants are added together under a given set of conditions (temperature, pressure and concentration).  A reaction that does  occur under the given set of conditions is called a spontaneous reaction.  If a reaction does not occur under specified conditions, it is said to be nonspontaneous.  The following few examples are spontaneous chemical and physical processes that can be observes in everyday life:

Water runs downhill, but never up, spontaneously.

A lump of sugar spontaneously dissolves in a cup of coffee, but dissolved sugar does not spontaneously reappear in its original form.

Water freezes spontaneously below 0oC, and ice spontaneously melts above 0oC.

Heat flows from a hotter object to a cooler one, but the reverse never happens spontaneously.

Iron exposed to water and oxygen forms rust, but rust does not spontaneously change back to iron.

These examples show that processes that occur spontaneously in one direction cannot, under the same conditions, also take place spontaneously in the opposite direction.

From a study of these examples and many, many others we conclude that being exothermic favors a reaction or process being spontaneous, but does not guarantee it.  In other words, we cannot decide whether or not a chemical reaction will occur spontaneously solely on the basis of energy changes in the system.

In order to predict the spontaneity of a process, we need to know two things about the system.  One is the change in enthalpy, the other is entropy (S)which is a measure of the randomness or disorder of a system.  The more disordered a a system, the larger its entropy.  Like enthalpy and internal energy, entropy is a state function.  The change in entropy of a system, ΔS = Sfinal – Sinitial, depends only on the initial and final states of the system and not on the particular pathway by which the system changes.  A positive ΔS indicates an increase in randomness or disorder.  The entropy change of a system is defined in terms of the heat transferred to the system during a reversible path from initial state to final state, regardless of how the process actually takes place.  We refer to this heat transferred as qrev where the subscript ‘rev’ means that the path between the states is reversible.  If a process occurs at constant temperature, the entropy change is defined as qrev divided by the absolute temperature:

ΔS = qrev / T  (Constant T)

An example of a reversible process that occurs at a constant temperature is a phase change at the temperature at which the two phases are in equilibrium, such as the boiling of water at 100oC.

Example 1

Calculate the entropy change when 1 mol of water is converted to 1 mol of steam at 1 atm pressure.

The amount of heat transferred to the system during this process is the heat of vaporization, ΔHvap, and the temperature at which the process is reversible is the normal boiling point.  For water  ΔHvap = +40.67 kJ/mol and Tb = 100oC = 373.2 K.

        ΔHvap   (1 mol)(+40.67 kJ/mol)(1000 J/1 kJ)
ΔSvap = ----- = ----------------------------------- = 109.0 J/K
         Tb                 (373.2 K)


We are now in a position to discuss why certain processes are spontaneous.  The connection between entropy and spontaneity is expressed by the second law of thermodynamics:  The entropy of the universe increases in a spontaneous process and remains unchanged in an equilibrium process.  Since the universe is made up of the system and the surroundings, the entropy change in the universe for any process is the sum of the entropy change in the system and the entropy change in the surroundings.

For a spontaneous process:    ΔSuniv = ΔSsys + ΔSsurr > 0

For a equilibrium process:      ΔSuniv = ΔSsys + ΔSsurr = 0

Entropy Changes in the System

To calculate   ΔSuniv we need to know both ΔSsys and ΔSsurr.  First lets focus on  ΔSsys.  The standard entropy values of a large number of compounds have been measured in J / K · mol.  To calculate ΔSorxn (which is ΔSsys), we look up their values in a table and use the equation:

ΔSorxn = So(products) –  So(reactants)

This equation is similar to the one we have used to determine the enthalpy of a reaction.  Now we will use the second law to decide if the reaction for the synthesis of ammonia is spontaneous at 25oC.

N2(g)  +  3 H2(g) ==>  2 NH3(g)       ΔHo = -92.6 kJ

use the equation above to get ΔSorxn or ΔSsys

ΔSorxn = [2 So(NH3)] – [So(N2) + 3 So(H2)]

            = (2 mol)(193 J/K · mol) – [(1 mol)(192 J/K · mol) + (3 mol)(131J/K · mol)]

           = 199 J/K

We can calculate ΔSsurr from the following relationship.

            -ΔHsys      -(-92.6 x 1000)J
ΔSsurr = -------- = ---------------- = 311 J/K 
               T          298.2 K  

 Return To Facts


7 thoughts on “Iron Micro Spheres

  1. There is another very common source of iron micro spheres that have come from liquid steel/iron and that is manual metal arc welding. Collect dust in any fabrication shop, a car body shop, a construction site for a steel framed building and you will find huge numbers of tiny iron spheres that have come from the molten pool of the manual metal arc welding. WTC 1&2 were made from prefabricated panels that were bolted above and below with deep spandrel plates at every floor connecting the panels together horizontally. These joints were site welded as the construction continued. The floor trusses were bolted to brackets welded to the columns on both the core and perimeter and the corrugated floor panels were welded to the floor trusses. The floors were finished off with 4″ of light weight concrete poured into the corrugated floor panels. Diligent as the contractor was on site (Mmmm) I am sure that they would not have brushed out and cleaned the floor plates before the poured the concrete and construction continued above the floor being concreted. If you see any construction pictures or video’s of the work, you can see all of these activities going on. So, the floor concrete was more than likely contaminated with welding debris and welding debris was probably sealed in behind panels and linings of the rooms, Construction workers on a site are not the cleanest or tidiest people so it would be a surprise not to find welding dust in the form of micro iron spheres in the debris from the collapse of the buildings. The simplest explanation is often the right one! Excellent site.

  2. More evidence for the grand jury. I hadn’t considered the construction residue. Had to be a lot of it in those floor pans (I know construction workers too 🙂
    Thanks Mr. Nicholas

  3. Joe,

    I enjoyed reading the discussion about iron microspheres found in the World Trade Center dust, but wanted to get your opinion about another potentially plentiful source of these iron particles. Being a civil engineer, I am somewhat familiar with concrete mixes used for various construction purposes. For topping off floor pans in high-rise buildings, concrete containing a lightweight aggregate and a high proportion of entrained air is typically used since a mix with low density is desired and high compressive strength is not a requirement. In the northeast United States, expanded blast furnace slag, which is a byproduct of the iron-production industry, has commonly been used as aggregate in concrete mixes of this type. According to the National Slag Association, blast furnace slag consists primarily of silicates, aluminosilicates, and calcium-alumina-silicates, but also contains trace amounts of iron oxides, manganese oxide and sulfur. Small amounts of elemental iron and iron-rich composites may also be present in the form of microspheres formed as the 3,000 degrees F molten slag is cooled and “foamed” by the introduction of water, air or steam. Magnetic separation is used to remove the great majority of the ferrous particles, but small amounts may still remain entrained in the finished slag aggregate. Assuming that blast furnace slag was indeed contained in the floor topping slabs of the WTC towers, abundant quantities of microspheres would have been liberated as the concrete was broken, crushed and pulverized in the collapse. Incidentally, sulfur in the slag, which can amount to as much as one percent of its weight, may have also been a factor in the high-temperature corrosion of the two steel specimens examined and reported on by FEMA in Appendix C of their World Trade Center report. Any thoughts?

    Marc Powell

    • It sounds like another highly likely source of the microspheres, Marc. That makes 3 sources just on this thread, offering further evidence the proponents of thermite haven’t done their homework.
      Seen this? Dr. Jonathan Barnett, professor of fire protection engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), and Professor Richard Sisson, WPI, studied the thinned steel and determined it is consistent with an oven like long term environment rich in sulfur. It’s at 47:58

      Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Your printing inaccurate ridiculous information.

    “…rust reverts to iron at it’s boiling point of 300c (572f)…”

    “…Fe2O3. It is one of the three main oxides of iron, the other two being iron(II) oxide (FeO), which is rare, and iron(II,III) oxide (Fe3O4), which also occurs naturally as the mineral magnetite…”

    Fe2O3 Melting point 1,539–1,565 °C (2,802–2,849 °F
    FeO Melting point 1,377 °C (2,511 °F; 1,650 K)
    Fe3O4 Melting point 1538 °C

    You’re not even close, not in the ball park or even the right county. If rust could revert to iron at 300c (572f) why would we need Bessemer steel furnaces to make steel?

    A small amount of welding falling onto a pan would spread iron balls all around the site. Please. You’re grasping at straws. The great civil engineer says it comes from blast furnace slag but…isn’t the whole purpose of a blast furnace to get the iron OUT of the ore? The slag would not have that much iron in it and any that did would be bound up with slag impurities.

  5. Welding also doesn’t scatter huge amounts of iron balls all around. Why? The slag coating on welding rods is there to protect the steel rod with a gas and slag coating. If welding rods scattered huge amounts of metal all around they wouldn’t be used for welding. The metal belongs on the steel you’re welding together. Any company who made such a welding rod would go out of business as welders don’t want hot balls of steel splattering all over the place and burning them while they’re welding.

  6. Just one thought on the “molten rust” theorie: This still would mean, that all the spheres had to come from only the burning areas of the buildings, which doesnt seem plausible to me.
    (I dont have the expertise to comment on the other explanations that came up here.)

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