Arabs and Osama
First Time in History
The Fires
The Twin Towers
World Trade Cener 7
The Free Fall Fallacy
Molten Steel Explained
Sounds of Explosions
The Firemans Quotes
Civil Engineers Quotes
Peer Reviewed Paper
Professor Steven E Jones
Massive Conspriracy
The Real Conspiracy
Government Planning
The 911 Zogby Poll
Debunking 911 Links

Molten Metal

The molten metal that conspiracy theorists point to are a glowing flow coming from the south tower window and molten steel found under ground zero.

They suggest the above glow is steel which is being cut by a thermite cutter charge reaction. They show photos of a thermite reaction burning a hole downward through a metal plate. Let's forget for a moment that thermite doesn't explode so the claims of hearing explosions become meaningless. The argument that there was thermite and explosives seems to be rationalization of this dilemma. Why would they use thermite which cuts steel without announcing it, then switch to explosives? To tip people off? No theory exist to explain this but the faithful simply say "We're still working on it". I'm sure they are. Let's also give ourselves selective amnesia and pretend thermite can burn sideways to melt vertical columns. Maybe with some device but no working device has been proven to me to work. While there are relatively large canisters which can burn small holes sideways, I have yet to see this elusive steel cutting technique used to cut a vertical column. Then there is a patent of a device which has been brought up but as of yet there is no evidence the idea went any further. Does it even work? Anyone can make a patent but it doesn't mean it exists or even works. Even if it did, they are "Ganged" together to make the cut according to the patent. You would still need these boxes all over the columns. It would be pretty absurd to suggest they moved the walls away from the columns just to fit these things around the columns. Of course they'll say they didn't suggest that but it goes without saying. Anyway, physicists aren't supposed to know these things. I will give Jones the benefit of the doubt and say he and the other "Scholars for truth" may not know how to use Google. We'll chalk this up to old scholars who hate computers. (We'll also forget that professors are supposed to know how to do research. Though that one is a little tougher for me...) The last thing we are to ignore is that this thermite charge didn't go off during the impact and decided to go off later. Yes, thermite needs a very hot source or primary explosive to go off but this primary explosive didn't go off either. (Enter sound of explosives right? Wrong, the sounds were described as happening at the time of collapse. From what I've seen of thermite, it needs longer than microseconds to work on thick steel.) Jones' torch on the thermite proves it needs other means of setting it off but it doesn't prove a thing for whatever is supposed to set it off. That would still be very volatile in the fires. I have yet to see this 1,100C fireproof container and radio controlled primary explosive combination some have rationalized. This seems to exist because they need it to exist. It will be interesting to see how Jones gets around this now that he knows. Will he use these rationalizations or produce hard facts? I have little doubt he will think of SOMETHING...

Since I first wrote this, the conspiracy theorists did not disappoint. Enter "Nanothermite!" They offer these links to prove its explosive properties. The problem is the links do the exact opposite.

Aluminum powder is a common ingredient in
energetic materials. The aluminum is used to
increase the energy and raise the flame temperature
in rocket propellants. It is also incorporated in
explosives to enhance air blast, increase bubble
energies in underwater weapons, raise reaction
temperatures and create incendiary effects. In
explosives, it is generally assumed that combustion
of aluminum particles occurs behind the reaction
front (during the expansion of the gaseous detonation
products), so that the particles do not participate in
the reaction zone, but rather act as inert ingredients.


Son, who has been working on nanoenergetics for more than three years, says that scientists can engineer nanoaluminum powders with different particle sizes to vary the energy release rates. This enables the material to be used in many applications, including underwater explosive devices, primers for igniting firearms, and as fuel propellants for rockets.


Note it doesn't say this type of thermite takes the place of explosives, only "to enhance air blast". None of the suggested uses scream POWERFUL to me. The towers were not underwater, and their is no evidence rockets were strapped to the columns. That they would use it as a primer and not an actual explosive seems to be good evidence it's not as powerful as the conspiracy theorist suggest.

Now that you have the ignorance of "Scholars for 911 truth" we can continue...

To be honest, I don't like this kind of evidence. It's not something which the scientists of the NIST or anyone else can prove. It's for 'assumptionists', of which I'm not one. Yet, there is enough evidence to point to the glow being aluminum. (Anyone saying they KNOW what the substance is would be lying. I won't pretend to KNOW it's aluminum because I don't. The NIST doesn't say they KNOW either. They only conclude it's aluminum because it's the most likely, given the evidence.)

"NIST concluded that the source of the molten material was aluminum alloys from the aircraft, since these are known to melt between 475 degrees Celsius and 640 degrees Celsius (depending on the particular alloy), well below the expected temperatures (about 1,000 degrees Celsius) in the vicinity of the fires. Aluminum is not expected to ignite at normal fire temperatures and there is no visual indication that the material flowing from the tower was burning.

Pure liquid aluminum would be expected to appear silvery. However, the molten metal was very likely mixed with large amounts of hot, partially burned, solid organic materials (e.g., furniture, carpets, partitions and computers) which can display an orange glow, much like logs burning in a fireplace. The apparent color also would have been affected by slag formation on the surface."


One of the glaringly OBVIOUS pieces of evidence is the place the flow is coming from. It just happens to be where the airliner crashed to a halt. You can tell by the way the perimeter columns look. They're bowed out like a catcher's mitt.

Here are some graphics showing where the airliner ended up.


One of the arguments for thermite that conspiracy theorists use is the temperature of the fire. They say the fires at the towers weren't hot enough to melt aluminum, which suggests they need an unnatural source for the melted aluminum. (Hint, hint) Yet, the aluminum outer skin of other airliners have melted without even hitting anything. Sparked only by friction...

Air France flight 358 didn't hit a steel building at 500 miles an hour. It didn't even burn the fuel in the wings, yet its aluminum skin melted to the ground. It simply went off the runway and caught fire. What melted the airliner was its contents, like seats, clothing and other combustibles including chemical oxygen generators. It's not unreasonable to conclude the airliner and contents didn't even need the contents of the building to melt. Yet the NIST replicated the fires by burning office furniture in a controlled experiment and found the ceiling temperature to reach 1,100 degrees C. (They say "Yeah but that's the ceiling" to which I say "Now imagine what the actual flame is.. Do you think it's cooler?") More than enough to melt aircraft aluminum as well. Unfortunately, they weren't charged with putting conspiracy theorists fears to rest so they didn't include a piece of aircraft aluminum in the test.

More evidence that normal fires without jet fuel added can reach over 1000 degrees C is an experiment conducted by One Stop Shop in Structural Fire Engineering, Professor Colin Bailey, University of Manchester.

Figure 1 shows the various nominal fire curves for comparison. It can be seen that, over a period of 2 hours, the hydrocarbon fire is the most severe followed by the standard fire, with the external fire being the least severe fire although the slow heating fire represents the lowest temperature up to 30 minutes. It is noteworthy that for standard and smouldering fires, the temperature continuously increases with increasing time. For the external fire, the temperature remains constant at 680°C after approximately 22 minutes. whereas for the hydrocarbon fires, the temperatures remain constant at 1100°C and 1120°C after approximate 40 minutes.


The next piece of evidence they point to is the color, which is a bright yellow at the center. They say aluminum is silver when melted. While this is true, at higher temperatures it can be yellow.

One of the pieces of evidence Jones points to is a snapshot of the flow falling down the side the building. This pyrotechnic show seems ominous, that is until you look at it closely...

Note the color of the substance as it cools and solidifies toward the end of its journey. Molten steel would turn almost black. One thing it's not, and that's black.

Jones writes: "This is a point worth emphasizing: aluminum has low emissivity and high reflectivity, so that in daylight conditions molten aluminum will appear silvery-gray"

I think at a cooler temperature, he's right.

What's telling about this photo isn't that it's proof of the substance being aluminum, It's that it's a zoom and crop of the photo from Jones own paper. (Time for him to change yet another one of his photos.) Below is a screenshot from National Geographic's "Inside 911".

The droplets on the outside of the center of the fall seem to be the color of aluminum siding to me.. As I said, the evidence points to it being aluminum.

Below is a message from Stephen D. Chastain of Metal Talk.

Several times over the last year I have been asked to comment on a photo of one of the Trade Center Towers. The photo shows a molten flow from one of the windows. The flow falls down along the building. It appears orange and turns to a gray color as it cools.

The questions usually want me to address "Is this photo a fake?" and "Is the flow steel or aluminum?" "Is this situation possible?"

First, I will address the temperature range, then the color of the flow.

I am working in imperial units and temperature in degrees F [To convert to C use this link]

Metals lose about 50% of their strength at 60% of their melting temperature. This is common knowledge and may be found in any undergraduate text regarding "Fracture and Deformation of Materials."

If the approximate melting temperature of steel is 2750 F the the material would be plastic at 1650 F. Even assuming a safety factor of 3, you would expect the bolts or other structural members to deform and fail near this temperature, especially with the additional weight if a jet air liner. I would assume that the live load calculations did not include the typical office equipment and an airliner plus a factor of 3. THEREFORE I assume that the flow is not steel and that the temperature of the steel members at the time of the photo is less than 1650 F.

Assuming that the flow would be molten aluminum from the airliner and the color of molten aluminum is silver then why is the flow orange?

The color of pure molten aluminum is silver, It has an emissivity of .12. Steel has an emissivity of .4 and appears orange in the temperature range of molten aluminum.

The emissivity of aluminum oxide is .44 and also appears orange in the melting temperature range of molten aluminum.

The emissivity of plate glass is .937 It begins to soften at 1000 F and flows around 1350 F. Silica has an emissivity of .8

Copper oxide also has an emissivity of .8. however I will assume that their effect is negligible.

Aluminum oxidizes readily in the foundry under ideal melting conditions. Large surface area relative to thickness, turbulence, the presence of water or oil greatly increases the oxidation of aluminum. A jet airliner is made of thin aluminum sheet and most probably suffered considerable oxidation especially in contact with an open flame and being in contact with jet fuel. If you don't believe this, try melting a few soda cans over coals or open flame. If you are lucky you will end up with only 50% aluminum oxide. However, the cans may completely burn up.

The specific gravity of aluminum is 2.7. The specific gravity of aluminum oxide (Al2O3-3H2O) is 2.42 the specific gravity of Si = 2.40 and Glass is 2.65 these are all very similar and likely to be entrained in a molten aluminum flow. Don't believe it? lightly stir the dross into molten aluminum. The surface tension is so high is is almost impossible to separate them.

THEREFORE assuming that the flow consist of molten aluminum and considerable oxides, and assuming that the windows in the trade center were plate glass and also in a plastic state and that they were also likely entrained in the molten aluminum. I would expect the flow to appear to be orange in color. Especially since both the entrained materials have emissivities equal to or more than twice that of iron.

Also since dross cools to a gray color and glass with impurities also turns dark. I would expect that the flow would darken upon cooling.

I would also suggest that not only is the photo possible, but entirely likely.

Summary: The flow is not steel because the structural steel would fail well below the melting temperature. The flow is likely to be a mixture of aluminum, aluminum oxides, molten glass and coals of whatever trash the aluminum flowed over as it reached the open window. Such a flow would appear orange and cool to a dark color.

Stephen D. Chastain

The color means nothing. The color can be misleading, and because it can be misleading, it means nothing as evidence. This is not aluminum in a foundry which hasn't mixed with anything. This is a cocktail of whatever was on the plane and in the towers which happens to come together. It wouldn't be unreasonable to suspect Aluminum and some other properties has changed its color.

The material flowing out the window that was glowing wasn't necessarily due to black body radiation but could have been due to spectra generated by chemical reactions in various materials in the melt that may have interacted with each other. A third factor that affects color would be reflection of ambient light, which isn't black body radiation and isn't spectra due to chemical reactions.


In the videos some of the falling drops appeared silver and turned orange briefly when they struck the facade and then turned back to silver. The orange glow in that case wasn't due to black body radiation. The material couldn't have heated and cooled that quickly if it had been black body radiation. One explanation is that molten aluminum, which is very reactive, interacted chemically with impurities on the facade and emitted spectra. The silver appearance is consistent with molten aluminum near its melting point.

The glowing material would need to be observed with a spectrometer to know if the light was due to black body radiation or spectra due to chemical reactions or both. For example, it could have been glowing red as a black body (or approximate black body) and emitting spectra in the orange region due to chemical reactions.

One last thing about the photo. In the NIST report where the photo came from it clearly states under the photo "Intensity levels have been adjusted". So how can you conclude the color of something from a photo which has been "Adjusted"?

Jones says something I can't help but find incredible...

"If aluminum (e.g., from the plane) had melted, it would melt and flow away from the heat source at its melting point of about 650 oC and thus would not reach the yellow color observed for this molten metal.  Thus, molten aluminum is already ruled out with high probability."

The obvious question is how does he know what condition the floors were in to suggest they were flat enough not to pool aluminum near a heat source? I guess this is where we begin to forget again... We are to forget an airliner just rammed into the floors possibly bending/warping them. No? Don't like that? What about concrete, steel columns, steel sheets which held the concrete, airliner parts and office furniture which could have created a temporary dam? In fact, I think it's a "high probability" that the floors weren't in pristine shape after the impact of an airliner. In 5 years, Jones couldn't envision a sag in the floor enough to hold melted aluminum?

The above is what the floors may have looked like.

Yet another possibility is the flow creating a temporary dam by doing exactly what Jones describes. Like a candle which has melted to the floor, the aluminum may have melted and cooled as it flowed away from the heat source. This cooled aluminum builds up and creates a shallow pool of aluminum. Much like candle wax pooling around the wick while cooler wax, away from the wick, builds up creating a levee/dam around the liquid wax. Once the floors sagged toward the window as shown in the NIST Report the pool may have spilled over and out of the window.

Now, I'm no "Professor" but I think there was a "high probability" aluminum could have pooled near a heat source.

Interestingly, the conspiracy theorists have grasped onto another straw. The photo below shows another stream of fluid in another place but this time it's the color Jones points to as aluminum.

Note as with the other flow, it's also where the building sustained heavy damage from the airliner and also has a very heavy fire.


Another source of heat hasn't been touched by any conspiracy theorist. There were many chemical oxygen generators in the airliner. They just happen to be wrapped with aluminum.


Here is what a chemical oxygen generator looks like when it's burning.


These are NOT oxygen tanks. They are generators which make oxygen under chemical reaction.

Yet there is even evidence this isn't thermite...

Release of the molten material (possibly aluminum) that began pouring from window 80-255 on the north side of the 80th floor at 9:51:51 am provides evidence for the extensive heating that had taken place from the fire that had been burning in the area for nearly 50 min. The melting point range for the relevant aluminum alloys varies from 475C to 635C, and a great deal of heat would have been required to melt the large volume of liquid metal observed pouring from the tower. The sudden appearance of the flow at the top of the window was likely the result of the formation of a pathway from the 81st floor where the aluminum possibly had pooled on top of the floor slab as it melted. This, in turn suggests that the 81st floor slab possibly sank down or pulled away from the spandrel at this time.
During the 7 min between when the flow of molten metal was first observed and the tower collapsed, the amount of material flowing from the 80th floor increased and decreased repeatedly. At one point the flow shifted from window 80-255 to window 80-256. The change in the source window for the liquid suggests that the lowest local point with pooled aluminum somehow moved to the east. These observations suggest that the 81st floor slab in the immediate vicinity was possibly shifting almost continuously during this time, and in the process, spilling more and more of the pooled liquid. A similar release of liquid occurred from window 78-238 on the 78th floor around 9:27. It is possible that this material came from the pile of debris immediately above on the 79th floor. Since this flow was only observed for a few seconds, it is not appropriate to speculate further concerning its source.

pg 412,413,114 chap 9


Thermite can't walk from one window to another. A pool of aluminum which is guided by floors sagging at different stages can shift directions. A POOL of metal melted by thermite could move with sagging floors just like the aluminum but not according to Jones because...

"it would melt and flow away from the heat source at its melting point"

But what of Jones evidence for thermite like this?

"The yellow color implies a molten-metal temperature of approximately 1000 C, evidently above that which the dark-smoke hydrocarbon fires in the Towers could produce."

Yet, once again, we find in his own paper that it states..

Under section 11
"Factors such as flame volume and quantity of soot decrease the radiative heat loss in the fire, moving the temperature closer to the maximum of 1,000 ºC." (Eagar and Musso, 2001) While this is the maximum air temperature possible in the WTC fires, this does not mean that the structural steel reached this temperature in the time the fires acted. Indeed, NIST emphasizes that there was no evidence that "any of the samples had reached temperatures above 600 ºC." This statement is consistent with their data plots of "predicted column temperatures", which "shows maximum temperature reached by each column" in that no temperature above 600 ºC is given for any of the steel columns. (NIST, 2005.)

Jones goes on to talk about structural steel but we aren't talking about the "predicted column temperatures" are we. Nor was the NIST suggesting the structural steel had to melt in order to collapse the building. No one is. This is a straw man. 600C is good enough to weaken structural steel. Now back to the aluminum...

It's not unreasonable to expect the aluminum to be a mix of other things in the towers that day. There could be all kinds of things in the towers. Even wood might have affected the color...

This is the Yosemite Firefall at Yosemite National Park. That's just embers from bark being thrown from the top. While it's safe to say there was no bark in the towers it's also safe to say there was wood from office furniture. But I want to make this clear, I'm not saying this is what we see coming from the window. What I'm suggesting is that it is probably a molten metal mix of aluminum and something else. Don't limit yourself here. I'm not saying aluminum and wood only. One of my biggest criticisms with the conspiracy theorists is the one dimensional thinking.

The main point is, jumping to the conclusion that it's thermite is intellectually lazy given all the other possibilities. It's a logical fallacy to conclude a lack of evidence is evidence of something. Yet this is the conspiracy theorist credo.

Below are some quotes from different sources concerning the flow...

The NY Times article

Last spring, the standards institute found the first photographic evidence on the east face of the south tower that a single floor — with its lightweight support system, called a truss — had sagged in the minutes before it started collapsing. Now, detailed analysis of photos and videos has revealed at least three more sagging floors on that face, said William Pitts, a researcher at the institute's Building and Fire Research Laboratory.

In addition, Dr. Pitts said, sudden expansions of the fires across whole floors in each tower shortly before they fell suggested internal collapses — burning floors above suddenly giving way and spreading the blaze below.

Finally, an unexplained cascade of molten metal from the northeast corner of the south tower just before it collapsed might have started when a floor carrying pieces of one of the jetliners began to sag and fail. The metal was probably molten aluminum from the plane and could have come through the top of an 80th floor window as the floor above gave way, Dr. Pitts said.

"That's probably why it poured out — simply because it was dumped there," Dr. Pitts said. "The structural people really need to look at this carefully."


Here's another article on the aluminum

But the fires continued to burn. Black smoke poured from shattered windows on floor after floor, fresh oxygen sucked in from the gaping holes caused by the impacts. In the northeast corner of the south tower's 80th floor, where office furniture had been shoved by the plane, the fire burned so hot that a stream of molten metal began to pour over the side like a flaming waterfall.

The apparent source of this waterfall: molten aluminum from the jet's wings and fuselage, which had also piled up in that corner. Within minutes, portions of the 80th floor began to give way, as evidenced by horizontal lines of dust blowing out the side of the building. Seconds later, near the heavily damaged southeasterly portion of this same floor, close to where the aircraft had entered, exterior columns began to buckle.


A photograph leaked from the ASCE-FEMA investigation shows a stream of what appears to be molten aluminum exiting from the northeast corner. This would indicate that what was left of the aircraft when it reached the north end of its travel was massive enough to have destroyed at least one floor.

NIST pg 43 Section H.9 App H Vol 4
Starting at around 9:52 a.m. a molten material began to pour from the top of the window 80-256 on the North face of WTC 2. The material appears intermittently until the tower collapses at 9:58:59. The observation of piles of debris in this area combined with the melting point behaviors of the primary alloys used in a Boeing 767 suggest that the material is molten aluminum derived from aircraft debris located on floor 81.

NIST H-7-2
Molten Material
It has been reported in the FEMA report (McAllister 2002) as well as in the media that what appeared to be molten metal was observed pouring from the north face near the northeast corner. This is the area where the sustained fires were seen. Video records and photography indicate that the material first appeared at 9:51:52 am and continued to pour intermittently from the building until the time of the collapse. Some of that material can be seen falling in Fig. H-21. Close up video and photographs of the area where the material is pouring from have been examined and show that it is falling from near the top of window 80-256. The most likely explanation for this observation is that the material had originally pooled on the floor above, that is 81, and that it was allowed to pour out of the building when this floor either pulled away from the outer spandrel or sank down to the point where the window was exposed. The fact that the material appears intermittently over a several minute period suggests that the floor was giving way bit by bit
The composition of the flowing material can only be the subject of speculation, but its behavior is consistent with it being molten aluminum. Visual evidence suggest that a significant wreckage from the plane passed thought the building and came to rest in the northeast corner of the tower in the vicinity of the location where the material is observed.
Much of the structure of the Boeing 767 is formed from two aluminum alloys that have been identified as 2024 and 7075 closely related alloys. These alloys do not melt at a single temp, but melt over a temp range from the lower end of the range to the upper as the fraction of the liquid increases. The Aluminum association handbook lists the melting point as roughly 500C to 638 C and 475 C to 635C for alloys 2024 and 7075 respectively. These temperatures are well below those characteristic of fully developed fires (ca 1000C ) and any aluminum present is likely to be at least partially melted by the intense fires in the area.


I highlighted the qualifiers because some conspiracy theorists seem to be 'qualifier challenged'. Sounded like, looks like, appear to be, possibly, suggest, as if... these are just a few qualifiers the conspiracy theorists ignore. In keeping with this trend, the conspiracy theorists have said the NIST was SURE it was aluminum using the above quotes. They are just saying what I'm saying. The evidence points to it being aluminum. They conclude it's aluminum.


Italian debunker uncovers yet another possible cause of the what we see coming from the 81st floor window.

Abstract: research into the causes of a conspicuous flow of glowing material from the corner of the 81st floor of the South Tower leads to the finding of evidence of a highly flammable UPS system at that location and suggests a possible triggering event for the flow and associated fire. Photographic evidence of floor failures is provided. Molten steel is ruled out as an ingredient of the flow.

This is not a photo of the WTC battery banks. For illustration only.


This also adds even more sulfur to debris pile.

Conspiracy sites like to bring up molten metal found 6 weeks after the buildings fell to suggest a bomb must have created the effect. The explanation doesn't go into the amount of explosive material needed because it would be an absurd amount. There is another explanation which is more plausible.

Before reading the below, it might be a good idea for the novice to read Mark Ferran's explanation on how "Iron Burns!!!"

Oxidation of iron by air is not the only EXOTHERMIC reaction of iron (= structural steel which is about 98 % Fe, 1 % Mn, 0.2 % C, 0.2 % Si.....). There is at least one additional reaction of iron with the capability of keeping the rubble pile hot and cooking!

The reaction between IRON AND STEAM is also very EXOTHERMIC and fast at temperatures above 400 deg C. This reaction produces Fe3O4 AND HYDROGEN. It is the classic example of a REVERSIBLE REACTION studied in Chemistry labs at high school. But believe it or not, back at the turn of the century, the reaction of iron and steam was used as an industrial process for the manufacture of hydrogen.

I think iron and steam could have reacted in this way (at least for a while) and generated a lot of heat. What is more, the hydrogen released would have been converted back to water by reaction with oxygen, thereby generating even more heat. In this case spraying water on the rubble pile was like adding fuel to a fire!

Now add in gypsum reactions with H2 and CO and we have a great source of SO2 and/or H2S to sulfide the steel!

Perhaps the endless spraying of water on the rubble pile was not such a good idea!

In the usual lab experiment on the reversible reaction of iron and "steam", nitrogen (or some inert gas) is bubbled through water to create a gas stream saturated with water vapor at room temperature. This gas is then allowed to flow into a glass tube about 1 meter long containing iron in an inert boat at its center. This assembly is heated in a tube furnace to some desired temperature, say 500 deg C. The hydrogen/ nitrogen gas mixture is collected at the outlet of the tube furnace.

In the industrial process the feed gas might also be "water gas" which is a mixture of CO and water vapor. The outlet gas contains mostly H2 and CO2.

I am sure there was plenty of water vapor AND oxygen in the void spaces in the rubble pile. This is the "steam" I am referring to.

Please remember that the recovered pieces of structural steel were heavily OXIDIZED as well as sulfided. The most important oxidizing agents available in the rubble pile were obviously O2 and H2O.

The rubble pile was not only inhomogeneous with regard to its composition, it was inhomogeneous with regard to its temperature. This was due to localized chemical reactions. Such reactions were capable of generating high temperatures in these localized hot spots.


It is irrelevant whether or not the steam was wet or dry, that is a chemical engineering notion only of interest in a closed and controlled system, usually under high-pressure, such as a steam generator in a power station.

Water vapor was present in the rubble pile and water vapor reacts with iron releasing HYDROGEN.





More on this iron-H2O reaction:

Modern Commercial Hydrogen generation:

"steam contacts molten iron to form iron oxide and release hydrogen....
The hydrogen production step is the same chemical reaction that occurs in the steam-iron process which was used to produce hydrogen commercially 100 years ago. In that technology steam was passed over iron particles to produce hydrogen and iron oxide. However, the rate of hydrogen production declined as the iron oxidized and was covered with rust and the cost of replenishing iron ultimately rendered this process uneconomical"
http://www.alchemix.net/index.php?module=C...n&mid=10&ceid=2 or http://www.alchemix.us/TechnologyDescriptionweb710.pdf

Hydrogen generation from "steam" and iron Performed as a school-lab experiment without "molten" iron:

Patent involving the process, without "molten" iron:
"The generation of hydrogen by passing steam at or about 700.degree. C. over a bed of iron is well known in the art."
"a hydrogen-generating process wherein H.sub.2 O is passed over a bed of iron material. The hydrogen generating process uses a catalyst, or freshly-ground iron material, or both, and generates the hydrogen for the fuel cell in situ at lower-than-normal temperatures when the H.sub.2 O reacts with the iron material."

In a vehicle application, the hydrogen is generated by passing water or low-temperature steam over desirably freshly-ground iron, which then becomes iron oxide."

"The instantaneous grinding of the iron particles in situ is necessitated because iron becomes rapidly oxidized after grinding."


Evidently, iron will oxidize about the same rate in air, or in a steam-atmosphere. The addition of water to the piles from the top or pools of it at the bottom thus may have served as an additional source of oxygen, upon combining with hot steel or aluminum.

The hydrogen generated may have then combined with other materials in the piles, or with oxygen in air, to produce additional heat. (Net thermal result would be same as directly oxidizing iron with oxygen). - Mark Ferran

Abbreviations: gigaJoules (gJ) = 1,000 megaJoules (MJ). To heat steel to the melting point requires about 0.68 gJ of heat to be added for each tonne (metric ton) of steel. Enough more heat has to be added to melt it. Total is about 1 gJ/tonne. All we require is enough heat to obtain yellow hot steel, approximately 0.6 gJ/tonne. However, for simplicity and to allow for losses, assume 1 gJ/tonne of yellow hot steel in the basement(s) of WTC 1 & 2(?).

This could easily be supplied by a pressure pulse down the box columns as each floor is stripped off.
Again, for simplicity of analysis, assume 100 floors each supplied the same sized pulse of energy down the box column. Then each floor supplied 10 MJ. Calculations shows that this amount of energy, distributed over the horizontal area of the box columns, only provides a small fraction of the pressure required to cause structural steel to yield. So ignoring the top 10 floors to allow a further 10% loss in energy transfer, all that is required to obtain yellow hot steel in the basements is the modest contribution of 10 MJ per floor per tonne of yellow hot steel.

Pressure calculations: Above I determined that each floor needed to deliver 10 MJ of energy down the box column to the bottom in order to supply more than sufficient heat to cause a tonne of steel to become yellow hot. Here we need to assure ourselves that this energy delivery does not stress the box column into yielding. Now just yielding is not failure, but might be noticed in a post-collapse inspection of box columns. From wikipedia, structural steel has a yield strength of 400 MPa and an ultimate strength of 650 MPa.

Reminders: Pascal = Newton/m^2, Joule = Newton-meter (N.m). The meters-squared, m^2, will refer to the cross-sectional area of the box column. The meters in the Joule part will refer to the vertical height of the pressure pulse traveling down the box column. The speed of sound in steel is 5100--5960 m/s, depending upon the source one uses. For simplicity in the following I will assume that the speed of the pressure pulse is just the rounded-off 5000 m/s.

Since we are attempting to find the highest possible reasonable figure for the pressure delivered to the box column by the pressure pulse, assume that the pressure pulse lasts only for 0.001 s = 1 millisecond. Then this square wave of pressure extends vertically for 5 meters. Thus the force over these 5 meters is 2 MN, 10 MJ = 2 MN x 5 m. So the force applied to the cross-sectional area of the box column is 2 megaNewtons.

Now assume that this force is applied equally across the cross-sectional area of the box column. (We will return to this assumption. It certainly applies to all parts of the pressure pulse traveling down the box column except at the moment of initiation.) Now assume the box column is a square 1 meter on a side and is 3" = .0762 m thick. Thus the steel cross-sectional area is 4 x 0.0762 = 0.3048 m^2.

We have now determined that the pressure on the box columns due to the pressure pulse traveling down it is 6.56 MPa = 2 MN/0.3048 m^2. This is trivial compared to the 400 MPa yield strength of the structural steel. No yielding will be observed, and indeed, none was in the majority of the structural steel. The exceptions are in the basement, where stresses and temperatures were high. The 400 MPa figure applies to ordinary temperatures, not elevated ones.

At the moment of the initiation of the pressure pulse due to floors stripping off, the initial forces will all be on just the outside edges of the most exterior of the box columns in the core. But as the calculation shows, the pressure required is less than 1/40th of the yield strength. So the box columns would not show signs of yielding, even with highly asymmetric patterns of the initial forces.

"Roaring oven" Ok, it was indeed hot in the rubble piles of WTC 1 & 2. More important, there were definite hot spots which were the hottest. We have seen ample evidence of potential fuels, including ordinary office materials, gasoline in the automobiles in the basement(?) and transformer oil. However, heat always flows from higher temperatures to lower ones. So to obtain yellow hot steel requires not only sufficient energy, but if heated from the exterior, high temperatures. If the energy was supplied by pressure pulses, as suggested, then simply the friction of repeated slamming the bottom of a box column into unyielding concrete or granite suffices.

Further, perhaps the estimated temperature of the hot spots, obtained via infrared scanning, was 1500 F = (810+273)K = 1083K. Assuming approximately black body radiation. 1000K is red hot, maybe 1500K is orange hot. Yellow hot, then is very close to the melting temperature of iron, (1535+273)K = 1808K. It seems to me a higher temperature than can be reached by burning ordinary office materials. That gasoline was in close proximity seems unlikely. I don't know the temperature of burning transformer oil, but I suppose it is less than gasoline(?) The point behind this addendum is that the pressure pulse hypothesis is highly robust under alternative scenarios and is not dependent on an external source of chemical energy. - David B. Benson, edited by Debunking 911

From a physics blogger:

Despite repeated calculations showing that the energy released simply from the kinetic collapse is on the close order of a small nuclear weapon, without even mentioning the energy contents of the millions of [pounds*] of paper, wood, plastic, etc. that were on the floors and a large percentage of which would be in the rubble pile and heated to ignition point by the heat from the kinetic energy dissipated by the collapse.

My best estimate at 13 psf by 35,000 sf/floor by 110 floors by about 30% combustibles, 60% metal and other non-combustible items, by the energy content of common garbage, gives a lot more energy than the energy of the collapse. The insulation provided in that debris pile was apparently pretty good, and that’s not surprising. Rock and concrete really are bad heat conductors, air isn’t much better, and steel while capable isn’t all that good, as you can tell from the fact that the jaws of the shovel aren’t melting. Ever hear of “rock wool?” It’s insulation; look it up. You’ll get the idea pretty quick.

There’s two more factors I’ll throw in: first, a certain amount of the office materials didn’t make it into the debris pile, perhaps as much as 10% of it just got scattered all over lower Manhattan island. Second, a few floors worth had already burned. So when the time comes, I’ll take three floors out, and then another 10%. You’ll be surprised, I think, at how much energy there is involved.

This, by the way, is a place where Jim Hoffman makes a serious mistake; in his paper on the dust cloud, he fails to note that he has to ADD THE HEAT BACK IN when he’s totaling things up at the end. This is a violation of conservation of energy, the First Law of Thermodynamics (and a foundational law of physics). The energy dissipated during the fall is about 250 or 300 GJ, and the leftover energy at impact is about 600 GJ. So it’s about a quarter kiloton of TNT for the North tower and about a fifth of a kiloton for the South tower; that’s still a hell of a lot of energy, more than sufficient to liquefy a pretty healthy chunk of steel, and it doesn’t change the fact that there’s a lot more energy in the office contents.

You should be aware that anytime you do mechanical work, the energy you do it with doesn’t just “go away” or “get used up.” Energy that does work gets dissipated, and when that happens, it turns to heat. This is a well known fact of physics, specifically thermodynamics, that was proven early (or maybe it was late? no, I’m pretty sure it was EARLY) in the nineteenth century by the gentleman for whom the SI unit of energy is named, James Prescott Joule. Go look him up on Wikipedia, or elsewhere if you’re a newbie and believe what you read in the newspapers about Wikipedia. He did this experiment where he stirred water in buckets and showed it got hotter.

This, by the way, is a place where Jim Hoffman makes a serious mistake; in his paper on the dust cloud, he fails to note that he has to ADD THE HEAT BACK IN when he’s totaling things up at the end. This is a violation of conservation of energy, the First Law of Thermodynamics (and a foundational law of physics).

What distance do you drop the load from? The floor of initial collapse: 79 for the South tower, 97 for the North. It’s a variable in the program, you can change it for yourself and run it yourself, it’s a perl. Interestingly, going from a 39-story to a 13-story falling section doesn’t make a great deal of difference in the energy, and makes even less difference in the energy that’s left over when the building hits the ground.

A falling building is not like a bomb or a laser beam. But it makes heat all the same- just like all work makes heat. Feel the bottom of the bicycle pump after you’ve pumped the tire up. Where does that heat come from? Same place as this does.

While a 600GJ bomb would take out ten blocks in any direction, the WTC collapse obviously did not. While that’s true, you need to know that conservation of energy says that energy NEVER disappears. It ALWAYS winds up SOMEWHERE, and if this is energy capable of knocking buildings over for many blocks in all directions, and it didn’t knock them over, then where did it go and what did it do? Answer: it went into the rubble pile, and it melted and burned stuff in there.

There was energy spent “pancaking” or “snapping supports” if you believe those theories (I do not). Whether it was explosives or whether it was sheer mass and momentum that snapped them (and I have excellent reason to believe it was nothing but mass- you’ll see shortly), it STILL made heat, and that heat STILL went into the debris pile at the bottom. Heat is energy and energy NEVER just “goes away.”

All the collapse theories say that the weight of the top of the building is what caused the collapse… well that is HALF true. It was also pushing UP WITH EQUAL FORCE. This force was largely transmitted into the ground during the collapse, not the rubble afterwards. The STATIC FORCE of the building pushes down and the ground pushes up, when the DYNAMIC FORCE of the collapse occurs, it is local to whatever is moving; this is because it’s the MOTION that causes the DYNAMIC force, and that force is (and must be, to collapse the building) many times the static forces of the building just standing there.

Now, for the program:


# Demonstrates the kinetic energy of the WTC collapses, to debunk 9/11 conspiracies # http://www.geocities.com/debunking911/moltensteel.htm
# Variables for calculations
$m = 4285500; # mass of one floor (kg)
$mt = 0; # mass of falling section
$v1 = 0; # beginning velocity for the current step
$v2 = 0; # velocity at impact
$v3 = 0; # ending velocity for prior step $p = 0; # current momentum
$ke1 = 0; # kinetic energy at impact
$ke2 = 0; # kinetic energy after impact
$de = 0; # total energy dissipated so far $a = 9.80665; # acceleration of gravity (constant) $t = 0; # cumulative time taken
$t1 = 0; # time taken for this step
$d = 3.8; # distance between floors (418m/110 stories) $mt = $fc*$m; # initialize mass of falling section # # Calculations for WTC Tower One $fc = 13; # floor count of falling section (13 floors for WTC One) $rfc = 110 - $fc; # initialize remaining floor count of uncollapsed floors print("Data for WTC Tower One\n"); print("\n"); while($rfc > 0) { print("Data for story ", $rfc, " -\n");
$v1 = $v3; # starting velocity is ending for last step
$v2 = (($v1*2)+((2*$a)*$d))**0.5; # impact velocity for this step by formula print("Impact velocity: ", $v2, "\n"); $p = $mt*$v2; # momentum at impact print("Impulse delivered: ", $p, "\n");
$ke1 = ($mt*($v2**2))/2; # kinetic energy at impact print("Impact kinetic energy: ", $ke1, "\n"); $fc++; # increment falling floor count $mt = $fc*$m; # update mass of falling section
$v3 = $p/$mt; # new velocity
print("Velocity after impact: ", $v3, "\n");
$ke2 = ($mt*($v3**2))/2; # kinetic energy after impact print("Remaining kinetic energy: ", $ke2, "\n"); $de += $ke1 - $ke2; # add dissipated kinetic energy to total print("Kinetic energy dissipated: ", $ke1 - $ke2, "\n");
$t1 = $d/(($v2 + $v1)/2); # time for this step by formula print("Time spent collapsing: ", $t1, "\n"); $t += $t1; # add step time to running total $rfc--; # decrement remaining floor count print("\n"); } print("Overall WTC Tower One data -\n"); print("Total collapse time: ", $t, "\n"); print("Total energy dissipated during the collapse: ", $de, "\n"); print("Remaining kinetic energy at the end of the collapse: ", $ke2, "\n"); print("\n"); # # Calculations for WTC Tower Two $fc = 39; # floor count of falling section (39 floors for WTC Two) $rfc = 110 - $fc; # initialize remaining floor count of uncollapsed floors print("Data for WTC Tower Two\n"); print("\n"); while($rfc > 0) { print("Data for story ", $rfc, " -\n");
$v1 = $v3; # starting velocity is ending for last step
$v2 = (($v1*2)+((2*$a)*$d))**0.5; # impact velocity for this step by formula print("Impact velocity: ", $v2, "\n"); $p = $mt*$v2; # momentum at impact print("Impulse delivered: ", $p, "\n");
$ke1 = ($mt*($v2**2))/2; # kinetic energy at impact print("Impact kinetic energy: ", $ke1, "\n"); $fc++; # increment falling floor count $mt = $fc*$m; # update mass of falling section
$v3 = $p/$mt; # new velocity
print("Velocity after impact: ", $v3, "\n");
$ke2 = ($mt*($v3**2))/2; # kinetic energy after impact print("Remaining kinetic energy: ", $ke2, "\n"); $de += $ke1 - $ke2; # add dissipated kinetic energy to total print("Kinetic energy dissipated: ", $ke1 - $ke2, "\n");
$t1 = $d/(($v2 + $v1)/2); # time for this step by formula print("Time spent collapsing: ", $t1, "\n"); $t += $t1; # add step time to running total $rfc--; # decrement remaining floor count print("\n"); } print("Overall WTC Tower Two data -\n"); print("Total collapse time: ", $t, "\n"); print("Total energy dissipated during the collapse: ", $de, "\n"); print("Remaining kinetic energy at the end of the collapse: ", $ke2, "\n");


It’s a perl, you can download perl for just about anything from www.perl.org or somewhere they point. If you’re going to get involved in CS, somewhere you’re going to encounter perl, and now’s as good a time to learn it as any. I highly recommend the O’Reilly Press perl book which happens to be by the inventors of the language. Just so you can muddle your way through and derive the equations from the code above, * is multiplication, ** is raising to a power (and don’t forget that a fractional power is a root; so **0.5 is the square-root operation). The rest of the symbols are obvious, and the parentheses work the same way as they do in standard math notation. You should be aware that the single = in most languages simply ASSIGNS the value of what’s on the right to the thing on the left; usually, you’re required to put a single variable on the left of an =. The double == TESTS whether one value is equal to another, returning 1 or TRUE if it is, and 0 or FALSE if it is not.

The Perl program was fixed by seandiggity

* Edited the bloggers contribution to remove "tons" and replace it with "pounds". It doesn't change what the blogger point was which is there is more than enough combustibles on hand. He did not use the general figure of "Millions of tons" to calculate anything. Of course any silly error like this will be exaggerated as if it means something. This is what conspiracy theorist do.

At 32,000 sq feet of tenant space per floor and at 4lbs per sq ft of combustible material (at 5 lbs per sq ft NIST found that the fires moved too slowly) for 110 floors (-6 floors for mechanical + 6 for underground) is equal to 14 Million POUNDS of combustible material. Or 7,000 TONS. Clearly a RESPECTABLE amount of burnable material per TOWER. Thus the rubble pile had ~ 28 MILLION POUNDS of combustible material not including what was in the Marriot hotel and its parking garage.

From a contributor.

One of the conspiracy sites published an article called "Popular Mechanics Attack on 9/11 Truth." I was pointed in that direction during a debate on a forum, after citing the Popular Mechanics article.

Since we had been talking about the "melted steel" argument, I scrolled down to that area, which claimed this:

"Here PM's counter claim implies that flame temperatures and steel temperatures are synonymous, ignoring the thermal conductivity and thermal mass of steel, which wicks away heat. In actual tests of uninsulated steel structures subjected to prolonged hydrocarbon-fueled fires conducted by Corus Construction Co. the highest recorded steel temperatures were 680ºF."

That seemed strange to me. They made a point of how steel temperatures are different from the atmospheric temperatures surrounding it, then went on to cite a study and only mentioned the steel temperatures, not the atmospheric. So I went to the website of Corus Construction Co, and found a section in their Research area that said this about the difference in temperatures between steel and atmosphere:

"With regard to steel temperatures, these depend upon the size of the member but for typical unprotected beams and columns these would lag behind the compartment temperatures by around 100°C to 200°C."

So the tests that the conspiracy theorist cited only had atmospheric temperatures ranging around 800-900 degrees, while the Popular Mechanics article (and NIST report) mentions that pockets of the World Trade Center reached 1800 degrees. This would put the steel temperature in those locations at around 1600-1700 degrees, which is far above the 1100 degree mark that steel loses 50% of its structural integrity.

I just thought it was a pretty striking example of dishonesty. The conspiracy theorist site could not have found that Corus study without finding the question on the atmospheric temperature, but left that part out. Some "truth movement"...


Thanks to ScottS, Shagster, Arthur, Mark Ferran, NEU-FONZE and David B. Benson for their research.

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