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Remember Those 'Dismissed Mobile Labs'?

Annie

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I think we'll be hearing more on this. As noted, part II will be posted tomorrow:

http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/007380.php

July 04, 2006
Mobile Labs Could Not Have Produced Hydrogen As Described, Part I

In Part I of ChemicalConsultant's analysis of the mobile weapons laboratories, he calls into question the CIA's calculations of the production capability of the facilities described. In his calculations, he posits that these mobile facilities could not have produced the hydrogen necessary for the mission the CIA claims.

1. The reaction to produce hydrogen gas from aluminum, sodium hydroxide is:
2Al(s) +2NaOH (aq) +6H2O-> 2Na+ (aq) + 2[Al(OH)4]- +3H2 (g)

This means that it takes 80 grams of NaOH (molecular weight about 40) to make 6 grams of H2 (molecular weight about 2) and uses 54 grams of Al (atomic weight about 27) in the process. On a kilogram basis, 1 kg NaOH makes 6/80 = 0.075 kg or 75 g H2 and uses 54/80 = 0.675 kg or 675 g Al.

My reference is www.webelements.com/webelements/elements/text/Al/chem.html.

2. According to the Fast Facts link on the website of a major hydrogen producer, 1 kg of hydrogen gas at 1 atmosphere at 70o F occupies 11.986 cubic meters (m3) or 1 m3 weighs 1/ 11.896 = 0.084 kg or 84 g.

My reference is www.airproducts.com/products/fastfacts/charts_n_tables/32100/hydrogen.asp. Please note that the spaces on either side of n are underlined.

3. The Iraqi Survey Group Final Report, Annex D, Biological Weapons

Process Description section, states that “This is a batch process designed to produce sufficient H2 to fill 5x40l bottles to a pressure of between 40-50 bar”. This is equivalent to 50x5x40l =10,000 liters or 10 m3 at atmospheric pressure. Thus, from 2. , 0.84 kg of hydrogen must be produced. The next sentence in Process Description; the report states “This requires 10-12 kg of Aluminum powder, 1-1.5 kg flaked/ granulated NaOH, and 25-30 liters of water.” 1 kg of NaOH would only make 0.075 kg. However, from 1. , what is actually needed is 0.84/0.075 = 11.2 kg NaOH, using up 7.56 kg aluminum.

4. At first I thought that there might have been a typo. I went back to the Process Outline section of the report which described the purported Russian system which is one tenth the volume of the Iraqi reactor. I found that the ratio of reagents for the Russian system is the same as the report states for the Iraqi system. Thus the 100 g or 0.1 kg NaOH would only make 7.5 g hydrogen instead of the 84 g needed for the 1 m3 balloon. How is it that the “experts” who wrote the report and those who approved it did not catch these errors?

In part II tomorrow, ChemicalConsultant talks about how the residue in the mobile labs should not have been present and appear to be a deliberate ruse. He also shows how the formulas used for the Duelfer analysis would have produced hydrogen so impure as to be useless.

UPDATE: The molecular weight of NaOH is 40; thanks to those who pointed out the typo.
Posted by Captain Ed at July 4, 2006 12:01 AM

Oh, 'Chemical Consultant':

http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/007375.php#more
July 03, 2006
Mobile Labs Could Not Have Produced Hydrogen As Described, Prologue

I have written several times about the issue of the mobile laboratories in Iraq and the subsequent conventional wisdom that they served as hydrogen generators for weather balloons instead of WMD production facilities. In April, I pointed out that the hydrogen theory came as a minority opinion within the CIA/DIA teams that reviewed the two labs captured by the Coalition. One month later, Joseph Shahda translated a key memo showing that the Iraqis spent $33 million on the mobile labs in September 2002, while America decided to take military action against the Iraqis, and that the same agency that controlled Iraq's WMD programs (the Military Industrialization Committee) arranged to purchase these facilities.

One key point (besides the memo) that undermines the argument for a civil hydrogen production facility is the ease in which the Iraqis could already produce and store hydrogen. Oil refining creates hydrogen in fairly large quantities as a normal byproduct. If the Iraqis wanted hydrogen for weather balloons, they could have simply pumped it into tanks and used normal trucks to transport it where needed. Now we have another argument against the hydrogen production explanation.

A CQ reader with a doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Minnesota and with over sixteen years of experience in weapons and materiel laboratory work in the military has written a paper on why the hydrogen lab explanation cannot possibly explain the existence and the engineering of these mobile laboratories. Preferring anonymity for professional reasons, "ChemicalConsultant" has allowed me access to a condensed version of an analysis that he has sent to Joby Warrick at the Washington Post, Reps. Curt Weldon and Jane Harman, and former CIA director John Deutsch, now at MIT -- none of whom have responded to ChemicalConsultant or addressed these concerns.

I will put ChemicalConsultant's CV, stripped of any personal identification, in the extended entry below. Over the next three days I will post his analysis of the physics of hydrogen production and why that explanation makes no sense whatsoever. At the end, I will interview ChemicalConsultant and post the transcript.


Curriculum Vitae

I am a retired physical chemist with 31 years of industrial chemical experience in the characterization of silica based materials and the development of new siliceous products and applications. In the course of my career I have authored 17 peer reviewed papers, been an inventor of 5 patents, chaired technical symposia and reviewed, for technical journals, the submitted papers of other scientists.

1977-1999

Senior Research Fellow 1990 to 1999.
Manager, Analysis, Characterization and Testing Department 1985 to 1990.
Supervisor, Materials Evaluation Section 1977 to 1985.

Significant accomplishments:
• Implemented a long term project which provided fundamental technical understanding of largest volume product line, soluble silicates. Results included technical papers, patents and a licensing agreement with a customer.
• Interfaced with corporate sales and marketing personnel and their customers to provide technical support to corporate sales and growth goals.
• Implemented the application of state of the art chemical instrumentation to support corporate research projects in soluble silicates, zeolites, silica particulates and microspherical glass beads.
• Evaluated the performance of subordinates and supported their professional growth.
• Implemented a laboratory data base management system that improved communication of analytical results to project chemist.
• Received the first R&D Achievement Award for Technical Excellence.

1968 - 1977

Senior Chemist 1973 to 1977.
Chemist 1968 to 1973.

Significant accomplishments:
• Implemented the application of state of the art chemical instrumentation to support corporate research projects in zeolites, petroleum refining catalysts, adsorbents and industrial chemical catalysts.
• Interfaced with corporate sales and marketing personnel and their customers to provide technical support to corporate sales and growth goals.
• Published and presented papers on materials described above.

Military Experience

Retired as a Lieutenant Colonel, USAF Reserve, June 1986.
Assignments:
Hq, AF Systems Command (5 years)
Hq, Air Force Materials Laboratory (12 years)

Active Duty:
Hq, Air Force Weapons Laboratory (2 years)
Hq, Ogden Air Materiel Area (1 year)

EDUCATION:
Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
B.S. in Chemistry, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Posted by Captain Ed at July 3, 2006 02:00 PM
 

shepherdboy

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Lets face it, many Americans have a short attention span. It won't be until a dirty bomb or a chemical or bio weapon is unleashed over a U.S. city that the American people really wake up to the fact that their enemy hates their guts!
It make me laugh how the Armed Forces of the United States are held in such low regards from the Left and some of the Hollywood elite. You know the very people that try to legitimize the culture of porn,gay marriages,the immoral pop culture, the MTV generation and so on. And yet they rely on these soldiers to protect them and their way of life from enemy that does not want their 12 year daughter to be influenced from the MTV generation. Its not the U.S. foreign policy the Bin Laden fears. Its the corrupt immoral culture the U.S. projects. So in a way you Hollywood elite's, you are the cancer.:banana:
 
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Annie

Annie

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shepherdboy said:
Lets face it, many Americans have a short attention span. It won't be until a dirty bomb or a chemical or bio weapon is unleashed over a U.S. city that the American people really wake up to the fact that their enemy hates their guts!
It make me laugh how the Armed Forces of the United States are held in such low regards from the Left and some of the Hollywood elite. You know the very people that try to legitimize the culture of porn,gay marriages,the immoral pop culture, the MTV generation and so on. And yet they rely on these soldiers to protect them and their way of life from enemy that does not want their 12 year daughter to be influenced from the MTV generation. Its not the U.S. foreign policy the Bin Laden fears. Its the corrupt immoral culture the U.S. projects. So in a way you Hollywood elite's, you are the cancer.:banana:

I've been gone several hours, but I notice that our normal left 'debunkers' are suprisingly quiet. :smoke:
 
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Annie

Annie

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Here's part 2, part 3 tomorrow:

http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/007388.php
July 05, 2006
Mobile Labs Could Not Have Produced Hydrogen As Described, Part II

In Part II of ChemicalConsultant's analysis, he addresses the residue left in the mobile labs and the quality of hydrogen assumed in the CIA's explanation of the hydrogen production explanation.

5. I am surprised that both the Iraqi and “Russian” systems use an excess of aluminum instead of an excess of sodium hydroxide. Since the product sodium aluminate is soluble in water at the amount of water used (see the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics), there would be almost no residue if there were an excess of sodium hydroxide relative to aluminum. There is no explanation why so much aluminum would be used, especially when using excess sodium hydroxide would mean that the tank would only need to be washed out, instead of removing an alleged residue. Once it became apparent that the trailers were in danger of being captured, I think the Iraqis put the described residue in the reactor.

6. The Process Description describes how the solids are added, the reactor sealed and then water is added. Since only 25-30 liters are added and the useable capacity is given as 633 liters (see Comment and assessment- Reactor capacity), there are 600 liters of space occupied by air above the reactants. Air Products data for nitrogen (MW= 28) close to air (effective MW =29) show that 1 m3 weighs 1 kg/ 0.862 m3 = 1.16 kg so 600 liters of air weighs about 1.16x0.6 = about 700 g. Thus, if the actual amount of hydrogen were made to fill the 5 bottles to 50 bar (this means not following the Process Description but rather the amount I calculated in the last sentence of 4.) , the mix pumped into them would be 0.84/ (0.7+0.84) = about 55% by weight hydrogen. This would substantially lower the buoyancy of the balloons reducing the weight of instruments that could be carried by the radiosonde balloon. Furthermore, no explanation is given for why only 10% of the available reaction volume was used.

7. In the Process Trials section the report claims that a 2.5-3.3 m3 balloon was inflated from the 5 cylinders filled to a pressure of 50 bar. The Iraqis deserve the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for making 0.21-0.26 kg of hydrogen using 1-1.5 kg of NaOH! Even if the bottles were really filled only with hydrogen at 50 bar, only 3 to 4 balloons could be filled and then the more than 3 hour process would have to start again. On the other hand, one standard industrial gas cylinder filled to standard commercial pressure would fill two balloons. Since these cylinders have been available for decades, I find it hard to believe that there have been nothing like them available in Iraq. Iraqi refineries could produce hydrogen, either as a byproduct, by cracking a refinery liquid or gas or reacting petroleum coke, another refinery product with steam. Coke gas was used for observation balloons in the US Civil War. 20th Century technology removes the impurities in coke gas leaving nearly pure hydrogen.

The Notes on the Process section states the target purity for the hydrogen product is 99.9%. This is impossible with the on-site process unless those Nobel Prize nominee Iraqis also converted nitrogen into hydrogen while the gases were going from the reactor to the cylinders. The target purity is routinely achieved by conventional hydrogen manufacture which is probably where the Republican Guard got their specification. Maybe this is the hint that conventionally manufactured hydrogen was available in Iraq. Also, since Russia has modern chemical technology, IÂ’m surprised nobody asked the Iraqis why the Russians would have made a small water dependent hydrogen production system. Such a reactor couldnÂ’t work in most of Russia for a large part of the year because the water would freeze.

In Part III tomorrow, ChemicalConsultant addresses the engineering of the mobile labs in relation to the hydrogen production explanation, as well as the folly of using these facilities instead of simply buying trucks to transport prefilled containers of hydrogen.
 
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Annie

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Part 3
http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/007400.php

July 06, 2006
Mobile Labs Could Not Have Produced Hydrogen As Described, Part III, And Rebuttal

In the final installment of ChemicalConsultant's analysis, he addresses the engineering of the mobile labs in relation to the hydrogen production explanation, as well as the folly of using these facilities instead of simply buying trucks to transport prefilled containers of hydrogen. He also provides a rebuttal to comments made in the thread for Part I.

8. A bank of 5 Air Storage Cylinders is reported in the Major Components of the Trailers section. These serve no purpose for making hydrogen, although Annex D suggests that perhaps they were used as a source of sparging gas (see Comment and Assessment, Aeration and stirring). The investigators do point out that the sparging tube is too short to reach the alleged reaction liquid. Even if the tube were long enough, the air would dilute the hydrogen produced. Also mentioned in the Major Components section are two feed tanks. If the trailers were really used for making hydrogen, these would be unnecessary since water could be monitored and fed directly from the main water tank.

9. Annex D does not report whether the Iraqis ever explained why a mobile system would be preferable to using only pre filled cylinders. Instead of wasting space with a reaction system, 10 or more cylinders could be easily cushioned to be driven over rough terrain and used to fill at least 20 2.5 m3 balloons far more rapidly, thus decreasing the system vulnerability in a combat situation.

10. I have also read an article from The Observer, June 15, 2003 which quoted an “experienced” observer, Martin Furmanski. He claimed that large numbers of balloon launches are required to collect meteorological data for unguided rockets and field artillery. He also claimed that typical balloons require 4 m3 of hydrogen. The alleged Iraqi process takes 3 hours (see Process Description) to miraculously make 10 m3 from 1 kg of sodium hydroxide. This means that supposedly three hours are spent out in the field, then, even if 10 m3 were produced, less than 3 balloons are filled and then the process is repeated. Sounds hard to get large numbers of launches this way.

Mr. Furmanski also mentions the Marconi Military Meteorological System manufactured in the UK, reportedly purchased by Iraq in 1985. Back in 2003, I found a link on the Marconi website to this equipment. Regrettably, I failed to print it out at the time, but as I recall, it made no mention of in-field hydrogen production. The photos didnÂ’t show any of the equipment that appeared in Annex D. Marconi also claimed that the balloons could be filled within 20 minutes and then the mobile unit could move elsewhere. That would only be consistent with pre filled hydrogen cylinders.

Rebuttal For Part 1 Comments

Thanks [to Dave] for providing the links to the two patents you cited in your response to my Part I. Some of us 120 year olds like to keep up with whatÂ’s going on. I did take a look at the 2003 patent application which you say deals with the same process as the 1909 patent.

Lines 29 through 41, p1, of the 1909 patent describe mixing molten caustic soda (NaOH) with finely divided aluminum. Claim 7 of the patent, lines 24 through 29, p 2, of this patent says that the ratio of caustic soda molecules relative to aluminum ranges from one to three, i.e. an excess of soda. The 2003 patent application (which became a patent later) involves adding small amount of aluminum to a strong caustic solution stepwise until the aluminum is in excess. Is it ok if I tell your boss at the chemical outfit where I assume you work that you view these as the same process?

You and Simon666 didnÂ’t seem to note the typo in the 2003 application, section 0055, You, Simon and the Andersens wrote the equation as
2Al + 6H20 -> Al 2 (OH)3 +3H2

Back in 1909 when I learned how to balance chemical equations I was told that if you have 12 H and 6 O on the left side you are supposed to have the same on the right, not 9 H and 6 O. The compound thatÂ’s being made is alumina trihydrate (tri as in three) so you should have had 2 Al(OH)3 on the right.

The 2003 application is quite interesting so I will be following up with a detailed analysis. In brief I would like to point out that the Andersens in part claim that it is essential for add the aluminum and possibly water stepwise for the “catalytic” process to work whereas the Al Kindi process described in the Iraq Survey Group Final Report (i.e the Duelfer report) annex mixes aluminum and NaOH dry, then adds water.

ChemicalConsultant is reviewing the comments on all of the threads and may present further arguments in the coming days.
 

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Good Grief

Anybody with half of brain could of figured out what those were going to be used for...

It's like we see these rigged up semis every day, driving around??

I believe they were for weapons, and so did a lot of other people...



Good articles Kat...
 
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Annie

Annie

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Stephanie said:
Good Grief

Anybody with half of brain could of figured out what those were going to be used for...

It's like we see these rigged up semis every day, driving around??

I belive they were for chemical weapons, and so did a lot of other people...
I wonder why the UN and others have such a hard time with it?
 

Stephanie

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Kathianne said:
I wonder why the UN and others have such a hard time with it?

Because, they dont want to admit they were wrong..
It they did that, it would tie them into the oil for food scandal, even more..

Also, their just a bunch of wimpy idiots...
 
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Annie

Annie

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Stephanie said:
Because, they dont want to admit they were wrong..
It they did that, it would tie them into the oil for food scandal, even more..

Also, their just a bunch of wimpy idiots...
My take: They knew they were wrong, before they were 'wrong.' They lied, which is where Oil for Food came from. It wasn't a mistake...
 

Stephanie

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Kathianne said:
My take: They knew they were wrong, before they were 'wrong.' They lied, which is where Oil for Food came from. It wasn't a mistake...


Yep, what you said..
They just flat out lied, for a cover up..
They didn't care who those labs could of killed...
They just wanted to cover their greedy asses...

Sickening
 

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