After my last post about the chemical make up of Basalt I decided to put my money where my mouth was. What I did was get a bunch of Basalt (from the back 40 of my property). I beat on the basalt with a sledge hammer until it was in pieces. I then ran the Basalt pieces through my home made ball mill (big heavy steel drum with off set steel baffle and heavy cast iron balls to pulverized the basalt into a fine sand.
I then loaded the sand into some ceramic crucibles with some lime stone and powdered charcoal. I slipped the crucibles into the forge and using a infrared thermometer heated it to about 3000 F and kept it there for 6 hours. When I removed the crucibles i placed them on a large electro magnetic plate.
Ok her is where the theory meets the road. Aluminum Oxide has a high melting point (about 3700 degrees Fahrenheit) how ever it can be reduced by carbon monoxide. Placing the right amount of carbon ( a little trial and error here ) cause the Fe0 (iron Oxide in the Basalt) and Fe203 are also reduced by carbon monoxide. So we the powdered charcoal is the most important part of this operation. The powdered charcoal turns Silicon dioxide (50% of Basalt) into Silicon Carbonate (the operation is SiO2 + 2C will yield Si plus 2CO (carbon monoxide)) Indecently almost the same reaction takes place with Aluminum (2Al203 + 6C will yield Al4C3 + 3CO2 which is aluminum carbonate and Carbon Dioxide)
Now with an excess of carbon Monoxide this reduces the FeO and Fe2O2 to Fe and CO2 (carbon dioxide)
Ok we got the chemistry out of the way but what do we have. Well with free iron in a slurry ( I don't know because I don't open the crucibles) and being placed on a magnetic plate draws the iron to the bottom of the Crucible with the Aluminum carbonate and Silicon floating on top.
When cooled and dumped out of the crucible I ran it through a band saw to cut the dark grey layer away from the silvery layer. This should leave the silvery stack with the Aluminum, Silicon, Titanium, Calcium and sodium and other ash and trash above it.
I think that the magnetic field did a pretty good job of separating the Manganese from the Iron as both have identical weights but have vastly different melting points. Also the Carbon Monoxide formed by the reduction of iron and silicon and Aluminum probably reduced the Manganese to a rather pure form. So with the Manganese have a melting point about 500-600 degrees Fahrenheit lower than Iron it should be the top layer of the grey stack.
Now my next thing is to get the Aluminum and Titanium to reduce to an alloy and it would be perfect for the forging of AR-15 PATTERN RECEIVERS AND UPPERS. (hee hee hee) Just think making AR-15s with junk from the back 40!!!!