How does the sludge get produced and how could it escape?

When aluminium is extracted from bauxite via the so-called Bayer process, red sludge forms as a by-product. The sludge is normally kept in large reservoirs where its fluid and solid components separate into water and mud.

What caused the accident is yet unclear, but it is likely that heavy rain has caused the dam containing the reservoir to break.

It is also possible that the reservoir was just not large or strong enough to hold the sludge it was filled with. What is the chemical composition of the sludge?

It contains mainly fluoride, sulphate and aluminate, but also chrome, nickel, manganese and heavy metals such as lead. Its arsenic concentration is at least a hundred times above the allowed threshold for drinking water.

- bill 10-07-2010 3:10 am

a toxic flood of "red mud" containing arsenic, lead, cadmium, chromium and other hazardous substances

and low-level radioactive metals
- bill 10-07-2010 3:17 am [add a comment]

paint it red
- bill 10-07-2010 2:45 pm [add a comment]

185 million gallon spill reaching danube
- bill 10-07-2010 2:57 pm [add a comment]

KOLONTAR, Hungary — New Hungarian government figures on the red sludge flood show that the volume of toxic muck that escaped from a burst reservoir was almost as high as the blown-out BP oil well spewed into the Gulf of Mexico.

Government officials said Friday that 158 million to 184 million gallons of sludge escaped and inundated three villages before entering the Danube.

The oil spill in the Gulf amounted to more than 200 million gallons. Hungarian government officials had previously calculated the volume of the sludge spill at 264 million gallons. Environmental group Greenpeace warned Friday that it had found "surprisingly high" levels of arsenic and mercury in the sludge.
- bill 10-08-2010 3:21 pm [add a comment]

fucking A......:<(((
- Skinny 10-08-2010 10:26 pm [add a comment]

BUDAPEST (Dow Jones)--The toxic mud that burst out from a Hungarian aluminum plant Monday contains more dangerous elements than the government had said earlier, environmental organization Greenpeace said Friday.

"We have received research results, which indicate that the substance is more toxic than officials have said," Zsolt Szegfalvi, head of Greenpeace Hungary told a press conference.

According to research by two independent laboratories, the level of arsenic in the mud dissolved in water is 25 times higher than the officially permitted level in drinking water, and mercury and chrome levels are also significant, Szegfalvi said.

Meanwhile, the government said this morning that most recent measurements of the alkalinity of the water show the water quality has been improving.

Fish deaths on the affected river stretches, which have been a phenomenon of contamination, have stopped, Hungarian state news agency MTI said.

Alkalinity of the water at the point when the Raba River meets the Marcal River is 8.5 pH and about 8 on the Danube, "which can be termed as very good, considering the circumstances," MTI quoted Tibor Dobson, the regional disaster issues spokesman as saying.

A pH of 7 is neutral and values higher than 7 are alkaline while those below are acidic. Earlier levels seen as a result of the contamination in the Marcal River, where all living organisms have been destroyed according to some reports, were between 10 and 13 pH.

- bill 10-09-2010 2:47 pm [add a comment]

Many of us have come to view the Associated Press as a reincarnation of PRAVDA during the heyday of the Soviet Union. If you followed many of the AP headlines during the BP Oil Spill, like this one below, you will see a similar pattern of serious disinformation and cover-up for their corporate sponsors. They really do need to be called out from now on for this well-established pattern of disseminating patently false information.

- bill 10-10-2010 3:30 pm [add a comment]

A week after around one million cubic metres of red sludge escaped from a Hungarian alumina factory, an analysis commissioned by the environmental group Greenpeace has revealed that more than 50 tonnes of arsenic may have been released as a result of the spill.

Greenpeace also suspects that the leaked basin may have contained toxic waste besides the sludge from aluminium oxide production.

"Environmental standards for old plants in Hungary are lagging far behind the European rules for newly built production facilities," says Schuster. "We don't even know in which year the dam was built and how often it was modified."

- bill 10-12-2010 12:12 am [add a comment]

MetalMiner also has a breakdown of the composition of a similar sludge from a Turkish plant*. Mostly it is iron oxide—hence the red color—aluminum oxide, and silica, but, despite its official nontoxic status, there are plenty of less pleasant chemicals in there:

More disturbingly the report goes on to say the waste can contain thorium and uranium and confirms it can be highly caustic. The majority of the constituents are relatively harmless, iron oxide, aluminum oxide, silica and sodium, titanium and calcium oxides. It’s the minor constituents and caustic ph of this sludge that could prove to be the most dangerous contaminants.

- bill 10-12-2010 12:28 am [add a comment]

NASA today released the first satellite images of the Hungary toxic sludge flood.
- bill 10-14-2010 5:01 am [add a comment]

add a comment to this page:

Your post will be captioned "posted by anonymous,"
or you may enter a guest username below:

Line breaks work. HTML tags will be stripped.