bog iron?

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bog iron?

Postby mock on Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:21 pm

no i am not mad.
i just spent my sunday bringing home turf,
i remember someone mentioning smelting iron on a bog. i think it was on the old site.
can some one enlighten me.
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Re: bog iron?

Postby RecycledViking on Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:09 pm

I might be mis-interpreting you, but you're referring to the kind of impure iron ore that can be found in certain bogs, correct? Most iron from the Viking era was bog iron, and the area of the States I'm sitting in at the moment (Pinelands, New Jersey) was fueled by the bog iron industry in the 18th and 19th century. Apparently it comes from a not fully-understood process that occurs in the weird mix of chemicals in wet rotting plants. The impure iron forms in 'nodules' and it takes about thirty years for a bog to spit out workable-sized lumps again after a harvest. Pretty cool eh?
Is bog iron still an industry in Ireland?
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Re: bog iron?

Postby the_power on Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:09 pm

Er...wow. So, I saw this done in Borre in 2006. It's a shit load of work.

Basically, in many areas, there is a tiny amount of iron in ground water. If a spring emerges under a bog, the wierd contitions of the bog (maybe pH, and bacteria that like it, in the same way manganese nodules are formed on the seabed) causes the iron to come out of solution. So, it'll form even slower than a stalagmite. The big difference is that there is usually clay over the spring water's exit, so the clay and the bottom layer of plant matter is 'enriched' with iron. Maybe to 30% by weight.

So, the process is to dig up the bog, until you see iron ore (check the net for details on how you can tell what it looks like). Then, set up a decent hot charcoal fire, to smelt the ore, and try blow out the impurities by throwing in charcoal (to get rid of oxygen) and limestone (to make slag of the rest).

Big job, but sounds like a wonderful project.

John
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Re: bog iron?

Postby mock on Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:27 pm

thanks guys
some great info there to get me started
im going to give it a shot next week ill keep you posted
watch this space
mock.
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Re: bog iron?

Postby gobae on Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:51 pm

Bog iron nodules can often be located near or under a "rusty oil-slick" looking patches on the bog water's surface. The other nice thing about bog iron is that it's a renewable resource. Depending on the iron content in the bog water the bacteria is able to reform new nodules every 20-40 years.
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