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Iron Smelting Demonstration

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On Saturday, November 3rd, 2018, iron smelting will return to NMIH. This will be a history-making demonstration, as some of the iron produced will be derived from iron oxide recovered from anthracite mine drainage.

For decades, many streams and rivers in the coal regions have been polluted and colored orange by iron leaching out of coal mines. Thanks to iron oxide recovery efforts by the Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation (EPCAMR), waterways are being cleaned up while creating a material that can be used for a variety of purposes, from pottery to paints.

At NMIH, the iron oxide will be made into artificial iron ore by combining it with flour and water. After drying, the substance will be smelted at the event in a charcoal-fueled bloomery furnace to create metallic iron.