Earth-friendly ammo?

December 5, 2007 at 6:43 pm 1 comment

The Nov 26 issue of C&E News (p. 10) carries a story titled, “Getting the Lead Out of Bullets“. Concerns over lead poisoning from hunters’ ammunition were first raised many years ago and led to a 1991 nationwide ban in the use of lead shotgun pellets for waterfowl hunting. Lead-containing ammunition is still sold for other purposes, however, including deer hunting.

The poisoning scenario works something like this: Shotgun blast scatters lead pellets over a field. Animals eat the pellets mistaking them for food or the pellets break down into small compounds that get ingested by microorganisms. Either way, the poisonous metal finds its way into the food chain.

So how can green chemistry improve this state of affairs? By developing less toxic metal alloys to replace lead. Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory report that a new 57% tungsten-43% tin composite bullet can be produced by pressurizing tungsten and tin powders at 100,000 psi. The chemical makeup of the new bullets should even make it possible to “close the loop” and recycle used bullets. Tin melts at a much lower temperature than tungsten so heating a bullet will cause it to degrade into molten tin and solid tungsten which are easily separated and reused.

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Algae in your tank Lead test kits

1 Comment Add your own

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Categories

Feeds

December 2007
S M T W T F S
« Nov   Jan »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

%d bloggers like this: