Monsanto's Round-Up Slag Heap

SOURCE: Ken Taylor (
SUBHEAD: Mount Round-Up's hidden byproduct - Tons of molten slag from making phosphorus for Monsanto herbicides.  

By Staff on 30 July 2011 for Discovery Magazine - 

Image above: Every twelve minutes or so a truck would drive up to the edge of the slag heap and dump a cascade of brilliant yellow orange slag from a big crucible. It was an incredible sight. Standing there at the fence, the initial wave of heat was unbelievable. Just as your brain told you to run for it, the heat subsided gradually and the slag turned a dayglo orange, then red, and as it skinned over and turned gray, it made sounds like shattering glass...I could've stayed all day and watched this, and at the time it was the closest I'd come to seeing a lava flow in action. From (

/3256760885/). Molten slag is added to a heap near Monsanto’s phosphate processing plant in Soda Springs, Idaho. The slag, which typically includes some radioactive uranium and radium in addition to calcium minerals, is the waste product from the conversion of phosphate ore to phosphorus. Monsanto operates the only such plant in the United States and uses the phosphorus to produce glyphosate, the main ingredient in the herbicide Roundup.

According to the EPA, each pound of phosphorus produced generates about four pounds of slag. Monsanto’s Soda Springs plant produces more than 200 million pounds of phosphorus each year. From (

The Monsanto Company produces elemental phosphorus at the Soda Springs plant. Elemental phosphorus is found in many products we use daily, such as soft drinks, toothpaste, baking and leavening agents, water treatment chemical, insecticides, and herbicides. This plant began production in 1953 and has operated continuously since.

Approximately one million tons per year of phosphate ore, from nearby open pit mines, is mixed with quartzite rock, coke, and large quantities of electricity. The amount of electricity used per day equals the amount consumed by a city the size of Kansas City. This process yields elemental phosphorus, and several other by-products. One of these is slag, or calcium silicate. Slag is the large gray pile of rock you see on the south and west sides of the plant.

The slag comes out of the electric furnaces at a temperature of 1,400 degrees centigrade. It is poured into 600 cu. ft. cast steel pots on the backs of specialized trucks, hauled to the edge of the slag pile, and dumped. The molten rock creates a spectacular sight, night or day, as it runs down the side of the slag pile. Slag is poured on the average of 5 times per hour, 24 hours a day. Portions of the slag pile are being reclaimed by capping it with soil and planting grass.

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: US promoting GMO's worldwide 8/29/11

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