First, let me say that I am not a scientist, I am only grasping at straws here. I am not using proper scientific techniques to come to my conclusions and have no real idea if Toluene is the cause of, or if it plays a role in Morgellons. I am only hypothesizing that it does because it seems to be able to cause so many of our manifestations. The real question is can these things I am describing go on “inside of the human body”?
Also, I made a mistake in my last blog post by stating that our fibers couldn’t be the result of nanotubes because things at the nano level are so small they cannot be seen by the naked eye. It was correctly pointed out to me that nanostructures are used to build things which eventually would become large enough to be seen with the naked eye. Thank you for that correction and it’s an important one.
Toluene – Some Definition From Wikipedia
Toluene, also known as methylbenzene or phenylmethane, is a clear, water-insoluble liquid with the typical smell of paint thinners, redolent of the sweet smell of the related compound benzene. It is an aromatic hydrocarbon that is widely used as an industrial feedstock (not animal feed) and as a solvent. Toluene reacts as a normal aromatic hydrocarbon towards electrophilic aromatic substitution. The methyl group makes it around 25 times more reactive than benzene in such reactions. Toluene occurs naturally at low levels in crude oil and is usually produced in the processes of making gasoline via a catalytic reformer, in an ethylene cracker or making coke from coal. Final separation (either via distillation or solvent extraction) takes place in a BTX plant.
Toluene is a common solvent, able to dissolve paints, paint thinners, silicone sealants, many chemical reactants, rubber, printing ink, adhesives (glues), lacquers, leather tanners, and disinfectants. It can also be used as a fullerene indicator, and is a raw material for toluene diisocyanate (used in the manufacture of polyurethane foam) and TNT. It is also used as a cement for fine polystyrene kits (by dissolving and then fusing surfaces) as it can be applied very precisely by brush and contains none of the bulk of an adhesive.
Industrial uses of toluene include dealkylation to benzene, and the disproportionation to a mixture of benzene and xylene in the BTX process. When oxidized it yields benzaldehyde and benzoic acid, two important intermediates in chemistry. It is also used as a carbon source for making Multi-Wall Carbon Nanotubes. Toluene can be used to break open red blood cells in order to extract hemoglobin in biochemistry experiments.
Toluene can be used as an octane booster in gasoline fuels used in internal combustion engines. Toluene at 86% by volume fueled all the turbo Formula 1 teams in the 1980s, first pioneered by the Honda team. The remaining 14% was a "filler" of n-heptane, to reduce the octane to meet Formula 1 fuel restrictions. Toluene at 100% can be used as a fuel for both two-stroke and four-stroke engines; however, due to the density of the fuel and other factors, the fuel does not vaporize easily unless preheated to 70 degrees celsius (Honda accomplished this in their Formula 1 cars by routing the fuel lines through the muffler system to heat the fuel).
Toluene has also been used in the process of removing the cocaine from coca leaves in the production of Coca-Cola.
Toluene in Airplane Fuel
Question: Why do you think toluene is better than other types of octane boosters?
Answer : Several reasons:
Mindful of the evil reputation of octane boosters in general, toluene is a very safe choice because it is one of the main octane boosters used by oil companies in producing ordinary gasoline of all grades. Thus if toluene is indeed harmful to your engine as feared, your engine would have disintegrated long, long ago since ordinary pump gasoline can contain as much as 50% aromatic hydrocarbons.
Toluene is a pure hydrocarbon (C7H8). i.e. it contains only hydrogen and carbon atoms. It belongs to a particular category of hydrocarbons called aromatic hydrocarbons. Complete combustion of toluene yields CO2 and H2O. This fact ensures that the entire emission control system such as the catalyst and oxygen sensor of your car is unaffected. There are no metallic compounds (lead, magnesium etc), no nitro compounds and no oxygen atoms in toluene. It is made up of exactly the same ingredients as ordinary gasoline. In fact it is one of the main ingredients of gasoline.
Toluene has a RON octane rating of 121 and a MON rating of 107, leading to a (R+M)/2 rating of 114. (R+M)/2 is how ordinary fuels are rated in the US. Note that toluene has a sensitivity rating of 121-107=14. This compares favorably with alcohols which have sensitivities in the 20-30 range. The more sensitive a fuel is the more its performance degrades under load. Toluene’s low sensitivity means that it is an excellent fuel for a heavily loaded engine.
Toluene is denser than ordinary gasoline (0.87 g/mL vs. 0.72-0.74) and contains more energy per unit volume. Thus combustion of toluene leads to more energy being liberated and thus more power generated. This is in contrast to oxygenated octane boosters like ethanol or MTBE which contain less energy per unit volume compared to gasoline. The higher heating value of toluene also means that the exhaust gases contain more kinetic energy, which in turn means that there is more energy to drive turbocharger vanes. In practical terms this is experienced as a faster onset of turbo boost.
Chevron’s published composition of 100 octane aviation fuel shows that toluene comprises up to 14% alone and is the predominant aromatic hydrocarbon. Unfortunately composition specifications for automotive gasoline is harder to pin down due to constantly changing requirements.
We have all woken up to a beautiful blue sky morning only to have it turn totally overcast and hazy, caused only by traffic patterns from the jumbo jets overhead, by two or three in the afternoon. I sure hope all that Toluene is truly turned into CO2 and H2O during combustion as stated above otherwise it’s raining Toluene. Nevertheless, all it takes is a search on Toluene and “Major Pollutant” to know it is a real problem.
Could Toluene Exposure be the Catalyst in Jumpstarting Morgellons?
The one thing I have noticed in my reading is that Toluene is very reactive to the chemicals around it and it can undergo all kinds of chemical changes that other chemicals like benzene cannot. It seems to be a “wonder chemical” and it is being used for all kinds of things. In this blog post we are going to look at two more symptoms that Morgellon sufferers experience that could also be explained by Toluene exposure. And toluene is everywhere, it is a major pollutant in our world, which is why Pseudomonas putida is being used to clean it up everywhere, from gasoline storage tank leaks and oil spills both on land and in the ocean.
Could Morgellons be in large part an ongoing chemical reaction in our bodies? Does this only happen to those who are carrying a heavy toxic load of Toluene? Or, could something, such as a bacteria that has the ability to create Toluene as a byproduct be entering our bodies and setting things in motion?
Finally, remember, I could be totally wrong here. Even though Toluene does seem to be found in Morgellons patients it is a major pollutant in our world and likely found in nearly everyone at some level.
Toluene, GS-15, and it’s Reaction to Iron = Magnetite
In my last blog post I posted a quote from an article which I will repeat here as well.
Nanotubes grown from pure toluene/ferrocene precursors appear to have a well defined morphology, with thick parallel walls and narrow inner core often filled with catalytic iron nanoparticles.
I find it interesting that the language used here indicates that it was an unexpected surprise that the inner core was filled with iron particles. Then in that very same blog post I go on to indicate how they are making magnetic nanotubes. Here is an interesting article that I found as well
Anaerobic Oxidation of Toluene, Phenol, and p-Cresol by the Dissimilatory Iron-Reducing Organism, GS-15
Growth coincided with Fe(III) reduction. [ring-14C] toluene was oxidized to 14CO2, and the stoichiometry of 14CO2 production and Fe(III) reduction indicated that GS-15 completely oxidized toluene to carbon dioxide with Fe(III) as the electron acceptor. Magnetite was the primary iron end product during toluene oxidation.
Let me try to restate that as best I can into layman’s terms.
Growth coincided with iron reduction. Toluene was oxidized to CO2, and the chemical reaction of CO2 production and Iron reduction indicated that the (bacteria – Geobacter metallireducens) completely oxidized toluene to carbon dioxide with iron as the electron acceptor. Magnetite was the primary iron end product during toluene oxidation.
Many suspect the Morgellon sufferer’s body is acting like a magnet and that magnetism is behind many of the sensations we feel. I find it interesting that Toluene can oxidize into C02 (just as the airplane fuel article above states) and that in the process it turned Iron into Magnetite. Magnetite is the most magnetic of all the naturally occurring minerals on Earth. Could this be happening inside our bodies?
Toluene Oxidation Forming Benzoic Acid Crystals
Many sufferers have no doubt experienced glass like crystals or particles coming through their skin, they can be very painful, some maybe be sharp and pointed or they may come in the form of glitter. Could this also be the result of Toluene? This possibility was pointed out to me by a member on the LymeBusters Morgellons forum.
From the Wikipedia link on Benzoic acid you can find some very interesting information including how its made.
Benzoic acid is produced commercially by partial oxidation of toluene with oxygen.
Take a look at this Benzoic Acid crystal from the wikipedia page.
Again I wonder if the glass like crystals many experience could be the result of some ongoing chemical reaction with Toluene in the human body. I myself have spoken to one person who is doing far better than he was but his main symptom now is these glass like crystals coming through his scalp, very painful he says, and no doubt it must be.
If you look at this LINK under Skin you will see this quote:
Objects described as "shards," hard and crystal-like that are similar to glass that emerge from skin
In fact, if you hit this GOOGLE SEARCH you will see this is not unusual for Morgellons sufferers.
Like I stated at the beginning of this blog post, Toluene seems to be able to do all kinds of things depending on what it comes into contact with. The real questions are could these things be ongoing within the human body? Could a Morgellons sufferer have some extra additive that has jumpstarted this chemical process or thereby taken advantage of our Toluene exposure? Is there something, such as a bacteria in our bodies that is creating Toluene as a byproduct? Wouldn’t we need an ongoing source of toluene for all this to be happening?
Enough on this Toluene already!! I think it’s time to stop all this Toluene speculation and try to tie together all kinds of scenarios as Kixx has recently done on a reply to my last blog post. For example, “How could Toluene play a role in this when my crawling seemed to be tied to a certain event in time?” I admit I don’t have the answers. But it does seem to me that if someone were to analyze these crystals that come out of Morgellons patients and they turned out to be Benzoic Acid crystals we would have a smoking gun. The frustrating part is that there really is a tremendous amount of evidence that could be provided by Morgellons patients, and other than a few organizations and scientists there doesn’t seem to be anybody listening.
I think I have gone as far down the Toluene road as I can right now. I need to dwell on this for a while and see if I’ve been going down the right path. I do find it interesting that hard glass crystal structures emerging from the skin are a common symptom, and that toluene could indeed very easily create these.