Tech & Science How a London Museum Is Preserving a Chunk of the 143-Ton Whitechapel Fatberg

23:33  08 february  2018
23:33  08 february  2018 Source:   mentalfloss.com

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When UK officials learned of the 143 - ton Whitechapel fatberg mucking up London ’s sewer system, their first concern was getting rid of it. Now, the curators at the Museum of London are figuring out how to best preserve a chunk of the monstrous trash mass so as many visitors as possible can see it.

At the end of this week, a representative chunk of the Whitechapel Leviathan will be put on display at the Museum of London . Fighting the fatbergs : how cities are waging war on clogged sewers. Read more.

a piece of cake: How a London Museum Is Preserving a Chunk of the 143-Ton Whitechapel Fatberg© Daniel Leal-Olivas, AFP/Getty Images How a London Museum Is Preserving a Chunk of the 143-Ton Whitechapel Fatberg When UK officials learned of the 143-ton Whitechapel fatberg mucking up London’s sewer system, their first concern was getting rid of it. Now, the curators at the Museum of London are figuring out how to best preserve a chunk of the monstrous trash mass so as many visitors as possible can see it.

As WIRED UK reports, the museum's exhibition, titled "Fatberg!", launches on Friday, February 9. It features a congealed mound of fat, hair, diapers, wet wipes, sanitary napkins, and condoms that was salvaged from the Whitechapel fatberg shortly after it was discovered beneath the streets of London in September 2017. According to the exhibition’s curator, Vyki Sparkes, no one has ever tried preserving a fatberg before.

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Fatberg in London - Продолжительность: 7:52 Hydro Cleansing 318 697 просмотров.

Chunks from the 143 - ton fatberg found in London ’s aging sewer system went on display at the Museum of London Friday, retelling the story of how sewer workers tackled a massive blob of waste — using jet hoses, pickaxes, spades and shovels.

The garbage globs, which form from grease and oil poured down sink drains, attract debris ranging in size from candy wrappers to planks of wood. Just a small piece of one can provide a fascinating glimpse at the waste that ends up in city sewers, but displaying a fatberg for the public to view poses logistical challenges.

In this case, the fatberg piece was set out to dry for seven weeks before it was transported to the Museum of London. The resulting item has the consistency of "parmesan crossed with moon rock," according to CBC News, and is roughly the size of a shoebox. Outside of the moist environment of London’s underbelly, the solid chunk may continue to dry out and crumble into pieces. Mold growth and sewer fly infestations are also potential issues as long as it's left out in the open.

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How will the Museum of London display the world's biggest ever fatberg ? In September 2017, Thames Water made a horrifying discovery in a sewer below Whitechapel : the fatberg , a 250 metre long, 130 tonne mass of oil and grease congealed with wet wipes and other sanitary products .

“Nobody has ever tried to preserve a fatberg before – they normally just take them out and destroy them,” she told Wired. A second chunk of the Whitechapel fatberg obtained by the London Museum broke apart after it was dried.

The museum curators initially considered pickling the fatberg in formaldehyde to solve the aging problem. This idea was ultimately nixed as the liquid would have likely dissolved the whole lump into loose sludge. Freezing was another possibility, but the museum was unable to get a hold of the specialist freezers necessary for that to happen in time.

In the end, the curators decided to display it as-is within three layers of boxes. The clear cases are meant to spare guests from the noxious odor that Sparkes described to CBC News as a weeks-old diaper smell that’s simmered into something more like a “damp Victorian basement.” The exhibition closes July 1, at which point the museum must decide if the fatberg, if it remains intact, should become a permanent part of their collection. And if the mass doesn’t end up surviving the five-month show, obtaining another one to sample shouldn’t be too difficult.

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We have had issues with preserving and storing the samples: people normally try and destroy fatbergs , not conserve them. Parts of the Whitechapel fatberg was set so hard that jet powered hoses couldn’t shift it. How will the Museum of London display the world's biggest ever fatberg ?

4 Shares. The Museum of London on Thursday unveiled its latest display, a chunk of a 130-metric- ton ( 143 -U.S.- ton ) fatberg that but was blasted out of a city sewer last year.

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