Harrit ASSUMED the Aluminum was elemental. Because he never ran the correct tests for elemental Aluminum, he never actually knew or proved the case.
Thus, while some of the aluminum may be oxidized, there is insufficient oxygen present to account for all of the aluminum; some of the aluminum must therefore exist in elemental form in the red material.
This is where they make a huge mistake. MEK can react violently with elemental Aluminum and was a terrible choice, invalidating the result. ASSUMING that all that is left would be elemental after the MEK bath was a mistake. For a better read with more info than I knew: http://climateguy.blogspot.com/2010/11/peer-review-of-harrit...
Running the correct tests, as done by Milette, showed no elemental Aluminum present. The assumption on the part of Harrit was an incorrect one due to testing methodology.
I'm noticing you're still not explaining the Kaolin, which is present and would have nothing to do with thermite and would have everything to do with paint primer.
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