A Thermodynamic Analysis Of The Lugano E-Cat (A Handy Guide for Replicators, Inventors, Nay-Sayers and Theorists)

The following article was submitted by the author who goes by the name of Slad.


A Thermodynamic Analysis of the Lugano E-Cat

  • Probably the most important and thorough paper on experimental methods and the underlying science of LENR that has been written. 🙂

  • Ged

    It uses the often forgotten about MFMP optrics dogbone replication as a calibration base (that experiment also showed how an Optrics factory calibrated for 1500 C was just fine for the job, unlike recent claims that use the 900 C calibrated Optrics datasheet incorrectly), that shows a COP of 2.6 or so for Lagano. Pretty interesting piece of math work, but haven’t been able to read through it all.

  • Ecco

    Is this the author name embedded in document properties correct?
    I remember it’s that of a known hard skeptic on LENR and the E-Cat.

    • Slad

      No, that’s my boyfriend. I borrowed his laptop.

  • Slad

    Thanks, I hoped it would be useful for someone trying to replicate.

    RE cylinders: That’s very interesting, I think your right, the fluid phase is pulling it all together, it’s like planetary formation, except without the gravity and constrained by a cylinder… The pressures developed in the fluid are HUGE, but they are negative, so it’s as if the liquid is a solid under tension.

    Check out the Partially Saturated Soil Mechanics section, and in particular the second reference.

    The effect of that on the analysis is hard to say. Is the fuel slug of a diameter that suggests it’s been in contact all around the diameter of the pipe? Did it contract into the middle of the reactor horizontally? That would change the fuel surface area term, although potentially not by much. My analysis suggests the nickel is all the same temperature (because its such a thin strip), but in your case, the center of the nickle would be hotter than that at the outside – but only if LENR was occurring. But in this would be possibly a very small difference, if my estimates of the fuel’s thermal conductivity are roughly correct.

    If the slugs coming out much thinner it would limit the contact area (heat transfer surface), meaning the fuel would be more likely to melt if LENR were occurring.

  • Axil Axil

    From page 44 of the Lugano report, there was no lithium present on the nickel particle. There was ony a trace amount of aluminum. These basic assumption of this report dealing with heat transfer is not sensitive to particle type shown in the Lagano report. The processes going on inside the reactor chamber of based on chemistry, not fluid dynmics. Elements seem to be segragted by particle type.

    There is no lithium covering Particle 1. I assum Particle 1 is producing the reaction and the other paricle types are ash. What is the fuction of the iron particle? There is a particle that is heavy is oxigen. This analisys is using many assumptions that are imcomptible with the Lugano results, but I am open to an explanation to show how this paper fits in to the facts revealed in the Lugano report as reported in the particle analisys.

    • Slad

      I think particle 1 is an agglomeration of nickel particles, stuck together with cooled LiAl. At least, that’s what it looks like to me. EDS detectors are unable to pick up elements with atomic number under 5? That could explain the graphs you mention.

      Particle 2, I guess, was LiAl fluid that collected in a void left by the fuel, when it contracts according to the matric suction, possibly as noted in the discussion with Wishful T.E. below.

      Particle 3, is basically rusty iron, which is added to the fuel, according to the TOF-SIMS

      • Axil Axil

        Thanks very much for the insight. I misunderstood the particle analysis in the Lugano report, On page 50 of the Lugano report, I just realized that the nickel fuel particle had a hugh natural abundance of pure lithium content. Its size may not have changed between when it was fuel through the time that it became ash. It’s huge. Consistently, Table 1 also shows a lot of lithium in the fuel. This particle configuration is not consistence with the commensally availible nickel particles used by replications. That stuff is about 5 microns average and contains lots of carbon but no lithium. Rossi has somehow processed the commensally available particles to add lots of lithium. Did Rossi give his COTS nickel particles some sort of lithium bath in a fuel fabrication process.

        In figure 3, there is lots of carbon in particle 1. But in figure 9, there was none. How can that be? The fuel should contain lots of carbon. Why does fig. 9 not show any? Both types of test should have shown carbon,

        The nickel particles are huge at about 100 microns, There are a number of them in the micrograph (a) on page 44. It is unlikely that nickel particles can move around much in a particle fuel mixture with lithium aluminum hydride powder. So how could they gather together in an aggragation of such large numbers unless they came into the fuel mix as 100 Micron particles to begin with.

        If anybody has an explanation I am willing and able to be educated.

        • Slad

          I prefer not to get into isotropic changes, its not my background. The ‘Horatio’ quote from Hamlet is my only comment.

          The carbon could be residue from the glue used to stick the sampled fuel to the test card. At least I think that’s how the sample was taken? Picture on page 37

          The huge ‘Particle 1’ on page 44 is the same as ‘Particle 1’ on page 43 just the magnification is different. It’s made up of lots of 5 micron nickel particles. Imagine you dripped water into a tray of dry sand, then put it in the freezer. If you took it out, and broke it up, you would see similar structures.

          I’m not sure how much movement is going on. It was Wishful T.E. who made me think this is possible. Hopefully he will offer more details about the shape his fuel becomes…

          • Axil Axil

            In 8. fuel Analysis it states:

            “The fuel contains natural nickel powder with a grain size of a few microns.“

            So the nickel must move around at temperatures where lithium is free and liquid(200C).

            The nickel grains particles looks like they have moved around under the influence of some EMF stimulation and have found each other. Electrostatic abreaction can do this. There should be a strong dipole based electrostatic attraction at work that takes advantage of the apparent EMF induced vibratory particle movement in the fuel mix. It looks like the lithium never recombines with the aluminum at 400C and above having found a home on the surface of the Nickel particles, covering all the particles completely in a very thin layer. There was a lot of lithium on particle 1.

            The aluminum forms it own particle as shown the formation of a huge luminum oxide particle of over a 120 microns in length. I wount’t think this could happen with the aluminum not at its melting temperature at any time during the run.

            The iron particle is truly large being some 300 by 100 microns in size. How could this particle be formed if it was not in the fuel to begin with. The fuel was observed to be very fine grey particles. 300 microns is not fine powder.

          • Slad

            Maybe fine iron particles in the fuel, which melt and alloy, and then during cooling precipitate out first because of a higher melting point. Although 300 x 100 um could be to big for that to be realistic.

          • Slad

            RE movement, I think the tension in the fluid will tend to hold the nickel particles very firmly in place. Like how the wind cannot move wet sand.

          • Axil Axil

            That is exciting: a paridox.

          • Slad

            Ha, yes, I suppose it is!

            Wishful Thinking Energy: Can you describe how your fuel sits in the reactor before you put it in, and the shape after you take it out? Does it cling tightly to the sides, for instance? Is the ‘sausage’ shorter than the reactor body, due to a horizontal contraction?

            Much obliged.

          • Obvious

            Perhaps a flake from an encapsulated internal metal fuel cannister.

          • Obvious

            Like a stick is the typical habit of the used replication fuels.
            Rossi’s apparently can be poured back out.
            In Parkhomov’s last report, using the steel fuel container, the used fuel seems to have been somewhere between a stick and loose powder. Sort of a lightly compact, very friable stick.

        • Obvious

          Much carbon comes from the sticker used to hold the particles, so carbon analyses should be taken with a grain of salt. As long as a solid particle is picked, of sufficient size to centre the probe beam well away from the edges, and the particle has not been ground into the sticker, then carbon results should be OK.

  • James Andrew Rovnak
  • James Andrew Rovnak

    Some definite asymmetry was noted in several fuel element test in the visible glow which might point to local LENR micro burst centers & their proportion to power level.

  • Axil Axil

    I am waiting for one of the replicators to do a spectrum of the light coming off the reactor. Does MFMP plan to do this in the future? A good device can be aquired for under $50 but there are many videos out there that show how to build a device from a used CD. This will give an idea of the kind of heat produced. If the reactor type is a “mouse” the heat could be near monochromatic light.

    If the light is not black body, this SLAD report needs to be adjusted to explain why that is the case.

    • Obvious

      I would be interested in seeing the spectra through an alumina filter, to see what lays outside the alumina spectral region.
      Keep in mind the atmospheric absorption bands, which cause the large gaps in the spectra (see the Shimadzu image in the Higgins article). This means running a reactor in a vacuum for a proper spectra. Which increases the effective internal pressure somewhat, and ruins convection, changing the whole picture….

  • Axil Axil

    The photographs of the fuel show that the nickel particles not are melted.

    • Obvious

      I think that the fuel does not get very hot at all, on average, in a properly functioning reactor.

  • Obvious

    My first impression is that the paper is pretty good. I’ll delve into the details with a few re-readings. The soil water analogy I’m not sure about, but it is a neat idea well worth exploring.

    • Slad

      I’m interested to hear your take on the soil stuff, it’s a ‘relatively’ new area of soil mechanics, but in soils from fine clays, to sand, to organic soil the same effect happens, the magnitude being proportional to the grain size. I imply that if a metal can wet a surface (they all can, except mercury), it can have the same effect as water.

      • Obvious

        I am fairly knowledgeable in soil mechanics, so I found the idea interesting. Redox-ionic transport in soil is very dependant on particle wetting (among other things).

        I had considered the sintering route, where very small particles can melt at much lower temperatures than usually quoted. “Necking” is a primary stage, where two particles join by a thin “neck” of liquid metal. Aluminum will lower the sintering temperature of nickel by alloying, and presumably lithium will do the same for aluminum.

  • Obvious
  • hunfgerh

    Surface effects in metal /hydrogen Systems
    It is well known that atmospheric Oxygen form a metal oxide layer on a metal surface. This changing of the metal to the metal oxid is accompanied by a change in the material propertis.
    The resulting metal oxid film has for example a higher spezific resistivity than the underlying metal.
    Assume the reverse case, that a surface layer is produced by a suitable chemical reaction, wich has a smaller spezific resistivity than the underlying metal. If it is possible by such reactions to produce nanoscalled superconductor on the surface, it would the foundation for the socalled “cold fusion” under milde conditions.
    What would take place in such a case. At the contact point to a nanoscalled superconducting layer a current will split. More than 99.99.. % of the current flows from this point through the thin superconducting layer (Kirchhoff s law), hereby the current density icreass in the superconducting layer to extrem. At current densities of about 10exp 6 A/cm2 would occur electron capture by atoms insice the superconducting layer. The resulting neutrons produce new elements, isotopes and excess energy.
    Investigations of other authors describle solid / solid reactions between for example Ni and LiAlH4 in an Al2O3 tube that releases over an extended period more energy than was supplied.This Statement is based on measurements of surface temperatures at the reactor tube.
    What could be the reason for that? Most probably the reason lies in a change of the Al2O3 surface of the Al2O3 tube by reaction with Ni and Li to NiAl and/or LiAl wich changes the spezific heat from Al2O3 – at the surface – ca. 1 to the spezific heat of the alloys ca. 0,1 – 0,01.By the same amount of heat supplied the measured temperature changes thereby dramatically on the tube surface. Isotopes or new element should not be found in this case.

  • Ged

    The MFMP experiment where the Optrics camera and thermal couple are compared on a dogbone replica (fins and all) together is Hard Evidence, and trumps all conjecture about the cam’s side in this no matter how well reasoned. I guess we all really have forgotten about that event a year and half ago. It show lagano had to be a COP 2.36 given the settings they listed for their 1500 C rated Optrics cam; at least so far as thermal imaging affects the results.

  • Ged

    The manufacturer site only lists the data for the 900 C max rated Optrics, and just says 1500 C retooling is available optionally. No where have I found exactly what they change, but we know 1. It’s something physical as they physically needed the camera MFMP got and took a few weeks, which is not necessary for software, 2. Cost a lot of money, 3. Software was never mentioned to be changed.

    So, we can’t reliably use conjecture based on the 900 C rated datasheet; and hard evidence such as MFMP trumps all conjecture on the particular matter such evidence addresses anyways.

    • Obvious

      Possibly the microbolometer array needed to be changed? Perhaps the lower temperature unit gets swamped at very high radiance levels, which do not often occur for the average user.

  • GreenWin

    Interesting link. But the authors shoot themselves in the foot at 0010 identifying only D2O electrolytic and H2+heavy elements as “cold fusion.” And they claim these systems produce no definitive positive results. What is the anomalous heat effect?

    However they claim a Q value of 3000 or COP 16.0 for up to 72 hours. If verified, this would be a significant breakthrough in fusion.

  • Mats002

    Happy 4rth! (If you’re in US, I am for vacation). I remember just the opposite – that they run it with input power the whole time to be conservative. With ssm COP would be much higher than 3ish.

    • James Andrew Rovnak

      Actually I believe there are two components to the E-Cat. One is a (ssm) operation & the other is external power. Just like a commercial nuclear plant raises the power flux, it just sits there burning fuel in a (ssm) till the flux is upset (up/down) to change power via control rods, just maybe the LENR works similarly with thermal feedback regulation via 4th power radiation/thermal expansion of local micro burst of LENR energy we see dimpling Ni/Li metals surface or plasma? Just a guess on my part Mats002

      • Mats002

        I take it as a qualified guess Jim. In this process, what is the catalyst? Rossi obviously believe something is not consumed and that something should be the catalyst. I know this has been discussed before but with more knowledge from experimenters an answer can evolve or change.

    • clovis ray

      correct a mondo, I went back and reread the report, and it seem not to run in ssm,
      MY BAD,

  • Obvious

    Well, if the Clarke paper wasn’t your cup of tea, then this won’t be either. This paper validates the general discussions of the IR camera band emissivity error made by the ITP, but is in no way influenced by any opinion of the Lugano report. The temperatures of alumina tested only go to around 500 C, but the derivation of the camera emissivity factor setting are roughly equivalent to the method of Higgins, but are additionally supported by testing.
    This still leaves the total hemispherical emissivity value open to discussion, however.

    Edit: bachcole, your replies are greatly delayed again, FYI.

  • Slad

    Yes, there will be. Both phases should really be considered as alloys, rather than just picking lithium and nickel to work with.

    Best guess is that the boiling points would change, but by how much is an unknown. Eutectic alloy phase diagrams all seem to stop at the 100% liquid phase, because no-one seems to be that interested in researching boiling alloys.

  • Obvious

    In summary, the setting on the infrared camera ( essentially a percentage) that adjusts the temperature measured compared to the imaged heat signature, used by the ITP, was erroneously given the value for total normal emissivity of alumina when the camera only sees a part of (not the total) the infrared heat signature. The camera is capable of determining the temperature of something using only a small slice of the total infrared range. Using too low of a correction factor results in a an overestimate of the temperature calculated by the infrared camera. The value of the total emissivity was used to adjust the camera response, which is lower than the value for the part the camera actually sees. So the Lugano device temperattire was over estimated, and increasingly so as the true temperature increased.
    This erroneous temperature was used to calculate the total power output, using the same total normal emissivity values. The correct value to be used is the total hemispheric emissivity value, but this is usually within 10% of the total normal emissivity value anyways. ( normal means in a direct line to the viewer, where hemispheric is all the angles emanating from the device). The values for alumina may not be entirely correct either, and may underestimate the total output since there is more than just alumina emitting infrared energy from the device. There is a metallic core and heater wires, and who knows what else inside the device that can feasibly shine through the alumina in parts of the infrared band that the alumina does not dominate. This could increase the total output, or the alumina could disperse the other infrared frequencies enough to effectively block them (making the alumina emissivity value correct and only increasing the total temperature) or something in between.

    • good synthesis.

      note that some discussion are a bit artificial.

      As I’ve understood There is one rule that
      one reason alumina have lower emissivity at high temperature is that it is transparent at high frequency.
      however the full reactor is not transparent at all, so only the surface reflectivity count in the effective emissivity of the dogbone.
      moreover the inner part is hotter so transfer energy by transparency more efficiently than by the surface temperature in the transparency bandwidth.

      you can add to that the fact that the reflectivity is lower for a fine or rough shaped surface, because there is multiple reflexions that make more absorption tha flat material.
      the fins, like the grain so have impact.

      one of my extreme hypothesis is to consider that
      – dogbone is opaque because of metal core
      – reflectivity is very low because of fins and grain
      – thus emissivity is high

      with that assumption you can get that the E-cat was cold (750C) as thomas explain, but it radiate much more than what Thomas imagine (I suspect that even he bias the result not to account the higher total emissivity at high temp).

      • Obvious

        I just did a brief proof of concept test that showed an apparent decrease in the LWIR measured temperature of alumina by placing 2 mm thick 99.9 % nickel between a black body furnace (oxidized iron) and alumina compared with alumina directly on the black body. More testing to follow to see exactly what is happening.