Lithium and the Hot Cat (Gerard McEk)

The following post was submitted by Gerard McEk

Just a thought.

Consider the Lugano hot cat test. Suppose that Andrea Rossi had prepared the ’empty’ Aluminium oxide reactor tube. In advance he has put in pure lithium and heated it while it was close, which would than have spread the lithium around the inner surface of the tube. The lithium would have diffused between the molecules of the alumina tube.

I think it is possible that this can make the alumina tube more electrically conductive at higher temperatures and thus causing the strange resistance characteristics of the ‘coil’. At the same time this causes currents running though the lithium doped reactor tube and through the lithium.

When later the ‘fuel’ was added, only that was measured and analyzed in advance and after, but the bulk of the lithium was still in the tube and responsible for the LENR reaction.

The issue I want you to consider is the the current through the lithium doped surface may initiate LENR and not so much the electromagnetic field.

At the same time you could question the need for Nickel in the Hot cat. Maybe this is the direction AR is now heading to. Clearly, you need the NiAlH4 for getting the LENR reaction and the current through the lithium doped tube (probably AC).

I would welcome your responses.

Gerard McEk

  • This points out That Mr Rossi was winging all the way.
    Where was the lithium when he was using copper tube?
    He was using hydrogen gas under pressure, before he was
    informed about lithium hydroxide I think.

    • mcloki

      Isn’t that just the nature of experimentation. You test a hypothesis, view the results, make a tweak to the experiment to make it better and continually improve your initial hypothesis. Edison made a hundred light bulb designs before he hit on the “one”.

      • Yes I Agree.. And that was my point.
        Mr Rossi is An Edison with touches of the guy what invented Alternators.

  • Bob Greenyer

    I have a feeling that actually causing breakdown of LiH – so that the H is evolved removing H- may be one of the control mechanisms, IE add extra heat to shut the reaction down. That maybe why it is inherently safe and nothing to do with Ni state, Nickel/Nickel agglomerations could possibly be in solution/emulsion under certain circumstances – but still, the release of 2H->H2 makes it safe. The reaction only starts according to the IH patent application at the temperature LiH first forms. Having more Li allows for lower temperature molten state and activity, with less lithium, the temperature at which the bulk of the H- is removed goes up. By having stoichimetric LiH – only when you are above 900-1000 do you get the LiH breaking down and the H- being pumped into the Ni – this will result in a singular period of self sustain like Parkhomov saw or 1 period of high COP after which nothing – to repeat you need to NOT have a leak and the right pressure regime so that LiH can again form for the next cycle. Note, there will always be some LiH, so you can “keep it on the boil” and this maybe what Lugano was doing. Reaction will also stop if you add too big a load and reduce temperature to a point when either

    1. LiH is not LiH but something else with Al
    2. below freezing point of solution
    3. below Nickel Debye temp

    H2 gas is only important as a reservoir in the same way it is in Celani and Piantelli/Focardi work – all the evidence is consistent in this regard. Piantelli goes to extraordinary lengths to create H- on the surface of the nickel – in the Rossi system, as was obvious after the SEMs of “Bang!” there are bucket loads of H- on the surface of the nickel ready for action – and any ejected protons only have to leave the Nickel surface to encounter lithium.

    Adding a very small amount of carbon enhances the creation of H- (from Wiki):

    “This reaction is especially rapid at temperatures above 600 °C. Addition of 0.001–0.003% carbon, or/and increasing temperature or/and pressure”

    • Axil Axil

      Rossi now reveals that he has always used lithium even as far back as 2011. In that early reactor design, he uses bottled hydrogen. How does this early configuration fit into your theory of reaction operation?

      • Ecco

        However, his story does not seem to be entirely consistent with this:

      • Bob Greenyer

        And then there is the Ruby Carat interview where he says that the core/reaction runs well above 1000?

        you form LiH from molten Li in H2 atmosphere. According to Wikipedia

        “This reaction is especially rapid at temperatures above 600 °C. Addition of 0.001–0.003% carbon, or/and increasing temperature or/and pressure, increases the yield up to 98% at 2-hour residence time.[3]:147 However, the reaction proceeds at temperatures as low as 29 °C. The yield is 60% at 99 °C and 85% at 125 °C, and the rate depends significantly on the surface condition of LiH.[”

        adding more Li (which melts at 180.5) will likely result in molten Li with LiH in dynamic solution.

        Note – Rossi is not claiming what else is in the fuel.

        • Axil Axil

          Piantelli did not use an additive, just nickel and hydrogen. Themocore used potassium and had the patent on that additive. Defkalion used potassium carbide as the additive.

          • Bob Greenyer

            I have said before – many moons ago and repeatedly, when I reported the MFMPs first seemingly successful data at Casa Del Aviatore in Roma on dec 14 2012 – on leaving the room a general type suited italian ran up to me and tapped me on my shoulder and said in a secretive tone “you need to add an Alkali Metal” I replied “What, you mean like lithium” he said nothing but gave a knowing smile and walked away. Ever since then I have tried, tried and tried to promote the idea of using Lithium in our experiments preferentially – I became quite annoying and frustrated about it after the Piantelli patent extension published in April 2014 – but the MFMP was designed to first independently test the claims of others and we had only very limited resources.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Maybe the lithium metal is there to reduce any protons that might be formed back to hydride.

    2Li → 2Li+ + 2e−

    H+ + 2e− → H-
    2Li + H+ → 2Li+ + H-

    • Alan DeAngelis

      Instead of the hot fusion approach of trying to force positive charges together, now we have the positively charged Li+ being attracted to the negatively charged hydride, H- so that they can react in the following reaction that we’ve mentioned before:

      Li(7) + H(1) > He(4) + He(4) 17.3 MeV

      • Gerard McEk

        Yes, Alan that would be a possibility, but before testing if that works, I would first test it in the way I proposed: Add metal Lithium, have it evaporated inside a closed reactor core (test resistance change vs temp), add the Nickel and the Lithium Aluminium Hydrate and test it again. If that would lead to LENR I would remove the Nickel and look if it still works. I would test the reduction of electrical resistance of the coil around the reactor tube, which indicates a current through the now conducting AlO3+Li reactor core tube. If that is not happening, I believe my idea is wrong.

        • Obvious

          For a significant current to flow in the alumina, doped or otherwise, the resistance of the tube must at least approach that of the coil surrounding it, at the very least in between the coils. This would also require excellent mechanical contact of the coils or lead wires with the tube.
          Using a lithium and boron-rich glass to wet the coil to the tube, I was able to reduce the outside to inside delta T to as low as 10 C, and greatly increased the visible light output from the ceramic, but was unsuccessful in raising the interior temperature. The glass became conductive at around 700 C, but merely caused problems with the thermocouple coupling to the AC in the coil.

          • Gerard McEk

            Interesting to read that Obvious. Yes, TC’s are difficult in the way most of the replicaters are using them. I have said before that I was convinced that quite a few of the crashed tests were due to ground short circuit though the TC and due to the fact that Al2O3 starts to conduct. I am not sure that if you use a insulating amplifier (able to withstand mains voltage levels) would solve this earth short circuit and the EM influence of the coil to the TC. I guess an IR type of measurement would be preferred and perhaps probe testing with a battery-based hand-held TC to check the IR instrument. Good idea to wet the coil like that. Maybe the cement Andrea is using for the hot cat has a similar effect?

          • Obvious

            The coil in the hot cat is not cemented, except at the ends.

            I have not used glass for while now. It rather limiting in several respects, while not conferring much benefit. Mainly I used it to see if heat conduction from the coil to the tube could be improved. The main improvement occurs at about the same temperature that radiative heat starts to come into play, so the benefit is minor. I think it may delay the point where radiation becomes the main heat transfer mode. In the long run, it prevents the coil wire from keeping its oxidation coating, so the wire eventually fails. Additions of Al2O3 powder to the glass did not help the wire noticeably.
            I used a battery powered temperature logger, and once conduction began in the glass, the meter gave scrambled readings even in channels that were not hooked up. Disconnecting the external TC, which got glass on it, fixed the problem ( power off or it might have fixed me).
            I also used spot IR to double check the external temp, but was limited by the maximum temperature the cheap IR unit would read.

          • Stephen

            Regarding the ratio of Li to LiAlH4 2/3 in Andrea Rossi’s patent.

            In the patent he also mentions that LiAlH4 breaks down during heating in 3 phases.

            1. 3LiAlH4 -> Li3AlH6 + 2Al + 3H2 which occurs at about 150 deg C
            2. 2Li3AlH6 -> 6LiH + 2Al + 3H2 which occurs at about 200 deg C
            3. 2LiH + 2Al -> 2LiAl + H2 which occurs at about 400 deg C

            And that (3) is reversible at certain higher temperatures and lower pressures e.g. 500 deg C at 0.25 bar.

            I suppose these reactions happen at different temperatures at higher or lower pressures.

            The extra lithium seems to be just enough to mop up the Al releases in phase 1. I wonder if this is a coincidence. Would the Al be preferentially absorbed by the Li rather than the Hydrogen released in the same phase at the initial high pressures at these temperatures. if so perhaps it prevents the Aluminium melting and keeps it in place for later phases in the heat up.

        • Alan DeAngelis

          Yeah Gerard, I think you’re onto something because beta-alumina
          is a fast ion conductor (Na+, K+, Li+, Ag+, H+, Pb2+, Sr2+ or Ba2+).

          • Alan DeAngelis


            Pardon me, on second thought “Beta-alumina is a good conductor of its mobile ion yet allows no non-ionic (i.e., electronic) conductivity.”

            On the other hand, the AC current in the coil many cause any Li+, and H+ that may be in the alumina to slosh around (to use the scientific terminology) and affect the resistance.

            For the time being, I’d better let senile free association do its thing offline and maybe come back here later.

  • Dr. Mike

    It is possible that the inner walls of the alumina tube were initially coated with Li, possibly making the inner wall of the alumina tube somewhat conductive. How would this effect the resistance of coils on the outside of the alumina tube? Also, what do you propose for the mechanism that changed all of the Ni in the reactor to the Ni62 isotope?
    A LENR reaction in a Li coating on the inner alumina wall would explain one of the questions that I had in my earlier review of the Lugano report, that is, with a rather large internal volume in the Lugano reactor (based on a weight vs. external volume calculation) the 1gr of fuel should have been just thin line of particles along the bottom of the alumina cylinder. If the LENR reaction was confined to these particles, the bottom of the reactor should have appeared much hotter than the top of the reactor. A LENR reaction taking place in a thin Li layer coating the inner wall of the reactor would produce a uniform outer temperature of the reactor as was observed in the Lugano report.
    Dr. Mike

    • Axil Axil

      In the Lugano report, the nickel particles where sintered from 5 micron particles to large 100 micron particles and all nickel particles in the fuel were coated with lithium.

      Large nickel particles capture more heat energy. This sintering of small particles into big ones is an EMF power concentration mechanism.

      • Dr. Mike

        Axil Axil,
        Figure 1 in Appendix 3 of the Lugano report show an initial Ni particle size of close to 100 microns in diameter. What is the scientific basis of your last 2 statements?
        Dr. Mike

        • Axil Axil

          I read the Lugano report.

    • Gerard McEk

      Dr. Mike,
      Aluminia beomes more conductive when it is hot. At 1400 C small currents will run though it. If metal lithium covers the whole inner tube, than this will lead to much faster reducing resistance and small currents running through the lithium caused by the voltage over the coil which touches the reactor tube.
      The alpha particles that are being generated when a proton fuses with lithium, resullting in 8Be and splitting in 4He (Rossi Cook theory) may have sufficient energy to cause a subsequent reaction with the nickel.
      I agree with your second part which seems to support my idea.
      Thanks, Gerard