Moscow Physicist Run 17 Tests with Ni-LiAlH4 System: No Excess Heat (Oystein Lande)

The following post was submitted by Oystein Lande


I just read this paper from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology,

They have reported 17 experiments using Nickel powder and LiAlH4 and did not see any signs of excess heat.

Anyone here with an idea of what they did wrong, that explains the COP<1 result for all tests ? Was it too small amount of Lithium (and hydrogen loading)? Lack of Ni pretreatment ? What's the correct pretreatment ? Wrong stimulus to trigger LENR? Link to report is here:


It has been stated that Ni-H systems could produce excess heat during rather long periods of time. We have performed experimental calorimetric investigation of this phenomenon. The experimental setup consisted of ceramic reactor with nickel powder inside it, heater, hydrogen loading system and calorimeter. Nickel powders with different grain size were used because of their large surface area. Hydrogen pressure varied from 0.5 to 2.5 atm. Temperature varied from 25 to 800 oC. Different methods of input power supply were used in order to investigate possible effects of high amplitude magnetic pulses. The experimental runs lasted from 4 to 50 hours.
Experiments didn’t show any evidence of excess heat within the accuracy of measurement.

  • The Rossi patent is incomplete, that’s why.

    • Warthog

      If so, then it is void. A patent MUST include all details necessary to build a working system. A more likely explanation is that, once again, you have physicists trying to do chemistry. They are rarely good at it. And sometimes they even lie about their results (see MIT, LENR replication, Mallove).

      • Zephir

        The problem is, it would be difficult to prove. The Russian replicators did use simple mixture of Ni+LiAlH4 with partial success – they even didn’t use metallic lithium, which Rossi mentioned in his patent too.

  • Axil Axil

    I wonder if the experimenters that performed the tests referenced here did any fuel preprocessing as defined in the Rossi patent and as reflected in the fuel assay from the Lugano test. From the Lugani fuel assay, it looked to me like the fuel preprocessing was done using a liquid metal cathode made up of mercury and molybdenum from which an arc discharge was produced. There was at least one 100 micron particle produced covered with lithium and sintered forming an amalgam of 5 micron nickel particles using the high heat produced by the electric arc that is central in the fuel preprocessing step. The fuel used in the Lugano test showed transmutation results which included rare earths on the surface of the nickel particles.

    I suspect that this fuel preprocessing is done in the presence of hydrogen to produced Hydrogen rydberg matter as a composite compound of lithium and hydrogen.

    You might ask why doesn’t Rossi just use an arc in his reactor? Why does he need to do things in two steps? I believe that Rossi cannot control the reaction produced with an arc but he needs to form Rydberg matter produced by the arc that will later be functional in the fuel activated by heat and RF.

    In the wafer format that he uses in the X-Cat, the fuel preprocessing is done through a metal vapor deposition process on a steel substrate.

    • Zephir

      Arc temperature is inherently high (over 3000 K) and difficult to control.

      /* it looked to me like the fuel preprocessing was done using a liquid metal cathode made up of mercury and molybdenum */

      Jeez, how did you got into it? You know, it’s difficult to separate your ideas from reality.

  • Zephir

    I do agree with AxilAxil here: the nickel dust absorbs lotta moisture and oxygen, which should be removed first with heating in presence of vacuum/getter – or the nickel gets covered with basic compounds (lithium nickelates), which would prohibit the reaction. Also I’m not sure, how the conductive (steel) reaction would inhibit the spreading of EM waves and surface plasmons, which promote the lattice vibrations. It seems for me, so far the only successful experiments were done inside the insulator reactors (alumina).

    • Andreas Moraitis

      However, Parkhomov did not pre-process his fuel that way. He mixed the powder in his living room without any protection against atmospheric oxygen and moisture.

      • Zephir

        He reportedly dried the nickel used at 200 °C first. Every trace of water reacts with lithium hydride into an lithium hydroxide, which is stable and it will soak and corrode the nickel dust.

        • Andreas Moraitis

          “He reportedly dried the nickel used at 200 °C first.”

          Yes, but apparently he did not use a vacuum or a protective gas:

          “The mixing and grinding of the fuel mixture I make in a porcelain mortar porcelain pestle with a duration of several minutes. You should check whether suitable LiAlH4 (whether is violent reaction with water). Preferably the Nickel before applying to dry, warming it at a temperature of 200 °C for several hours.”

          • Zephir

            IMO the water and lithium hydroxide will be problem for active nickel surface, not oxygen as such. The surface oxides will get occasionally reduced with hydrogen from LiAlH4, but the lithium hydroxide will remain in reaction mixture for ever.

    • Mats002

      “The experimental setup consisted of ceramic reactor with nickel powder inside it…”. I do not see your argument for conductive (steel) reaction.

      I agree with that preprocessing can be a reason though.

      • Zephir

        According to article, the ceramic tube was enclosed with “reactor capsule made of stainless steel with two plugs at both ends which are fixed by a super kanthal wire”. Parkhomov and later replicators did use a “naked” alumina tube, just wrapped with heating coil. It’s hard to say, if these details are important or not – but under situation, when we still have absolutely no idea, what’s going on, we should replicate the successful experiments as faithfully, as we can.

  • Gerard McEk

    In the first place it is necessary to prepare the fuel as per AR’s patent. I believe that some other factors are often not done: Use a three phase heating coil (pre-treaded > 2mm) with low resistance and able to reach at least 1000 C and a three phase thyristor controller at high voltage >= 380 V. Use Al2O3 tubes and proper air-thightness and pressure control. Over the 1000C the Aluminia tube starts to conduct current and due to the high voltage difference between the heating coils, currents will also run through the Aluminia tube into the fuel. This will cause a dramatically apparent resistance change of the heating coils, as observed during the Lugano test. I am quite convinced that high sharp-shaped currents running through the fuel will initialyze LENR. A good IGBT based controller able to produce very short high currents peaks at high frequencies could improve the COP, is also my strong believe.
    Maybe the Ni should be not so pure and have sufficient defects to enable the Discrete Breathers to produce the proper lattice oscillations.

  • Nigel Appleton

    US Patent 9115913 states:

    “Another aspect of the invention is a composition of matter for generating heat, the composition including a mixture of porosity-enhanced nickel powder, lithium powder, and lithium aluminum powder, and a heat source in thermal communication with the mixture for initiating a nickel catalyzed exothermic reaction. ”


    “The powder in the fuel mixture consists largely of spherical particles having diameters in the nanometer to micrometer range, for example between 1 nanometer and 100 micrometers. Variations in the ratio of reactants and catalyst tend to govern reaction rate and are not critical. However, it has been found that a suitable mixture would include a starting mixture of 50% nickel, 20% lithium, and 30% LAH. Within this mixture, nickel acts as a catalyst for the reaction, and is not itself a reagent. While nickel is particularly useful because of its relative abundance, its function can also be carried out by other elements in column 10 of the periodic table, such as platinum or palladium.”

    These Russians did not apparently take any steps to enhance Ni porosity; nor did they add any Li other than that in the LiAlH4

    In fact, I’m not sure if ANY would-be replicators have used both porous nickel and added lithium powder (as well as lithium aluminium hydride)

  • Optimist

    The problem is that even with the information already released by Rossi, the number of significant variables is still high, meaning that replicators are seeking blind in an Edisonial search.

    Edmund Strong believes that the process can only take place in nanocracks on the surface of the material. Is there a way to process the powder to form crators and cracks on the surface that Rossi uses, such as by popcorn effect? I remember seeing a microscope image from ST of the Celani wire showing such crators. Or is the alignment of the nanoparticles to each other effectively forming those cracks and if so isn’t the density and mechanical pressure on the powder of importance?

    Parkomov reported as explanation for missing data from his logging that there were power spikes on his mains so powerful that his laptop kept rebooting. Was this dirty power somehow involved in activating the process via fast transients in the coils?

    Leif Holmlid has a published article on his method of creating ultra-dense deuterium D0 resulting in LENR and energy release and Sveinn Olafsson slides from the SRI event last October describe how all the LENR events could be originated from D0 formation. Leif uses low energy laser pointed at the D0 to trigger the energy release, so stimulation is clearly a part of the process?

    Does this indicate that the LENR process not only needs the right particle structure to form nanocracks but also the right environmental conditions to form D0 and finally the right stimulation method to trigger the energy release?

    If the process is of such high complication, Edisonial search could take forever. The university labs should probably as a startpoint rather use their efforts to replicate and tweek the Leif Holmlid setup and complete the theoretical background with a repeatable setup. This would provide the tools for more direct design approaches for practical applications.

    • Ted-X

      Cryogenic treatment may easily create microcracks. Particularly with cryogenic hammering or milling.

  • Obvious

    Most successful experiments used nickel-based heater coil wire, rather than Kanthal.
    Parkhomov used Nichrome, Rossi Inconel, and Me356 Ni200.

  • Oystein Lande

    Correct pretreatment may be the answer.

    In one Focardi Paper with high excess heat they described some pretreatment of the Ni rods they used:
    “In order to compare samples having the same surface but different bulks, the metal rods used in the experiments described here (stainless steel for cell A and nickel for cell B) were coated with a thick (􏰑 0.1 mm) nickel layer by the usual nickel-plating bath [7] containing the following components: Nickel Ammonium Sulphate, Citric Acid, Ammo- nium Hydroxide, Sodium Disulfite (purity RPE-ACS). After introduction in the cells, the rods were annealed under vacuum (p 􏰆 10􏰎􏰍 mbar) at temperatures up to about 900 K in order to clean their surfaces [8, 9]. Successive thermal cycles were also performed in a hydrogen atmosphere below 1 bar. ”


    “The sample loading in a natural hydrogen atmosphere was performed in successive steps. In each step, we started with an initial gas pressure in the range 400–800 mbar and thereafter a little amount of hydrogen was introduced into the cell through a suitable valve (􏰓p 􏰑 400–600 mbar). When the pressure decreased down to its starting value, new hydrogen was added (see fig. 3). After several loading cycles, the sample was ready and it was possible to trigger the exothermic process. Such an operation can be performed by lowering the input power, waiting for the sample temperature to decrease down to about 300 K, then suddenly restoring the previous power level. After this operation an increased equilibrium temperature, as shown in fig. 4, is obtained: the cell is producing an excess heat. Another way to trigger the process is to provoke a pressure step-like variation, as shown in fig. 5. After the triggering procedure, the production of excess heat is maintained for months.

    Someone think pretreatment results in necessary beta-hydride lattice phase.

  • Axil Axil

    IMHO, a special type of nanoparticle must be fabricated with a structure of many serially connected graphite plate like planes. These particles survive in terms of time as a function of their length: long particles last longer than short ones do.

    Rossi’s reduced power output from some of his Tigers may be a result of this LENR particle deterioration half-life.

    These particles are mobile and can escape the reactor if not confined. Steel is a good structural reactor material to keep these particle inside the reactor.

    Many combinations of elements can combine to form this specially shaped particle. Aluminum might be as good as lithium: at this early juncture, who can really say for sure. But hydrogen seems to be an important part of such a particle.

    This particle must carry a surface charge of surface plasmon polaritons(SPP) which activate it as a LENR producer. These particles are highly magnetic and electrically charged. A EMF stimulation process must be part of the nanoparticle activation process be it light heat or RF.

    The function of fuel preprocessing is to generate this special particle.

    • Jouni Tuomela

      This article from 2011 is interesting it was posted in JONP:

      • Jouni Tuomela
      • Zephir

        The nanowires (whiskers) could play a significant role for cold fusion. According to my theory, most of energy required for fusion is generated with Astroblaster effect within nickel lattice, i.e. with collisions of long lines of atoms, which serve like the both accelerator, both pistons. The linear whisker structure (which are sorta 1D monocrystals) would promote this mechanism. The whisker preparation was mentioned in an older experiments of Piantelli too.

        • Luca Gamberale have observed they have lied about the test (trick to make apparent heat by fooling water flow meter), and probably have nothing seriously working, which they never denied.
          They behaved like crook despite their suit and ties.
          Only serious question is if they have nothing, or just nothing usable.
          Anyway they disappeared and the chief scientists is working for green energy.

          I imagine the main entrepreneur is dry.

          I have my theory about what happened, which can be guessed by various interviews and behavior.
          Not all is lies, and you can guess who fooled who, as much as who is naive. As usual the most popular is the liar.

      • Axil Axil

        I believe that whiskers on micro particles are ideal to form Surface Plasmon Polaritons (SPP). The whiskers provide a one direction superconductive current flow that will inject power into the lithium and/or hydrogen nanoparticles that are produced on those whiskers.

    • Ted-X

      Cryogenic treatment might be the answer to the pre-processing. There is a lot of “fringe” opinions supporting the cryogenics. For the lack of better sources, I asked my friend, who has a crystal ball, if the cryogenic treatment is an answer to the activation of nickel. He said YES. He is usually 95% correct. Just think as Rossi was thinking, he was thinking initially this: do something to the nickel powder. Reduce the grain size, carbonize, cryo-grind etc. He probably opportunistically tested first the standard metal treatment operations: carbonization, cyanization and the very new process of cryogenic grain modification (liquid nitrogen exposure for hardening of metals and alloys). There are numerous companies in Italy which do various metal treatments. For example, the international Nitrex company does cryogenic treatment as a service in several places in Italy.

      • Axil Axil

        Rossi starts of with standard 5 micron nickel particles. Then he converts them to 1 to 100 micron particles. The only way I can think to do this is by using high heat enough to sinter nickel particles or explode them.

        • Ted-X

          Some agglomeration may happen on hammering, even cryogenic. I was mostly thinking about microcracks which had to be produced when the nickel-GRAINS are reduced in size, which is what happens in cryogenic treatment. On the other side, Stephen Emmens, who was a metallurgist and a chemist (of the end of the 19th century) claimed some unusual metal forms produced via cryogenic hammering (nickel !!!, iron, silver). He was probably the best metallurgist of his time and he introduced liquid ait to America. The Ormus issue, which is also fringe, may have a grain of truth to it as well. What about hyperpolarization of nuclei (happens at cryogenic temperatures and could be transferred from hydrogen, perhaps). Hyperpolarization is not momentary, it can stay for “long”.

          • Nicholas Chandler-Yates

            temp not high enough to be a useful study, these guys should know better. Not that it will stop the skeptics from jumping all over this one.

        • SG

          And that is actually what was stated quite clearly in the granted patent.

      • Ted-X

        In case if the nickel would have a pre-adsorbed hydrogen (before the cryogenic treatment), the para-hydrogen could cause hyperpolarization in the nickel nuclei. The hyperpolarized nuclei might then be more reactive in LENR.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    After I win the $900,000,000 lotto tonight I’ll build a little lab and figure this out.

  • Oystein Lande

    The largest ration of LiAlH4 to Ni weight ratio in the paper was 50%. Is this enough to achieve high enough H/Ni loading?

  • Leonard Weinstein

    The discussions here show that none of you read the paper and paid attention to the details. The study did NOT use Ni and LiAlH4, only Ni and H2 gas. The maximum temperature used was 800 C. The maximum H2 pressure was also fairly low, but that issue has not been resolved. Parkhov and Rossi indicated that using Lithium was critical, and in fact the Ni may only be a catalyst. Also the reaction did not start until about 1,000 C. The test here failed on both issues. Until they use LIAlH4 or some other source of Li, and until they exceed 1,000 C they have done nothing useful. In fact, the higher COP’s don’t occur until about 1,200 C to 1,400 C.

    • Zephir

      Yes, but we shouldn’t forget older demonstrations of Piantelli, Cellani and Andrea Rossi, which did run smoothly at the much lower temperatures.

  • Leonard Weinstein

    I made a mistatement and did not pay attention to detail myself. The paper emphasized Ni and H2, but they did try LIAlH4. However they did not exceed 800 C. Both Rossi and Parkhomov show the reaction starting at just over 1,000 C.

  • Alan DeAngelis
    Maybe aluminum hydride anion, [AlH4]- has to form a nickel (0) complex in order for the Rossi effect to take place, Ni 4[AlH4]-. Maybe the hydrogen (from the gas) competes with the AlH4-
    for the vacant nickel orbitals. Maybe the added hydrogen gas is
    preventing the Rossi effect from taking place (just too much extra hydrogen).

    So, it’s really not a replication with the added hydrogen gas.

  • US_Citizen71

    Beyond drying the nickel in preparation, the nickel might need to be preloaded with hydrogen as well. The lack of Lithium powder I believe is the biggest issue with the Russian series of tests reported here. Why they ignored the fuel recipe in the patent is the biggest question.

  • Nicholas Chandler-Yates

    temperature not high enough. 1000C is where excess heat is expected to begin with a set up like this, based on Lugano and Parkamov. They should know better.

    • Andreas Moraitis

      The ‚classical’ E-Cat where hydrogen was supplied from a bottle required much lower temperatures. Note that they used a hydrogen bottle, too – so I would not say that the setup was inappropriate. But it seems likely that the fuel of the E-Cat LT was different. It has been speculated that it contained potassium, for example.

      • US_Citizen71

        Many things could be different with the low temp E-Cat, beside the obviously hydrogen gas supply. The Nickel may have been always preloaded, the heating coil may have been made with many more more turns of much finer wire in order to generate a strong magnetic field and it is even possible that some form of electrical discharge was used (the Greeks pulled that idea out of somewhere) and there are plenty of more possibilities as we know next to nothing about the construction of the low temperature E-Cat.

        • US_Citizen71

          As for the electrical discharge I would love to see someone put Platinum electrode tips from spark plugs on either end of one of the alumina tube reactors and hook it up to the ballast of something like a sodium vapor light when the tube is up to temperature. That should test the theory of whether electrical stimulation works.

          • Axil Axil

            This axial spark idea is sweet. The voltage should be over 20 KV Direct Current (a high voltage auto ignition system) and be sent through a nickel foam containing sintered nickel microparticles covered in lithium in a hydrogen atmosphere. The spark plug tips should be iridium.


            The fuel formulation is based on Holmlid’s experiments with
            involves iron oxide with potassium doping.

            The fuel list is as follows:

            1 – The iron pipe will act as an oxygen getter that will
            absorb oxygen over time to form iron oxide coming from the oxygen contents absorbed
            from the other fuel components including CO2 and water vapor.

            The following powdered materials are by mortar and pestle

            As used in the Holmlid’s reactor, iron oxide powder.

            3 – Used in Holmlid’s reactor. Powdered graphite powder is
            used to supply a crystal template for the formation of Rydberg matter. This
            material is mixed with the other powdered material by mortar and pestle

            4 – LiHCO3 50% KHCO3 50%
            this eutectic salt mix will liquefy at about 500C after hydrogen
            release. Potassium from this salt will dope the iron oxide powder

            5 – Lithium Aluminum Hydride –
            this salt provide hydrogen, lithium and aluminum to the reaction.

            Metal powders

            Sintered 5 micron nickel powder not to be combined with the other
            powder mix until after the other powdered material is subjected to mortar and
            pestle grinding

            Iron oxide powder varied in size from a few microns and
            lower into the nano scale. Used in Holmlid’s reactor. This material is mixed
            with the other powdered material by mortar and pestle grinding.

            Used in Holmlid’s reactor.
            1 gram 99.996% Iridium Ir Metal Powder – $23.64. Any metal powder in the platinum family can be
            used. The six platinum-group metals are ruthenium,
            rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium, and platinum. Iridium is preferred because
            of the results produced in the Holmlid experiment.


  • Omega Z

    First, LENR is not easy or we would have discovered it 100 years ago.

    Second, This is Not a Replication attempt.
    In Fact, It appears to be a “How Not to Get LENR”.

    “The experimental run usually comprised periods of heating (1 to 120 minutes) and pauses between them (1 to 60 minutes) when heater is turned off.”

    There’s also other things that make me go “What”
    3 possibilities here.
    1) People blatantly trying to disprove LENR.
    2) People totally clueless as to what they are doing.
    3) People providing a background or bases for when they achieve results.

    Number 3 is interesting as you show people what doesn’t work(eliminating the wishful thinking factor), they pay closer attention when you show a specific technic that has positive results.
    Regardless, the most this proves is LENR is not easy. We already knew that.
    Many have trouble obtaining positive results, but others have. SPAWAR, NASA, NRL, Mitsubishi, Toyota and many more. They have done many repetitions & it would be extremely unlikely they are all due to measurement error. Many of these entities have decades of experience in measurements. For some, peoples lives depend on their measurement accuracy.

    If it’s an attempt to discredit Rossi, That also doesn’t matter, because the E-cat involves many professionals besides just Rossi. If any had doubts, this would be explored prior to making financial commitments such as Industrial heat has been doing.

    There are 2 primary questions that need to be answered.
    Can it be scaled and harnessed to do productive work?
    Can it be done economically?

    • bachcole

      Omega Z, I have great respect for your thinking, and you did not disappoint me with this comment.

      I know that your ideas presented here are unassailable, but unfortunately other people are going to see the 17 failures and not your ideas here.

    • Roland

      Perhaps some in Russia have compelling motives for discrediting Parkhomov; how will Mother Russia recover the empire and its superpower status if the oil era is almost over?

      Politics in Russia would get ugly even faster if the hopes of the populace for a future ascendancy evaporated as without strong oil & gas revenues Putin’s dreams of restoring the imperium are doomed, as is the Russian economy.

      Any recent news of Parkhomov anyone?

      As you note, the experimental protocols used at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology are a recipe for deliberate failure.

      • Omega Z

        Oil and Natural Gas does not make an Empire.
        These resources are of a limited nature. With current use levels, it would be a short lived empire.

        As to the experimental protocols. They could be intentional so as to rule out false positives with follow on experiments. Only time will tell as to there real intent. There is plans for further tests. Nothing can be ruled out at this point…

        • Roland

          When Putin was contemplating the annexation of Crimea his first question was to his economists regarding whether the Russian special funds accounts from oil revenues were robust enough to weather the blow back, at the time, oil at >$100/bbl and $600 million in the funds, they answered yes.

          The rest is history.

  • Fyodor

    Haven’t the vast majority of community tests also shown no excess heat? This is more the rule than the exception.

    • Axil Axil

      There has been many tests resulting in a BANG. MFMP’s first test had one. This is due to powder clumping. IMHO, Rossi uses a metal foam in his tube reactors to keep the powder evenly spread to avoid explosions. Parkhimoff has had many exploding tube reactors.

      • Fyodor

        There is not really any evidence that these explosions have anything to do with excess heat rather than say engineering problems associated with heating a tube up to 1200 degrees.

        • Axil Axil

          The BANG in the MFMP case happened at 1053C. Do your have a reference that shows the BANGS happened at 1200C for Parkhimoff?

          • Fyodor

            Whatever the exact temperature there’s zero reason to think that it’s the result of some nuclear reaction rather than a tiny chamber full of hydrogen being heated up to an extremely high temperature.

        • Andreas Moraitis

          Agreed. The „BANG“ events can be explained by sudden pressure release in combination with hydrogen combustion. The amount of hydrogen was sufficient to melt some cubic millimetres of the alumina shell (calculations have been posted some time ago on this blog).

    • Roland

      There is no single road to LENR and each road taken requires discovery of the correct protocols to see a positive result. For example at SPAWAR a whole team of very bright people spent years establishing the protocols for getting a consistent result from their attempts to replicate Pons & Fleishmann, in no small part because P & F didn’t have a protocol that got consistent results, and the team members had to invent their way to a 100% success rate with a series of insights.

      This eventual success didn’t lead to an apparatus that had any visible commercial potential, like many other paths that had initial promise only to flounder due to low yields, expensive materials, difficulties with replicability or a lack of scalability to anything over a few watts in output.

      What all of the roads to LENR share is that there are numerous variables that all have to be in the ‘right’ small window before anything of significance happens.

      Rossi acknowledges that there is an electro-magnetic aspect to starting and controlling his apparatus, the particulars of which he will not, to date, speak of, without which you could fail endlessly while getting everything else correct. Of course you wouldn’t know that all the other variables were correct because nothing would happen to indicate this.

      For all its apparent simplicity a functioning LENR system is a very challenging multi-body problem that has resisted the best efforts of quite a number of well funded highly qualified research teams.

      As Axil Axil indicates the first hint that you’re in the ballpark with an E-cat replication is that the apparatus melts down quite spectacularly; though even this may subsequently continue to elude you time and again despite having achieved this indication that you’re ‘close’.

      As the repeated failures, of replication attempts, demonstrate, Rossi is well ahead of the field, which is, after all, why we are gathered here.

  • US_Citizen71

    From the first line of the link above “Since Fleischmann and Pons in 1898 claimed that” They can’t even get the century, let alone the year, that Pons and Fleischmann did their experiment correct in the first line of their paper, why assume they are capable of doing anything correctly? Are they capable of lighting a match without burning down the lab?