Hydrogenation of Nickel (Engineer48)

This post by Engineer48 is in reference to this article by Hank Mills titled “Thoughts on Alpha and Beta Nickel-Hydride Formation in E-Cat Replication” which was published here in April

To help to understand the different stages of Ni hydrogenation or the creation of beta stage Nickel Hydride I have modified this diagram to add state c1 that shows the H2 hammering the alpha stage surface H atoms into the Ni lattice to create beta stage Nickel Hydride that we need to create hydrogenated Ni.

This process is not as simple as the diagram.

Temperature and pressure of alpha stage and beta stage have not yet been fully disclosed. What we do know is that Focardi, Piantelli and Parkhomov operate their reactors at sub atmospheric pressure. Additionally Focardi and Piantelli, while not disclosing the temperatures they used during the alpha and beta phase hydrogenation process, do disclose the pressure varies from a low of around 400mbar (when they admit more H2) to a high of 800mbar (where they stop the admission of further H2). This suggest they finish the loading with a reactor pressure less than 800mbar and more than 400mbar. So we do have pressure ranges but not temp ranges.

If anyone can assist in what the hydrogenation alpha and beta phase temperatures were, that would be very useful information.

I and others agree that the main reason that DIYers fail to achieve excess heat is probably their Ni is not fully saturated beta stage Ni.



  • Engineer48

    Hi Roselands,

    Focardi and Piantelli used a rod of Ni, so I suggest the secret is the temp and pressure control of the:

    1) cleaning stage

    2) alpha stage

    3) beta stage

    Both Focardi and Piantelli fully describe the cleaning stage in their various papers and describe the alpha and beta stage pressure ranges used but not the temperature ranges used.

    Too high a Ni temperature and the adsorbed H atoms/ions will leave the Ni surface and of course then there is no further beta stage conversion of Ni surface adsorbed H atoms/ions. There is some debate as to what that max temperature is as various literature quotes very different max Ni temp to hold the adsorbed H/ions.

    • Aryth

      If there is a way to re-set nickel to some stable “initial” state (say be re-heating), it may be possible to set up an automated procedure for testing the temperatures/loading (assuming we have sensors (pressure?) sensitive enough to discern the state of H loading), and figuring out optimal parameters. The set up ,ay also double as a pre-loader/processor for the later use.

    • roseland67


      I would have thought that the amount of exposed nickel surface area to hydrogen would assist/increase the effect, no?
      Why do you think Focardi and Piantelli
      Used a rod in lieu of powder?

  • Zephir

    The electrostatic or magnetron discharge would shot the hydrogen ions (actually protons) beneath the surface of nickel, thus accelerating speed of its hydrogenation greatly.

    • Engineer48

      Hi Zephir,

      Piantelli uses this diagram to show the initial H2 dissociation is into 2 x H atoms and then they are altered to H+ & H- before being pounded absorbed into the Ni lattice.

      • Engineer48

        Opps graphic got lost

  • Stephen

    Has layering the nickel with other materials to enhance atomic hydrogen production been considered? Maybe something like Iwamura did with his transmutation experiments using deuterium and palladium. I’m not sure if the CaO would work with Nickel though. Has this been tried I wonder?


  • Alan DeAngelis

    Oh, I was wondering if intentionally using nickel electroplating techniques that are known to cause pitting might increase hydrogen saturation. The last comment here. http://coldfusionnow.org/crack-hypothesis-gets-community-response/

  • magicsnd1

    Here’s some empirical data, from GS5.2
    H2 pressure dropped from ~1 bar to ~0.2 bar. Loading started at ~115°C in the fuel (100°C outside the cell). The loading completed in about 5 hours at that temp and adding more Hydrogen (at 20:00) showed little added loading.

    • GiveADogABone

      ‘Adding more Hydrogen (at 20:00) and raising the temp to ~135°C showed little added effect.’
      It may be that the ‘little added effect’ is what really matters. If you believe that the LENR reaction takes place in the sealed nanocavities of the Nickel, then pressurising those cavities may take a much longer time than these pressure cycles.

      Also the temperature at 00:00 on the 19th rises 50C above the previous day and this offsets the pressure fall, so the pressure graph looks flatter that it really is.

    • Engineer48

      Hi Magic,

      What I note is from the end of the successful 1st filling cycle, they:

      Dropped the temp from 100C to ambient
      Increased the H2 pressure
      Increased the temp to 125C
      Saw little pressure drop, in fact it increased
      Increased the temp to 150
      Saw little pressure drop
      Dropped the temp back to ambient
      During the temp drop, the pressure did drop.

      I would have followed the original sequence as that worked.
      What they did on the 2nd fill attempt did not duplicate the conditions of the 1st attempt. In fact the increased temp did initiate a pressure increase, which may have been because the Ni was too hot to adsorb more alpha phase H and actually released some of the adsorbed H from the 1st loading attempt.

      There is a Ni temp that will start to limit H surface adsorption and cause any adsorbed H to be released, which I suggest the above is a clear example of.

      It may be that to maximise alpha phase H adsorption, there are limits on the max Ni temp.

      The above suggest at 100C there was adsorption and at 125C there was not and it may have triggered de-adsorption.

      From other research it may be that around 100C is good and that once the pressure drop stops, to keep it there for many hours to allow the H2 molecules to hammer the adsorbed H atoms/ions into the lattice.

      What I would have done is to keep the Ni temp at 100C ( as that temp was shown to allow H adsorption, then increased the H2 pressure back to the original value. If the pressure dropped again, then after 12 hours restore the pressure until the pressure stops dropping and then leave the Ni at that final starting pressure for 24 hours to allow the H2 hammers to drive the surface H atoms/ions into the lattice.

      • Engineer48

        Possible surface de-adsorption event from too high a Ni temp or too fast a Ni temp increase?

        • magicsnd1

          During manual control of pressure (adding H2 from a bottle), the pressure decreased about 1 psi after the valve was closed, probably from diffusion of the added H2 into the 2-5 um Al2O3 powder in the null capsule. Or could be a bit of additional loading into the Ni powder (Hunter AH50, 5-20 um carbonyl process). Note also the very small decrease in pressure following the last jump to 150°C (180°C core) at 22:15, suggesting a bit additional loading as the temperature increased.

      • magicsnd1

        E48, it’s my experiment I described, an attempt to specifically explore the parameter space of the loading process. I followed clues from available literature and from Parkhomov and Piantelli. The 6 hour dwell from 12:00 to 18:00 was for the exact reason you proposed.

        Following the addition of Hydrogen at 18:00, the small pressure changes seen were due to ideal gas law behavior, and no additional loading or de-loading was evident. My conclusion was that NiH reached saturation during the first cycle. The test bears repeating though, and I encourage you to try it.

        • Engineer48

          Hi Magic,

          Thanks for that.

          When you say reached near saturation is that alpha phase adsorption saturation or beta phase absorption saturation?

          In the 2nd cycle it appears you stopped the pressure short of the original pressure at about 12psi and then very quickly ramped Ni temp to 125C. Why?

          Why did you drop the Ni temp down to ambient between the cycles and why go to 125C for the 2nd cycle when 100C had been shown to be accepting alpha phase adsorbed H atoms/ions in the 1st cycle?

          From reading Focardi, he seemed to have held the Ni temp constant and only added more H2 as the pressure dropped below 300-400mbar. Do you have more info on any temp changes Focardi implemented during his Ni hydrogenation?

          I do intent to try this but I’m also a sponge for information.

          • Engineer48

            Hi Magic,

            I see that the pressure does peak as the Ni temp increases but the peak and initial pressure reduction occurs before the Ni temp stabilises at each plateau.

            Also the slope of the pressure decline from the 4 temp plateaus is interesting as maybe the Ni was getting full during fill cycles 3 * 4 or maybe the Ni temp was too high to achieve optimal fill?

            The literature does suggest that as the Ni temp increases, depending on the physical crystal topography, the ability of the Ni to accept and hold adsorbed H atoms/ions decreases.

            Just maybe your 100C is around the ideal adsorption Ni temp and that temp should be maintained at the original pressure for many hours, maybe days so to enable the H2 molecules enough time to hammer the adsorbed H atoms/ions into the lattice?

            As I suspect that not a lot get hammered into the lattice, there may be very little pressure drop as the once hammering H2 molecule is then dissociated and adsorbed onto the vacated site of the adsorbed H atom/ion.

            So maybe the cycling and pressure drop then restore is just H2 being adsorbed onto the surface and not the beta phase where it is hammered into being absorbed into the Ni lattice?