LENR at NASA: New Patent Application for “Methods and Apparatus for Enhanced Nuclear Reactions”

Here is more evidence that NASA is taking LENR/cold fusion seriously now. A new patent application from Pinesci Consulting and NASA’s Glenn Research Center for “Methods and Apparatus for Enhanced Nuclear Reactions” has been published by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

The date of publication is September 14, 2017.

Abstract:

“Nuclear fusion processes with advanced rates may be realized by providing energetic electrons in an environment containing a suitable fuel gas, a liquid fuel source, a solid fuel source, a plasma fuel source, or any combination thereof. The fuel source may be deuterium, tritium, a combination thereof, or any fuel source capable of creating deeply screened and/or neutral nuclei when exposed to energetic electrons. Under proper conditions, at least some of the deeply screened and/or neutral nuclei fuse with other nuclei. Neutral versions of duteron and/or triton nuclei may be created by bringing neutrons with certain energy levels (e.g. around 3 MeV, but optionally less or much less than 3 MeV) into interaction with other neutrons, forming neutral versions of deuterons and/or tritons. Such processes may be used for power generation, heat production, nuclear waste remediation, material creation, and/or medical isotope production, for example.”

The full text can be read as a PDF here: http://e-catworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/2017.09.14-Published-Application-1663.0002PCT3.pdf

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  • Bruce Williams

    I think that we are on the edge of having a total confirmation of what many of us have been believing for several years : LENR is real and now NASA appears to be involved, we should receive the confirmation we have been hoping for. The patent application is very long, detailed, and fairly theoretical, but it does seem to address most of the issues that have been discussed here on this forum.The “triggering” alternatives of the reactions are not clear to me. Nevertheless, I feel that this is a very important step forward.

    • guessed

      Definitely looks like they got some interesting results. Helped to start with the illustrations; page 104 shows the gadget.

    • John Williamson

      “now NASA appears to be involved…”

      What do you mean “now”? NASA involvement has been used to legitimize the field for a long time. In particular, presentations and videos and interviews (and patent applications, if I’m not mistaken) from the likes of Bushnell and Zawodny (and also Fralick), peaked some time in the 2007 to 2013 interval. It’s been quieter lately, and this patent, which is not LENR, is unlikely to change very much…

  • HarryD

    Houston, get ready for take off……

  • Miles

    Where does this leave Rossi now that NASA is making progress?

    • Bruce Williams

      Yes indeed,if I were Rossi I would be quite worried.BTW, does anyone know anything about this demo next month? Place, duration,invitees,format, referees etc ?

    • This simply leaves Rossi in the amateur section.

      Just read that NASA patent + their paper.
      That’s how science works. Not via JoNP snippets and dubious story telling.

      • psi2u2

        I wouldn’t discount Rossi yet.

      • Omega Z

        You know Rossi’s patent has been Granted by the U.S., All the E.U, Russia, South Africa and well over 30 countries now. Right?

  • Giorgio Vassallo

    NB: “The present invention generally relates to facilitating nuclear reactions, and more particularly, to enhanced nuclear reactions using deep screening and/or forced electron capture.”

  • psi2u2

    So, I’m guessing that when Nasa starts submitting patents like this, the knee-jerk USPTO policy against “cold fusion” or “LENR” patents is no longer in operation? Did they make an announcement saying their past policy was in error? ; )

    • John Williamson

      This is not a cold fusion patent. In order to avoid requiring 10 keV energy to promote fusion (hot fusion), they are proposing much higher energies (of electrons, photons, or neutrons) in the range of 3 MeV. From the frying pan into the fire…

      • Anon2012_2014

        I thought I saw some experiments referred to in the patent that were well under 700 keV.

        Regardless, it imagines a pulse of electron accelerated in an E or M field. Not that dissimilar to what Rossi, BLP, or Brillouin imagine.

        Also, it is not NASA, but a contractor.

        The paper implies they have seen some energy at temperature or energy levels well below that needed to get through the traditional coulomb barrier by using these modestly high energy electrons as a shield. It’s promising.

        • John Williamson

          700 keV!

          Hot fusion involves 10 keV nuclei.

          If you can screen the deuteron charge with a thermal muon, that’s cold fusion. If you need 700 keV electrons to screen the charge, that’s not cold anymore.

          Commercial neutron sources used electric fields to accelerate deuterons to tens of keV to cause fusion. But this is not cold fusion. And it is not promising for purposes of energy production or waste remediation because the probability of fusion is too low for the energy input required.

          Whether or not the reaction rate is high enough to represent an energy source with energetic electron bombardment of deuterated metals, and I seriously doubt that it is, it is not cold fusion or LENR. And it is dissimilar to what Rossi, BLP, and Brillouin claim.

          • John Williamson

            Also, NASA is identified as one of two applicants (along with a consulting firm). And at least one of the inventors (Fralick) is (or at least was) a long-time NASA employee.

          • Anon2012_2014

            John,

            First, the patent is not definitive on the amount of electron energy needed — some embodiments say it can be as low as 60 keV as a beam and 6 to 8 keV from Compton scattering. But leaving that alone …

            Hot fusion neutron generators involves the inertial waste of energy of moving that 10 to 100 keV deuteron or triton into a target (a solid metal deuteride or “tritide” (tritium hydride) ) that the projectile unfortunately has a higher chance of interaction via bremsstrahlung, creating waste heat, than it does of fusing with the target nucleus, creating an energetic fusion with excess heat. The difference in these techniques or even plasma fusion is they are moving the “projectile”. Hypothesized Cold fusion leaves the projectiles hardly moving at thermal (slow speeds) and hypothetically increases the probability of fusion enough by some kind of Coulomb shielding to allow the deuterium nuclear to get closer to each other, increase cross section, and then create significant fusions and with them excess heat. If as hypothesized in this patent, an amount of moderate keV electrons moving into a deuterated target and that somehow causes more fusion energy release than the energy needed to accelerate that small amount of electrons in the first place, perhaps also causing some kind of magnetic pinch to further increase deuterium density, I think it is likely the deuterium is not getting beyond thermal energies. (Consider is that electron moving in parallel create magnetic fields around them that tend to focus them together against their own Coulomb repulsion.) I think we have something more analogous to Coulomb shielding. And the patent also talks about the possibility of electron capture reactions.

            Rossi — not really sure what Quark-X claims to be, but all manifestations of his invention seem to involve some kind of RF field which induces the movement of electrons in the material. BLP — not sure again what he thinks is happening, but certainly he is moving a large current of electrons when he sparks off the reaction. Brillouin is again like Rossi.

            So without knowing more, it is possible that the movement of electrons somehow does a better job of shielding the to be fused nuclei from each other or even moves them closer together, or encourages electron capture. No one has experimentally proven the physics on the inside, but I think this is worth further investigation.

          • John Williamson

            The average proton energy in the core of the sun is only a few keV, and that’s hot fusion.

            The claims of cold fusion from P&F on, do not involve accelerating (or thermally heating) particles to keV, let alone MeV energies. They claim fusion is achieved using modest temperatures, pressures, or fields. And that includes Rossi, Brillouin, and BLP. None of those rf fields or sparks will result in electrons in the range of tens of keV. In pyroelectric fusion, high fields are generated in pyroelectric crystals to cause fusion. This is not disputed, but is also not cold fusion.

            Sure, the hope is that electron bombardment can induce fusion that produces more energy than needed to accelerate the electrons, either by screening (as you say) or by forming neutrons from protons. Maybe it’s promising (although if it were, they’d be submitting to Science and Nature), but it has nothing to do with cold fusion claims of P&F et al. The mechanisms suggested are not necessarily outside ordinary physics. It’s all about whether the reaction rates are high enough, and I remain skeptical about that, and NASA’s record on fusion does not suggest much competence in the area. Neither does the patent…

          • Anon2012_2014

            The implication from the patent (not my claim) is that the deuterons are not heated much, i.e. <<1eV, and yet due to some kind of electron shielding the reaction cross sections have increased enough to create detectible neutron activations in the samples and small amounts of excess heat. Sub eV nuclei is "cold" fusion. How it screens, or if they unremarkably have created inertial hot fusion by inadvertently accelerating the deuterons themselves into a target is not know.

          • John Williamson

            Of course, you’re free to call it cold fusion or LENR, but it’s not the phenomenon claimed by P&F and many others in which, in the words of Storms “Cold fusion is one name given to a source of energy based on a process similar to nuclear fusion but occurring at low applied energy in special materials”. Bombarding a material with 60 keV to 3 MeV electrons is not the application of low energy, and the conceivable mechanisms and reactions enabled by such energetic electrons are different from those in metal hydrides undergoing electrolysis or modest heating or gas loading.

          • Anon2012_2014

            My hypothesis is that they are the same and that Brillouin, BLP, and Rossi, to the extent they have used electricity under 1000 volts but at perhaps higher current (certainly BLP) to stimulate their reaction get it from some other electron interaction effect that is not directly imparting energy to the nuclei of the deuterons. My hypothesis is of course taking a wild stab in the dark with incomplete information.

    • John Williamson

      But yes, the Sensitive Application Warning System (SAWS) — which was designed to expedite the handling of outlandish patent applications for perpetual motion, implausible cure-alls, and cold fusion — was retired by the USPTO in 2015. Benefit to the field of LENR is not yet obvious…

      • Omega Z

        Note the IPC classification code.
        —————————————-
        International Patent Classification
        G21C 3/4 (2006.1)
        —————————————-
        There is a specific IPC code that refers a connection to LENR/Cold Fusion products.
        By avoiding the specific IPC classification code and NOT mentioning LENR/Cold Fusion by name will usually get a pass on many patents.

        • psi2u2

          Yes, very interesting. Did not know they actually had a code for it. I did know that sometimes inventors don’t have to disclose everything they know and can in that way get past the authorities.

          • Omega Z

            I became aware of the code several years ago.

            Do you recall the patent that IH/Darden filed that included Rossi as one of the inventors that was denied just a few months before the lawsuit. The one that was nearly an exact copy of Rossi’s granted patent.
            It contained the IPC code to the subject LENR also know as cold fusion.

            Rossi’s patent that was granted claimed (like 6x) more energy out then applied and was granted. But it said absolutely nothing about LENR/Cold Fusion.

          • John Williamson

            but getting more energy out than in does not require nuclear reactions. And the energy density claimed was plausibly consistent with chemical reactions, and chemical reactions was all the patent described. That patent not only didn’t mention LENR, it did not claim it implicitly either.

          • John Williamson

            What it did was *allude* to LENR, especially for those familiar with his claims elsewhere. Thus, it had the desired effect of having people *think* he patented LENR, which he played up for all it was worth, posing in front of a US flag and all.

          • Omega Z

            Rossi’s patent gave more then enough detail and the types of reactions that they new precisely what he was patenting, if by no other means then the reference sources.

            But, as you state and which was my point was that Rossi Never specified LENR or cold fusion. That does tend to be the kiss of death.

            As to the IPC code, It does specify in this manner- LENR or what has been previously known as cold fusion.

            AND, for clarity, Rossi has Never used the term cold fusion that I’m aware of. In fact I think at one time he corrected someone on JONP about that.

          • John Williamson

            What is patented is what is claimed. Rossi did not claim LENR, nor did the energy density he claimed require LENR. Ergo, he did not patent LENR. As you say, because of his history and his references, many people thought he patented LENR, which was the goal.

          • Omega Z

            I think most here at ECW know that no one can patent LENR anymore then you can patent fire. Rossi patented a reactor and a process.

            Also, It’s not Rossi’s job to correct people’s misperceptions. If it were, he would have no time for anything else. The number of statements credited to Rossi the last 4 years is mind numbing. Pretty much all Rossi has said since hooking up with Industrial heat/Darden is F8 which translate to results may be positive or negative.

          • John Williamson

            Rossi patented a reactor and a process, but the process claimed for the reactor was not LENR, though many people thought it was, and erroneously treated it as a validation of LENR. Of course it’s not Rossi’s job to correct misconceptions that are to his benefit, but that doesn’t mean they’re not misconceptions. It’s not a thief’s job to catch himself…

          • psi2u2

            So are you still arguing that LENR is not real? Or is it just that you don’t like Andrea Rossi?

      • psi2u2

        How interesting. I thought that was purely a rhetorical question — so what do I know? Lol. Yes, but does that mean people will be into patenting ways to turn the moon into a yoyo no? Have we no more protections against quackery?

        • John Williamson

          SAWS did not invoke protections against quackery not already present in patent law. It was simply designed to ensure the protections were properly employed in the case of “sensitive” claims. This involves requiring proof of operability in cases where “one of ordinary skill in the art would have a legitimate basis to doubt the credibility”.

          “Sensitive” patents are those that attract a lot of attention, and a patent on antigravity that is obviously inoperable would bring bad publicity to the entire patent system. Moreover, sensitive patents tend to promise extraordinary benefits, and so even though a patent is not intended to be a validation, many people regard it is as such, and so it can be (and is) used to facilitate fraud. For these reasons, additional scrutiny was considered warranted for such applications, since individual examiners can easily slip up now and then — maybe they are pre-occupied with a hot date that night.

          SAWS simply identified potentially sensitive patents in advance, to ensure the requirement of operability was satisfied.

          So, yes. without SAWS, the chance of quackery being awarded a patent is now a little higher.

          • pangoo

            Doesn’t matter at all really. Should leave people patent anything and just sort the patents into different categories of credibility or something similar. Could even be further broken down by application of item and any areas of science applied in the invention. Current system is like a 19th century setup!

  • Paul Maher

    WOW! NASA’s fully on board, Andreas Rossi is nearing 5 Sigma with his latest device, and I am beginning to get excited. After SAWS happened hundreds of patents for LENR got published.
    It looks as though we are right on schedule. This latest move when coupled with the Anthropocene Institutes overview of the number of companies and laboratories around the world that have been working on it fills me with what might be called GLEE.