Thanks to Alan Smith and artefact for pointing out a recently published patent application (filed April 26, 2012) by Francesco Piantelli, which is described as a “method and apparatus for generating energy by nuclear reactions of hydrogen adsorbed by orbital capture on a nanocrystalline structure of a metal.”
The process described is an attempt to solve what are described as ‘technical problems’ in nickel-hydrogen reactions, and increase and control the amount of heat being produced by the following means:
“Solution: arranging a secondary material such as Lithium and/or Boron and/or a transition metal as 232Th, 236U, 239U, 239Pu within a predetermined distance (L) from the clusters of primary material, such that secondary material faces primary material, said secondary material adapted to interact with protons that are emitted by/from primary material during the above process. Secondary material reacts with such according to nuclear proton-dependent reactions releasing a secondary reaction heat (Q2) that is added to primary reaction heat (Q1). According to an aspect of the invention, a step, and a means thereto, is provided of/for regulating the heat produced, by adjusting the amount of secondary material that is arranged close to and facing primary material”
It seems to me that the LENR reaction itself is relatively easy to achieve when you are able to get the conditions right, but the major challenge involved is controlling and refining the reaction so that it can be stable and safe, and it’s interesting to see new levels of engineering going on here at the nano-scale, and I am sure that this kind of engineering will be an area of continual research by those involved in LENR.
Piantelli’s patents are always interesting, because he could be considered the pioneer of nickel-hydrogen LENR research, and Sergio Focardi worked closely with him before his collaboration with Rossi — and Piantelli already has a patent granted by the European Patent Office for nickel-hydrogen LENR. I’m sure this application will be closely watched by key players.