The following post has been submitted by Max Temple
How Can We Get Roaring E-Cat Results? An Attempted Answer
by Max Temple
Recently, I was asked the question, although it was worded slightly differently, “What is the simplest way to reproduce the nickel-hydrogen effect?” I tried to give a simple answer, but that effort was pretty much futile. Instead, I tried to explain some of the complexities and hard decisions that would need to be made in any replication effort seeking to optimize the likelihood of success. Then I was asked a second question. “How can this be done cheaply?”
The truth is that I can’t promise that any of my proposed processes, methods, or improvements would work at all, because I am not in a position to be able test them out through experiments. Furthermore, on a shoestring budget, only so many techniques can be performed – requiring other useful stages to be skipped over. A highly skilled and resourceful replicator can sometimes compensate for a lack of budget by fabricating parts himself or building various systems from scratch. The most competent individuals can even scrounge around for used or even damaged equipment on auction web sites, after acquiring the purchase make a few sometimes simple repairs, and end up paying pennies on the dollar for high grade lab gear. But such exhaustive efforts to save a few dollars or Euro cost time: a very rare commodity for many replicators who also have full time jobs, families to attend to, and a range of other responsibilities. So, not matter how dedicated a replicator may be, without significant funding and free labor provided by like minded volunteers, there will always be practical limits. No one can try to optimize everything.
Conversely, many people already have certain pieces of equipment (or access to various components, chemicals, or supplies) and know how in their particular field. The types of optimizations they attempt will depend on these assets. In the ideal world, brain power, financial clout, and labor would be pooled together with everyone contributing in their own special way, enriching the whole project. But since this almost happens, my hope for this article is that it will inspire replicators to consider one or two possible improvements they may have the resources (financial, material, or mental) to try out. Since some replicators have been seemingly capable of producing excess heat with a crudely prepared, barely pre-treated (if at all) mix of nickel powder and lithium aluminum hydride (LiAlH4), a couple improvements could yield significant results. Or, just as importantly, consistent results that can be reproduced by others, repeatedly, to prove the reality of the Rossi Effect to the world.
Before I continue, I want to describe how I understand the Rossi Effect. In simplest of terms – which will be expanded on elsewhere in this document – molecular pressurized molecular hydrogen gas (H2) is injected from a tank or allowed to decompose from a metal hydride (LiAlH4) into a vessel containing nickel powder. When the molecular hydrogen (H2) makes contact with either the nickel or additional catalytic element(s) it is first adsorbed onto the surface, is disassociated into individual hydrogen atoms (H1), and then penetrates the surface. Please note that atomic hydrogen (H1) penetrates metals such as nickel rapidly; conversely, molecular hydrogen (H2) under most circumstances cannot absorb through the surface unless first disassociated. This entire disassociation process is the rate limiting factor for promoting the uptake of hydrogen into nickel. Higher temperatures and pressures typically increase the rate that hydrogen is “loaded” into the nickel, but there are multiple important nuances that need to be considered.
After an adequate loading of hydrogen into the nickel has been achieved, anomalous excess heat can be stimulated via thermal shocks, pressure changes, and/or electromagnetic fields. The energy release can be enormous – allowing self sustained reactions (utilizing zero continual input) for hours at a time. Thus, the true “Rossi Effect” represents a very obvious energetic effect which should not be overly challenging to detect, to say the least. Obtaining this high powered phenomenon and learning the parameters that must be met to consistently produce it with high repeatability should be the goal of all replicators. Only after the knowledge is openly shared and broadly disseminated will the reality of nickel-hydrogen cold fusion be established as fact to everyone.
Considerations for Success
The following ideas may help yield better results in E-Cat (Energy Catalyzer) replications, or they may not. But they represent my deeply pondered thoughts after hundreds or thousands of hours of reading, discussion, and online study since the opening of the Journal of Nuclear Physics. Please feel free to disregard them, carefully consider them, or improve upon them. But with any testing you may participate in, please utilize all safety precautions. A large portion of your research and preparation should be about minimizing the chance of injuries, accidents, or even deaths.
Vacuuming and Degassing
Nickel powder contains contaminants on and below the surface. By exposing your nickel to high vacuum for extended periods of time, a portion (the larger the better) of these contaminants can be removed. Using a periodic stair step approach to high temperatures up to even 600-700C can increase the rate of degassing and optimize the quantity of gas that is emitted. However, such high temperatures can often induce sintering (bonding all the particles together into one mass even far below the melting point) and can damage the fine surface features of carbonyl nickel. If you have cleaned the surface of you’re nickel before this step via one of many methods, the sintering temperature will be lowered. For small particles free of nickel oxide, sintering may even begin at 200C.
This step is important despite the potential risk of sintering. Trapped gases take up space inside internal lattice defects/voids. These are spaces that need to be filled with hydrogen! Multiple researchers and companies in the LENR field have stressed the need for this process, either openly or privately. Importantly, this phase should be approached with patience; degassing bulk nickel powder or wire can take time. In one experiment, which had nothing to do with LENR, full removal of trapped gases took an entire week to achieve at high vacuum and a temperature over 600C. We do know that such an extensive degassing is not always required: some replicators have produced excess heat with no application of vacuum whatsoever.
I’d suggest that replicators utilize a degassing phase in the fuel pre-processing. Making sure that atmosphere is not creeping into the vessel, the degassing should take place at the highest possible temperature that would ensure minimal or no sintering of the nickel for the longest practical duration compatible with the testing schedule. Subsequent handling and processing of the powder after degassing should be performed in such a manner as to avoid any exposure to atmosphere. As a final note, I’ve read that one possibility is that the nickel could be mixed with a secondary powder that would be highly resistant to sintering that would create a barrier between particles, allowing for a higher temperature during to be achieved. I believe the material mentioned was aluminum oxide. Afterwards, the nickel could be separated from the alumina.
Nickel oxide and other contaminants coat the surface of commercially available nickel. These substances provide a barrier to the entire hydrogen uptake process. There are many methods of removing oxide from a nickel surface. Individual replicators will have to choose which of these processes are most practical and doable, considering their equipment, budget, and schedule. Here are a few of the possibilities.
– Acid etching of the nickel oxide. There are many chemicals that can achieve this. Some are more corrosive and faster acting than others.
– High intensity ultrasound irradiation of the nickel powders in a hydrocarbon slurry to produce inter-particle collisions that will blast off thin surface layers, removing the oxides and revealing a fresh atomically roughened surface. This process can dramatically increase the catalytic potential of nickel by hundred to thousands of fold, allowing for a catalytic potential much closer to palladium or platinum. There are many papers on this process that are available with a quick search. However, when considering the implementation of this process, there are many factors to consider. An ultrasound cleaning rig should be designed after extensive research and consideration of many factors. In addition, professional ultrasound systems are available commercially along with associated gear.
– Chemical reduction in a molecular hydrogen environment. This process is established the literature. However, depending upon the extent of the initial oxidation, full reduction may not take place until high temperatures or high flow rates of hydrogen are achieved. Again, such temperatures, depending upon the specifications of the nickel, could induce some degree of sintering, resulting in a loss of catalytic potential.
Depending solely on the hydrogen released by LiAlH4 in the active reactor is a gamble. Although some parties have claimed to produced excess heat with allegedly zero pre-hydrogenation of their nickel fuel, the overwhelmingly high failure rate of replications (perhaps one success out of every hundred attempts) demands that we work to maximize hydrogen uptake. Although I’m without proof, I’m convinced that the lack of adequate hydrogen uptake into the nickel is the top reason for failures of E-Cat replications. This assertion is backed up by two concepts that continually reside in my mind: without hydrogen absorption into the lattice there can be no reactions and nickel is notoriously difficult to hydrogenate. I conclude that if replicators began implementing processes to boost the degree of hydrogen loading during pre-hydrogenation and in their active reactors, the success rate would go up dramatically.
Palladium, on the other hand, is easy to hydrogenate. This element rapidly adsorbs, disassociates, and absorbs hydrogen at room temperature and low pressures. Literally, it almost behaves as a sponge for hydrogen. If certain hydrogen loading ratios can be achieved in palladium (which are often hindered by the lower tensile strength which results in cracking and desorption of hydrogen) then excess heat can be routinely produced – although with power densities usually a magnitude below those produced by the Rossi Effect. Nickel, on the other hand, has approximately twice the tensile strength of palladium. This means that the internal stresses and high pressures produced by hydrogen absorption would be less likely to fracture the lattice. Basically, it seems we have a trade off here. Nickel is far more difficult to load with hydrogen and form the internal structures needed for cold fusion reactions, but if you are willing to go the extra mile – or ten – the properties of this metal can provide a benefit over palladium.
There are multiple methods that could be used to pre-hydrogenate nickel. The simplest and perhaps least effective (or maybe sufficiently effective if the nickel has been cleaned inside and out) is pumping ordinary H2 into the vessel with nickel and applying heat with an external resistor. This will certainly result in some level of hydrogen absorption over a long period of time. However, there are methods of accelerating this process – that all require additional know how, labor, financial resources, and safety considerations.
Atomic Hydrogen Spillover with Palladium
The concept of hydrogen spillover is easy to grasp. Molecular hydrogen (H2) makes contact with a transition metal with the potential to disassociate hydrogen. Such an element could be palladium, which has been rumored and considered by some online personalities to be one of Andrea Rossi’s earliest catalysts. However, other elements such as platinum, copper, and even nickel (more on how nickel could be used with nickel later) also can disassociate molecular hydrogen to lesser degrees. After being adsorbed onto the surface of the spillover catalyst, it is split apart into two atomic hydrogen (H1) atoms. Some of these atoms with weaker bonds to the catalyst literally slide across or “spillover” the surface of the small palladium particle – as an example – to a large nickel particle called the substrate. Atomic hydrogen atoms more strongly bonded to the palladium may require pulsations of heat and/or pressure to break loose and spillover. Next, the (H1) atoms which have traveled to the surface of the nickel. Because (H1) is highly reactive and doesn’t have to be disassociated slowly by the nickel surface, it is rapidly absorbed through the surface and penetrates the lattice.
To maximize the spillover process – a method that is well described in scientific literature – the surface area of the catalyst can be increased to maximize the contact between it (in this case palladium) and the substrate (for this example, nickel.) One method of doing this would be to reduce the particle size of the palladium from micro-meters to nano-meters. Interestingly, another method of maximizing the transport of (H1) during spillover is via “bridges” of another material that is positioned between the catalyst and the substrate. Often the bridges are composed of carbon, but many elements and substances have been used. In regards to the E-Cat, Andrea Rossi has often used high surface area carbonyl nickel powder. This form of nickel powder can be covered with peaks, spikes, ridges, and protrusions. A nano-sized particle of palladium could potentially be trapped between surface features or totally surrounded by them. These features might not only surface as a bridging mechanism enhancing the transport of (H1) but also trap the palladium particles close to the nickel surface. Since (H1) always seeks to recombine rapidly after it is disassociated – to reform into (H2) – keeping the atomic hydrogen generating “catalyst” as close as possible to the nickel would not only be ideal, but logical.
If Andrea Rossi used palladium in his earliest tests, he may have allowed it to remain in the active reactor. However, due to the lack of appearance in various studies of his fuel and ash (spent fuel) samples, he probably started removing the precious, expensive material and only utilized it during pre-hydrogenation of the nickel. Depending on the diameter of the palladium particles, segregating and removing it from the nickel after such a process could be relatively simple or nearly impossible. Smaller particles of palladium, locked into the surface web of features on the carbonyl nickel, might be very difficult to remove. Conversely, larger particles of palladium that would also produce a spillover effect (perhaps with less efficient transport of atomic hydrogen to the nickel) could be simple to filter out with the right equipment.
My opinion is that replicators should experiment with the usage of spillover catalysts (of different elements, morphology, and particle sizes) during the pre-hydrogenation of their fuel. By performing research on the the specific catalyst they are using – along with the temperatures it adsorbs and desorbs atomic hydrogen – they can choose the best heating and pressure cycles. Most likely, continual drops in temperature (to allow adsorption and disassociation) and then increases in temperature (to allow the hydrogen to spillover) will required to optimize the usage of spillover catalysts. Changes in pressure could be important as well. Lastly, researchers should consider, very carefully, whether they want to remove the spillover catalyst(s) from their fuel or allow them to enter the active reactor. For example, they should not allow palladium or palladium black to make contact with LiAlH4. Even a tiny quantity of one percent of platinum black can result in spontaneous combustion of the metal hydride resulting in a potential accident or injury.
(One last thought for this topic. Focardi in one of his earliest interviews mentioned that the catalyst was a compound and not a single element. The first guess that comes to mind is PALLADIUM CHLORIDE. This compound can be used via many methods to deposit either tiny patches of palladium clusters or a film of palladium onto other substances – including nickel. This could possibly result in a better distribution of nano-palladium across the nickel powder. The process might deposit palladium deep to the bottom of the surface features on the nickel as well. On the downside, I’ve heard that in some situations chloride and chlorine can be catalytic poisons. I am not sure of the positive or negative aspects of chloride on hydrogen absorption so this should be researched further.)
Nickel Spillover Catalyst on Nickel Powder Substrate
Nickel has some ability to disassociate molecular hydrogen (H2) into atomic hydrogen (H1). The problem is that this ability is generally weak. However, nickel has been used in many spillover reactions described in scientific literature. One tested and proven method of increasing hydrogen absorption is to use a smaller diameter nickel powder (nano-sized) as a spillover catalyst on or near larger nickel powder particles (micron-sized). This increases the degree of hydrogenation. However, for this to be optimal, I believe that the nano-particles should be recently synthesized by chemical reduction. There are papers describing this method of producing nano-nickel powders. These oxide-free particles should allow for more rapid disassociation of (H2). If oxidized nano-nickel is used, I suspect the hydrogen uptake would remain the same or only slightly improve.
If Rossi is using a small percentage of nano-nickel with his micron-sized nickel powder, it would most likely not be detected. Even if some small, nano-scale particles were seen in an SEM microscope, there would be no way of knowing if they were added intentionally as a catalyst or if they were created by the scraping and removal of the nickel powder from the reactor. Interestingly, even the Fluid Heater patent mentions a baking process that can result in micro-caves or micro-cavities being formed and the production of smaller nickel particles. My guess is that the smaller nickel particles are not only produced by the baking process but intentionally added. I could be wrong, however. The only way to determine if adding smaller oxide-free nickel would help assist hydrogenation and excess heat production is through constant, on-going testing.
Ball Milling and Mixing the Spillover Catalysts
The usage of ball milling will come up later in this document, for another purpose. However, in regards to spillover catalysts (palladium, platinum, titanium, copper, nano-nickel) there needs to be a way to make sure the spillover-catalysts make firm contact with the nickel substrate. This may be important both when attempting to embed catalyst powder into the flat surface of a smooth nickel particle (for example gem grade quality nickel powder) or when attempting to push the catalyst deeply into the surface web of carbonyl nickel powder. To accomplish this, I think a ball milling machine filled with an inert gas or hydrogen (if this can be safely done) could be utilized. The tumbling motion alone – without the impact of the metal balls – over the course of hours should help enhance the surface contact between spillover catalyst and substrate. When the balls are utilized, the catalyst elements may actually be pounded more deeply into the surface of the nickel – perhaps even creating a type of pressure bond.
Of course such a semi-permanent bond may not be desired if the catalyst is to be segregated and removed from the nickel after pre-hydrogenation OR if the fine surface features of the carbonyl nickel serving as “bridges” and “traps” are to be protected. I expect the impact of the balls would destroy those features. A metallurgical microscope would be useful in determining the result of such mixing with and without balls. However, a simple reduction and lack of loose “catalyst” (perhaps visible with a low power microscope or eye piece) could help show the mixing was effective.
Atomic Hydrogen Source Utilization
Depending upon the natural, albeit weak, disassociative power of nickel or the stronger ability of other spillover catalysts to produce atomic hydrogen may be the only option for some replicators. There are additional options for those with the ability to push hydrogenation even further or utilize a different mechanism. One of these is to create atomic hydrogen via one of a number of established techniques and then allow it to be absorbed by the nickel. I’ll describe a few as follows.
A tungsten filament or wire heated to very high temperatures in a molecular hydrogen environment can break apart molecular hydrogen into atomic hydrogen. This is the technique utilized in many commercially available “atomic hydrogen sources” that can be purchased from different manufacturers. Pictures of these ray gun looking devices that push molecular hydrogen through a tube containing a heated tungsten filament can easily be found. You can read all about them: the temperatures they can produce, their power ratings, the required molecular hydrogen flow rates, and the associated atomic hydrogen percentages they produce. Typically, the highest percentages of atomic hydrogen are produced when they are operated at their maximum temperature with the lowest flow rates. Percentages of atomic hydrogen up to 98% are listed in their specification sheets. But these are high tech commercial devices that are probably sold at prices beyond that of virtually all replicators. The good news is there is no reason why a careful, skilled, and determined replicator couldn’t build a similar device. In fact, such builds have been described.
A spark discharge can disassociate molecular hydrogen. In the simplest sense, this could be the equivalent of a spark plug firing in the reactor – perhaps like in the systems designed by Defkalion. Conversely, two sharp and pointy electrodes at high voltage could similarly produce such a spark with the energy needed to cleave molecular hydrogen into atomic hydrogen. The required voltage would depend on a number of factors including the hydrogen pressure, the temperature inside of the reactor, the shape of the electrodes, and the distance between them. Great care should be used to make sure there is no oxygen in such an environment – otherwise a dangerous and unfortunate accident could result. One interesting thought about such a system of atomic hydrogen production is that the operator can precisely control the firing duration and repetition rate. Defkalion claimed, however, that their electrodes suffered degradation over time. This would be something to watch out for.
Microwave atomic hydrogen sources have been commercialized. In this system, a tube containing a flow of molecular hydrogen is irradiated with microwave radiation of a selected frequency. The result is the creation of atomic hydrogen. Microwave radiation is invisible and can be dangerous (the mesh screen on your microwave oven protects you from going blind while you watch your TV dinner being heated) so a device like this probably shouldn’t be built at home or in a garage workshop.
Another possibility would be to create a glow discharge cell to pre-hydrogenate the nickel powder. Although there are countless practical design considerations, a simple setup could be described as a horizontal quartz tube with a metal electrode sealing the top and bottom. On the bottom electrode, a layer of nickel powder could be placed and the interior would be filled with molecular hydrogen. My understanding – if I’m wrong I hope readers will correct me – is that when a high voltage is applied across the top (negative) and bottom (positive) electrodes, the H2 would ionize and create H1. This ionized glowing plasma would literally hurl negatively charged atomic hydrogen ions towards the positive electrode. The result would be atomic hydrogen forcefully entering the nickel even at low temperatures and low pressures. In fact, in these glow discharge cells, higher pressures would require higher voltage power supplies, according to my understanding. Utilizing lower hydrogen pressures – adding more hydrogen through a port if the pressure dropped below a certain level – might be just as effective as using hydrogen at atmospheric pressure.
One valid concern is that nuclear reactions could start happening immediately in the glow discharge pre-hydrogenation cell. This is something totally unwanted during pre-hydrogenatioin! The goal is a nickel powder that be loaded with hydrogen, extracted from the pre-hydrogenation vessel, and then placed in the active reactor to be stimulated. Perhaps this could be accomplished utilizing the same glow discharge cell with a weaker voltage and reduced H1 output. Actually, if someone wants to work with this phenomenon, it might be a better idea to incorporate glow discharge into the active reactor design. Personally, I’m not interested in this concept. However, I know other people have incorporated glow discharge into actual test rigs.
UV irradiation of H2 is yet another method of producing atomic hydrogen. The energy of extreme ultra violent (capable of being produced by certain types of lamps that can be purchased on the internet) has been reported to be capable of breaking apart molecular hydrogen. I am unsure as to the rate of this disassociation at the UV intensities most replicators would be capable of producing. However, there are a number of interesting papers discussing how even in a vacuum – with no atmosphere present – UV light can clean the surface of many metals, breaking apart the oxides and other contaminants on their surface. After hours of searching I could not find enough information about the irradiation of nickel to decide if this process, in a vacuum without the presence of H2, would be useful to us. A few papers tend to imply – although my understanding of them was unclear – that nickel oxide does not go through the same photoreduction process. This is a concept that should be researched and further tested with oxidized nickel samples. Utilizing all safety protocols (UV can be dangerous to the eyes and skin) to prevent human exposure to the light, a sample of nickel could be placed in a box and the atmosphere removed. The lamp could be turned on and allowed to irradiate the nickel for various lengths of time. If the reduction process happens in a similar manner as copper, palladium, and platinum, the oxide should fade and the color of the nickel metal should return after many hours. But since nickel has such a high affinity of oxygen (why it develops an oxide layer so rapidly) the oxide layer may increase.
The Majestic Lithium Aluminum Hydride (LiAlH4)
When Andrea Rossi first started his work, he utilized hydrogen both from an electrolysis device and a hydrogen tank. Eventually, he decided that for safety reasons reactors should not be hooked up to external hydrogen sources. The solution he decided on was – in addition to probable pre-hydrogenation of his fuel – was lithium aluminum hydride (LiAlH4) also known as lithium aluminate. This metal hydride holds onto four hydrogen atoms that can be released upon the decomposition of the compound when exposed to heat. Although this fact goes over the heads of most replicators, when hydrogen is released by LiAlH4 they are in the atomic form. That’s right! Even though they will seek to rapidly recombine with neighboring hydrogen atoms in the gaseous environment of the reactor, they are initially (H1). This means LiAlH4 releases the atomic hydrogen (also sometimes referred to as nascent hydrogen in older literature) that can so easily penetrate a nickel surface!
So with or without a spillover catalyst, hot tungsten filament, or glow discharge taking place, exactly the type of hydrogen we need is being produced. Stop for a moment. What does this mean if we think about it rationally and logically. Here are a few thoughts that come to my mind.
– Due to the fact atomic hydrogen always seeks to recombine, it will only be present in the atmosphere of the reactor WHILE IT IS BEING DESORBED OR RELEASED DURING THE DECOMPOSTION OF LiAlH4!
– After the complete decomposition of LiAlH4, ALL OF THE ATOMIC HYDROGEN HAS LIKELY RECOMBINED AND NONE IS REMAINING!
– Rapidly heating the LiAlH4 to speed through the desorption SEVERELY REDUCES THE TIME THAT ATOMIC HYDROGEN EXISTS IN THE REACTOR BEFORE RECOMBINATION!
All together, what does this mean? The answer seems to be that a slow heating ramp during the different phases of LiAlH4 decomposition and hydrogen release may be critical. Multiple papers already explain how the very slow heating of LiAlH4 at a rate of below 1C per minute prevents the compound from melting, or changing from solid to liquid. An ultra slow heating rate also lowers the temperature at which decomposition begins and allows all of the desorption phases to be completed in a much lower temperature range. One reason why preventing such melting could be a good idea is super simple: if the LiAlH4 melts early on you will smother the nickel so hydrogen cannot be adsorbed later on. All along, staring us in face, there was another reason to go slow during the decomposition phase: by heating the LiAlH4 slowly you lengthen the time period that atomic hydrogen exists in the reactor. If you simply zoom through the heating, you waste all the atomic hydrogen by releasing it all at once and letting it recombine almost instantly!
It now seems obvious that slow heating of LiAlH4 at a rate of less than 1C per minute from the temperature range of roughly 100C to 225C might help maximize aborption of hydrogen in the active reactor. But there are even more considerations to factor in when utilizing LiAlH4 as a hydrogen source. Every one of them should be considered with utmost care, especially if no method of pre-hydrogenation is being utilized.
First, LiAlH4 can easily become contaminated with oxygen, nitrogen, and moisture from the atmosphere. At all times, to protect the integrity of the LiAlH4, it should be handled in an inert environment. From opening the bottle to loading the reactor, lithium aluminum hydride should never be exposed to atmosphere for a single moment. Is this an absolutely critical requirement? Of course not. Parkhomov and Songsheng (possibly somewhat carelessly in my opinion) mixed their fuel in open atmosphere. They were still able to get results, but I can guarantee you that some quantity of contaminants found their way into the active reactor.
Secondly, the best quality and brand of commercially available LiAlH4 should be used. Multiple LENR researchers and individuals with no connection to the field indicate that Alfa Aesar 97% Purity LiAlH4 is a high quality, superior product. These individuals claim that compared to their previous sources, this brand produced dramatically more hydrogen. Checking the COAs (certificate of analysis) for multiple lots of LiAlH4 from Alfa Aesar (there are online sources for this information), I noticed the purity was often higher than the minimum rating. Yet there may be another reason for the superiority of Alfa Aesar LiAlH4.
Thirdly, LiAlH4 from Alfa Aesar when compared to other brands showed a significantly smaller particle size. Although most of the particles are indeed larger than the nickel powder that Andrea Rossi utilizes, some fragments were probably smaller. Conversely, some other brands had huge particle sizes of 50-100 microns! If we think about the concept of tiny nano-palladium (perhaps palladium black) particles incorporating themselves into the thick array of grasping surface features on the surface of carbonyl nickel, an idea should rapidly come to mind. Both palladium and lithium aluminum hydride particles produce atomic hydrogen, so shouldn’t we treat them both the same way? If a palladium spillover catalyst emitting atomic hydrogen works best when it is trapped in a web of nickel “bridges” or surface features, wouldn’t reducing the particle size of LiAlH4 and entangling it deeply into the same forest produce similar results? Without proof to back me up, I want to say yes to both questions.
Fourthly, I’d like to address the issue of reducing the particle size of LiAlH4. This has been performed in many labs as documented in dozens of papers online. However, high energy ball milling will only reduce the size of the LiAlH4 particles to a certain degree – with most of the particles remaining at least a couple microns in size. Even this reduction in size should help and maximize contact and atomic hydrogen transfer. But what if there was an even better way? I only have one idea at this time. Many scientists purify their LiAlH4 before using it in their experiments. Here is how the process is described from one paper.
“Raw material was powdered LiAlH4 (Aldrich Co. Ltd.) of 95% in purity. The color of this hydride is originally white, but that of the raw material was beige-gray, indicating it might contain some impurity, so it was solved in diethyl ether solution in which water was removed in advance and then purified by filtration followed by evaporation of solute. The color of thus purified LiAlH4was white, indicating that impurity was effectively removed.”
I’ve been informed by someone with far more chemical knowledge than myself that the process mentioned above would be something he wouldn’t want to attempt. He claimed that diethyl ether is a chemical he would rather avoid working with and that he’d need specialized equipment. Since I’m not a chemist, I’ll take his word for it. However, what if someone with lots of experience, with the proper equipment, and in a safe environment did purify their LiAlH4 in such a manner? Could the process be performed in such a way as to REDUCE THE PARTICLE SIZE? Would there be a method of – thinking wildly here – to apply ultrasound to the solution so nano-LiAlH4 would be the result after evaporation? If this was possible, we could create atomic hydrogen releasing particles capable of squeezing in between the surface features of carbonyl nickel – or at least being spread more evenly and making more contact with spherical, smooth nickel powder. This possibility fascinates me!
Fifthly, I’d like to mention that LiAlH4 doped with nano-nickel particles (usually via high energy ball milling) releases hydrogen at a lower temperature than ordinary non-doped LiAlH4. When working with very “sticky” ultrasonically irradiated nickel powder, being able to decompose and release all the LiAlH4 at a lower temperature dramatically reducing any chance of sintering could be a benefit. Also, could the nano-nickel ball milled into the LiAlH4 act as a spillover catalyst at the same time: having a dual purpose?
LiAlH4, reduced dramatically in particle size via ball milling or a purification process and doped in oxide-free nano-nickel powder sure sounds useful to me!
Non-Hydrogenating Function of Lithium
Lithium is more than a hydrogen source in an E-Cat. Although spillover catalysts alone or in combination (such as a hypothetical combination of palladium and nano-nickel powder) seem to have been sufficient in Rossi’s earliest systems – although the public statements from Rossi and others are sometimes contradictory on this issue – lithium provides what one replicator called a “shortcut” for high excess heat in certain configurations. Allegedly, a pure adequately hydrogenated and properly stimulated nickel fuel source not only produces excess heat, but particles of some kind are emitted. Me356, a replicator who claimed great success with his E-Cat replications, claimed that these particles would interact with and bombard a sample of lithium (for example a tiny piece of wire) placed anywhere near the active fuel. He claimed the lithium would shine brilliantly white. Furthermore, he claimed introducing even a trace of lithium in a nickel-hydrogen reactor would produce a large increase in excess heat. Like Sergio Focardi, Me356 claimed nickel and hydrogen alone (in the most crude and unoptimized setups) would work to produce excess heat. But he repeated many times that lithium offered both an effective way to enhance the effect, but also complications to consider – especially when using LiAlH4 as a hydrogen source.
With proper nickel substrate preparation such as ultrasound irradiation in a hydrocarbon slurry, the usage of spillover catalyst(s) including palladium, and additional sources of atomic hydrogen a nickel and hydrogen reactor should be capable of achieving high performance – including self sustained operation for hours at a time without input. If this is achieved, without lithium, the replicators performing the testing should attempt to introduce lithium in a manner such as Me356 described. The results of such experiments could tell us more about what particles are being emitted by the nickel and how they are effecting the lithium. This information could help in the formulation of an even more reliable fuel recipe for other replicators to follow.
Thermal and Electro-magnetic Stimulation
The heat and whatever electromagnetic stimulation that may come from the direct current being used to power a resistor is likely enough to stimulate properly prepared fuel. As an example, Songsheng Jiang used direct current without any exotic wave forms and seemed to produce hours of self sustained operation. Unfortunantely, it seems he has either stopped testing or has became secretive, so we may not learn if he has performed additional tests to confirm his previous results and determine if his results would have benefited from more sophisticated stimulation methods. Most likely, he has simply retired; he is a senior citizen who probably desires to live out his remaining years without the frustrations that can come from LENR research.
One method of using heat to stimulate LENR reactions is what’s called a “thermal shock.” In one example, a reactor can be heated to approximately 700C-725C – a temperature high enough to ensure that all the LiH has broken down. The power should then be cut completely and the temperature allowed to rapidly drop to a lower temperature (quenching), in this example 300C. Then the power should be increased to the maximum setting so the fuel can be “thermal shocked” up to 700C as rapidly as possible. This specific example does not guarantee results. However, I’ve heard of one or more parties utilizing a very similar method and very similar temperatures to achieve satisfactory results. Additionally, if one cycle doesn’t induce excess heat, multiple thermal shocks should be attempted, with a slow climb to 700C between each attempt.
One possible explanation for how thermal shocking works is that by the time the temperature of 700C has been achieved, some degree of hydrogen loading should have been accomplished. If any of the absorbed atomic hydrogen has pushed through the lattice into defects/voids/cavities and recombined into H2, the “cluster” of hydrogen should be under pressure. Dropping the the temperature suddenly could, according to this theory, further increase the inward pressure on the hydrogen as the nickel lattice shrinks due to thermal contraction from cooling. Then, upon thermal shocking and increasing the temperature, the pressure experienced by the hydrogen increases again. At some point during this cycle, exotic forms of hydrogen may be formed that can then undergo nuclear reactions – between protons or with neighboring atoms of nickel.
Electormagnetic stimulation may allow for the periods of high intensity nuclear reactions to be extended before an additional thermal shock is required. This could protect the nickel lattice from damage that could result from repeated cycles of heating and cooling, extending the service life of the fuel. When it comes to the stimulation that may have been used in the not too distant past by Andrea Rossi, it has been claimed he used three phase, high voltage (even up to 400 volts) AC square waves in resonance with the resistor to create sharp pulses of current. This form of stimulation is alleged to be very power and increases the performance of a reactor.
On a final note about stimulation, I’d like to mention how in some LENR experiments hydrogenated transition metals have been exposed to cryogenic temperatures in a quenching progress. The eventual warming resulted in excess heat. The authors described how they suspected very high pressures in the lattice were being formed which somehow triggered nuclear reactions. Cryogenic temperatures have also been suggested as a method of pre-treating fuel, creating cracks and grain boundries that could be useful.
Keep Testing and then Test Some More
In this document I’ve shared many ideas that are circulating in my head. I hope you may find of them worth pursuing. But, to be blunt, they could be wrong – even though I think they hold promise. Don’t depend solely on the ideas in this document: get ideas from others, expand on these ideas, and come up with your own. The most important thing is to keep testing, over and over again. Every time you carefully change a single parameter and run a test again, you learn something even if not a single watt of excess heat was produced. Eventually, you’ll learn what doesn’t work, what seems to work, and you’ll get ideas on what changes need to be made to increase performance. Or, there’s always the possibility, you could strike gold – figuratively speaking – early on. Although many replicators fail, many have gotten results pretty much right off the bat. You could be one of them – especially if you try your best to maximize the absorption of hydrogen!
Also, I urge you to share your results openly, so others can learn from your testing. What we need in this community more than ever is the spirit of openness. Replicators need to establish pacts with themselves and each other that proving the absolute validity of Ni-H technology should be the priority before fame, financial reword, credit, or any other form of personal benefit. To make the world recognize this technology is every bit as real as the solar panel, we need the few successful replicators to overcome the temptation to hide their candle of knowledge, but instead hold it high for everyone to copy. You could be the catalyst that starts the flood of replications that changes the world!
As I’d like to mention yet again, you’re personal safety and the safety of everyone around you must come first. Don’t test unless you can do so in completely safe manner and have the necessary facilities and experience. Proving that a combination of nickel and hydrogen can self sustain producing a thousand watts or more per gram of fuel sounds exciting. However, it is not worth getting electrocuted, burning your house down, or breathing in a puff of LiAlH4 and passing out dead.
I firmly believe that irrefutable verification of the high power Ni-H effect, also called the Rossi Effect, is within sight. With a few optimizations, I think we can change the entire LENR landscape into a much more pleasant place while providing hope to the entire planet.