Lewis Larsen of Lattice Energy LLC on LENR and Transmutation

Thanks to Freethinker for finding an article published on the Kitco Tech Metals Insider page about Lattice Energy LLC, in which the company’s president and CEO, Lewis Larsen discusses his company and thoughts about LENR.

Since Kitco is a site dealing with metals and mining commodities trading, the article looks at the subject of transmutation in LENR reactions. Larsen states that in 1924 Japanese physicist Prof. Hantaro Nagaoka was able to transmutate tungsten into gold, and that this has been replicated several times in recent years (no references supplied, unfortunately).

Larsen also explains that he believes that the anomalous heat produced in LENR experiments were not the result of fusion, but caused by ‘neutron creation from protons and electrons’, and that nanotechnology has been key to being able to produce LENR reactions. Larsen is well-known in LENR circles as one of the theoreticians behind the Widom-Larsen theory, and he believes that this theoretical framework is key to being able to produce reliable prototype devices which he plans to develop into commercial products through Lattice Energy.

His company’s goal is to produce devices of various sizes, producing from single watts to 100 kW of heat — and also transmuting metals.

From the article:

‘“The neutron-catalyzed LENR process follows rows of the periodic table of elements”, he went on, meaning that heavier metals than the starting targets’ will be created. The work published by Larsen and his team suggests that a tungsten target, for instance, will absorb neutrons and gradually be transmuted to gold, platinum and other platinum group metals.’

So far, angel investors and insiders have financed Lattice Energy, but it is in need of greater financial backing so the company can scale up and go into commercial production.

  • Obvious

    Making gold/PGEs is just a sideshow to making huge amounts of excess heat. On the other hand, I would rather have PGE and gold byproducts rather than boring old helium.

    Also, helium is a pain to measure. But nothing says success like some bling.

  • LENR G

    OK, I’ve read through their scientific paper and come to some conclusions.

    This is not LENR. Basically what’s happening is this: they are cycling a slab of almost pure copper through a number of melting and solidifying stages. When they are done doing this they measure the copper and find strange dots of unexpected magnetism. They measure those strange magnetic dots using X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) and find concentrations of impurities (other elements besides copper).

    The thing that they can’t yet explain is why their XRF results seem to indicate a much higher concentration of those trace elements than was in the initial sample of copper. They *think* that the unexpectedly high, nominally impossible, measurements are explained by some property of the dot components that makes them respond to X-ray fluorescence more strongly than normal (e.g., like their outer electrons are more easily jettisoned).

    Outside chance they are seeing transmutation.

    Some of their other experiments (not addressed in the paper) involve adding in inert gases, not hydrogen. We’re not talking about a hydrogen in metal lattice scenario.

    So they found a cool way to concentrate non-copper atoms in a copper slab by cycling it though melting and cooling stages AND the resulting concentrations have unique unexpected properties for which there are no good theories/explanations yet. But they are working on it.

    Seems like in 2009 (the date of the paper) they didn’t have a good enough handle on all of it to try and commercialize it. But they definitely have discovered something interesting and probably useful once they have better understanding and control over it.

  • kdk

    It might be possible to do the transmutations without a lot of net energy being produced, either with more energy intensive systems of making the transmutations than necessary, or otherwise maybe. Small scale manufacturing maybe, like STMicro, eventually, or whoever gets there first, as most everything starts to get smaller anyway.

    • Job001

      Na, let us assume it may make on the order of 1000 GWH of heat per Kg contaminated scrap gold depending upon gold formation efficiency.
      WOW, that is a HUGE amount!
      Anyone planning to dump over 1000 gigawatt hours of heat per Kg of gold has huge regulation issues! NOT in my back yard either!

      Besides, the equipment to dump all that heat will not even be paid for with a Kg of contaminated scrap gold, lets see, at say $300/oz x 35 oz = $10,500. That piddly amount doesn’t even pay for a tiny piece of land, let alone a million dollar cooling tower.

      A far better alternative is to use cheap energy to run an ocean gold recovery process. It may be possible because now energy is far too expensive. On the other hand, gold price may fall below $300/oz quickly also.

      One point is this, with cheap energy, all assumptions like quicksand will need review, one cannot trust assumptions to hold up.

      • Alan DeAngelis

        Yeah, I don’t know off hand how much energy would be released if a kilogram of tungsten were to be transmuted into gold but for example only one kilogram of uranium 235 when it undergoes a fission reaction
        in an atomic bomb has the energy equivalent of 1,500 metric tons of coal! The point being is that several atom bombs worth of energy would be created if you were going to make a standard 12.4 kg gold bar from tungsten.

        • Job001

          Yep, it will be a similar level, millions of times coal heating value. The experts can do a precise calculation.

          • Alan DeAngelis

            Using this energy conversion calculator http://www.unit-conversion.info/energy.html
            I found that 1 electron volt (eV) = 3.83 EE-29 ton of TNT.

            I was wondering how much energy (in tons of TNT) would be created in the Mitsubishi transmutation of tungsten (W) to platinum (Pt) if you wanted to make one troy oz of platinum
            from tungsten. http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/03/overview-of-theoretical-and.html

            W(182) + 4d > Pt(190) 41.6 MeV = 41, 600, 000 volts (per atom)

            1 troy oz = 31.103g

            31.103 g/190 = 0.1637 moles of Pt

            6.02EE23 (Avogadro’s number, the number of atoms per mole)

            6.02EE23 x 0.1637 = 9.85EE22 atoms of platinum

            41, 600, 000 volts (per atom) x 9.85EE22 (atoms of platinum) = 4.1EE30 ev

            1 electron volt (eV) = 3.83EE-29 ton of TNT

            4.1EE30 (ev) x 3.83EE-29 = 157 tons of TNT

            I could be totally wrong. Please don’t assume I did this correctly. This should go through the peanut gallery review process.

            • Job001

              The reason I won’t do the calculation is all of the competing side reactions, and I’m not an expert either. Consider the periodic table sequence; W>Re>Os>Ir>Pt>Au>Hg>Ti>Pb>Bi>Po
              As I said, that takes an expert, and that’s why making Au gold makes a contaminated worthless mess and takes much more energy for the final gold in the mixture than the simple W>Au assumed. First assumptions are usually not just bad but horrid. ps:Nice try!

              • Alan DeAngelis

                Yeah, I really don’t think it would be that straight forward either. The intermediates might fission before they reach gold. And there’s no mention of gold in the Mitsubishi experiments either.

            • Obvious

              TNT sounds exciting, but it just a matter of the speed of the reaction. 157 tons of TNT is roughly equal to 115 barrels of oil in energy equivalent.

              • Alan DeAngelis

                Thanks, it seems like that amount of energy per oz could be fed into the grid at a reasonable rate.

              • Alan DeAngelis

                Yeah, but I couldn’t resist the Stanley Kubrick visual.

            • Andreas Moraitis

              I think you are correct. You should try WolframAlpha ( http://www.wolframalpha.com/ ), it’s perhaps more convenient to use.

              • Alan DeAngelis

                Thanks Andreas. I just bookmarked it.

      • GreenWin

        Gold today trades for $1,331.00/oz…

        • Job001

          Of course, 99.99%, Not contaminated scrap gold, say in nickel at 10%, try asking $300/oz.

  • Sanjeev

    My last post disappeared somehow.
    Yes it seems that this was replicated. Here is an interesting video:

  • Andreas Moraitis

    Thank you, very interesting. I had previously never thought of an electron capture process in the way you describe it. Just for clarification: In your patent application DE 10109973 A1 you are writing repeatedly „”unter Druck” bedeutet im folgenden immer 1 atm“?

    • hunfgerh

      unter Druck means > 1 atm,. Unter Druck < 1 atm is a mistake produced by the german patent Office when it converted the original post into a patent application.

  • LENR G

    I read through your patents as best I could. The translation from German is not great in some spots.

    So you seem to be implying that superconductivity, or at least Cooper Pairs, are key to LENR reactions. Is that right?

    And that room temperature superconductors are quite rare and the Toyota folks just happened to hit on a great combination. Yes?

    Have you (et al) done anything with your 2012 room temp superconductivity patent regarding commercialization? The earlier patent seems to indicate that you believe a LENR reactor is possible with the right superconducting materials. Are you working on a LENR reactor? Cooperating with any of the entities we talk about here on E-Cat World?

    Do you think superconductivity, triggered in different ways, is the underlying secret to all these emerging LENR reactors?

    • hunfgerh

      So you seem to be implying that superconductivity, or at least Cooper Pairs, are key to LENR reactions. Is that right?

      And that room temperature superconductors are quite rare and the Toyota folks just happened to hit on a great combination. Yes?
      I think on the same way I solved it. Studying literature and make own conclusions.

      Have you (et al) done anything with your 2012 room temp superconductivity patent regarding commercialization?
      Yes only in Germany. But Germans refuse LENR-reactors.
      The earlier patent seems to indicate that you believe a LENR reactor is possible with the right superconducting materials. Are you working on a LENR reactor?
      No, in Germany for private persons forbidden.
      Cooperating with any of the entities we talk about here on E-Cat World?

      Do you think superconductivity, triggered in different ways, is the underlying secret to all these emerging LENR reactors?
      Yes, see: spiegel online rossi, Special comment Nr. 404

      • LENR G

        Thanks! Your comment reproduced here for those following along:

        Continued comment # 334 In recent years, Mr. Rossi reported on three different products, the – “e-cat” (home-cat); producer of steam, max. 120 oC, – “1 MW reactor” (interconnection of 100 e-cats) producer of steam, max. 120 oC – and the so-called “hot-cat”; producer of heat, approximately 850 oC (redness on the reactor) base material of all three products is nickel, hydrogen fuel + X. To this end, he said: – “e-ca” t and “1 MW plant” based on the fusion of nickel and hydrogen, in the “hot-cat” there is no fusion of nickel and hydrogen. From the fact that current densities of 10 ^ 6 A / cm ^ 2 are required for fusion (Comment 334, point 3 + 4) for the system (nickel, hydrogen fuel + X) a superconducting property must be postulated. Note: The current density of 10 ^ 6 A / cm ^ 2 can be used in surface layers (nano range) can be realized with currents of about 1 A. On the contrary, working of the “hot-cat” is not in the fusion principle but on the principle of induction. Reported secondary powers of> 10 kW is achieved by the primary side, one to two orders of magnitude is operating below the fusion power density. The presented Versuchs-/Reaktorbeschreibung in 3rd party report suggests the combination of supercapacitors with the RT-superconducting primary circuit (inductor). This in turn would be interesting to drives from land, air and sea vehicles. Germany thrives on the vehicle. What it means to lose this foothold, we must here probably do not run on. Attention! Italians, Greeks and Swiss are already on the fast track.

  • LENR G

    Well, there is a nanomagnetism thread that runs throughout LENR. E-Cats don’t work unless you get over the DeBye threshold. Defkalion claims the spikes in magnetic field strength. Bruce Ahern thinks LENR is directly attributable to nanomagnetism. So there’s that.

    And there is some gas loading going on.

    I don’t see a focus on excess energy though and the focus on copper is also different. However there is enough there to take a closer look.

    I’ll do some research and report back if I find any deeper connections.

  • Curbina

    I don’t see the LENR relation on their paper, at east not clearly, can you point me to the relevant paragraphs? Anyway, this could be an indirect confirmation of LENR, if they claim transmutation, what I don’t see claimed anyway. The whole “they scammed me of US$14 millions” drama is interesting on its own given the people involved…

  • LENR G

    I think the transmutation aspect of LENR is not about generating rare metals for sale, I think it’s about having another tool in our nanoengineering toolbox.

    When I envision the far (?) future and capabilities like Drexler’s Universal Assembler I can imagine the need for generation of specific elements in situ to engineer specific properties of nanodevices.

    So I think the transmutation aspect is overblown in the sense that there’s so little produced, but awesome in the sense that we’ll probably need to be able to do that when our engineering gets sufficiently precise and capable.

  • LENR G

    It’s interesting to see how all the different folks in the LENR field have behaved. Turns out there are lots of different modes of behavior that result in nothing useful.

    It really makes me appreciate Rossi’s head down just build the sucker approach.

  • LENR G

    Relevant in the sense that it parallels the death valley that the fledgling LENR companies we are rooting for find themselves in. There are many company carcasses on the road from interesting laboratory results to useful technology.

    I can guarantee that Continuum Energy Technologies not a scam given the people involved. But they did vastly overestimate their ability to take a potentially useful scientific observations and turn them into products and revenue. Sounds like they’re still in R&D after a decade. Well-funded academics tend to get trapped in that R&D bubble. They like it there. Commercialization is hard hard work and requires skills that they don’t necessarily have.

  • orsobubu

    If gold could be easily transmutated:1-its price would collapse because of inifinity supply, or 2-political economy authorities would ban or outlaw it; I think transmuted gold would be easily identified; today, gold must be a held in Good Delivery Bars to be an officially quoted commodity, they undergo serious tests

    • Andreas Moraitis

      The gold price would collapse as soon as the public gets informed or very high quantities of gold were thrown onto the market. If somebody would be able to synthesize gold in an economic way, keeping it secret and selling not too much would be the only rational strategy. For that reason alone the announcement “We can make gold” appears suspicious.

      • Obvious

        Who would make gold when several more valuable platnoid metals come first?

    • bfast

      When free energy is abundant, the price of gold will drop through the floor anyway. Technologies exist to mine gold from the oceans. (All ocean water has some amount of gold in it.) The problem with this mining process is that it takes buckets of energy. BTW, the process of desalination gets you much of the way to harvesting the gold.

  • hunfgerh

    The process of transmutation, either from H to He, or Pb to Au etc. runs in a solid matrix always via e-/n-capture. The WL theory agrees with my theory of sci.physics.fusion (superconductor / cold fusion) from the year 2003. The high current densities required for the course are set forth in WL have several examples in their slide shows. Energy input and energy output follow at this end of the Einsteinchen energy-mass relationship.
    Certain constraints – here in particular the dramatic smog situation in China at present – will accelerate the translation of theory into practice. To get the speculation of the e-cat production – in China – this year more and more sense.

    • LENR G

      Are you familiar with the Toyota/Mitsubishi transmutation papers? I’d be curious if you had an opinion on what might be going on there.

      No big input energy of any type but still, apparently, transmutation.


      • hunfgerh

        The experiment is known to me. How does that fit to the predicted date.
        For transmutation (e-capture) a certain current density is required 10exp6 A/cm2.
        In nano-scaled materials, these current densities reached by currents to 1A. 1 A
        can be easily reached with local elements such as Pd / Ca. Ca (-2.87 V), Pd (+0.96 V).

        • LENR G

          Thanks. Interesting… so just the “natural” current density set up between the layers is possibly enough to cause (low rate) transmutation.

          That opens up all sorts of materials engineering possibilities down the road.

  • Job001

    Mendacious marketing explains this well. Running a LENR reactor for years would produce lots of energy and a negligible amount of contaminated trace gold. The logical explanation is researchers always like funding and publicity helps market research funding. Transmutation to produce gold remains a worthless dream that evaporates with the sunlight of calculated reality.

  • Paul

    I agree withe reader LENR G below: Scale up what? If they would have had something, they would have showed publicily or said before in papers, so we can argue they have nothing and also thei theory in my opinion is wrong. In such case, why an investor should give they money? To copy other competitors? I am astonished by the behaviour of certain companies and people…

  • Ophelia Rump

    Transmutation occurs in a Nuclear Fission Reactor. The amount of energy required to produce the precious metal via transmutation is absurdly expensive compared to the value of the resulting metal, and it takes a really long time.

    If you could perform that transmutation in a low cost and safe LENR device then you might get minute amounts of bonus precious metal while you produce energy. The idea of running the device just to transmute would still be insanely prohibitive in a time ~ energy output sense. Remember that in the span of running an E-Cat until core depletion, only minute amounts of nickle are transmuted.

    Would you really run an array of devices capable of powering the globe to transmute a few ounces of metal, and throw away the heat? Bad idea, insanely bad for global warming!

    • NT

      “The goal of Lattice is to build high performance thermal sources with outputs ranging from single watts to 100 kilowatts, the ultimate application being the use of LENRs in cars. Patents have been filed and some were issued.”
      Hmmm, it appears from their statement they do plan to utilize the produced thermal energy from the reaction in some way and not just mine for precious metals…

    • Andreas Moraitis

      Independently of the energy aspect there is another issue: Let’s say you want to convert 196Hg via 197Hg into 197Au. 196Hg has a natural isotopic abundance of only 0.15%, so that at least 666g mercury will be needed to generate 1 g gold. Mercury is expensive, currently you pay about 3000 US$ per flask (34.473 kg), that is 87 $ per kg, or 58 $ for 666g. For 1 g gold you will get about 43 $.

      However, there are other possible reactions. Using platinum would make still less sense, but if they can use tungsten, as is claimed in the article, it might work. As you say, the production of neutrons will consume large amounts of energy. Perhaps they could utilize the energy gain from the complete LENR process.

      • Andreas Moraitis

        Of course, if you would resell the remainig mercury, the above mentioned problem would disappear. I have overlooked this option. Therefore, what you say seems to be the key. 1 g Au contains 3.06×10^21 atoms. In order to produce as many neutrons by inverse beta decay (after Widom-Larsen), you would need at least 3.834×10^8 J or 106.5 kWh. That’s quite a lot, and for several reasons much more energy could be required. In any case it would be necessary to loop the reactor output somehow.

      • Andreas Moraitis

        Correction: About 680 instead of 666 g, due to the slightly different atomic masses.

  • LENR G

    Scale up what? Their slide shows from 100 slides to 1000 slides?

    Do we have any reason to believe Lattice Energy actually builds stuff and has been working on prototypes? Not being snarky (much) — an honest question.

    • Sanjeev

      :). I must agree. They are good at making nice presentations, but other than that nothing substantial. May be its due to Larson being a theory man.

      • Andre Blum

        I strongly disagree.
        Yellow on blue slides are not nice.

        • Fortyniner

          Au contraire, a classic and tasteful combination – like lime green and purple, or pink and orange.

      • Fortyniner

        It occurs to me that Larsen’s theory is in effect an extension of Mills’ ‘hydrino’ theory, in that both point to energy release from collapse of electron ‘shells’ – in Mills’ case to a 1/27 fractional state for hydrogen, and in Larsen’s case to complete collapse of one electron to the nucleus and fusion with a proton, within atoms of a particular series of metals.

        They also seem to share the ability to put together elaborate claims and projections based on little more than their pet theories.