The following guest post was submitted by Rick Allen.
There are a combination of factors that make a nickel-hydrogen cold fusion system work and allow for massive energy production. This has been demonstrated by Andrea Rossi’s “Energy Catalyzer” technology. Repeated tests – private, public, corporate, and institutional – have determined the E-Cat technology can produce kilowatts of excess power at very high temperatures, sometimes without input power. These results are far different than those from other LENR systems that may only produce tens of watts of output, with occasional higher bursts.
Although some of details about the E-Cat’s operation are known, many are still shrouded in secrecy due to intellectual property issues. The following is a short list of details – most provided by Andrea Rossi himself – that should be considered when any replication attempt is considered.
1) Nickel particle size around five microns.
2) Special processing of the nickel powder to produce “tubercules” or antenna like extensions on the surface of particles. This enhances the surface area and number of reaction sites. Rossi has stated that the processing of the powder is one of the most important aspects of the technology.
3) The use of a radio frequency generator. It should be noted, this is a controversial issue. Although a radio frequency generator has been alleged to be used, how it is utilized to control the reactions is unknown. Also, there is debate if a red hot resistor element can produce radio frequencies.
4) A hydrogen source. A canister was used in early versions of the low temperature E-Cat – but now a material is placed into the reactor that, when heated, releases hydrogen.
5) In regards to hydrogen, Rossi has stated that knowing how to create atomic hydrogen and utilize it appropriately is a key aspect of the technology
We also know, from Rossi’s statements, that at least one or more chemical elements are added to the reactor core in addition to nickel and hydrogen. This has been referred to as the “catalyst” which somehow allows the reactor to produce high levels of output. Over the past few years since Rossi first announced his technology, there have been many guesses as to the identity of the catalysts. A new possible catalyst has emerged: lithium.
There is no absolute proof that lithium is an E-Cat catalyst. However, there are a number of data points which point in that direction. For the record, it should be clarified that Rossi claims to have tested many different catalysts. The catalysts he used for the original low temperature E-Cat units may not be the same as for later versions (such as the ones utilized in the test of the one megawatt plant) and the high temperature (‘hot-cat’) modules.
Lithium (Li) is an element on the periodic table that is used in many industrial applications. It is an alkali metal that is highly reactive with other elements, has a low melting point (180C), and can be combined with hydrogen atoms to create lithium hydride. This substance can store more hydrogen than any other hydride compound.
There are a few qualifications for an E-Cat catalyst. The substance cannot be rare, extremely expensive, or radioactive. Lithium, although not dirt cheap, is far from being expensive. Also, in the tiny quantities needed in an E-Cat reactor, would be very affordable.
Another aspect of lithium that is relevant to the E-Cat is that in the form of a lithium hydride (LiH) it can absorb and release atomic hydrogen. Rossi has stated that one of the most critical aspects of the technology is to be able to create and properly utilize atomic hydrogen. It seems plausible that some form of lithium could have been used from the start to help facilitate the production, absorption, and release of atomic hydrogen.
In later versions of the E-Cat, it was admitted that a “pellet” of a material was added to the reactor that would release hydrogen. This was done to eliminate the need for a hydrogen canister which could be a potential safety hazard. Potentially, this could be a pellet of lithium hydride. However, even though this pellet was not used in the original E-Cat designs, it does not mean that lithium was not used in a different or similar role.
Chemonuclear Reactions and the work of Hidetsugu Ikegami
Hideotsugu Ikegami is name that may become well known in the months and years to come. He is a Japanese physicist who reached the status of professor emeritus at Osaka University and is a guest professor at Uppsala University. As those who have been following the E-Cat saga know well, Andrea Rossi has visited scientists from Uppsala University and has allowed them to perform tests of his devices. What was not well known, until Mats Lewan published the book An Impossible Invention, is that the meeting and events that followed has a profound impact on the development of the technology. Ikegami had collaborated on cold fusion experimentation with Roland Pettersson, a professor of physical and analytical chemistry at Uppsala University. Lewan relates how Pettersson began to think that lithium might be one of the catalysts used in the E-Cat after visiting Rossi’s factory in Bologna:
“With a little lithium in the nickel powder, the conditions could favor the reaction with which he and Ikegami had experimented. That lithium in liquid form was required in Ikegami’s and Pettersson’s experiment tallied well with Rossi’s reactor having to be heated for the reaction to start.”
Mats Lewan recounts that that Rossi was introduced to the writings of Hideotsugu Ikegami during one of his visits to Sweden. On his way back home, he studied the physicist’s papers and found them to be extremely interesting. According to the book, he was inspired by the information and made certain changes to the latest low temperature E-Cat reactor he was working on at the time (which would be used in the one megawatt plant). Rossi told Lewan that he managed to increase the efficiency of the E-Cat by 30%. In addition, greater levels of gamma radiation were produced, but they could be easily shielded.
What could these changes, inspired by the writings of Hideotsugu Ikegami, be related to? Most of Ikegami’s work in the field of fusion revolves around an experiment in which deuterium atoms are shot into liquid lithium. The result is a number of nuclear reactions that release a huge amount of energy. Interestingly, the results of his tests have been replicated by a third party. Ikegami has also theorized about how the E-Cat might work.
In one document available on the internet, Ikegami makes several predictions about an E-Cat reaction, describes the materials that may be used, and shows how the tests of the E-Cat may confirm his predictions. Here is a description of a nickel-hydrogen reaction utilizing the element lithium to promote a nuclear reaction:
We begin a test experiment by pre-heating the reactor at room temperature. At first,
MgH2 molecules dissociate and form Mg2Ni or Mg2NiH4 molecules. The LiH molecules
dissociate through the physisorption and then chemisorption processes on the surface of
Ni=Mg2Ni grains more quick than hydrogen molecules due to their large dipole moment
p(LiH)= 2:0 x 10-29(C . m) comparable with p(LiF)= 2:1 x 10-29(C . m) and weak bond
strength D(Li-H)= 2:47(eV) compared to D(H-H)= 4:52(eV). The dissociated H atoms
are absorbed by the grains leaving Li+ ions and mobile s-electrons which reveal the
thermodynamic activity of liquid resulting in the chemonuclear reactions. When the Li
ions and mobile s-electrons moistens the hydride grains if nessecary under an activation by
corona discharge or electron or light irradiation, the coherent H-H fusion starts up with an
initial large enhancement and quickly heats up the hydride. This produces D-atoms in the
hydride together with lattice vacancies which are re_lled by H-atoms under the presence of
the pressure H2 gas. The D-atoms di_use with the di_usion coe_cient of D0 ~ 10-7 m2=s
at a high temperature towards the full clustering at O-sites [26, 27], hereby the trebly coherent
D-D fusion takes place resulting in the reaction energy released far larger than the H-H fusion
as seen in Section.11. (http://www.roxit.ax/CN.pdf p. 1-9)
The following are a few themes from his paper.
A) Only small numbers of hydrogen-hydrogen and hydrogen-nickel reactions take place in the Energy Catalyzer (referred to in the paper as the ‘Bologna experiment’). The heat production from these reactions is minimal.
B) Reactions take place in the E-Cat that breed deuterium.
C) The majority of reactions in the E-Cat are deuterium-deuterium. This can take place because more deuterium is constantly being created.
D) Charged particles are created by the deuterium-deuterium reactions and these particles interact with the lithium to produce additional nuclear reactions.
Ikegami provides a theory that can explain how lithium can be used in a system with nickel and hydrogen gas. In this theory, lithium hydride delivers hydrogen to the nickel particles and the process creates heat, deuterium, and additional nuclear reactions with the lithium.
The fact that Rossi made changes to his reactor after reading Ikegami’s writings could mean a couple different things. First, it could mean the E-Cat originally used lithium as a catalyst, but he made changes or added additional materials to the alloy. Secondly, it could mean that he previously did not use lithium, but started using lithium after reading the papers.
I think the reason that Rossi was so interested in his papers was that he was already using lithium. Since Ikegami was another example of a researcher who used lithium in his experiments, it was naturally fascinating.
What is interesting to me is that the third party replication that has been ongoing for months was most likely performed by scientists from the Uppsala group. Most likely, Ikegami was involved. Rossi has also stated that a partial theory may be provided in the report. Could the new theory be a version of what Ikegami has already published? I think so. It is possible that Ikegami and Rossi are working on the theory together, and that could be why Rossi has claimed to have spent so much time observing the test.
– Rossi has stated that he no longer feels that the conversion of nickel to copper is the major source of energy in his device. This would match Ikegami’s theory.
– Rossi has stated that there are multiple different reactions taking place in his device. This would match Ikegami’s theory.
– Rossi has stated that the theory that explains the E-Cat does not violate mainstream physics and does not require any new laws. This is exactly what is stated about Ikegami’s theory.
– Rossi has made statements that the pressures inside of his device, on the small scale, can resemble those of a white dwarf star. He has stated that high pressures are needed. In Ikegami’s theory, hydrogen pressure is also very important.
Ikegami does not seem to be alone when it comes to research in chemonuclear reactions. A researcher by the name of V.F Zelensky has published a paper titled Nuclear Processes in Deuterium/Natural Metal Systems. (http://vant.kipt.kharkov.ua/ARTICLE/VANT_2013_3/article_2013_3_76.pdf) His paper goes into even more detail than Ikegami’s. In fact, he describes a situation in which the excess production of deuterium may cause a runaway situation. The paper shows pictures of a reactor – not an E-Cat – that was destroyed due to possibly excess deuterium being produced. This is reminiscent of the countless E-Cat reactors that have said to have been destroyed in intentional torture tests. Could excess deuterium production be the reason for the spikes in power output seen in E-Cat tests? Both papers are must reads.
There are additional bits of information that point toward the possibility that lithium is utilized. One interesting fact is that .4% lithium was found in the used “charge” that Rossi supplied to Sven Kullander for analysis. In an unused sample, no lithium was present. There are two possibilities here. One is that the lithium was a transmutation product. The second is that the unused charge was never in a reactor so it did not contain lithium. I propose the hypothesis that the lithium is added separately to the nickel powder (perhaps by coating the walls of the reactor) and that when a high temperature is reached the lithium melts and mixes with the nickel powder. In current systems, there may be both lithium on the walls of the reactor and a tablet of lithium hydride.
Another hint about lithium comes from Yeong E. Kim. In his paper, Generalized Theory of Bose-Einstein Condensation Nuclear Fusion for Hydrogen-Metal System (http://www.journal-of-nuclear-physics.com/?p=501) , he speculates that lithium could be an additive. Also, a vortex-l poster who goes by the name of Axil Axil has proposed an alternative explanation to Yeong E. Kim in which lithium is used to coat the walls of the E-Cat reactor. ( http://www.mail-archive.com/[email protected]/msg49024.html )
We do not know so far if lithium is an E-Cat catalyst. However, the evidence so far seems to indicate it is a possibility. If this is the case, hopefully it will be confirmed in the upcoming third party report so that replication attempts can be made by interested groups around the world.
UPDATE: “The Piantelli patent recently published is interesting because it is yet another piece of supporting evidence that lithium May act as a catalyst in nickel hydrogen systems. Except for the fact it is not mention deuterium deuterium fusion and the possibility of breeding deuterium, it reminds me of the work of Ikegami. Basically, this patent suggest that nickel hydrogen reactions can generate high energy protons thst can hit a secondary material – such as lithium – and produce additional nuclear reactions. It also explains how the lithium can be coated on the walls of the reactor or up to several centimeters away from where the proton was produced. Does anyone else have any thoughts about how lithium may be used in the E-Cat or additional evidence?