Rossi: Lugano Nickel Enrichment Went ‘Well Beyond’ IH’s Internal Testing

I have heard some people express surprise about Andrea Rossi’s own expressed surprise regarding the strong isotopic shifts in the Lugano E-Cat test report. In this report, analysis of the ash after a 32 day run of the E-Cat reactor showed a very significant changes in the isotopic makeup of the nickel powder used in the fuel, with a very large shift to the isotope Ni62.

Rossi has said that he and his colleagues are trying to understand why such a change a large change was reported, and today he explained a little more about this on the Journal of Nuclear Physics in response to a question about nickel enrichment, which Rossi had mentioned before the test results.

Rossi stated:

As a matter of fact, the enrichment system is the process made by means of the ECat. Nevertheless, the results from the test have gone well Beyond what we found before during our internal R&D. As I said, now we are studying how to reconcile, but during these last days we arrived to understand possible explications; much more study is necessary, though.

So it’s not that the enrichment itself was a surprise, it’s just the amount of enrichment that was measured, that seems to have surprised IH. The interesting thing to me is that they don’t seem to be challenging the results on the grounds that the sample might have been too small, or contaminated somehow. Maybe Industrial Heat has never had the kinds of sophisticated analysis used in this test (SIMS, ICP-MS) used on their own samples.

Anyway, it seems that the nickel enrichment process is a key component in the workings of the E-Cat — and perhaps is an important clue to anyone trying to understand the theory behind the E-Cat reaction, or trying to replicate it.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Yeah Oystein, that’s what I was getting at. It seems to me that they picked out one of the islands of activity. It would be OK to at first pick out a few interesting grains and examine them but after doing that take the entire amount of the remaining ash and dissolving it in acid (of known elemental composition) and then do a mass spectral analysis of that homogenous solution (Or the concentrate of that solution, Too much acid might damage the mass spectrometer).

  • bfast

    Yup it is. I need my e-cat BAAAAD!

  • Obvious

    Exactly. This steady-state reaction is probably much simpler than the on-off mode, where the reaction is said to be more robust, but is also more complex (probably retrograde reactions, which return some isotopes (or at least Ni) to more “normal” values, if the majority of related comments at JoNP are taken at face value). Weeding out some of the complexities should allow us to define a working theory of the simpler case, and then the more complex versions can be tests of the theory in special cases.

    The question I am pondering now is: how was the unit shut down, without invoking the self-sustain portion of the reaction, especially since the isotopes were shifted to a maximum reaction state, which one might suspect would be the state most likely to “want” to revert to a more standard isotope distribution, if retrograde-type reactions occur?

  • Obvious

    I agree. Rossi/IH have been busy attempting to increase the COP, which in effect means testing to see how little input electrical or heat input can be used to effectively get the most energy out. Long term testing with continuous input likely has not been done too much at IH, because it is an obvious route to reducing the effective COP. The professors chose a testing avenue not expected by Rossi and IH, by not testing the device without input, since reaction stability for simplifying measurement purposes was more important to them than the maximum COP obtainable.

  • Fortyniner

    I don’t recall any such press release. Do you have a link?

    Regarding Leonardo, I imagine that Rossi retained a non-controlling interest in the IP, possibly in the form of a royalties agreement. It would be natural if he retained his company structure to receive and manage funds as otherwise he would become liable to very high personal taxation. Pretty standard procedure when an entreprenurial enterprise is expected to produce large profits.

  • Omega Z

    Obtaining 25% efficiency with a sterling producing electricity is considered very good. So a 10Kw E-cat could possibly produce 2.5Kw of electricity. The figures 3.6*800 @25% would give you “approximates” under 700 watts leaving a deficit of 100.

    Using an Alternator or Generator off a car, You can spin it quite easily by hand. Once you try drawing electricity from it, Not so much.
    It would be comparable to spinning by hand to pedaling a bicycle down hill, Then drawing electricity from it would be suddenly pedaling up a step hill.

  • Omega Z

    There were 2 PCE 830’s.
    One between the mains & before the control box.
    A second one after the control box.
    This information is in the report.

  • Fortyniner

    No, just a sign of thinking.

  • Fortyniner

    Rossi has repeatedly said that he is now an employee of Industrial Heat. Where is the evidence to justify your statement about licensing?

    “The Incapability of Rossi building a demo device…” What do you think has just been tested by independent scientists, if not a working ‘demo’ device?

    There is a point where scepticism becomes denial of reality. For the sake of your mental health you may need to step back and process the evidence properly, rather than attempting to twist the facts to fit your preconceived notions.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    If I have it right, the E-Cat didn’t run out of fuel and stop. It was turned off. So, if this is a representative sample of all of the ash then it would rule out the mechanisms where the final nuclear product is Ni-62 (because it was still running at the end of the test. It wasn’t turned off).
    It’s not like a homogenous reaction were everything is in solution. it’s a heterogeneous system. Maybe it’s like the palladium-deuterium systems where there are islands of activity in the metal. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBVcA6G35QY (1:34 min.)

    • Alan DeAngelis

      PS
      I can think of a chemical reaction analogy. A Grignard reaction: The reaction of bromobenzene with an excess of magnesium metal turnings in ether to form phenylmagnesium bromide.

      At the start of the reaction it may be only one of the many pieces of magnesium that reacts (turning black and then disappearing to go into the ether solution). At the end of the reaction there may be some perfectly clean and shiny pieces of unreacted excess magnesium that remain. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3sShnm1ArM

  • Robyn Wyrick

    I have no problem at all accepting that Rossi didn’t expect this isotopic result.

    I imagine that he has run countless tests, and each time focusing on (and so measuring) different things. It is not hard for me to believe that Rossi’s focus has been on stability, reproducibility, temperature, and maximum COP, during countless different energy inputs, ingredients, and physical configurations.

    Once he had assured himself that transmutations were in fact taking place, he might have been less concerned about that detail, since transmutation wasn’t the goal. He might have focused on tweaking the e-cat to build more power, or more reliability.

    If that was the case, than I think we can look forward to any number of additional revelations once the product goes to market.

    • Ophelia Rump

      He may have had it tested less often than you think. It has to be expensive.
      Also he has not been that trusting. I can’t imagine Rossi being eager to hand over samples to anyone.

      • Bernie777

        I asked Rossi several times over the last four years if his research was being detured in any way because of lack of funding, his answer was always that financing was not a problem.

  • Omega Z

    The manor in which the test was done likely had a decisive effect on the Ash.
    At IH/Rossi R&D, the focus is on the Power On/Off mode(SSM). At last mention from Rossi quite sometime ago, the E-cat is Power ON about 20% of the time & Power OFF 80% of the time. In the test, it was Power ON 100% of the time.

    I would consider the unexpected isotopic shift in a very positive light. Anytime you learn something new about a process leads to better understanding.

    • Obvious

      Rossi released some info on this a couple of years ago.

      “We enrich the Ni with the 62 and 64 isotopes, which are the sole to work really: if they had not worked and therefore if Cu had not been born, an excess of 62 and 64 Ni had to be found: therefore the fact that we did not find a percentage of Ni outside the relatively wide band of the isotopes is normal. Should not Cu have been made, we would have found an excess of 62 and 64 Ni”
      – JoNP June 2, 2012
      He also has claimed that enriching the isotopes of Ni62 and Ni64 improves the reaction, while using natural nickel isotope ratios makes the reaction weaker. This suggests to me that the device tested at Lugano was intended as a semi-weak test version, and without the proprietary degree of Ni isotope enrichment that is to be used in more powerful commercial devices. The appearance of copper was restricted to earlier E-Cat iterations than ran at lower temperatures. Once the >600°C E-Cats began, the copper disappeared. The addition of lithium into the mix may coincide with the appearance of the no-Cu, Hot-Cats.

  • bfast

    “Anyway, it seems that the nickel enrichment process is a key component in the workings of the E-Cat — and perhaps is an important clue to anyone trying to understand the theory behind the E-Cat reaction”

    I really think that the energy output is by a long way the most important component of this process. However, the isotopes are a very important clue to anyone trying to understand the theory behind the E-Cat.

    I agree with other commenters that if tests were done on some small part of the ash, if “good ash” was selected over “all resultant material” the amounts may be very spurious. As such, significantly more ash testing is likely needed for use in theory analysis.

    That said — bring on the free energy!

  • Bernie777

    It seems inconceivable that Rossi has not thoroughly tested the ash from his many experiments. He would not let anyone close to the ash before IH took over. Then he or they (IH) let the third party scientists test the ash, but only if Rossi removes the ash from the reactor. Why? Could Rossi know the ash tests differently from different parts of the reactor? Could this be a controlled release
    of parts of their IP to allow third parties to get significant excess heat from their experiments? Or, Rossi never thoroughly tested the ash from the thousands of tests he made?

    • Gerrit

      If I am not mistaken Rossi opened the ecat and removed the ash, but a researcher decided which pieces of ash were picked.

    • bitplayer

      Maybe Rossi wanted to make sure that only a small amount was take for analysis, to limit the number of parties who could conduct analysis.

  • Freethinker

    “Most likely this 0,2% sample is not representative of the total.”

    That seem quite likely. It could be like a two sigma percentile result. As Rossi is reacting, maybe he and IH have not yet seen any analysis from a NAE that has had the isotope distribution that was found in the TPR.

  • Freethinker

    I would be really surprised if they don’t

    1. Own an ICP-MS from say Agilent or Spectro. How much does they cost? $50 – 100k ?
    2. Have a contract with an external lab that does it (under heavy NDA)
    3. Have a contract in house with the new partners. Rossi has previously referred to their resources.

    To understand what is going on in the fuel, seem to be no 1 analysis wise at this point, and thus it should be a very high priority to routinely obtain data like this.

    • Gerrit

      I don’t know what to think about it.

      It is too weird to imagine that Rossi can’t predict what isotopes will be produced. Like burning a chemical fuel and not knowing what reaction products will be produced. But it could be really the way it appears to be and Rossi is indeed running a plant at a customer site while it can’t be excluded that unexpected results will arise.

      Or maybe Rossi just pretends he can’t predict for some reason.

      I hope we will be able to see the actual 1MW plant in operation within 12 months and get definite evidence that this invention is working, but I fear it might as well turn out differently.

      • Freethinker

        To me its just indicative – as we all know – of that this is a new field in its opening, and very little is understood.

        Likely it will take some time to master this properly. That is why this must be accepted by MS science so all corner cases can be spotted and no stones be left unturned. Only then can we hope to fully understand this.

        Rossi is in a niche chasing a local optimum in the research he is at, with a limited scope and view, to make the best Ni-H system product in his space of configurations. This is what he attempt to be able to explain and engineer.

        Apparently, there are more to be understood also in Rossi’s case.

        • bitplayer

          “a niche chasing a local optimum”
          +1

    • Frechette

      I would put the cost at least at $500 large if not more. The vacuum system with stainless steel containment vessel along with the turbo molecular pump as well as instrumentation make up the bulk of the cost.

  • Ophelia Rump

    There is something very interesting about your line of reasoning.
    It is the kind of thing I would want to see, just to be sure that I did not miss an interesting transition or two. The thing about dealing with the unknown, is you do not always know what to look for or how you should be looking for it.

  • LuFong

    Unless Rossi does additional analysis on the rest of the ash (990mg/1000mg) I suspect Rossi will not explain this. Either he will say he doesn’t know or that he has an idea but he’s not ready to say what it is because it will disclose IP. This is reasonable but not very satisfying as it severely diminishes the result in my opinion. I will be pleasantly surprised if he does provide an explanation.

    • Ophelia Rump

      The sample which was tested seemed remarkably consistent. In fact it was the consistency which made it so remarkable. The probability that there would be something else to find in the remainder seems unlikely to me. It would be a very good statistical trick indeed to pull out a uniform sample of white marbles from a mixed bag of half white and half black, not impossible but statistically improbable.

      • LuFong

        The authors themselves stated they wished they had more of the ash to sample. Some of the analysis consisted of only a few particles that could be had from the sample. You seem to be inferring that all the marbles are white because the first one came out as white…

        • LCD

          “Only a few granules of grey sample were possible to obtain from the ash and they didn’t look exactly the same.” What does that mean, grey sample”

          • LuFong

            Not sure. They also said, “we would certainly have liked to analyze several more grains with SIMS.”

          • Fortyniner

            It is too early to discount the idea that the ‘fuel’ self-segregated in some way during prolonged operation, possibly as a result of internal thermal or electromagnetic gradients, some sublimation process, etc. If ‘granules’ looked different, they could have had different compositions.

            My suspicion is that some or all of the test team continue to research this question using either the remaining part of the sample, or perhaps even the whole used reactor, and that they will publish further papers at some time in the future (perhaps coordinated with release of pilot plant data some time next year).

            • LCD

              Yeah it’s hard to imagine how they would self segregate but it is not difficult to see that if they were looking for a particular type of granule that it was not a random sampling. Right?

              • Fortyniner

                I wasn’t implying any deliberate bias in selection of a sample, just suggesting that granule composition may vary for some reason. It does seem unlikely – but then so does mass transmutation to a single end-point.

                • LCD

                  No I understand I’m implying that it may not have been random

        • Ophelia Rump

          They had hundreds of particles out of thousands. And consistency within those hundreds, while it is possible to miss an extremely small target in that sample it is highly improbable to miss anything significantly large. And that would be assuming that the changes were on binary scale and not distributed widely as substructures within the particles themselves.

  • Ophelia Rump

    My take is that by running in continuous as opposed to pulse mode, the test provided a narrower reaction than the IH team has seen. This suggests that there is more than one way to skin an E-Cat. There may not be a single LENR reaction but a spectrum of possible reactions.

    • Dr. Mike

      Ophelia,
      You may be correct. Different operating conditions may also be why Cu is formed in the original E-Cat, but not the Hot-Cat ran in a continuous mode. A good theory will eventually be able to explain these differences.
      Dr. Mike

      • Albert D. Kallal

        Much agree the theory now needs work.
        The transmutation to Copper (Cu) is not a sure thing, and even Rossi has stated and admitted that the Cu found in earlier tests likely was the result of contamination (some copper tubing used in building the reactor).

        I think it is interesting that some transmutation was observed, but just not what was expected. We see more of a shift in isotopes as opposed to transmutation to a different element.

        Regards,
        Albert k

        • Fortyniner

          This variability does imply that when the process is better understood, it will be possible to produce different elements and isotopes more or less on demand.

          • Albert D. Kallal

            I VERY much agree!. The potentials here are MOST exciting. I think when we “crack” this LERN egg, you be able to purchase LENR batteries at your local store – and such batteries will run for years!

            I think the whole LENR discovery will result in a GREAT contribution and “new round” of physics and science discovery – (once all those “skeptics” get on the LENR ship!!!)

            Regards,
            Albert k.

          • bachcole

            Very much a big “YES” on that one.

        • JDM

          Wouldn’t that put his patent in trouble?

          • Ophelia Rump

            If it were learned after he had the patent I believe it would.

  • Daniel Maris

    Interesting stuff – but not as interesting as hearing from people other than Rossi about how the pilot installation is going. 🙂

    • Ophelia Rump

      Do you have something to share?
      That does sound like a teaser for something much more interesting.
      Well now I have something to look forward to hearing from you.

    • Mike

      I get the feeling that people are trying to get rossi out of the picture to give the ecat some legitimacy in the eyes of the skeptics. I don’t mind others coming up with theories and explanations. But Rossi’s opinions are legit and deserve to be out front. I really think we should take the mindset of shoving Rossi down their throats, and proudly proclaiming them frauds. We should not even bother trying to convince those that can’t be convinced.
      They are living in yesterday, we are living in tomorrow. Don’t worry about who believes in it, because it is already here. 🙂

    • Gerard McEk

      Rossi said yesterday in that same blog:
      Stefano Landi:
      Thank you, Dr Landi, for your kind attention.
      1- At those times I could not say other than what I said, due to IP constraints. As a matter of fact, the enrichment system is the process made by means of the ECat. Nevertheless, the results from the test have gone well Beyond what we found before during our internal R&D. As I said, now we are studying how to reconcile, but during these last days we arrived to understand possible explications; much more study is necessary, though.
      2- Information about the 1 MW plant will not given before the operation of it will be considered consolidated. Problems are many, some easy to solve, some not.
      3- Please, see#2.
      Warm Regards,
      A.R.
      “Problems are many, some asy to solve, some not”, so it does not seem to go very smoothly.

      • bitplayer

        With 103 micro-controllers, I’m not surprised. That indicates they may have rushed the prototype out the door a bit, which is also not surprising.

    • EEStorFanFibb

      explain please.

  • R101

    I think that this transmogrification of elements could be a great as discovery of cold fusion heat.
    Star Trek replicator anyone? 🙂