Michael McKubre Reviews the Parkhomov Experiment

Thanks to Sanjeev for posting this link in the replication thread.

Michael McKubre, Director of the Energy Research Center of the Materials Research Laboratory at SRI International in Palo Alto, Calfornia, is a well known and long-time researcher in the LENR field, and has published an article in Infinite Energy magazine reviewing the recently published Alexander Parkhomov experiment using a Hot Cat-like device.

As usual, McKubre provides a thorough analysis of the experiment with great attention to the details of the experimental setup and protocols used. He expresses some concerns with Parkhomov’s report — notably the lack of calibration data, but thinks this is an important experiment that deserves to be repeated by Parkhomov and other replicators.

He also expresses confidence in Dr. Parkhomov’s professional credentials, noting that the University is very reputable, and that he (McKubre) has worked with some of Parkhomov’s colleagues over the years.

Here is his conclusion:

As a comment in conclusion, there are gaps and unexplained effects in the data set, notably in the missing calibration data, and the foreground data record is slight. Nevertheless the experiment is clearly specified, easily performed, elegant and sufficiently accurate (with relevant calibration). I would recommend that the experiment be attempted by anyone curious and with the facilities to do so safely, exactly as described. Anything else or more runs the risk of teaching us nothing. I await further word from Parkhomov and reports from further replication teams.

Parkhomov has really captured the attention of the LENR community. His results, if confirmed, are spectacular, and the experiment is very simple, which is very attractive to people who want to try to replicate. I am sure this experiment will be a driving force among LENR enthusiasts during the next weeks and months, and I expect that we will see more replication efforts of Parkhomov going forward.

  • Yevgen Barsukov

    Observed heat in Parkhomov’s experiment can be due to chemical reaction. LiAlH4 is a strong reducing agent. At elevated temperatures it will react with the casing made of Al2O3 by reducing it to aluminium. For example a well know reducing reaction using this material is :

    LiAlH4 + 4 NaCl → 4 NaH + LiCl + AlCl3

    which is a common method to produce sodium hydrate.

    At high temperatures thing get evens simpler, since LiAlH4 decomposes with releasing hydrogen until it turns into LiAl alloy. After that Li is reacting with the casing made of Al2O3, producing huge amount of heat, and making holes and defects in the pipe, as seen in the pictures.
    6Li + Al2O3 –> 3Li2O + 2Al + heat
    It is similar reaction to well known termite, where Al is reducing Fe2O3, except

    Li is much more energetic. No wonder that the device glows – have you seen termite burning?

    • Sanjeev

      How much heat can 0.1 gram of LiAlH4 produce chemically?
      Can it produce a few KW of power for 32 days ? I would like to know your calculations.

      If yes, why are we still using coal and oil ? Lets immediately switch to Alumina with 0.1 g of LAH to power our homes and factories for months.

    • Andreas Moraitis

      Assuming that your thermite (there are different types) has an energy content of 4 MJ/kg, you would need 771g in order to release the excess energy of 3.084 MJ which has been measured in Parkhomov’s third experiment – that’s certainly more than the mass of the entire reactor.

  • nickec

    Will do.

  • Ged

    I didn’t say anything to the contrary about the lack of a graph being detremental. Water bath temps cannot establish the energy out on there own due to phase transition, so while useful for startup/startdown they aren’t important to the end conclusion. Steam quality is a complete red herring. Steam isn’t being measured, water mass loss is, and that is fixed for a give power in regardless of steam. It takes the same amount of power to lose a volume of water by heat no matter the “steam quality”; for instance water is lost at a fixed energy dependent rate without going to steam when at room temperature! It is utterly irrelevant.

    Measuring and adding water is quantified and thus completely fine; more accurate than trying to measure steam. However, you are right in that we do not know the level he was measuring to or how accurate that level was maintained, meaning the error bars on the measurements may be rather large; but not 2x as large as control.

    We are taking his word for it in regards to the calibration run, but he invited MFMP over, so they can verify.

  • http://www.lenrnews.eu/lenr-summary-for-policy-makers/ AlainCo

    about Violante and Bill Gates, the fact that Bill gates put money in ENEA research is not only about LENR. it is about people and organization.

    if there is no human trust, if the organization does not inspire trust for an investor, money is not invested. this is one of the secret of startup and venture capitalist, you don’t invest in their business plan but in the founder personality.

    as I know the link with Michael exist, but I don’t know how far.
    I see that many people trust Michael more than many others, and that he have good relation with many people. the people who trust hima have warned me who not to trust, so I trust them. … trust logic is complex indeed 😉

    • http://www.thinktankreport.com/ Phillip Power

      I *think* I get that last paragraph: are you saying that you trust Michael, therefore you trust the judgement of others who also trust him and correspondingly distrust those who your fellow McKubre-trusters also distrust?

      • http://www.lenrnews.eu/lenr-summary-for-policy-makers/ AlainCo

        in a way but more complex.
        I trust nobody, not even myself, but I have to choose to trust critics and opinions…
        Sometime I distrust some people thinking they are biased.
        eg: Old LENr scientists are often very very skeptical and don’t accept result before extensive cross checking… they have been burned, criticized…
        this is typical academic. so when they distruct someone it is just normal.
        when they trust (rare), it means much.

        people here don’t imagine how critical are LENR scientists. but they are not pathologicaly skeptical, just a bit maniac on details, tolerating no risk to be wrong.

        pathoskeptic opinion is like a dead clock… they just list all critics, don’t check if it apply… have to check all they say because 99% is based on nothing… something in that mess they have something interesting… they are random number generator. good for creativity.

        note also that scientific and entrepreneur consider risk in different way. being wrong cost much more to an academic than being late.
        for an entrepreneur being wrong or late cost much. they accept risk at a higher level. i’m more in that kind of mood. I’m the client.

  • bachcole

    Mike McKubre can do no wrong.

  • Mark Szl

    Pilot stidies should not be published, they are for the experimenter before they do the definitive study.

  • Blazespin

    http://www.sri.com/sites/default/files/brochures/apr-10.pdf

    Once derided as “junk science” when some early claims

    that nuclear fusion had been achieved at room temperature

    could not be verified by other researchers, cold fusion was

    the subject of nearly 50 presentations at the March 2010

    annual meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in

    San Francisco. Among the presenters was Mike McKubre,

    Senior Staff Scientist and Director of the Energy Research

    Center in the Physical Sciences Division’s Materials Research

    Laboratory, who provided an overview of research in the

    field, now commonly called “low-energy nuclear reactions”

    (LENR).

  • http://www.lenrnews.eu/lenr-summary-for-policy-makers/ AlainCo

    He is cited on SRI site in many publication and presentation, but not elsewhere

    http://www.sri.com/research-development/chemical-biological-radiological-nuclear-and-explosives-defense

    http://www.sri.com/work/publications/calorimetry-pulse-elecro-melting-pddx-wires

    http://www.sri.com/work/publications/modes-excess-heat-production-fleischmann-pons-effect

    http://www.sri.com/work/publications/helium-and-energy-measurements-exploding-pddx-wires-77aover-cap-degrees-k

    http://www.sri.com/work/publications/research-enea-evolution-and-progress-material-science-studying-fleischmann-and-pon

    http://www.sri.com/work/publications/evidence-fast-neutron-emission-during-sris-spawargalileo-type-electrolysis-experim

    http://www.sri.com/work/publications/envr-91-overview-lenr-research-critical-stepson-pathway-technology

    SRI cite those articles

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100321182909.htm

    http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/Update-Cold-Fusion-Progress-in-2012.html

    finally this brochure from 2010

    http://www.sri.com/sites/default/files/brochures/apr-10.pdf

    says

    Among the presenters was Mike McKubre, Senior Staff Scientist and Director of the Energy Research Center in the Physical Sciences Division’s Materials Research Laboratory, who provided an overview of research in the field, now commonly called “low-energy nuclear reactions” (LENR). He reviewed progress in LENR research, focusing on experimental work by SRI and its collaborators on new physical effects in metal deuterides, particularly the generation of nuclear-level heat and nuclear products.

    Among other reports at the conference were descriptions of a new type of battery based on a new cold fusion process, evidence of a cold fusion process in bacteria, and new theoretical models of excess heat production in cold fusion.

    According to McKubre, the potential for commercialization of the technology depends on a better understanding of the science behind the reactions, which he and other researchers continue to pursue.”

    so in 2010 he was:

    “Senior Staff Scientist and Director of the Energy Research Center in the Physical Sciences Division’s Materials Research Laboratory”

    • fact police

      McKubre has identified himself as director of the “Energy Research Center” at SRI for many years, and his connection to SRI seems beyond question, given that he was on the roster as “principal scientist” on their 2000 web site, and given that a recent interview was held in “his office at SRI” according to the interviewer.

      But I have not been able to identify an Energy Research Center in any of the web captures by the wayback machine. The last mention of McKubre in the people section that I found was in the year 2000.

      The Center of Excellence in Energy begins appearing in 2008, with Barbara Heydon as director.

      As you found, a search for McKubre on the site now turns up a number of links, but those are to articles in which McKubre has presumably provided the affiliation, and they are likely found by some kind of automated search engine. Even the newsletter/brochure you site at the end is published by the SRI Alumni, and it is a report of the speakers at a conference, in which the affiliation could have been provided by McKubre.

      I hardly think SRI would allow McKubre to give false credentials connected to SRI, let alone reproduce them in their own list of links, so presumably this Energy Research Center exists, and is directed by McKubre. The question is: why are neither the center nor McKubre identified on the SRI site? Anyone have any ideas?

      • Eyedoc

        Deep

  • bkrharold

    Mike McKubre has devoted his career to the development and experimentation of cold fusion, ever since the Pons Fleischmann discovery in 1989.

    The experiments of Fleischmann and Pons in 1989 captured his attention, and his commitment from then on was to the development of cold fusion. In fact, according to an interview with the Washington Post, that March 23 demonstration “changed his life”.

    He worked at SRI on cold fusion and LENR projects, one of the few scientists to receive government funding for the studies. He received funds from the Japanese government from 1989 until 2002, and then for the U.S. government from 2002 until 2004.

    His positive response of the Parkhamov experiment, is praise indeed, coming from this giant in the field. His assessment of the recent Lugano experiment was quite critical, and he pointed out many deficiencies, in the experimental protocol, which later came back to bite the independent team of professors.

    http://coldfusioninformation.com/personalities/michael-mckubre/

  • Ophelia Rump

    I am curious why Michael McKubre and SRI are not doing a replication, maybe it is too early, or they believe it will be done so soon anyway. Or maybe they have no interest in replicating an effect which they are already familiar with. If there are matters of secrecy which you are not allowed to divulge, then of course you would not announce a replication of them. I am not sure how to interpret the statement.

    • Anon2012_2014

      Replicating Parkhomov at SRI cost money. I estimate 3 man months to do it right.

      I am sure that they would welcome funding — it could be done at SRI I would bet for $30K per month plus the equipment that SRI doesn’t already have (maybe $5K to $10K).

      SRI is already working on other projects as well.

      I welcome Parkhomov’s experiment and look forward to it being replicated by 2 or 3 more research lab/university teams. Bravo.

  • builditnow

    McKubre has been at SRI since before 1998, as witnessed by his talks available on youtube and the interview by 60 minutes, also available on youtube. It is however curious as to why McKubre is not listed on the SRI web site. My guess is he likes research and wants others to handle the business details involved in being in management.

  • Jarea1

    Why not McKubre with all his equipment test by himself this experiment?. Why waiting to others to do the job?

  • blanco69

    “Parkhomov has really captured the attention of the LENR community.” He has indeed Frank. One has to wonder how he has managed that. Or, maybe more to the point, how none of the other leading LENR lights have come anywher close since the Rossi report. There may be many reasons for this but I can’t help wondering why scientists who have been working on this for years dont drop whichever unsucessful tree they are barking up and bark up this one instead.

    • ecatworld

      I think he’s managed it by carrying out an experiment that is easy to understand, relatively simple and inexpensive to execute, and that seems to confirm everything that Andrea Rossi has been saying over the years.

      We need more replications before we can be sure this confirms the Rossi Effect — but what Parkhomov has shown is tantalizing, and demands our attention.

      • giovanniontheweb

        Mr Rossi keeps running hoping as long as possible that everybody believes him is wrong, industrial investment times 20 heads full time times 5 years plus administrative, even if it works better the one I’m doing in my garage I’ll never get money out of it

  • Owen

    How was Parkhomov able to pull off this experiment and yet McKubre’s lab has not after all these years?

    • Wayne M.

      Owen,

      Excellent question. Glad someone has pointed that out.

      Parkhomov’s experiment is not a replication of anyone’s prior experiment. Parkhomov did his own thing.

      As such, it remains just a claim by Parkhomov. Someone now has to replicate the “replication”. It’s all getting to be a bit silly. Think of it as the Parkhomov-effect.

      • Ged

        His was a very close experiment, enough so to be a replication of the physics (Ni-H systems with LiAlH4 “catalyst”). This particular fuel mix and reactor material was unknown until Lugano, and thus could not have been replicated previously. Parkhomov used the fuel mix in a similar reactor material design and so is definitely a replication, just using different heat measurement techniques (water Mass-loss), as is commonly done in science to “replicate”, results from a new angle.

        More are coming of course, so we just have to sit back and watch.

        • Anon2012_2014

          The key is the lithium together with the nickle — the aluminum is just a carrier. The H4 in LiAlH4 is just a way of storing the hydrogen without a tank.

          We are going to be off to the races very shortly with multiple replications of Ni + H + Li popping up.

          • bkrharold

            I wonder whether the Lithium actively enters into the reaction producing Helium.

          • Eyedoc

            The Al could be involved as “seal” ??

        • Abd Ul-Rahman Lomax

          Parkhomov is not a Lugano replication. Because of the similarity, it could be a “confirmation,” but isn’t, yet. However, the Parkhomov experiment appears to be *replicable,* something that was not the case with Lugano.

          There are important details that remain to be elucidated. There is a lot of skepticism that it’s possible to seal an alumina reactor with cement and have it be hydrogen-tight at high pressure and temperature. Alumina itself is porous, apparently and will leak hydrogen. There is a suggestion that the molten lithium-aluminum alloy might seal up the alumina.

          Both Lugano and Parkhomov still suffer from lack of calibration data. To me, though, the good news is that there is something to chew on. MFMP will learn.

          • Ged

            I still must disagree on the semantics. Since the experiment has all the major experimental features, it is a replication, as commonly used in scientific vernacular (in my field at least). No one replicates an experiment by doing exactly the same thing, but instead by improving certain aspects or changing measurement methods to add a new angle to the original evidence and understanding. An exact reproduction is usually viewed as scientifically boring, and I have always seen language like “as reported by Person et al but with improvements x to address/improve y,” reported in replication papers. That is what Parkhomov did.

            Parkhomov did give a calibration statement, but otherwise I agree with the rest you state.

            • Abd Ul-Rahman Lomax

              While there are similarities, there may also be major differences. If Parkomov were a replication, then replication failure would be significant. But because of the potential differences, not. The most important difference is the fuel. We do not know the Rossi fuel, we only have hints. Parkhomov followed one, that’s all. Improving measurement accuracy would not change a replication into a mere possible confirmation, unless the changes involved could compromise the basic effect.

              With Parkhomov, we have some very substantial details missing from Rossi reports, including Lugano (and the Lugano design may have been new). Parkhomov should be replicable. Lugano not, unless by accident. Lugano depends on unknown fuel details, unknown structure, unknown setup, and unknown possible stimulation.

              Parkhomov stated that he calibrated, but provided almost no detail. In particular, we have no comparative thermometry. The thermometry may seem to be unnecessary if the evaporative calorimetry can be trusted, but, having seen it, something is awry. We have no thermal record of the water bath, and there is an anomaly in the shutdown. The more I looked at Parkhomov, the more I see that is odd or sketchy. He says that the 155 W bath loss of heat was derived from shutdown. How? Was the bath temperature measured? What was the bath mass?

              • Ged

                Bath temps are not going to go much beyond 100 C for obvious reasons, so measuring water temp actual does not provide as much detail over the period of time. Would still be good data to have, but the measurement was in water mass loss. This is a physical aspect of water dependent on energy. He reported measuring such using the amount of water added to maintain the bath water level — this can be straight up mathematically calculated to accurately determin power out, and he reported a calibration run within 10% of the calculated. This is better than weighing the bath for many reasons.

                I do wish he provided a graph, but MFMP is on the case, so we should have solid answers soon enough.

          • nickec

            I have run across a possibly applicable patent that mentions nickel in the context of hydrogen containment.

            • Eyedoc

              Can you share? Thanks

              • nickec

                Because the procedure involves dangerous materials, I hesitate to share it. After I have a better handle on just how dangerous, I will possibly post about it. The danger stems from gases which you definitely need to avoid breathing. Possibly the patent described procedure cannot be applied in the context of the reactors discussed here.

                Then again, you need to avoid breathing in nickel fumes, so I advise due caution when investigating. I will likely post to ni.comli.com once I know more – and post here too.

              • nickec

                “Another test conducted over a six to eight month period involving an evacuated metering tube which was periodically read with a mass spectrometer. Measurements were conducted and no hydrogen peaks indicative of diffusion were observed in the surface coated structure.

                Tests were also conducted to determine whether or not increases in the pressure of the hydrogen gas caused leakage through the added layer. It was determined that the layer would prevent leakage within the limits of the pressure-bearing capacity of the particular container involved.”

                Google the second paragraph for more info Eyedoc.

      • bkrharold

        Not to minimize Parkhomovs contribution, he partially reproduced Rossis experimental setup, validating LENR, but nor LENR+. This is still a great accomplishment.

      • clovis ray

        I agree Wayne, so who might you suggest that would take the time out to investigate, his clam , and be trust worthy enough that all would except,, someone that knows all the in’s and out’s of this field, whoooo, the price goes up, and up and up, maybe a good science reporter, > that would take the time to explore the next world changing device, —SMILE

    • guest

      do you have proof that SRI was working on NI-H systems? i haven’t seen anything.

    • Pekka Janhunen

      The race to replicate Lugano didn’t start years ago, but it started less than three months ago when the report came out. One can only win a race by participating.

    • bkrharold

      Dr Mike McKubre is one of the pioneers in the field. He managed to reproduce the Pons Fleischmann effect 50 times using Palladium and Deuterium. Dr Rossi was the first to think of using Nickel instead of Palladium and Lithium Aluminium Hydride instead of Deuterium.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54964-2004Nov16_2.html

      • Warthog

        Actually not. Dr. Pianetelli preceeded Rossi/Focardi by a substantial time frame, and has a fundamental patent on the Ni-H system.

        • clovis ray

          hi, buddy, but isn’t it also true that that patent had expired when AR applied,

          • Warthog

            Haven’t looked. And in terms of “scientific precedence”, not necessary. Unless Rossi can show IP that extends beyond Piantelli’s work, it falls in the “prior art” category, and prevents Rossi from getting a patent. Publishing a discovery as a scientific paper works the same way…in the US, an inventor has one calendar year after open publication to execute a patent application, or the IP becomes part of the “open art”.

      • clovis ray

        Hi BKR. Are you sure about this statement . Dr Rossi was the first to think of using Nickel instead of Palladium and Lithium Aluminium Hydride instead of Deuterium. I didn’t think anyone knew what the secret catalyst was, lol, as of yet i personally haven’t seen, or heard of any device, that produces any XP, other than Dr R ,and IH, are the only ones that have seen his cats doing work, i personally believe he has what he and I/H say they have , but i have not seen it in operation, and to Dr.McKubre, is indeed a pioneer in this field of endeavor.

        • bkrharold

          You are correct, I did do my research before stating that. Rossi is the first person that I heard of working with Nickel and LiAlH4.

    • Abd Ul-Rahman Lomax

      McKubre’s lab is not a free-wheeling research center. They investigate topics for customers, such as EPRI, DARPA, and others. Much of their work has been replication, rather than original research. As pointed out, Parkhomov is new work. It definitely resembles the Lugano reactor, which we only learned about a few months ago.

      It’s unclear what Parkhomov has “pulled off.” The report is internally contradictory, as it appears. As McKubre points out, there are many questions that remain to be resolved. It’s ironic, actually. What was missing from Lugano was calibration. What is missing from Parkhomov is calibration. However, we have much more data from Parkhomov than from Lugano. And it’s still not enough. The big issue I see is temperature. If there is major XP, it is not showing up in reactor temperature. See https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Cold_fusion/Nickel-hydrogen_system/Parkhomov

      McKubre mentions “the data tabulated by Parkhomov for Reactor Temperature vs. Input Power.” He is referring to what I show on the Wikiversity page, or to the three highest power points. I don’t see any sign of XP in the temperature data. So the only indication of XP is the water evaporation, which is given as multiples of 200 g, i.e., 1, 4, 6. Thus the measurement appears crude. What’s actually going on? I surely don’t know.

      • nickec

        I have read with great interest your post on wikiversity. Thanks for that. If you outlined an “ideal procedure” for a Parkhomov-like investigation, I would definitely study it and attempt to follow it.

        You can post the procedure here, or at ni.comli.com, or contact me by email.

      • Mark Szl

        Thank for “keeping things honest.”

    • giovanniontheweb

      yet , good part of the actual consolidated technology happened by mistake