Closeup of a Melted Parkhomov Reactor

The Martin Fleischmann Memorial Project has been adding many new photos on their Facebook page following Bob Greenyer’s recent visit to Moscow. This image of one of Alexander Parkhomov’s destroyed reactors in particular caught my attention. It comes with the caption:

“High resolution photo of Parkhomov reactor breach that showed anomalous heat . . . the attached image was described as producing good COP before failure. It is a nice one to study in detail. NOTE: Alumina has melted in this reactor meaning the temperature must have exceeded 2072ºC”

closeupreactor

I think it’s important when examining this picture, however, to add this proviso which Bob Greenyer has added to the ‘To Russia With Love‘ live document which documents the Parkhomov experiments:

It turns out that the ‘Alumina’ tubes that Alexander is using are not 95% – 99.5% pure like the ones we had used from the likes of Coorstek, they are in fact only 50% pure – with the rest being made of silicates and he mentioned Mg [magnesium] also.

Using 50% pure alumina tubes might allow the silicate based plug to adhere to the wall of the reactor more easily for one thing, and with Mg present, there could also be some other chemistry going on that might result in the anomalous heat. One other thing to note is that the tubes themselves may be far less robust and might result in easier structural failure. In addition, with other elements present, it could be easier for Lithium and temperature to eat away at the tube resulting in pores that would leak H

This is very useful information which could give some important guidance to both replicators and students of this very interesting phenomenon.

  • Eyedoc

    Funny, you had me for a minute there….I actually looked 🙂

    • Asterix

      Trust me, it was up on eBay for about a day until someone tipped off the eBay censors. It was dogbone model, complete with specifications. I should have kept a copy for laughs.

      I wonder if anyone bid on it.

      • Obvious

        Looked like the ad used Parkhomov photos, or was a very good copy of Parkhomov’s device.

        • Eyedoc

          So you saw it too ? kind of like spotting a UFO ! ( I never get to see anything fun 🙁 )

          • Obvious

            Yep. It was fairly well-done. Whoever did it is pretty up to date. You might catch it in a Google cache maybe.

      • Eyedoc

        Sorry, I thought you were joking….but yes a copy would be funny to see. Wonder who would try to post that?

  • clovis ray

    I like this line of thought,it seems to me that the fuel should be suspended inside a larger bone,and that the powder be loosely assembled wafers, or coils of wafers, and that it be in torrid configuration,and the hole thing be suspended,veretical rather than horizontal,this along with resonance,too give maxium surfice area for starting, once fire is started,resonance would help control, the speed and flow, of resestance within the reactor, only a line to thought mind you, lol.

  • Obvious

    By some sort of luck, the image in the Parkhomov report (2015-02) is the other half of the tube in the MFMP image in the main story, above. This might make reconstruction of the failure easier to work out.

    • Obvious

      trying this out…

      • Obvious

        I am going to guess that the brassy ball is a blob of melted heater wire (MFMP) photo. A piece of the heater wire can be seen (I think) in the Parkhomov photo, in the upper right hand edge of the melt (small bright tip where it is broken). So a heater wire failure may have precipitated the tube failure.

  • Eyedoc

    But we dont know if that would kill/prevent the reaction…I think the temp doesnt matter as much as just getting the damn reaction to start/continue. We need to ‘walk’ before we ‘run’ 🙂

    • Obvious

      Before any fancy design changes and theories can get tested, a tube that doesn’t fail when loaded with a modest amount of fuel is inside needs to be successfully tested. Repeatedly. I don’t care if it is potting soil and LAH inside. We need to crawl before we can walk.

  • Agaricus

    Yes it must be, because at the temperatures involved all of the hydride will have decomposed and released its hydrogen. Unfortunately I don’t think we have enough information to calculate the cell pressure, but given the small internal volume, it must be several atmospheres at least. Certainly enough to sustain a tiny localised hydrogen fire at a crack for a significant length of time.

  • Obvious

    True. I meant the battery runaway more as a runway example than a direct analogue.

    Looks like Li-N reactions are favoured by molten Li, catalysed by H2O usually, but at 1100°C H2 might do the trick. It’ll become H2O pretty quick anyways.

    If the breakage began as a leaking fracture, the extra heat might be additive enough, and have time enough to melt the alumina. But with pressure leaking out, the related chemical reactions should be mostly around the outside of the tube around the fracture breach area, and probably mostly occur in the air. And it would still take an extra 700°C or so above the 1100°C to get melting started….hmmm.

  • Ted-X

    One thought about the SHAPE of the reactor: The reactor is a pipe. Only eddy currents can be induced by the external heating/”transformer” coils. What about making it as a TOROID (or a square/oval, which would be a self-looping shape)? In this case, higher currents could be induced in the powder, which would then behave as a secondary coil in a “welding transformer”. There are some “rumors” that high currents may facilitate transmutations. Most likely the resistances of the heating coils would have to be adjusted and the powder would get the heating not from the transmission, but internally, from the high current flowing through the resistance of the powder. This method of heating (and, at the same time stimulating), would have much faster response time than the method of heating based on the heat transmission through the walls. In essence, the nickel powder would be a “short-circuted welding coil”. This idea is publicly disclosed here TO AVOID the trap of being PATENTED.
    So far, nobody thought (it appears to me) that the shape of the reactor could be different than a pipe (my training in the Invention Algorithm, known as TRIZ, shows up here :-). The problems with loading and sealing are technically solvable for the self-looping shape.

    • builditnow

      Sounds like you are talking about induction heating.
      Induction heating could also heat a rod of tungsten placed inside the reactor. Induction heating could easily reach the temperatures required. The induction heating coils could be protected by insulation and air cooling. No problems with melting heater coils.

    • Eyedoc

      Can you explain what a ‘self looping shape’ is , and what it will do in this context ?

      • Obvious

        Well, might as well toss the ‘ol 4-D toroidal Möbius tube in the open zone, too. As far as I can tell, it makes infinite energy in one direction, and sucks the universe into it when looking at it the other way….

  • Enrique Ferreyra

    Its just my proxy or somebody else has problem to see the image ?

  • Anon2012_2014

    Could be a combination of:

    LiAlH4 + heat -> Li + Al + 2 x H2

    H2 + Ni -> classic metal hydride heat

    Then, when the tube micro-fractures, the lithium reacts:

    Li + H20 = LiOH + 1/2 O2

    Hot enough the residual Al will also burn in the O2, or react with the water to produce aluminum hydroxide.

    I believe that most of the latter are exothermic — but my point is that it is possible that such short term energy release could be chemical and is thus not evidence of an LENR reaction by itself — the null hypothesis must be disproven by running for a longer period of time.

    This chemical reaction analysis is beyond my skill set and I am looking for someone else to comment.

    • Obvious

      I suspect this is essentially what happens during some failures. This is not to say that the excess heat does not happen. Just that when a mechanical failure of the device occurs, there is a strong potential for extra exothermic chemical reactions to occur very rapidly, causing melting of materials that require temperatures well above the operating temperature of the device immediately before the failure.

    • Gerard McEk

      Anon, I believe that the quantities of H2 and Li (0.1 Gram LiAlH4?) are not such that it produces sufficient heat with a chemical reaction to melt the tube, unless Parkhomov has used much more LiAlH4 for this particular tube.

      • Anon2012_2014

        Can someone do the thermodynamics to show that a 0.1 to 0.5 gram fuel load with purely a chemical exothermal reaction concentrated at one spot could not melt through the tube wall.

        • Andreas Moraitis

          The latent heat of fusion may vary in different sorts of alumina-based materials. I found values between 620 and 1360 J/g, so let’s assume the number is 1000. The density of alumina is about 4 g/cm^3, that means 0.004 g per cubic millimetre. Melting one mm^3 would then require no more than 4 Joule. Heating it up by 1000 degrees (the reactor was already hot) would require another 3.5 J (880J/kg*K). So we get all in all about 8 J for one mm^3.

          0.1 g LiAlH4 contain 10.6 mg hydrogen, which would release 1503 J when burnt (1418 kJ/g). That would suffice for 188 mm^3 reactor material. And there is the lithium and the aluminium, both of which burn at elevated temperatures. Even the nickel powder would react with the air under such extreme conditions.

          (I did not double-check this, and as you will have noticed I made some simplifications.)

  • friendlyprogrammer

    I’ve always said the reactor itself is not so much an invention as it is a pipe. It’s the fuel that is important.

  • Zack Iszard

    With silicates in the mix, the one physical attribute I would look towards is thermal expansion coefficient (a.k.a. “heat shock”). I know from experience that most silicate glasses really don’t like changing temperature too fast – a cool metal implement touched to a hot glass surface will cause fracturing (“spider-webbing”). There are exceptions, like Pyrex and other borosilicates, but I have no idea what a roughly 50:50 mixture of alumina and silica would do under these demanding conditions. With a large thermal expansion coefficient, the material would fail far below it’s melting point provided local heating at a significant rate.

    • Mr. Moho

      I think there might be an answer here: https://books.google.com/books?id=SFD30BvPBhoC&pg=PA12&lpg=PA12&dq=al2o5si+thermal+expansion&source=bl&ots=upIphFyKNu&sig=DnC4K9fCWCL3g8EDVoOaEuwH5bA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=oHX4VLSZJtXvaLOIgZAP&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=al2o5si thermal expansion&f=false

      It would seem that the thermal expansion coefficient of aluminum silicate (Al2O5Si) not only is greater than that of alumina, but also increases significantly more with temperature.

      http://i.imgur.com/N4f2iE2.png
      http://i.imgur.com/kiQX5uB.png
      http://i.imgur.com/6z709aH.png

    • Ged

      Sure, but you can see it is melted. This isn’t about it simply breaking, which heat shock can do (but how big must the swing be to be heat shock?), but also becoming liquid for a bit (could be during the heat shock event, if such happened as it may).

    • Agaricus

      It sounds like the material Parkhomov is using is probably ‘corundum’ – a natural form of impure alumina which has been used for over 100 years to make the armatures of electrical heater elements. It is usually wet-moulded then fired in a kiln to about 1500C, when the sand particles sinter together to create a composite ceramic material. This material is actually quite resistant to thermal shock due to its porous, particulate structure, and the softened condition of the sand grains at high temperatures. It can accommodate slight distortions when at high temperature but lacks mechanical strength.

      Sand begins to melt at around 1600C but it doesn’t become ‘runny’ until about 1800C+. If the tube reached that sort of temperture, the melting may have been restricted to the sand component, i.e., it would’t have been necessary to reach the MP of alumina to produce the damage shown. Corundum would be very weak at 1800C and would probably fail if subjected to virtually any mechanical load.

      I’m not sure about quantities of H2 present, but the temperature of a localised oxy-hydrogen flame (c.2200C) at a fracture point would have been easily enough to melt the silica component, if not the alumina.

  • Mr. Moho

    Note that Aluminum Silicates, which Parkhomov’s tubes seem to be made of, have a generally lower melting point than pure Alumina. See this cool image here:

    http://i.imgur.com/LFuH6B5.jpg

    • Freethinker

      Way cool graph. Now copied. Thanks.

  • bachcole

    Does this mean that the tube must necessarily have reached 2072 degrees Centigrade, or does it mean that the tube may have reached 2072 degrees Centigrade, or does it mean that we don’t know?

    • Ged

      Had to have reached temps above the melting point to do that. Since the entire thing isn’t melted, it probably briefly hit melting temp, started melting and broke, and cooled back to the temp of the heater coils. Seems a pretty localized spot.

      As Mr. Moho points out, melting temp was probably a little less than 2070, due to silicates, but not sure what it would be.

      • Bob Greenyer

        It was 50% Al2O3 – so by that phase diagram, over 1,587ºC some of the material will be liquid.

        • Ivone

          Was the electricity supply and heater element sufficient to reach 1,587 C?

          • Bob Greenyer

            1 W can reach very high temperatures given enough insulation, in free air no. Possibly if it was in Alumina powder.

            • Ivone

              Then there is no evidence of extra heat.

              • Bob Greenyer

                That does not follow. Dr. Parkhomov tests each of his set-ups (with alumina or not) with and without fuel. All of the dummy runs are around COP 1. Fuelled reactors that have not failed before being able to run in the correct temperature range have had a COP of 1.73, 1.77, 1.92, 2.74, which is way above error of 0.1.

                One reactor continued to produce steady power even after the failure of the heater coil.

                The longest he has seen a reactor produce anomalous heat for was 1.5 hours.

                All reactors have eventually failed for one or another reason.

                • Ivone

                  I agree that the previous set ups show excess heat. It’s just this particular example. I really hope that you will witness a successful experiment. 🙂

            • clovis ray

              Hi, guys, bob what do you think about, to gain surface area of the NI,instead of just pouring the mixture into the reactor as a blob, but instead it is put into the reactor as a capsule, and it being made,as a wafer layered capsule using something very thin,
              between the layers to let the NI breath more hydrogen, then use resonance at some worked out cycle, to raise the tubular structures on the surface,in order to gain more surface area. for a give amount.

              • Freethinker

                I agree, surface area is most likely very important, but one cannot fragment the Ni too much (having too small particles) because there seem to be a minimum size constraint as well for the NAEs. To have really thin cylindrical mesh’es, with smaller and smaller radii, put inside each other in layers like the first pictrue, or rolled up like the second. The Mesh could be similar to Nickel foam (Third picture;I think MFMP have had their eyes on that material already as I understand.)

                • clovis ray

                  correct freethinker,when h is involved, many things become possible, i feel we are on to something unknown, and many are going to try and learn, all they can as quickly as they can, that puts us in the cat birds seat, huh,

        • Ged

          Are you sure? The m+l seems to say that the millwright would be melted till a little over 1800 though pure silicates would start to melt around that 1600, if it were a combination of the two descretely?

        • Gerard McEk

          Bob, some technical physics students (Bachelor degree) want to do a similar Hot-cat test as you and Prof. Parkhomov did, as a part of their study. Are you able to provide all the details to enable them doing such a test (I will probably guide them).

      • bachcole

        So, what?!!! Are you guys too sissy to say that this is proof of a low energy nuclear reaction? (:->)

        • Andreas Moraitis

          The chemical reaction of the hydrogen, and possibly other parts of the fuel, with the atmospheric oxygen would release enough energy to melt some cubic millimetres of the material. Note, in addition, that burning hydrogen in combination with air gives a flame temperature of about 2130C. No reason to presume something unusual, so far.

          • Ged

            Very good point.

        • Dr. Mike

          Bachcole,
          You might want to consider that some of the reactor melting came from the combustion of the high pressure hydrogen escaping at a crack in the reactor. Of course, the crack might have formed at a point where there was a runaway LENR event. What temperature can be achieved in a hydrogen flame?
          Dr. Mike

      • Zack Iszard

        Heat shock might have done it, assuming that a local overheat event in the core caused the failure. If that’s the case, the tube may have been far from melting when it broke.

        • Zack Iszard

          In short, bachcole, we don’t know. There are failure mechanisms that don’t require melting, but to know which mechanism is the culprit, some measured failure tests would be needed (unless that data is available from the manufacturer).

        • Ged

          Hearty shock shatters or cracks a material due to sudden uneven contraction/expansion in a localized area faster than the bulk. As we see in the picture though, there is clearly melting, which obviously requires tempts above the melting point by definition.

          • bachcole

            I cannot tell clearly and distinctly that it is melted or cracked or what.

            • Ged

              It looks like a big blob of melted material at the bottom left of the tube, and there seems to be material missing from above the blob that would have flowed in to it if there was melting on that side. But maybe it is a trick of light and angle? I see no cracks or spiderwebbing from this view though.

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

        if I understand well, the m+l phase contains liquid and coudl cause melting of the tube…
        som temperature may only have reached 1600C