Is Thermal Runaway in Lithium Batteries LENR? (Alain Samoun)

The following post was submitted by Alain Samoun

To return to a previous story published here on ECW, I read this study by a team of Austrian researchers on thermal runaway in lithium cells that gives more information:

http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2013/ra/c3ra45748f

Here is the abstract of the article:

Li-ion batteries play an ever-increasing role in our daily life. Therefore, it is important to understand the potential risks involved with these devices. In this work we demonstrate the thermal runaway characteristics of three types of commercially available Li-ion batteries with the format 18650. The Li-ion batteries were deliberately driven into thermal runaway by overheating under controlled conditions. Cell temperatures up to 850 °C and a gas release of up to 0.27 mol were measured. The main gas components were quantified with gas-chromatography. The safety of Li-ion batteries is determined by their composition, size, energy content, design and quality. This work investigated the influence of different cathode-material chemistry on the safety of commercial graphite-based 18650 cells. The active cathode materials of the three tested cell types were (a) LiFePO4, (b) Li(Ni0.45Mn0.45Co0.10)O2 and (c) a blend of LiCoO2 and Li(Ni0.50Mn0.25Co0.25)O2.

First, I was surprised to see how fast the temperature of these cells can increase. According to the authors: in a few seconds the temperature of the reactor can reach 900C. A rapid computation of my own shows that the power resulting from this extreme temperature rise corresponds to a power in the range of several kW.

If we take the volume of the reactor to be around 20 liters — assuming it to be full of air ( let say 28g) — and a temperature increase ΔT= 800C the producted energy Q in J could be about:

Q = m x Cp x ΔT Cp being the air heat capacity 1J/g/deg.C
28g x 1x 800= 20,400J /second or = 20.4kW !

I doubt that could be explained by the multiple chemical reactions that the author gives in her paper.

Remarkably, also the power output lasts a relatively long time on its own. See Fig.5 from the study below.

Li-ion

In addition, we have all the ingredients of LENR and the range of energy output of Rossi reactor!

I really think after doing the maths from the results of the study, that there is evidence for LENR. The authors don’t see it — but the output range and the fact that the reaction lasts a relatively long time shows to me that it could be a cold fusion reaction.

Could we be looking for something that is already in front of us or in our pocket?

  • Anon2012_2014

    If it lasts just as long a nuclear, who cares if it is chemical — it’s still a breakthrough. The key is that the reactants need to be consumed at a rate that is about 20x slower (higher energy/unit mass) for the same amount of energy as nuclear. Then, the economics are the same.

    A quasi-chemical explanation (with no public peer reviewed experimental evidence yet) is the hydrino (lower energy state electron shells in the atom) proposed by Mills of Blacklight Power.

    I think Rossi/Parkhomov/Brillouin is likely a nuclear effect and not chemical.

  • Mats002

    By temp it is late spring, but by sun light hours per day this is the turning point, an ancient calender happening especially for northern cultures. Cheers Wayne!

  • US_Citizen71

    More likely they overcharge the battery as the cheap chargers either do not have a cutoff circuit or have one that doesn’t work well with the battery being charged.

  • US_Citizen71

    If you read the article linked in the main post they collected all gas produced.

    • Warthog

      Depends on how collected. Helium is VERY difficult to corral. It permeates/diffuses through a lot of materials normally thought of as good gas barriers.

      • Alain Samoun

        What about radiations gamma/alpha?

        • Warthog

          Gammas very easy to detect. Alphas much more difficult, as with their high positive charge, they barely penetrate matter for any distance, and mostly don’t ever reach a detector.
          .

  • pg

    No

    • Mats002

      I pressume this was an answer to roseland below, I experienced such mis-answering several times myself.

  • US_Citizen71

    Searching for LENR in the meltdown of a battery is very problematic due to electrical energy of the battery itself. The battery in an iPhone 6 for example is a 6.91 Whr battery. If a fully charged battery were to discharge in 1 second it would produce 24.8 kW for 1 second. If it could be discharged in 1/100th of a second it would produce 2.48MW for that 1/100th of a second and the observed effect would likely be similar to a conventional explosive. Science fiction has long used electrically powered warheads for compact munitions, due to the belief that battery storage density will eventually grow to eclipse the energy density of a chemical explosive.

    • builditnow

      6.91 Whr is only the electrical energy, there is more energy available from other chemical reactions. The initial energy release would be mostly electrical and could be very rapid, followed up by chemical burning etc.
      Since the overall time is quite short, there is not much time for LENR to show itself when other reactions are in the order of multiple kW.
      This leads me to doubt detectable LENR, ( from, my armchair, without doing any calculations. )

      However, no doubt that LENR is all around us. The heat in the center of the earth, for example, might be supported by LENR from crushing rocks.

      • US_Citizen71

        “However, no doubt that LENR is all around us. The heat in the center of the earth, for example, might be supported by LENR from crushing rocks.” It very well might be, but I would think for the center of the earth it would need to be a very different style of reaction and fuel elements than what is currently being explored due to pressure and temperature. Or it may also be one giant fission reaction.

        • builditnow

          Some fission is also a good possibility as the heavier elements end up concentrated in the center, which may be molten (not sure of the state under the pressures involved). It seems unlikely to this arm chair view that the heat inside the earth could have been maintained without some input for billions of years.

  • Curbina

    We have had previous posts on this topic. Certainly the question keeps being posed, and the Widom-Larsen team has it on the “possible LENR” list. Is also true that when a possibility is off the table, is not even thought of. But if the energy balance would be clearly outside of the magnitude expected for a chemical explanation, this paper would not have been even published.

  • Mats002

    Given that LENR heat effect is real as practiciants and followers here can see, the phenomenom must have been and still are staring right into the faces of a lot of scientists and engineers, but: they do not recognize it because
    a) they are looking for other expected outcomes or parameters or
    b) they see her, but the social pressure around force them to suppress the experience because everybody ‘know’ it is impossible

    Wish you all great mid-sommer’s eve!

    • bachcole

      Did someone call me?

      I think also that b) could be contributing to a), unconsciously. Nuclear is simply not something that they would be looking for.

      Of course, our hopes may be causing us to see it when it is not there. The power of suggestion goes both ways.

  • Gerard McEk

    Difficult to say based on these assumptions. If you want to prove that LENR takes place then it is better to do an energy (not power) calculation, but for that you need all the details.

    • Daniel Maris

      Surely if power is the rate at which energy is being transferred, it tells you something about the amount of energy released?

      So heat = power = rate of energy released. The graph shows figures for time and temperature, so I don’t see what is illegitimate in the calculations per se, since there must be an upper limit on the rate of energy release under chemical reactions.

      But I’m not an expert so might well have this wrong!