How Can We Get Roaring E-Cat Resuts? An Attempted Answer (Max Temple)

The following post has been submitted by Max Temple


How Can We Get Roaring E-Cat Results? An Attempted Answer

by Max Temple


Recently, I was asked the question, although it was worded slightly differently, “What is the simplest way to reproduce the nickel-hydrogen effect?” I tried to give a simple answer, but that effort was pretty much futile. Instead, I tried to explain some of the complexities and hard decisions that would need to be made in any replication effort seeking to optimize the likelihood of success. Then I was asked a second question. “How can this be done cheaply?”

The truth is that I can’t promise that any of my proposed processes, methods, or improvements would work at all, because I am not in a position to be able test them out through experiments. Furthermore, on a shoestring budget, only so many techniques can be performed – requiring other useful stages to be skipped over. A highly skilled and resourceful replicator can sometimes compensate for a lack of budget by fabricating parts himself or building various systems from scratch. The most competent individuals can even scrounge around for used or even damaged equipment on auction web sites, after acquiring the purchase make a few sometimes simple repairs, and end up paying pennies on the dollar for high grade lab gear. But such exhaustive efforts to save a few dollars or Euro cost time: a very rare commodity for many replicators who also have full time jobs, families to attend to, and a range of other responsibilities. So, not matter how dedicated a replicator may be, without significant funding and free labor provided by like minded volunteers, there will always be practical limits. No one can try to optimize everything.

Conversely, many people already have certain pieces of equipment (or access to various components, chemicals, or supplies) and know how in their particular field. The types of optimizations they attempt will depend on these assets. In the ideal world, brain power, financial clout, and labor would be pooled together with everyone contributing in their own special way, enriching the whole project. But since this almost happens, my hope for this article is that it will inspire replicators to consider one or two possible improvements they may have the resources (financial, material, or mental) to try out. Since some replicators have been seemingly capable of producing excess heat with a crudely prepared, barely pre-treated (if at all) mix of nickel powder and lithium aluminum hydride (LiAlH4), a couple improvements could yield significant results. Or, just as importantly, consistent results that can be reproduced by others, repeatedly, to prove the reality of the Rossi Effect to the world.

The Effect

Before I continue, I want to describe how I understand the Rossi Effect. In simplest of terms – which will be expanded on elsewhere in this document – molecular pressurized molecular hydrogen gas (H2) is injected from a tank or allowed to decompose from a metal hydride (LiAlH4) into a vessel containing nickel powder. When the molecular hydrogen (H2) makes contact with either the nickel or additional catalytic element(s) it is first adsorbed onto the surface, is disassociated into individual hydrogen atoms (H1), and then penetrates the surface. Please note that atomic hydrogen (H1) penetrates metals such as nickel rapidly; conversely, molecular hydrogen (H2) under most circumstances cannot absorb through the surface unless first disassociated. This entire disassociation process is the rate limiting factor for promoting the uptake of hydrogen into nickel. Higher temperatures and pressures typically increase the rate that hydrogen is “loaded” into the nickel, but there are multiple important nuances that need to be considered.

After an adequate loading of hydrogen into the nickel has been achieved, anomalous excess heat can be stimulated via thermal shocks, pressure changes, and/or electromagnetic fields. The energy release can be enormous – allowing self sustained reactions (utilizing zero continual input) for hours at a time. Thus, the true “Rossi Effect” represents a very obvious energetic effect which should not be overly challenging to detect, to say the least. Obtaining this high powered phenomenon and learning the parameters that must be met to consistently produce it with high repeatability should be the goal of all replicators. Only after the knowledge is openly shared and broadly disseminated will the reality of nickel-hydrogen cold fusion be established as fact to everyone.

Considerations for Success

The following ideas may help yield better results in E-Cat (Energy Catalyzer) replications, or they may not. But they represent my deeply pondered thoughts after hundreds or thousands of hours of reading, discussion, and online study since the opening of the Journal of Nuclear Physics. Please feel free to disregard them, carefully consider them, or improve upon them. But with any testing you may participate in, please utilize all safety precautions. A large portion of your research and preparation should be about minimizing the chance of injuries, accidents, or even deaths.

Vacuuming and Degassing

Nickel powder contains contaminants on and below the surface. By exposing your nickel to high vacuum for extended periods of time, a portion (the larger the better) of these contaminants can be removed. Using a periodic stair step approach to high temperatures up to even 600-700C can increase the rate of degassing and optimize the quantity of gas that is emitted. However, such high temperatures can often induce sintering (bonding all the particles together into one mass even far below the melting point) and can damage the fine surface features of carbonyl nickel. If you have cleaned the surface of you’re nickel before this step via one of many methods, the sintering temperature will be lowered. For small particles free of nickel oxide, sintering may even begin at 200C.

This step is important despite the potential risk of sintering. Trapped gases take up space inside internal lattice defects/voids. These are spaces that need to be filled with hydrogen! Multiple researchers and companies in the LENR field have stressed the need for this process, either openly or privately. Importantly, this phase should be approached with patience; degassing bulk nickel powder or wire can take time. In one experiment, which had nothing to do with LENR, full removal of trapped gases took an entire week to achieve at high vacuum and a temperature over 600C. We do know that such an extensive degassing is not always required: some replicators have produced excess heat with no application of vacuum whatsoever.

I’d suggest that replicators utilize a degassing phase in the fuel pre-processing. Making sure that atmosphere is not creeping into the vessel, the degassing should take place at the highest possible temperature that would ensure minimal or no sintering of the nickel for the longest practical duration compatible with the testing schedule. Subsequent handling and processing of the powder after degassing should be performed in such a manner as to avoid any exposure to atmosphere. As a final note, I’ve read that one possibility is that the nickel could be mixed with a secondary powder that would be highly resistant to sintering that would create a barrier between particles, allowing for a higher temperature during to be achieved. I believe the material mentioned was aluminum oxide. Afterwards, the nickel could be separated from the alumina.

Surface Cleaning

Nickel oxide and other contaminants coat the surface of commercially available nickel. These substances provide a barrier to the entire hydrogen uptake process. There are many methods of removing oxide from a nickel surface. Individual replicators will have to choose which of these processes are most practical and doable, considering their equipment, budget, and schedule. Here are a few of the possibilities.

– Acid etching of the nickel oxide. There are many chemicals that can achieve this. Some are more corrosive and faster acting than others.

– High intensity ultrasound irradiation of the nickel powders in a hydrocarbon slurry to produce inter-particle collisions that will blast off thin surface layers, removing the oxides and revealing a fresh atomically roughened surface. This process can dramatically increase the catalytic potential of nickel by hundred to thousands of fold, allowing for a catalytic potential much closer to palladium or platinum. There are many papers on this process that are available with a quick search. However, when considering the implementation of this process, there are many factors to consider. An ultrasound cleaning rig should be designed after extensive research and consideration of many factors. In addition, professional ultrasound systems are available commercially along with associated gear.

– Chemical reduction in a molecular hydrogen environment. This process is established the literature. However, depending upon the extent of the initial oxidation, full reduction may not take place until high temperatures or high flow rates of hydrogen are achieved. Again, such temperatures, depending upon the specifications of the nickel, could induce some degree of sintering, resulting in a loss of catalytic potential.


Depending solely on the hydrogen released by LiAlH4 in the active reactor is a gamble. Although some parties have claimed to produced excess heat with allegedly zero pre-hydrogenation of their nickel fuel, the overwhelmingly high failure rate of replications (perhaps one success out of every hundred attempts) demands that we work to maximize hydrogen uptake. Although I’m without proof, I’m convinced that the lack of adequate hydrogen uptake into the nickel is the top reason for failures of E-Cat replications. This assertion is backed up by two concepts that continually reside in my mind: without hydrogen absorption into the lattice there can be no reactions and nickel is notoriously difficult to hydrogenate. I conclude that if replicators began implementing processes to boost the degree of hydrogen loading during pre-hydrogenation and in their active reactors, the success rate would go up dramatically.

Palladium, on the other hand, is easy to hydrogenate. This element rapidly adsorbs, disassociates, and absorbs hydrogen at room temperature and low pressures. Literally, it almost behaves as a sponge for hydrogen. If certain hydrogen loading ratios can be achieved in palladium (which are often hindered by the lower tensile strength which results in cracking and desorption of hydrogen) then excess heat can be routinely produced – although with power densities usually a magnitude below those produced by the Rossi Effect. Nickel, on the other hand, has approximately twice the tensile strength of palladium. This means that the internal stresses and high pressures produced by hydrogen absorption would be less likely to fracture the lattice. Basically, it seems we have a trade off here. Nickel is far more difficult to load with hydrogen and form the internal structures needed for cold fusion reactions, but if you are willing to go the extra mile – or ten – the properties of this metal can provide a benefit over palladium.

There are multiple methods that could be used to pre-hydrogenate nickel. The simplest and perhaps least effective (or maybe sufficiently effective if the nickel has been cleaned inside and out) is pumping ordinary H2 into the vessel with nickel and applying heat with an external resistor. This will certainly result in some level of hydrogen absorption over a long period of time. However, there are methods of accelerating this process – that all require additional know how, labor, financial resources, and safety considerations.

Atomic Hydrogen Spillover with Palladium

The concept of hydrogen spillover is easy to grasp. Molecular hydrogen (H2) makes contact with a transition metal with the potential to disassociate hydrogen. Such an element could be palladium, which has been rumored and considered by some online personalities to be one of Andrea Rossi’s earliest catalysts. However, other elements such as platinum, copper, and even nickel (more on how nickel could be used with nickel later) also can disassociate molecular hydrogen to lesser degrees. After being adsorbed onto the surface of the spillover catalyst, it is split apart into two atomic hydrogen (H1) atoms. Some of these atoms with weaker bonds to the catalyst literally slide across or “spillover” the surface of the small palladium particle – as an example – to a large nickel particle called the substrate. Atomic hydrogen atoms more strongly bonded to the palladium may require pulsations of heat and/or pressure to break loose and spillover. Next, the (H1) atoms which have traveled to the surface of the nickel. Because (H1) is highly reactive and doesn’t have to be disassociated slowly by the nickel surface, it is rapidly absorbed through the surface and penetrates the lattice.

To maximize the spillover process – a method that is well described in scientific literature – the surface area of the catalyst can be increased to maximize the contact between it (in this case palladium) and the substrate (for this example, nickel.) One method of doing this would be to reduce the particle size of the palladium from micro-meters to nano-meters. Interestingly, another method of maximizing the transport of (H1) during spillover is via “bridges” of another material that is positioned between the catalyst and the substrate. Often the bridges are composed of carbon, but many elements and substances have been used. In regards to the E-Cat, Andrea Rossi has often used high surface area carbonyl nickel powder. This form of nickel powder can be covered with peaks, spikes, ridges, and protrusions. A nano-sized particle of palladium could potentially be trapped between surface features or totally surrounded by them. These features might not only surface as a bridging mechanism enhancing the transport of (H1) but also trap the palladium particles close to the nickel surface. Since (H1) always seeks to recombine rapidly after it is disassociated – to reform into (H2) – keeping the atomic hydrogen generating “catalyst” as close as possible to the nickel would not only be ideal, but logical.

If Andrea Rossi used palladium in his earliest tests, he may have allowed it to remain in the active reactor. However, due to the lack of appearance in various studies of his fuel and ash (spent fuel) samples, he probably started removing the precious, expensive material and only utilized it during pre-hydrogenation of the nickel. Depending on the diameter of the palladium particles, segregating and removing it from the nickel after such a process could be relatively simple or nearly impossible. Smaller particles of palladium, locked into the surface web of features on the carbonyl nickel, might be very difficult to remove. Conversely, larger particles of palladium that would also produce a spillover effect (perhaps with less efficient transport of atomic hydrogen to the nickel) could be simple to filter out with the right equipment.

My opinion is that replicators should experiment with the usage of spillover catalysts (of different elements, morphology, and particle sizes) during the pre-hydrogenation of their fuel. By performing research on the the specific catalyst they are using – along with the temperatures it adsorbs and desorbs atomic hydrogen – they can choose the best heating and pressure cycles. Most likely, continual drops in temperature (to allow adsorption and disassociation) and then increases in temperature (to allow the hydrogen to spillover) will required to optimize the usage of spillover catalysts. Changes in pressure could be important as well. Lastly, researchers should consider, very carefully, whether they want to remove the spillover catalyst(s) from their fuel or allow them to enter the active reactor. For example, they should not allow palladium or palladium black to make contact with LiAlH4. Even a tiny quantity of one percent of platinum black can result in spontaneous combustion of the metal hydride resulting in a potential accident or injury.

(One last thought for this topic. Focardi in one of his earliest interviews mentioned that the catalyst was a compound and not a single element. The first guess that comes to mind is PALLADIUM CHLORIDE. This compound can be used via many methods to deposit either tiny patches of palladium clusters or a film of palladium onto other substances – including nickel. This could possibly result in a better distribution of nano-palladium across the nickel powder. The process might deposit palladium deep to the bottom of the surface features on the nickel as well. On the downside, I’ve heard that in some situations chloride and chlorine can be catalytic poisons. I am not sure of the positive or negative aspects of chloride on hydrogen absorption so this should be researched further.)

Nickel Spillover Catalyst on Nickel Powder Substrate

Nickel has some ability to disassociate molecular hydrogen (H2) into atomic hydrogen (H1). The problem is that this ability is generally weak. However, nickel has been used in many spillover reactions described in scientific literature. One tested and proven method of increasing hydrogen absorption is to use a smaller diameter nickel powder (nano-sized) as a spillover catalyst on or near larger nickel powder particles (micron-sized). This increases the degree of hydrogenation. However, for this to be optimal, I believe that the nano-particles should be recently synthesized by chemical reduction. There are papers describing this method of producing nano-nickel powders. These oxide-free particles should allow for more rapid disassociation of (H2). If oxidized nano-nickel is used, I suspect the hydrogen uptake would remain the same or only slightly improve.

If Rossi is using a small percentage of nano-nickel with his micron-sized nickel powder, it would most likely not be detected. Even if some small, nano-scale particles were seen in an SEM microscope, there would be no way of knowing if they were added intentionally as a catalyst or if they were created by the scraping and removal of the nickel powder from the reactor. Interestingly, even the Fluid Heater patent mentions a baking process that can result in micro-caves or micro-cavities being formed and the production of smaller nickel particles. My guess is that the smaller nickel particles are not only produced by the baking process but intentionally added. I could be wrong, however. The only way to determine if adding smaller oxide-free nickel would help assist hydrogenation and excess heat production is through constant, on-going testing.

Ball Milling and Mixing the Spillover Catalysts

The usage of ball milling will come up later in this document, for another purpose. However, in regards to spillover catalysts (palladium, platinum, titanium, copper, nano-nickel) there needs to be a way to make sure the spillover-catalysts make firm contact with the nickel substrate. This may be important both when attempting to embed catalyst powder into the flat surface of a smooth nickel particle (for example gem grade quality nickel powder) or when attempting to push the catalyst deeply into the surface web of carbonyl nickel powder. To accomplish this, I think a ball milling machine filled with an inert gas or hydrogen (if this can be safely done) could be utilized. The tumbling motion alone – without the impact of the metal balls – over the course of hours should help enhance the surface contact between spillover catalyst and substrate. When the balls are utilized, the catalyst elements may actually be pounded more deeply into the surface of the nickel – perhaps even creating a type of pressure bond.

Of course such a semi-permanent bond may not be desired if the catalyst is to be segregated and removed from the nickel after pre-hydrogenation OR if the fine surface features of the carbonyl nickel serving as “bridges” and “traps” are to be protected. I expect the impact of the balls would destroy those features. A metallurgical microscope would be useful in determining the result of such mixing with and without balls. However, a simple reduction and lack of loose “catalyst” (perhaps visible with a low power microscope or eye piece) could help show the mixing was effective.

Atomic Hydrogen Source Utilization

Depending upon the natural, albeit weak, disassociative power of nickel or the stronger ability of other spillover catalysts to produce atomic hydrogen may be the only option for some replicators. There are additional options for those with the ability to push hydrogenation even further or utilize a different mechanism. One of these is to create atomic hydrogen via one of a number of established techniques and then allow it to be absorbed by the nickel. I’ll describe a few as follows.

A tungsten filament or wire heated to very high temperatures in a molecular hydrogen environment can break apart molecular hydrogen into atomic hydrogen. This is the technique utilized in many commercially available “atomic hydrogen sources” that can be purchased from different manufacturers. Pictures of these ray gun looking devices that push molecular hydrogen through a tube containing a heated tungsten filament can easily be found. You can read all about them: the temperatures they can produce, their power ratings, the required molecular hydrogen flow rates, and the associated atomic hydrogen percentages they produce. Typically, the highest percentages of atomic hydrogen are produced when they are operated at their maximum temperature with the lowest flow rates. Percentages of atomic hydrogen up to 98% are listed in their specification sheets. But these are high tech commercial devices that are probably sold at prices beyond that of virtually all replicators. The good news is there is no reason why a careful, skilled, and determined replicator couldn’t build a similar device. In fact, such builds have been described.

A spark discharge can disassociate molecular hydrogen. In the simplest sense, this could be the equivalent of a spark plug firing in the reactor – perhaps like in the systems designed by Defkalion. Conversely, two sharp and pointy electrodes at high voltage could similarly produce such a spark with the energy needed to cleave molecular hydrogen into atomic hydrogen. The required voltage would depend on a number of factors including the hydrogen pressure, the temperature inside of the reactor, the shape of the electrodes, and the distance between them. Great care should be used to make sure there is no oxygen in such an environment – otherwise a dangerous and unfortunate accident could result. One interesting thought about such a system of atomic hydrogen production is that the operator can precisely control the firing duration and repetition rate. Defkalion claimed, however, that their electrodes suffered degradation over time. This would be something to watch out for.

Microwave atomic hydrogen sources have been commercialized. In this system, a tube containing a flow of molecular hydrogen is irradiated with microwave radiation of a selected frequency. The result is the creation of atomic hydrogen. Microwave radiation is invisible and can be dangerous (the mesh screen on your microwave oven protects you from going blind while you watch your TV dinner being heated) so a device like this probably shouldn’t be built at home or in a garage workshop.

Another possibility would be to create a glow discharge cell to pre-hydrogenate the nickel powder. Although there are countless practical design considerations, a simple setup could be described as a horizontal quartz tube with a metal electrode sealing the top and bottom. On the bottom electrode, a layer of nickel powder could be placed and the interior would be filled with molecular hydrogen. My understanding – if I’m wrong I hope readers will correct me – is that when a high voltage is applied across the top (negative) and bottom (positive) electrodes, the H2 would ionize and create H1. This ionized glowing plasma would literally hurl negatively charged atomic hydrogen ions towards the positive electrode. The result would be atomic hydrogen forcefully entering the nickel even at low temperatures and low pressures. In fact, in these glow discharge cells, higher pressures would require higher voltage power supplies, according to my understanding. Utilizing lower hydrogen pressures – adding more hydrogen through a port if the pressure dropped below a certain level – might be just as effective as using hydrogen at atmospheric pressure.

One valid concern is that nuclear reactions could start happening immediately in the glow discharge pre-hydrogenation cell. This is something totally unwanted during pre-hydrogenatioin! The goal is a nickel powder that be loaded with hydrogen, extracted from the pre-hydrogenation vessel, and then placed in the active reactor to be stimulated. Perhaps this could be accomplished utilizing the same glow discharge cell with a weaker voltage and reduced H1 output. Actually, if someone wants to work with this phenomenon, it might be a better idea to incorporate glow discharge into the active reactor design. Personally, I’m not interested in this concept. However, I know other people have incorporated glow discharge into actual test rigs.

UV irradiation of H2 is yet another method of producing atomic hydrogen. The energy of extreme ultra violent (capable of being produced by certain types of lamps that can be purchased on the internet) has been reported to be capable of breaking apart molecular hydrogen. I am unsure as to the rate of this disassociation at the UV intensities most replicators would be capable of producing. However, there are a number of interesting papers discussing how even in a vacuum – with no atmosphere present – UV light can clean the surface of many metals, breaking apart the oxides and other contaminants on their surface. After hours of searching I could not find enough information about the irradiation of nickel to decide if this process, in a vacuum without the presence of H2, would be useful to us. A few papers tend to imply – although my understanding of them was unclear – that nickel oxide does not go through the same photoreduction process. This is a concept that should be researched and further tested with oxidized nickel samples. Utilizing all safety protocols (UV can be dangerous to the eyes and skin) to prevent human exposure to the light, a sample of nickel could be placed in a box and the atmosphere removed. The lamp could be turned on and allowed to irradiate the nickel for various lengths of time. If the reduction process happens in a similar manner as copper, palladium, and platinum, the oxide should fade and the color of the nickel metal should return after many hours. But since nickel has such a high affinity of oxygen (why it develops an oxide layer so rapidly) the oxide layer may increase.

The Majestic Lithium Aluminum Hydride (LiAlH4)

When Andrea Rossi first started his work, he utilized hydrogen both from an electrolysis device and a hydrogen tank. Eventually, he decided that for safety reasons reactors should not be hooked up to external hydrogen sources. The solution he decided on was – in addition to probable pre-hydrogenation of his fuel – was lithium aluminum hydride (LiAlH4) also known as lithium aluminate. This metal hydride holds onto four hydrogen atoms that can be released upon the decomposition of the compound when exposed to heat. Although this fact goes over the heads of most replicators, when hydrogen is released by LiAlH4 they are in the atomic form. That’s right! Even though they will seek to rapidly recombine with neighboring hydrogen atoms in the gaseous environment of the reactor, they are initially (H1). This means LiAlH4 releases the atomic hydrogen (also sometimes referred to as nascent hydrogen in older literature) that can so easily penetrate a nickel surface!

So with or without a spillover catalyst, hot tungsten filament, or glow discharge taking place, exactly the type of hydrogen we need is being produced. Stop for a moment. What does this mean if we think about it rationally and logically. Here are a few thoughts that come to my mind.

– Due to the fact atomic hydrogen always seeks to recombine, it will only be present in the atmosphere of the reactor WHILE IT IS BEING DESORBED OR RELEASED DURING THE DECOMPOSTION OF LiAlH4!



All together, what does this mean? The answer seems to be that a slow heating ramp during the different phases of LiAlH4 decomposition and hydrogen release may be critical. Multiple papers already explain how the very slow heating of LiAlH4 at a rate of below 1C per minute prevents the compound from melting, or changing from solid to liquid. An ultra slow heating rate also lowers the temperature at which decomposition begins and allows all of the desorption phases to be completed in a much lower temperature range. One reason why preventing such melting could be a good idea is super simple: if the LiAlH4 melts early on you will smother the nickel so hydrogen cannot be adsorbed later on. All along, staring us in face, there was another reason to go slow during the decomposition phase: by heating the LiAlH4 slowly you lengthen the time period that atomic hydrogen exists in the reactor. If you simply zoom through the heating, you waste all the atomic hydrogen by releasing it all at once and letting it recombine almost instantly!

It now seems obvious that slow heating of LiAlH4 at a rate of less than 1C per minute from the temperature range of roughly 100C to 225C might help maximize aborption of hydrogen in the active reactor. But there are even more considerations to factor in when utilizing LiAlH4 as a hydrogen source. Every one of them should be considered with utmost care, especially if no method of pre-hydrogenation is being utilized.

First, LiAlH4 can easily become contaminated with oxygen, nitrogen, and moisture from the atmosphere. At all times, to protect the integrity of the LiAlH4, it should be handled in an inert environment. From opening the bottle to loading the reactor, lithium aluminum hydride should never be exposed to atmosphere for a single moment. Is this an absolutely critical requirement? Of course not. Parkhomov and Songsheng (possibly somewhat carelessly in my opinion) mixed their fuel in open atmosphere. They were still able to get results, but I can guarantee you that some quantity of contaminants found their way into the active reactor.

Secondly, the best quality and brand of commercially available LiAlH4 should be used. Multiple LENR researchers and individuals with no connection to the field indicate that Alfa Aesar 97% Purity LiAlH4 is a high quality, superior product. These individuals claim that compared to their previous sources, this brand produced dramatically more hydrogen. Checking the COAs (certificate of analysis) for multiple lots of LiAlH4 from Alfa Aesar (there are online sources for this information), I noticed the purity was often higher than the minimum rating. Yet there may be another reason for the superiority of Alfa Aesar LiAlH4.

Thirdly, LiAlH4 from Alfa Aesar when compared to other brands showed a significantly smaller particle size. Although most of the particles are indeed larger than the nickel powder that Andrea Rossi utilizes, some fragments were probably smaller. Conversely, some other brands had huge particle sizes of 50-100 microns! If we think about the concept of tiny nano-palladium (perhaps palladium black) particles incorporating themselves into the thick array of grasping surface features on the surface of carbonyl nickel, an idea should rapidly come to mind. Both palladium and lithium aluminum hydride particles produce atomic hydrogen, so shouldn’t we treat them both the same way? If a palladium spillover catalyst emitting atomic hydrogen works best when it is trapped in a web of nickel “bridges” or surface features, wouldn’t reducing the particle size of LiAlH4 and entangling it deeply into the same forest produce similar results? Without proof to back me up, I want to say yes to both questions.

Fourthly, I’d like to address the issue of reducing the particle size of LiAlH4. This has been performed in many labs as documented in dozens of papers online. However, high energy ball milling will only reduce the size of the LiAlH4 particles to a certain degree – with most of the particles remaining at least a couple microns in size. Even this reduction in size should help and maximize contact and atomic hydrogen transfer. But what if there was an even better way? I only have one idea at this time. Many scientists purify their LiAlH4 before using it in their experiments. Here is how the process is described from one paper.

“Raw material was powdered LiAlH4 (Aldrich Co. Ltd.) of 95% in purity. The color of this hydride is originally white, but that of the raw material was beige-gray, indicating it might contain some impurity, so it was solved in diethyl ether solution in which water was removed in advance and then purified by filtration followed by evaporation of solute. The color of thus purified LiAlH4was white, indicating that impurity was effectively removed.”

I’ve been informed by someone with far more chemical knowledge than myself that the process mentioned above would be something he wouldn’t want to attempt. He claimed that diethyl ether is a chemical he would rather avoid working with and that he’d need specialized equipment. Since I’m not a chemist, I’ll take his word for it. However, what if someone with lots of experience, with the proper equipment, and in a safe environment did purify their LiAlH4 in such a manner? Could the process be performed in such a way as to REDUCE THE PARTICLE SIZE? Would there be a method of – thinking wildly here – to apply ultrasound to the solution so nano-LiAlH4 would be the result after evaporation? If this was possible, we could create atomic hydrogen releasing particles capable of squeezing in between the surface features of carbonyl nickel – or at least being spread more evenly and making more contact with spherical, smooth nickel powder. This possibility fascinates me!

Fifthly, I’d like to mention that LiAlH4 doped with nano-nickel particles (usually via high energy ball milling) releases hydrogen at a lower temperature than ordinary non-doped LiAlH4. When working with very “sticky” ultrasonically irradiated nickel powder, being able to decompose and release all the LiAlH4 at a lower temperature dramatically reducing any chance of sintering could be a benefit. Also, could the nano-nickel ball milled into the LiAlH4 act as a spillover catalyst at the same time: having a dual purpose?

LiAlH4, reduced dramatically in particle size via ball milling or a purification process and doped in oxide-free nano-nickel powder sure sounds useful to me!

Non-Hydrogenating Function of Lithium

Lithium is more than a hydrogen source in an E-Cat. Although spillover catalysts alone or in combination (such as a hypothetical combination of palladium and nano-nickel powder) seem to have been sufficient in Rossi’s earliest systems – although the public statements from Rossi and others are sometimes contradictory on this issue – lithium provides what one replicator called a “shortcut” for high excess heat in certain configurations. Allegedly, a pure adequately hydrogenated and properly stimulated nickel fuel source not only produces excess heat, but particles of some kind are emitted. Me356, a replicator who claimed great success with his E-Cat replications, claimed that these particles would interact with and bombard a sample of lithium (for example a tiny piece of wire) placed anywhere near the active fuel. He claimed the lithium would shine brilliantly white. Furthermore, he claimed introducing even a trace of lithium in a nickel-hydrogen reactor would produce a large increase in excess heat. Like Sergio Focardi, Me356 claimed nickel and hydrogen alone (in the most crude and unoptimized setups) would work to produce excess heat. But he repeated many times that lithium offered both an effective way to enhance the effect, but also complications to consider – especially when using LiAlH4 as a hydrogen source.

With proper nickel substrate preparation such as ultrasound irradiation in a hydrocarbon slurry, the usage of spillover catalyst(s) including palladium, and additional sources of atomic hydrogen a nickel and hydrogen reactor should be capable of achieving high performance – including self sustained operation for hours at a time without input. If this is achieved, without lithium, the replicators performing the testing should attempt to introduce lithium in a manner such as Me356 described. The results of such experiments could tell us more about what particles are being emitted by the nickel and how they are effecting the lithium. This information could help in the formulation of an even more reliable fuel recipe for other replicators to follow.

Thermal and Electro-magnetic Stimulation

The heat and whatever electromagnetic stimulation that may come from the direct current being used to power a resistor is likely enough to stimulate properly prepared fuel. As an example, Songsheng Jiang used direct current without any exotic wave forms and seemed to produce hours of self sustained operation. Unfortunantely, it seems he has either stopped testing or has became secretive, so we may not learn if he has performed additional tests to confirm his previous results and determine if his results would have benefited from more sophisticated stimulation methods. Most likely, he has simply retired; he is a senior citizen who probably desires to live out his remaining years without the frustrations that can come from LENR research.

One method of using heat to stimulate LENR reactions is what’s called a “thermal shock.” In one example, a reactor can be heated to approximately 700C-725C – a temperature high enough to ensure that all the LiH has broken down. The power should then be cut completely and the temperature allowed to rapidly drop to a lower temperature (quenching), in this example 300C. Then the power should be increased to the maximum setting so the fuel can be “thermal shocked” up to 700C as rapidly as possible. This specific example does not guarantee results. However, I’ve heard of one or more parties utilizing a very similar method and very similar temperatures to achieve satisfactory results. Additionally, if one cycle doesn’t induce excess heat, multiple thermal shocks should be attempted, with a slow climb to 700C between each attempt.

One possible explanation for how thermal shocking works is that by the time the temperature of 700C has been achieved, some degree of hydrogen loading should have been accomplished. If any of the absorbed atomic hydrogen has pushed through the lattice into defects/voids/cavities and recombined into H2, the “cluster” of hydrogen should be under pressure. Dropping the the temperature suddenly could, according to this theory, further increase the inward pressure on the hydrogen as the nickel lattice shrinks due to thermal contraction from cooling. Then, upon thermal shocking and increasing the temperature, the pressure experienced by the hydrogen increases again. At some point during this cycle, exotic forms of hydrogen may be formed that can then undergo nuclear reactions – between protons or with neighboring atoms of nickel.

Electormagnetic stimulation may allow for the periods of high intensity nuclear reactions to be extended before an additional thermal shock is required. This could protect the nickel lattice from damage that could result from repeated cycles of heating and cooling, extending the service life of the fuel. When it comes to the stimulation that may have been used in the not too distant past by Andrea Rossi, it has been claimed he used three phase, high voltage (even up to 400 volts) AC square waves in resonance with the resistor to create sharp pulses of current. This form of stimulation is alleged to be very power and increases the performance of a reactor.

On a final note about stimulation, I’d like to mention how in some LENR experiments hydrogenated transition metals have been exposed to cryogenic temperatures in a quenching progress. The eventual warming resulted in excess heat. The authors described how they suspected very high pressures in the lattice were being formed which somehow triggered nuclear reactions. Cryogenic temperatures have also been suggested as a method of pre-treating fuel, creating cracks and grain boundries that could be useful.

Keep Testing and then Test Some More

In this document I’ve shared many ideas that are circulating in my head. I hope you may find of them worth pursuing. But, to be blunt, they could be wrong – even though I think they hold promise. Don’t depend solely on the ideas in this document: get ideas from others, expand on these ideas, and come up with your own. The most important thing is to keep testing, over and over again. Every time you carefully change a single parameter and run a test again, you learn something even if not a single watt of excess heat was produced. Eventually, you’ll learn what doesn’t work, what seems to work, and you’ll get ideas on what changes need to be made to increase performance. Or, there’s always the possibility, you could strike gold – figuratively speaking – early on. Although many replicators fail, many have gotten results pretty much right off the bat. You could be one of them – especially if you try your best to maximize the absorption of hydrogen!

Also, I urge you to share your results openly, so others can learn from your testing. What we need in this community more than ever is the spirit of openness. Replicators need to establish pacts with themselves and each other that proving the absolute validity of Ni-H technology should be the priority before fame, financial reword, credit, or any other form of personal benefit. To make the world recognize this technology is every bit as real as the solar panel, we need the few successful replicators to overcome the temptation to hide their candle of knowledge, but instead hold it high for everyone to copy. You could be the catalyst that starts the flood of replications that changes the world!

As I’d like to mention yet again, you’re personal safety and the safety of everyone around you must come first. Don’t test unless you can do so in completely safe manner and have the necessary facilities and experience. Proving that a combination of nickel and hydrogen can self sustain producing a thousand watts or more per gram of fuel sounds exciting. However, it is not worth getting electrocuted, burning your house down, or breathing in a puff of LiAlH4 and passing out dead.

I firmly believe that irrefutable verification of the high power Ni-H effect, also called the Rossi Effect, is within sight. With a few optimizations, I think we can change the entire LENR landscape into a much more pleasant place while providing hope to the entire planet.

  • builditnow

    1. Ultrasound could be a more effective way to mix nano spillover particles with the larger nickel particles and get these nano particle into the crevices, compared to ball milling.

    2. Nano nickel could be the hidden “catalyst” that has been undetected even by Industrial Heat, who have full access to the correct mix of the fuel and very likely fuel from Rossi that worked (vs theirs that does not). I’ve argued elsewhere that IH has been given all the information needed to make a full reactor setup with controls, from scratch, and did so. The line of thinking is that when IH could not get their setup to work (claimed in court case), Rossi would have given them one of his pre-fueled reactor chambers, which when inserted into the rest of IH’s setup, worked (shown by IH continuing with LENR). Then Rossi could walk away telling IH to try again, leaving behind the pre-fueled working reactor chamber. With this logic, the difference between working and non working fueled reactor chambers must be very hard to detect.

    IH has plenty of cash and would have spared nothing to understand why Rossi’s reactor chambers worked and theirs did not. All the tests IH could throw at the working reactor chambers vs the non working reactor chambers showed no useful difference. Nano nickel particles in small enough quantities could easily go unnoticed.

    In any case, researchers could think about what the difference could be, in a fueled reactor chamber, that could make a large difference, but would not show up in the best tests available.
    This could reduce the number variables to consider.

  • cashmemorz

    If you follow the history and places working on it, you would see that it works. What is “apparently” holding it back is the mix of various unknown territories that LENR represents. Clearing the technical and commercial hurdles is not easy. Review the history and read up on those involved, then, if you see how to overcome any of the difficulties and barriers, post it or contact those who need the help. Complaining, as many do, at times, just shows the frustration out there, which is understandable. I commend those who are the hard workers that are slowly but surely bringing solutions for LENR and finally getting it into the market.

  • Fedir Mykhaylov

    Perhaps it makes sense to pre-saturate the nickel hydrogen by electrolysis.

  • Rene

    Try to make one, see how far you get. See how much it will cost to do it too. This is why replication of investigation of the effect is slow. It costs a lot to do it. My point is that the process of making the environment to get a reaction is difficult. There are several examples of small LENR now, but for the most part the signal is weak enough to be challenged as experimental error.
    I do agree with you with respect to strong LENR (aka LENR+) that those high COP claims have yet to be to independently verified. I write off Rossi and me356 claims with healthy suspicion (others do too) because they deliberately and actively discourage and prevent independent examination. For anyone having to judge their merit, what is left is to see and examine a product or device they have made.
    I don’t judge Rossi as you do because there have been some semi-replications by others that indicate he has something although none of these results have been as spectacular as his claims. The problem is that his something seems to be quite unreliable. It has been so for several years all the way from the elbow cats to the present quarks.

  • clovis ray

    you must be new here, welcome, have you heard of the 1mw plant that ran for a year, and many credible people were measuring the device and came way with the evidence that was recorded, and now awaits confirmation by the court. the people that are obstructing this device and its R/D will pay big time for that obstruction, but it seem all useful machines has to go through this procedure. Dr. rossi does not have to prove anything, and could care less what others say, he has had his inventions ripped off , and they are trying to rip him off as we speak, why in the heck would he want to tell anyone about it until he and he alone has it ready to come to market . i have the greatest respect for Dr Rossi and the way he is handling his discovery, he and no one else has the knowlage to keep it and the people safe, and that the tech can and will be deployed when its time, and that is not yet
    I suggest you do some reading to get a full story it a great one and there are a number of books on Dr Rossi and his invention, and it is not true that
    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. only evidence, this is a very simple devise with a secret sauce that no one has figured out and Dr. Rossi is not telling why should he, when he feels it time then it will come out.
    a working device that will help mankind with its energy problem. hope this help you see the situation.

  • Max Temple

    Exactly. It wouldn’t be burnt up. I doubt it would be super easy to extract from spent fuel, but on a large scale I’m sure it could be recycled economically. Additionally, with LENR technology, we could power space craft that could hunt down asteroids of high palladium ore and drag them into Earth orbit. In no time, we would have all the palladium and other precious metals we would need to sustain humanity forever.

  • Max Temple

    I think there are multiple answers to your question.

    1) Some companies may be working on this or related technologies in total secrecy.
    2) Some individuals may be working on this or related technologies in semi-secrecy, only speaking to potential investors and not the general public because they want to someone make money.
    3) Some individuals may perform tests, see the amazing potential, and then drop the technology because they are worried about the consequences of it spreading across the world. In my opinion, these fears should not outweigh the tremendous benefits of an unlimited source of energy.
    4) Some individuals have performed some tests or research, but have almost no funds to work with and have no way to move forward. Without more testing, they are unwilling to share their results.
    5) Some folks, such as Focardi, published test results but the world didn’t exactly flock to replicate them.
    6) There are a ton of pseudo-skeptics that would much rather spend their time bashing and criticizing the possibility of such a technology than performing tests to find out one way or the other. Naysaying and irrationally and falsely “debunking” is their favorite sport.
    7) The current hostile environment may be creating a chilling effect making some parties who have positive results reluctant to share them.

    I can go on.

    You are right that it is not “that difficult.” Personally, I think that a few people working non-stop for a couple months could figure it all out. I mean almost everything required to come up with a very powerful system. But there are many challenges: getting the right people together for such a project, finding no strings attached funding for such a project, finding the proper and safe work space for such a project, and vetting the people in such a project to make sure they are willing to open source all their results.

    • cashmemorz

      Fear of the unknown. If one were to design a slightly different version of a Fossil Fuel furnace the unknowns practically do not exist. LENR on the other hand is mostly made up of unknowns, whether the physics, the hardware, the repercussion in the commercial world, the upset of available work in traditional energy sectors, potential for harm in many areas, including harm to the inventor by The Powers That Be. I would be wary if I had the resources to make a successful device. So I understand why Rossi, amongts others, is or could be so very careful to the point of overkill. That is why it is termed a disruptive tech.

  • Rene

    By analogy, one reason is that most people cannot make a solid state laser or LED from scratch. It takes an exacting process and some seriously pricey equipment to manufacture such a thing. It is very difficult. A similar issue exists with the making of a LENR device.
    A second reason is that the recipe for high reaction rate LENR, aka LENR+, is a secret. Most of the effort to date on creating devices outside of the people who claim they have it working is about rediscovering that recipe.

    • Max Temple

      I think that we have a very crude recipe at this time due to the information Me356 provided and other details that have been revealed. The problem is that there is know how required to do anything: even to bake a three level, custard filled banana nut bread cake with cream cheese icing. Joe Blow can look at the brief recipe and have ten failures before making one cake worthy of bringing to a pot luck dinner. However, his grandmother can just glance at the recipe and throw the cake together in no time flat while stirring up her famous beef stew at the same time. Why? She has the hands on, practical experience. I know this for a fact. There’s a certain type of home made candy (actually two kinds) that I desperately wanted to learn how to make. The first several batches turned out horrible. Even with her own instructions I failed repeatedly. At some point, the candy was decent enough to give to some friends. But now, years later, I can usually make a delicious batch after AT MOST one failed attempt. Then I can make batch after batch and have people begging for more — when I have access to a place to do the cooking.

      The problem we have is most people: don’t listen to grandma’s words with enough attention and then don’t have the patience to keep trying after failing ten times. This is especially true for individuals who are on a shoe string budget who can’t afford to keep buying tubes, resistors, thermocouples, and more powders. But even a modestly well funded team who could run a new test or more than one test every single day could produce good results in a short period of time, in my opinion. In a couple months, they could have something worthy of showing off to the world.

  • Bob Greenyer

    For reference – the Patterson power cell beads were coated in Nickel and Palladium.

    • Max Temple

      My guess is that having thousands of nano-palladium particles peppering each micron sized nickel powder is more efficient at dissociating hydrogen. From the papers I have read, small nano-structures of various spillover catalysts can have tremendous effects. An overall barrier of palladium, while certainly capable of uptaking hydrogen, may not work as well.

      • Ted-Z

        Max, I carefully analyzed your follow-up posting on me365. CYCLING of pressure (or temperature) is important. The results of me365 are in agreement with the formation of Nanoparticles through the formation of nickel Carbonyls. Like in the case of transistor development, the IMPURITIES IS is what counts. Presence of some carbon and oxygen causes that CYCLING causes Formation and decomposition of nickel Carbonyls. On cooling, the nano-nickel from decomposition of carbonyls will form in the gas Phase, so there is appearance that it is the plasma that is glowing. The glow of the plasma is a strong indication of formation of nanoparticles of nickel in the cycles. Problems with replication could be the result that the “contaminant”, such as acetone or similar material are not metered or “controlled”.

  • Ted-Z

    My two cents: Focardi’so hint on a compound being a catalyst can be fulfilled by only one compound which would survive under the LENR conditions: CARBON MONOXIDE. There is no need to add carbon monoxide to the reactor! It will be sufficient to permit just some traces of acetone on the nickel. The chemical equilibrium will create carbon monoxide and nickel Carbonyles. Furthermore, Cycling of the temperature will create nano-nickel directly in the reactor, on the as needed basis by formation and decomposition of nickel Carbonyls. The Chemists in this discussion list will understand this process. It is like multiple “mild” thermal shocks. I also support the milling of nickel, but I suggest to do this ball milling under cryogenic conditions, with liquid nitrogen.

  • Bob Greenyer

    Free to use German design from 1994 for claimed simple Deuterium fusion reactor.

    • Andreas Moraitis

      See also: (cites the German application, contains information about catalysts).

      BTW: AR wrote recently that the Lugano reactor body consisted of pure alumina (which is consistent with the analysis), while the caps had been made of “Durapox”. This differs obviously from DW’s description. Maybe IH built different variants over time.

      • Bob Greenyer

        Yes, I saw that one – dead since 2014. Here in English

        What I really like about the first is that is so damn simple in every respect – the figure is so clear and readable – many patents have deliberately abstract figures.

  • Omega Z

    Rossi has stated many times that a reactor core refill, which at the time, consisted of about 5 grams would cost about $10(USD). At $25+ per gram, Palladium is pretty much ruled out as part of the fuel.

    In addition, precious metal prices are very sensitive to demand. A mere 2% increase could double the price. Not to mention that those in the LENR/CF research say it would require 100% plus of all Palladium to meet world energy needs.

    Even if not quite that dire, the cost$ would prohibit replacing all fossil energy or becoming a a general consumer product.

    • Max Temple

      As a nano-powdered spillover catalyst, only a small amount might need to be mixed in with the fuel. A little goes a LONG WAY. I’m guessing one to two percent by weight. For a five gram fuel charge containing 2% palladium, the cost would be fifty cents.

  • artefact

    On JONP:

    “Tom Conover February 21, 2017 at 12:38 PM
    Dear Andrea,
    Can you elaborate on your recent increase in enthusiasm for us? You mentioned “Very good tests on course”, and “Very good job yesterday.”
    Thank you and thank you to your team for all the progress recently!
    Warm Regards, Tom

    Andrea Rossi February 21, 2017 at 2:09 PM
    Tom Conover:
    We have made tests of work with actual heat exchangers and I am very pleased with the results. Very, very pleased.
    Warm Regards, A.R.”

  • Max Temple

    Hello Everyone,

    I’d like to share a nugget of information from Christos Stremmenos on the importance of applying vacuum to your nickel to remove trapped gases. He is only one of multiple researchers who have stressed the importance of doing so!

    a very important fact regarding [nickel] powder. The last student who
    got his degree with me, (incidentally, he was Greek), made a very
    interesting observation regarding nickel powder. Nickel powders alone do
    not absorb all that much hydrogen. If you put them there … in a cell,
    of course — we had a sophisticated calorimetry cell where we measured
    variations in temperature and in the quantity of heat produced in a very
    rigorous manner — we found that, at best, we could get one, two or
    three Watts, and so did Sergio Focardi. Focardi however — as a professor
    of Nuclear Physics — was also interested in studying nuclear parameters
    … and structure modifications as well … in short, we were
    complementary to each other.
    this is very important, because I observed it and then told Sergio. If
    we degassed (nickel powder, at this point) at an extremely low pressure,
    i.e.. 10-6,
    which is one-millionth of atmospheric pressure, for one week at a
    temperature of 500° [Celsius], so that all the oxides on the surface of
    the micro-particles of nickel were eliminated (this means all of the
    oxides that have formed, because we are surrounded by an oxygen
    atmosphere) … well, upon charging it, it sucked up, how can I put it,
    an enormous quantity of hydrogen (I was using hydrogen). And the
    temperature, which had been 500°, began to rise considerably, and got
    higher and higher, over the 1000° mark. I got scared, and shut
    everything down [laughs], because, I said to myself, “This is going to
    blow up”!
    temperature went up very fast. Probably there was chemical reaction too
    … specifically, hydrides were being formed, which are… I didn’t
    have the patience to wait until it reached a steady level, but the
    previous experiments which … as far as exothermic emission from nickel
    is concerned … this excess [of heat] went on even for six months, so it
    did … but it wasn’t absorbing all that much hydrogen … so I understood
    that the trick was purifying the nickel as much as possible…
    So, nickel powder. You spoke of degassing, taking the oxygen out…
    Talking out all the gases it absorbs … plus the oxides formed on the surface of the nickel micro-particles.
    And how do you do proceed to do this with nickel powder?
    By heating it. Heating it up to around 500° and lowering the pressure — I was way ahead there — to 10-6 ,
    which is to say one-millionth of an atmosphere. Anyhow, maybe even a
    little bit would have been enough, and of course you had to leave the
    specimen there for several days and then …

  • Dr. Mike

    My recommendation for preparing the fuel for “replications” is to follow
    the procedure described in Rossi’s patent (#9,115,913 B1). For the
    patent to be enforceable, Rossi must have disclosed sufficient knowledge
    that his patent can be duplicated. What
    he disclosed in this
    patent for preparation of the nickel is: “Preferably, the nickel has
    been treated to increase the porosity, for example, by heating the
    nickel powder for times and temperatures selected to superheat any water
    present in micro-cavities that are inherently present in each particle
    of nickel powder. The resulting steam pressure causes explosions that
    create larger cavities as well as smaller nickel particles.” In my
    opinion both creating larger cavities in the nickel and creating smaller
    nickel particles are key components of the nickel preparation or they
    would not have been specified in the patent.
    It should be noted that this patent covers the lower temperature e-cat, but it seems that
    optimum Ni preparation for a hot-cat replication would be similar. One
    final point that I have made in several of my previous comments is that
    replicators might be much better off trying to duplicate this patented
    device which preferably uses a fuel mixture of 50% Ni, 20% Li, and 30%
    LiAlH4 than try to replicate the hot-cat. It appears that the 1MW
    reactor may have had some improvements to the device described in this
    patent which only claims to have a COP of 6, but a replication of this
    patent would seem to be the most logical first step for someone
    beginning LENR research. I have to wonder that if IH had difficulty in
    reproducing Rossi’s reactor, were they following his recipe for the Ni
    (This comment was also made on the 2-19-2017 Sergio Focardi post.)

  • greggoble

    David Kidwell and Albert Epshteyn Nanoparticle Patents

    “Metal Nanoparticles with a Pre-Selected Number of Atoms”

    Inventors: David A. Kidwell, Albert Epshteyn

    Original Assignee: The United States Of America, As Represented By The Secretary Of The Navy – Publication type: Grant

    Application number: US 13/323,287

    Publication date: May 20, 2014


    A metron refers to a molecule which contains a pre-defined number of high affinity binding sites for metal ions. Metrons may be used to prepare homogenous populations of nanoparticles each composed of a same, specific number of atoms, wherein each particle has the same size ranging from 2 atoms to about ten nanometers.


    “Metal hydride nanoparticles” US 20120090743 A1

    Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board

    Inventors: Albert Epshteyn, Andrew P. Purdy

    Original Assignee: The Government Of The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Navy – Publication type: Application

    Application number: US 12/323,617

    Publication date: Apr 19, 2012

    [0014] Disclosed is a homogeneous solution-based method used to produce well-defined passivated air and moisture stable transition metal aluminum/boron/gallium hydride nanoparticle materials. The synthesis may be accomplished via a multi-step process. A transition metal salt is reacted with an aluminum hydride compound, a borohydride compound, or a gallium hydride compound. The reaction occurs at a temperature at which the resulting transition metal hydride compound decomposes. For example, ZrCl4 or Zr(BH4)4 may be reacted with LiAlH4 at room temperature. Zr(AlH4)4 is produced, which decomposes at room temperature. The metal hydride compounds can contain hydrogen-bridging bonds, which may break during decomposition. This results in the loss of some, but not necessarily all of the hydrogen in the nanoparticles in the form of hydrogen gas. The use of sonication in solution may cause nucleation of the decomposition products so that nanoparticles are formed.

    Blessed be

  • Alan DeAngelis

    A thought I had two years ago:

    “If I were to work with lithium aluminum hydride (LAH) and nickel powder, I’d put the nickel powder in to a glass round bottom flask under a nitrogen or argon atmosphere and then add a solution of LAH in tetrahydrofuran (commercially available) with a cannula. Then I’d put the flask on a rotoevaporator to remove the tetrahydrofuran under vacuum and then break
    the vacuum under nitrogen of argon. Then the solid mixture of LAH and nickel powder could be stored in the flask (with a rubber stopper) until it needs to be used.”

    • Max Temple

      The sad thing is that if LENR researchers had access to professional chemists, there would be purified LiAlH4 of smaller particle sizes available. In the current situation, most replicators are stuck with whatever poor quality LiAlH4 they can obtain. One question about the above method. I am pretty sure I’ve read that LiAlH4 not only picks up oxygen from the atmosphere but also nitrogen. Is this correct? If so, why not do the same work in a hydrogen atmosphere (except for the concern about fire).

      • Alan DeAngelisa

        None of this is very safe outside of a real lab but I think argon would be be the safest way to go.

        • Max Temple

          There is totally awesome! Felines are the most awesome species on the planet. Somewhere in space, even if in another galaxy, I’m certain there is a civilization of bipedal cat like beings. I just don’t know if I’d like being served in their cafeteria. They might be like Klingon’s and demand that their food be served alive!

          • Monty

            You never played WingCommander did u?

  • Max Temple

    We can’t depend on Rossi to ever be completely open about his technology for a few reasons. First, he is paranoid about giving out information and know how — for good reason. I think replicating really isn’t that difficult if you are willing to do repetitive tests to gain the know how like Me356 did. Secondly, he has tested many different fuel combinations with multiple methods of providing heat, promoting the production of atomic hydrogen, and providing electromagnetic stimulation. I honestly don’t know if he kept exhaustive written records. I would guess that there is a lot of know how in his head that has never been put onto paper! Thirdly, he is in a crazy legal situation right now. This restricts what he can and cannot do.

    What impresses me though is that Andrea Rossi was able to get good results from a variety of systems when it was pretty much just HIM studying, doing research, and then trying to implement various ideas. If a replicator can eventually come up with a single “recipe” for a high powered NiH reactor that is highly repeatable, in a very short period of time the “crowd” will optimize it in a dozen ways, make a dozen variations, and learn more about the technology than Rossi knows. Hundreds to thousands of replicators around the world would be able to push the technology forward at an insane pace.

  • Gerard McEk

    Max, thank you for your extensive essay. I hope that many will follow this up and that it will become a useful guide to our common mission to LENR

    • Max Temple


      You are welcome. My hope is that it gets potential replicators thinking about methods they could use to possibly increase their chance of success rather than just wildly throwing some Ni and LiAlH4 together and hoping for the best. There are a lot of concepts in the essay; not all of them are compatible with each other. Others could probably improved upon. And, of course, the document isn’t a practical guide of how to implement most of these concepts. We need people to talk to each other, brainstorm, pool resources, and start making things happen.

  • AdrianAshfield

    Seems to me that Max Temple’s essay would be helpful to those thinking about how to start experimental trials. Of course it is unlikely to be the full answer – something possibly only Rossi knows after thousands of experiments.

    Further to the comments on LiAlH4, considering that Rossi claims a reactor could run for a whole year, it seems unlikely it would be a source of atomic H that long.
    I recall in the very early days Rossi commented that when he changed the heater wire from Tungsten to something else it didn’t work very well. Presumably he has found a catalyst to break up the H2 for the duration of the run.
    Possibly controlling the amount of H available could control the heat output of the reactor.

    • Max Temple

      Hello Adrian,

      I totally agree that it is FAR from a full answer. Producing a guaranteed “formula” for success will require many tests after success — which I consider to be self sustained operation — is achieved. My hope is that teams starting up and looking for ideas can look at this document and realize that hydrogenation IS critically important, come up with some techniques for optimizing hydrogen absorption that would be practical for them, and be inspired to come up with ideas of their own. I also hope it my encourage them to continue testing even if they have an initial failure to produce excess heat or a whole series of null results. There are too many variables that can be changed and too many interesting techniques to give up quickly!

      When it comes to LiAlH4 being capable of producing enough hydrogen to last a year, here is my opinion that could be right or wrong. I think his initial systems worked different than his current systems. For one thing, his earlier systems seemed to rely more on higher hydrogen pressures (large tanks can produce very high pressures) than his later systems that used LiAlH4. My guess is that the fuel in his later systems was very well hydrogenated before it was placed in the active reactor and then hydrogenated further by the atomic hydrogen release of LiAlH4. If the nickel is very well hydrogenated, it may contain enough hydrogen to continue emitting excess heat for weeks or months.

      Now, I’ll go into much more speculative mode. I remember the incident of his heater wire breaking. It very well could have been producing atomic hydrogen on the fly. I also remember that in the 18 hour test Dr. Levi was told by Rossi to lower the hydrogen pressure when the heat output surged to 130kW. This would have lowered the production rate of atomic hydrogen.

      So what about this theory. In some setups, a continual migration of atomic hydrogen into the lattice was crucial — either from spillover catalysts like palladium and/or atomic hydrogen sources. However, later on, he was able to pre-hydrogenate his nickel to such an extent that tiny but larger and more numerous pockets of ultra dense protium or other exotic hydrogen species formed. If you have a LOT of these species in the nickel, it might take weeks/months to use them up even if you do not have more atomic hydrogen entering.

      Again, I’m not sure which is correct. But either way, getting atomic hydrogen into the nickel is CRITICAL.

      • AdrianAshfield

        The problem with the thought that the Ni might contain enough H to last a year is why wouldn’t the reaction run away and melt?
        The LiAlH4 wouldn’t keep giving off H for very long at the high temperatures reported.

        • Max Temple

          One possibility is that not all the hydrogen stored up in lattice defects or voids or bubbles (the NAE) is stimulated into nuclear reactions all at one time. Most likely, even if the lattice of a single nickel particle has captured a million atoms of hydrogen only a few of them will undergo nuclear reactions at any time.

          The issue I can’t get over LiAlH4 is that at a high enough temperature it will completely melt and smother the nickel particles, potentially (although I’m not certain about this) blocking H2 in the reactor from contacting the surface of the nickel, adsorbing, disassociating into H1, and then absorbing into the lattice. This makes me think that the majority (probably not all) of the hydrogen uptake happens while the LiAlH4 is decomposing and releasing H1 in the low temperature range. My guess is that the hydrogen absorbed from the LiAlH4 probably would not last months on end. The nickel may have been pre-hydrogenated before hand.

          One idea is to have a tank of hydrogen hooked up to the reactor as a source of hydrogen in addition to the LiAlH4. Songsheng had such a bottle of hydrogen attached and he produced the strongest results of any of the replicators. In one test when the fuel didn’t seem to be producing excess heat after the decomposition of the LiAlH4, he applied hydrogen from the tank — I believe maybe for twenty four hours — and then tried again. By adding the extra hydrogen, he was able to produce excess heat and self sustained operation.

          I wish Songsheng had continued testing.

          • Pekka Janhunen

            At the high temperature (1000 C or so), the LiAlH4 has decomposed into liquid Li-Al metal and H2 gas. Maybe indeed the Li-Al wets the nickel particles so that H2 gas has no direct access to the nickel surface. However, probably the Li-Al liquid metal can dissolve some amount of H2, and if so, possibly reactions like Li+H2 –> LiH+H, LiH->Li+H, H+H+M–>H2+M occur in the liquid phase.Then the liquid has some concentration of H atoms as well which are free to penetrate into nickel.

            Another role for the lithium-rich liquid metal bath might be to remove nickel oxides from the nickel surface, which normally block entry of hydrogen into the metal. The lithium probably grabs oxygen from the nickel and becomes Li2O, which reacts further with any H2O if present (or probably also with H2) to make LiOH. The LiOH is a rather volatile substance, it melts at 462C and boils at 924C.

            There exists also a compound lithium aluminate (LiAlO2), a solid with high melting point of 1625C. Possibly the LiOH reacts with Al or Al2O3 and produces LiAlO2. If so, then there is a concern that LiAlO2 might condense on nickel surfaces and deactivate them. I don’t know if this could happen or not. Maybe LiAlO2 can dissolve into the Li-Al liquid and be rendered harmless.

            What if we are approaching the problem from the wrong end. Maybe the hydrogen is put into the nickel only once in the beginning, and the role of high-temperature lithium chemistry is indeed to seal the surface (by LiAlO2 or otherwise) to prevent the hydrogen from coming out. The amount of hydrogen in the LAH, whose mass was 10% of the nickel mass, is enough to make only H:Ni=0.6:1. So the nickel is in principle able to swallow all the hydrogen. If this is the case, it’s a possible scenario that Lugano powder was pre-hydrogenated by some non-disclosed processes and sealed with LiAlO2 before bringing it to the site. In that case, the LAH which was put in just before the run might have been technically unnecessary, possibly even misdirection. This scenario could be consistent with the curious thing that the powder was transferred in an ordinary envelope i.e. without worrying about oxidation.

            We know very little so it’s important to consider many scenarios.

        • Omega Z

          It is the electronic stimulation(whatever that may be) that controls the reaction rate.

          • AdrianAshfield

            How do you explain the self sustain mode then?

  • Dr. Mike

    You have some good ideas for preparation of the fuel. These ideas could best be used by someone that has achieved successful replication to see if better results were achieved with a different fuel preparation technique through a careful experimental methodology.
    Dr. Mike

    • Max Temple

      Hi Dr. Mike,

      I would like to see these ideas used by someone who has already had success. We need successful replicators to change parameters and techniques to see what works better and what reduces the excess heat effect. However, my assumption is that using some of these ideas (the ones that are compatible) could help a team of replicators that are just starting up to load more hydrogen into their nickel. For example, I think utilizing pre-hydrogenation with a spillover catalyst or atomic hydrogen source could help tremendously. In addition, I think ultrasound irradiation of the nickel could significantly improve uptake. A salting of the nickel with different sizes of nickel powder to act as reverse spillover catalysts could also help. Just mixing Ni (with no pre-treatment) and LiAlH4 together in open atmosphere and tossing it into a reactor doesn’t seem to work the vast majority of the time. However, due to the results of Parkhomov, Stepanov, Songsheng, and other groups, it does seem to work occasionally.

      • Dr. Mike

        It sure would be nice to get some serious funding for LENR in our universities. Optimizing recipes for the fuel preparation would be great work for graduate students to investigate. One other note- I would like to see some experiments directed toward determining if reactions seen in most of the reactors occur primarily at the surface of the Ni or maybe at defects that intersect the Ni surface. Such information would be valuable in optimizing the fuel preparation.
        Dr. Mike

        • Rene

          Though do understand that work done in many universities, even government funded ones, is no longer public domain. Universities have long learned to patent their research IP, and so work done in them is not open.

  • Zephir

    This is just a clueless meditation because it’s not based on experimental data – so it can not be even considered a review because of lack of published sources. It’s just a mixture of insights and well minded speculations, which could be misleading as well. Most of these treatments wouldn’t survive the high temperatures at which the nickel LENR reactors are operating. Some of these treatments may even nullify the others: for example the acid treatment can destroy surface oxides but also nanocracks by opening them to a surface and so on.

    • Gerard McEk

      Zephir, I believe that Max deserves more than your hard criticism for his essay. He has made a good overview for new replicaters to give them a ‘hot start’. If now other replicators jump in and add their experience like ‘this doesn’t work, that might, etc.’, the we may finally come somewhere. I do not know if you are a LENR experimentalist, but if you are not, then I think he is doing better than you are.

      • Zephir

        IMO it would be more effective to start with what really works: with carbon layer stabilized nickel whiskers in Piantelli style and or with hydrogen plasma discharge in Quark-X/me356 style. The combination of LiAlH4 and nickel is prone to contamination with chemicals and material of reactors. For amateur research the plasma electrolysis or codeposition in Patersson-Szpak style is recommendable.

        • Gerard McEk

          If was known what works, Max woudn’t have written this.

        • Max Temple

          The basic Rossi technology utilizing mixed powders and/or a hydrogen tank really works too. I agree that LiAlH4 brings complications and is prone to contamination. The lithium can also corrode reactor tubes. This is why I think the fuel should be pre-treated and pre-hydrogenated. Replicators could very well find ways to reduce the quantity of LiAlH4 that is needed. And, by the way, Me356 was able to get a COP of 2-3 with nickel wire and hydrogen with no hydrogen plasma discharge setup. He stated that adding a touch of lithium to such a system (that was already sub-optimal due to the extremely low surface area of wire) could boost the output further. He called lithium a “short cut” to high levels of excess heat. My opinion is that he gained experience very quickly by testing repeatedly — most replicators are unable to do so — and learned what extent of pre-treatment was required for different reactor and nickel/hydrogen combinations. If we had replicators with the time to perform long series of tests, we could obtain such knowledge.

    • Max Temple

      A few points I’d like to make.

      1) I pointed out how some of the techniques are incompatible with each other. For example, the ball milling of carbonyl nickel powder could destroy the fine surface features.

      2) Me356 claimed to produce a COP of 2-3 with just low surface area nickel wire that he claimed was already pretty much oxide free but that he pre-treated for one hour. Although it would require testing to know for sure, I think that having an oxide free surface is probably equally as good as having lots of cracks and grain boundries on the surface of the nickel — unless you are intentionally trying to use a nano-powder into those surface features. For example, acid etching carbonyl nickel powder would probably be a bad idea. However, since gem grade spherical nickel powder already is fairly smooth, there are not as many surface features to destroy.

      3) You are right that at high temperatures many fine features of the nickel would be destroyed. Interestingly, if you can produce atomic hydrogen, you may not require as many high temperature processes. One reason is because atomic hydrogen can enter nickel at far lower temperatures than molecular hydrogen. Consider this trade off. If you have pre-cleaned gem grade or some other grade of nickel (other than carbonyl) via ultrasound irradiation, you’re nickel could sinter at a relatively low temperature. However, the ultra clean and roughened surface will be more likely to uptake hydrogen. So there is a drawback (lower temperatures during pre-hydrogenation) but also a benefit (a clean and more catalytic surface). Only testing can determine which is better. However, if you then ball milled the clean nickel powder with lets say nano-sized nickel powder or palladium (if you were going to keep the LiAlH4 away from your nickel in the active reactor) the need for higher temperatures might be further reduced.

      There are all sorts of considerations to be made. I’m not suggesting everyone utilize ever idea in the same system in the same test run. That would be crazy!