Atomic Hydrogen – How Andrea Rossi Mastered The E-Cat (Max Temple)

The following post has been submitted by Max Temple

(NOTICE: These are my personal opinions and interpretations. I give no guarantee as to accuracy or results, but this is my current understanding of the theme that allows for high powered nickel-hydrogen systems. I’ve written this to convey what is going through my mind at this time. There are probably other mechanisms at work in Ni-H systems, but I consider the production and utilization of atomic hydrogen to be important. My hope is that qualified replicators utilizing proper lab space and ALL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS will consider the generation of atomic hydrogen — in addition to careful cleaning and degassing of their fuel — while considering how to go about replicating.)

Please note that you can read my article about Me356, a replicator mentioned in this article, here.

Hydrogen typically exists as attached pairs of atoms – molecular hydrogen or H2.

On an typical and ordinary nickel sample, H2 can be attracted to the surface (adsorption) and dissociate slowly and inefficiently into atomic hydrogen (H1) to then penetrate the surface (absorption). Once inside, it can diffuse farther inwards through the lattice and at high loading ratios stress the lattice to produce defects/bubbles/cavities. If the nickel surface is optimized (cleaned of nickel oxide, adsorbed oxygen atoms removed, atomically roughened by one of many processes) the dissociation of molecular hydrogen to atomic hydrogen can be accelerated.

Previously performed degassing of trapped contaminant gases can make sure this atomic hydrogen has pre-existing nano-scale “places” to fill-up once migrating inward into the lattice. In addition to this, the contact or proximity of oxygen to a nickel atom may directly inhibit hydrogen from penetrating into the electron structure in order to eventually fuse with the nucleus. Multiple replicators have stressed the importance of this step or silently incorporated the practice of degassing including Focardi, Piantelli, Andrea Rossi, Christos Stremmenos, Me356, and others. The required extent of such degassing will vary with each sample of nickel fuel to be processed. Repeated cycles of heating under high vacuum, applying pressurized hydrogen, and again applying heat under high vacuum may be required.

Distributing nano-sized particles of spillover catalysts (such as palladium, copper, or nickel) that can work with the existing properties of the metal surface to accelerate the dissociation of molecular hydrogen can accelerate the rate of atomic hydrogen production. These spillover particles can be diffusely spread over the nickel via multiple methods – simply trapping them in the surface web of carbonyl nickel by slow tumbling/mixing or more advanced methods such as vacuum deposition with a tungsten “evaporation boat” heating element.

Heating a tungsten or tantalum wire to very high temperatures in a hydrogen atmosphere can dissociate molecular hydrogen into individual atoms. As the wire temperature increases – bare minimum for any H1 production being around 1400C – the rate increases exponentially on the way up to 2000C and beyond. For the same total surface area and at the same temperature, a mesh of very fine tungsten wires produces up to ten times the quantity of atomic hydrogen. Additionally, with such thin filaments the ratio of negative ions of atomic hydrogen can increase (H- or single protons with two electrons). Care must be used to make sure no oxygen exists in the reactor, because otherwise the tungsten filament will oxidize and rapidly break.

Applying the output of a radio frequency generator to an internal antenna in the hydrogen atmosphere can ionize the gas and dissociate molecular hydrogen into atomic hydrogen. Rossi confirmed these RFGs were used in the reactors that composed his first and original one megawatt plant, although he didn’t describe their setup or design. One idea for optimization (to ionize and/or dissociate the most gas for the least input power) is to utilize the concept of a helical resonator, a common component used in radio. In such a device, the length/size of the coiled antenna is matched to the length/diameter of a surrounding conducting cylinder which is then matched once again to the input frequency – typically in the megahertz range. The result is a high Q factor. In simple terms, the radio waves performing the ionization are allowed to bounce against the conductive walls many times and build up in the reactor rather than immediately escaping to the environment or being converted to heat. Such a precisely tuned system could be very efficient. Now, imagine the walls of such a cylinder being coated with very lightly sintered and pre-processed nickel powder. The fuel in such a reactor design would be continuously bathed in atomic hydrogen (H1) and atomic hydrogen ions (H+ or H-). This environment could dramatically enhance the “breathing” process (taking atomic hydrogen into the the nickel lattice or pushing it out) induced by pressure/temperature changes or the kinetic energy of atomic hydrogen atoms excited by the RF frequencies. Although we do not know if he attempted to optimize his RFGs for resonance, even a less than optimally design (with a lower Q factor) would have produced some atomic hydrogen. At high temperatures, the atmosphere of the reactor would have been easier to ionize, possibly reducing the power required to a low level.

Although likely not as optimal as a classic helical resonator, piggy backing RF frequencies or other signals along with the electrical input going to a heating element wrapped around the reactor tube could possibly have a similar ionization effect. Some commercial “atomic hydrogen sources” (a term that can be entered into a search engine) utilize RF frequencies being fed through a wire wrapped around a tube in which H2 is flowing. The RF dissociates the H2 into H1 and can even proceed to produce atomic hydrogen ions. There will likely be differences between how this works with a tube (perhaps made of quartz in one example) of hydrogen and a tube containing nickel, hydrogen, and perhaps lithium. In some of his more recent systems – not including the the Quark – Andrea Rossi is alleged to utilize up to 400 volt three phase, square wave alternating current tuned to the resonant frequency of his resistor (a function of the inherent capacitance and inductance of the solenoid). The resulting spikes of current when the input frequency is tuned into resonance with the resistor may produce enough RF (even if only with the harmonic frequencies produced) to induce some ionization and H1 production. Me356 admitted when asked that he utilized a signal added or super-imposed onto his 50 hertz input to his resistor coil to turn excess heat on or off at will. Moreover, he claimed to be able to produce H1 on demand, potentially being able to “set” his COP what he desired.

Bob Greenyer of the MFMP recently revealed some very interesting bits of information from Me356 about his latest systems. This individual, who stressed the importance of producing atomic hydrogen to maximize the level of excess heat output, now claims a typical COP of 10 that he sometimes increases to 40. In fact, he claimed to be capable of pushing the reaction to “infinity”, which I am guessing meant a self sustaining reaction. He also alleged to Bob Greenyer that the ash of his system contains high levels of Ni62, the same isotope Andrea Rossi claims is produced in the E-Cat. This would represent additional evidence that nuclear reactions were occurring.

LiAlH4 and LiH emit hydrogen in the form of individual atoms (H1) when they decompose. Since LiAlH4 (to some limited degree) and LiH (to a greater degree) can be re-formed after decomposition by thermal cycling of the active reactor, many rounds of atomic hydrogen generation can be performed. A very slow initial heating from 100C to 225C of no faster than 1 degree C per minute is claimed to prevent the LiAlH4 from melting, preventing the nickel surface from being smothered. Perhaps just as importantly, a slow ramp up will allow the H1 to be produced gradually, inhibiting it from being wasted during a fast ramp that forces recombination into H2. This way the H1 has both more time to interact with the nickel and the reduced pressure lowers the rate of recombination into H2. Please note that when desorption from LiAlH4 or LiH has ceased, all of the hydrogen produced will recombine into the molecular form in seconds. This may be mitigated if the hydrogen environment is being ionized by “frequencies” sent to the resistor.

A spark gap – although perhaps inelegant – can also produce atomic hydrogen and associated ions (both negative ions and positively charged individual protons). In the Cannon patent discussed by Bob Greenyer of the MFMP, this concept is described and enhanced further. After such a discharge produces atomic hydrogen ions, they can be electrostatically attracted to an electrically charged fuel sample. Additional discharges can produce shockwaves in the hydrogen atmosphere that can impart momentum to adsorbed hydrogen atoms on the nickel, forcefully shoving them into the lattice and pushing already absorbed hydrogen atoms deeper inside the transition metal particles.

There are yet more methods of producing atomic hydrogen: a high voltage static electric field from pyroelectric crystals, microwave discharge through a tube of flowing hydrogen, dissociation via exposure to ultra-violet light. The list goes on and on. And, interestingly, Rossi seems to have incorporated one or more of these techniques of increasing the production of atomic hydrogen in each of his various reactor designs.

Either during a pre-hydrogenation phase of fuel pre-processing and/or in the active reactor via one of several techniques, the production of atomic hydrogen to increase and accelerate the uptake of H1 into the nickel lattice seems to be always utilized. This is the primary key of feeding Andrea Rossi’s Energy Catalyzer. Producing this form of hydrogen seems to reduce the effort required to make the nickel “breathe” in and out – pushing previously absorbed hydrogen out of the lattice towards the surface or pushing exterior and surface hydrogen into the interior of the nickel sample. Regardless of the nuclear mechanisms by which this process of exhalation and inhalation produce cold fusion reactions, this migration of protons through the lattice is critical according to Me356. And, in addition to the importance of total hydrogen absorbed, the rate at which atomic hydrogen (the only form of hydrogen that can enter the lattice) is taken up or pushed out determines the level of ‘excitation” of the nickel achieved. Hence, varying degrees of excess heat production.

Focardi and Piantelli explained this process in their papers. They could predict the excess heat that would be produced by bulk nickel rod or wire (no palladium spillover catalyst, no extra source of atomic hydrogen, no lithium) by the quantity and rate of hydrogen absorption. By utilizing nickel powder with a dramatically higher surface area and a broad variety of methods of producing atomic hydrogen, Andrea Rossi dramatically improved the basic nickel and hydrogen reaction they published many papers about. If Focardi and Piantelli’s results were real – which I think they were in my personal opinion – then the “Rossi Effect” is a natural extension and improvement on the process. He simply looked at the factors limiting hydrogen absorption and made appropriate changes. The top enhancement being the addition of one or more sources of atomic hydrogen.

So it seems the short answer to producing ultra-high powered LENR can be summed up by three simple steps, although the details of each (especially the fuel baking, cleaning, degassing, and cyclic exposure to hydrogen) may be nuanced.

1) Clean your nickel inside and out, to remove oxides from the surface and trapped gases from the interior defects where you want hydrogen to go.

2) Incorporate source(s) of atomic hydrogen during both pre-hydrogenation and your active reactor run to produce more H1 than a nickel surface can make alone.

3) Incorporate techniques including temperature swings, pressure changes, and various forms of stimulation to excite your nickel into producing heat: make that nickel BREATHE hydrogen inwards and outwards!

By controlling the pre-processing and pre-hydrogenation of your nickel, controlling the production of atomic hydrogen, and controlling the stimulation applied to your reactor, you can be the MASTER of your E-Cat replication, not its slave!

Atomic hydrogen is the central key to the Rossi Effect, if you’ve managed to properly prepare your fuel. This is the true catalyst that has taken many forms in his various configurations. Intentionally disguised but often hidden in plain sight, we know what makes the Energy Catalyzer perform in a superior manner to other nickel-hydrogen systems.

The mighty and honorable beast has been unleashed.

(And, remember, E-Cats like treats of lithium – they can make the anomalous heat more puurfect but also possibly more difficult to control. Sort of like cat-nip to a feline.)

  • sam

    Tom Berroa
    March 15, 2017 at 9:20 PM
    Dear Dr Andrea Rossi:
    Are you still working also on the direct production of electricity from the Rossi Effect?
    Thank you if you can answer,

    Andrea Rossi
    March 16, 2017 at 8:11 AM
    Tom Berroa:
    Yes, with very interesting results with a new configuration.
    Warm Regards,

    Savanna Eide
    March 15, 2017 at 9:20 PM
    Dear Andrea Rossi:
    Congratulations for the replication made by Nissan: great !

    Andrea Rossi
    March 16, 2017 at 8:10 AM
    Savanna Eide:
    Thank you,
    Warm Regards,

    Andrea Rossi
    March 16, 2017 at 8:05 AM
    Kyung Silvey:
    Yes, the experiment of Nissan is very interesting.
    Warm Regards,

    Shanda Tomasic
    March 15, 2017 at 9:20 PM
    Dr Andrea Rossi:
    The replication made by Nissan is very important: are you in contact with them ?

    Andrea Rossi
    March 16, 2017 at 8:05 AM
    Shanda Tomasic:
    Not so far.
    Warm Regards,

  • sam

    March 15, 2017 at 11:01 AM

    Andrea Rossi
    March 15, 2017 at 5:46 PM
    Solid progress for the theoretical ground, based on the experiment on course.
    Warm Regards,

  • ScienceFan

    I keep seeing RF 13.56 MHz and multiples thereof popping up in research regarding atomic Hydrogen production.

  • builditnow

    Max, I feel hopeful that your analysis will help our experimenters to break through. I’ve added a couple of thoughts.

    1. Various vibration, including 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 or mechanical pressure. Should be less damaging to the nickel particles and could be carried out while the tungsten “evaporation boat” was operating. The evaporation boat seems like a great idea for creating very small nickel particles.

    2. Nano nickel could be the hidden “catalyst” that has been undetected, even by Industrial Heat, who very likely have full access to the correct mix of the fuel and very likely reactor chambers from Rossi that worked (vs theirs that do not). I’ve suggested elsewhere that IH has been given all the information needed to make a full reactor setup with controls, from scratch, and did so. This line of thinking is that when IH could not get their setup to work (claimed in the court case), Rossi would have given them one or more 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, and Rossi is confident that IH can’t figure it out.

    IT COULD BE AN IMPORTANT CLUE TO EXPERIMENTERS, what could this difference be that is so invisible to examination but ignites LENR.

    In this scenario, 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 that they could see.

    Suggestions for what these invisible differences could be:
    A. Nano nickel particles in small enough quantities could easily go unnoticed.
    B. what about the reactor chamber itself, something coating the walls?
    C. Could nickel compounds / oxides go unnoticed? Could these be hydrogen spill over nano particles? A compound might remain atomically small, not stick to things and even if it’s spill over is small, it could be made up by larger numbers. These compounds would have to be stable at high temperatures so that reduces the number to consider.
    D. Some fuel per-treatment that is invisible to analysis, what could this be?
    C. Sure to be something else.

    I’m hoping some experimenter will report back on item 1 above.

    • Ted-Z

      My 2 cents again:
      1. cryogenic petreatment with compression crushing
      2. traces of carbon monoxide (undetectable even at relativelyarge concentration), but producing nano nickel via carbonyls in the temperature or pressure cycles
      — pro publico bono—–

  • Ted-Z

    My view is that there might be a hybridization of electron-orbitals contributing to the effect plus the particular electron-structure of Carbon Monoxide impurity. The covalent bonds (LiH and nickel carbonyls are likely to have them to some degree) have hybridized orbitals with the electron density (the waveform) is significant IN THE NUCLEUS of a covalent compound. It seems logical that electrons passing through the nucleus could be captured there. This effect could explain contri ution of lithium to the COP. and the effecr observed by me365, who noticed heat generation/glowing away from thr powdered nickel (nanoparticles of nickel produced from nickel carbonyls in the cycling temperatures could explain this effect). The LENR effect may depend on the trace impurity, difficult to detect, such as some carbon monoxide in the reactor). This resembles the situation with the development of transistors, where the impurities were the most important factor. — Pro publico bono. —

  • John Littlemist

    “There are yet more methods of producing atomic hydrogen: dissociation via exposure to ultra-violet light.”

    Etiam Oy LENR report part 5 page 8 possibly depicts the effect of ultra-violet light:

    In the figure, usage of the light source slightly boosts the output power production.

    AFAIK the Etiam report does not reveal any details from the light source used, so it is unclear whether the light was ultra-violet at all.

  • Stephen

    Another great article Max.

    I have previously been wondering if the right combination of metal Hydrides (MH) in a MH heat pump arrangement could play a role in the Ecat technology. Especially if the endothermic desorption part of cycle could be disrupted by ionization through external or some other kind of internal non thermal stimulation.

    (If so perhaps the same method could be used with other metal hydride combinations and stimulating the alternate hadride to effectivelly cool the environment or to manufacture useful hadrides or materials)

    I found yesterday the following paper about Metal Hydrides on line. It’s quite old but I think it’s relevant and important:

    Is it already well known in the LENR community?

    Is Mykhaylo Lototsky still active in the MH field and is he involved with LENR research?

  • attaboy

    Don’t have time to read more than a tiny bit of your article, Max, but I greatly appreciate your immense contribution.

  • doug marker

    Max, excellent write-up thanks for the effort and taking it on.

    Doug Marker

  • HiggsField

    This is all conjecture. I getting very bored with the constant speculation of what Rossi may have done or may be doing. Why don’t you run a real experiment and then post your ideas? There are no convincing replications of anything Rossi has claimed to date.

    • doug marker

      That is a very interesting article – just what am looking for.

      Thanks !.

      Doug Marker

  • LuFong

    One of the best expositions on Ni-H LENR I have ever read. Pulls many things about the process together. Thanks.

    • Max Temple

      Thank you for the kind words.

      The issue that can lead to confusion is that Rossi changed his systems around so many times. Although the central themes remained the same (nickel pre-treatment and the application of atomic hydrogen from a source additional to the tiny bit that is formed on a bare nickel surface without a spillover catalyst) he changed his methods for producing atomic hydrogen and his systems form factors. Basically, it was difficult for outsiders such as all of us hanging on his every word to figure out the importance of atomic hydrogen. Once you recognize that, everything starts to clear up and you realize these systems can be built and designed in countless ways.

      • attaboy

        Being a chemist with strong background in physical chemistry, it wasn’t long before I suspected that atomic hydrogen had a lot to do with it.

      • SG

        Focardi emphasized his belief that Rossi was facilitating/catalyzing the creation of atomic hydrogen. Even though he admitted not knowing how Rossi was doing it, he stated quite clearly, on video, that it was his belief that this was a crucial aspect that made Rossi’s reactor work.

  • Pekka Janhunen

    Considering the “Lugano mixture”, one compound that the LiAlH4, Al2O3 walls and remnant atmospheric O2 can produce is lithium aluminate, LiAlO2. Its melting point 1625C is higher than nickel. I’m wondering if LiAlO2 formed in Lugano, and if so, did it condense on nickel surfaces, and if so, did it stop the hydrogen breathing of the surfaces, or is the material porous and therefore lets H2 through.

    I’m asking myself if we are certain that H2 breathing of the surface is actually needed also when the reactor runs, or if one deliberately wants to seal the surface (with LiAlO2 or something else) after the initial hydrogenation phase so that the hydrogen keeps inside the metal despite high temperature. We know very little and therefore it is important to consider many scenarios.

    • Obvious

      I know that a COP of 3 is possible with no fuel at all, using the Lugano methodology.

      • Eyedoc

        What are you saying O? How do you figure that

        • Obvious

          Just use total emissivity for the IR camera and for calculating radiant power, just like the Lugano report, with an alumina tube heated to glowing. It could be full of sand or air and still seem to work.