jeff: E-Cat Replication Attempt

  • Attached is a short paper describing an E-cat replication attempt. It differs slightly from Rossi's configuration in that it utilizes an open cell, where hydrogen gas may be introduced from an external source. This eliminates the need for LiAlH4, but does require metallic Li, which is slightly less hazardous. The paper describes the cell as well as support equipment, particularly the calorimeter. Much of the apparatus was built previously for a Celani-type of experiment. I hope to have the electronics built within a month and start calibration shortly thereafter.


    Jeff

  • Nicely configured assembly. To bad you're wasting time on an E-Cat replication. Rosssi et alia has led experimentalists on a wild goose chase in this hydrogen fusion escapade. Getting the correct inorganic catalyst morphology even with lithium is a matter of luck.

    If you load the reactor with my "ragoel lenr" protocol you will be able to monitor hydrogen fusion that initiates at exactly 830 C. Very careful control of gas mixture is required to prevent run away and melt down.

  • The following plots demonstrate why airflow calorimetry is so much more accurate than attempting to interpret power output from surface temperature. The first plot illustrates Kanthal wire wound around an alumina tube that is supported in free air by two ceramic supports. (I'll add ceramic cement when it arrives). Foil #2 shows the surface temperature as measured by a type K thermocouple inserted in the center of this tube. (There may be some small difference between temperatures there and on the wire surface, but it should be small). Note that the power applied vs. temperature rise curve is not linear, nor is it quadratic or exponential. Temperature dependent convective effects are certainly coming into play here. The last foil shows a previous run at lower power where the cell is inside a constant thermal mass flow calorimeter. Power vs.temperature is nearly linear and is much easier to interpret. Since calorimetry inherently integrates emitted power over the entire surface of the cell, hot or cold spots do not create errors. Once I get the new apparatus completed the first run will be done with an empty cell over the full temperature range: up to ~1300 C. For safety and reliability reasons I do not plan to go to higher temperatures.


    BTW, has anyone seen any data on COP temperature dependence? I know the Lugano team used ~1400C, but is the onset of excess heat sudden, or does it happen at lower temperatures also? Certainly, once I get things built this is one parametric sensitivity that I'll investigate.


    Jeff

  • Excellent demo!
    When it comes to accuracy and reliability nothing can beat calorimetry. I'm glad that you are going for it.


    I know of one of the Parkhomov's experiment where the onset is at 700°C, and the COP keeps rising with temperature till ~ 1250°C. (Temperatures are obviously dependent on the TC location).

  • The following plots demonstrate why airflow calorimetry is so much more accurate than attempting to interpret power output from surface temperature. The first plot illustrates Kanthal wire wound around an alumina tube that is supported in free air by two ceramic supports. (I'll add ceramic cement when it arrives). Foil #2 shows the surface temperature as measured by a type K thermocouple inserted in the center of this tube. (There may be some small difference between temperatures there and on the wire surface, but it should be small). Note that the power applied vs. temperature rise curve is not linear, nor is it quadratic or exponential. Temperature dependent convective effects are certainly coming into play here. The last foil shows a previous run at lower power where the cell is inside a constant thermal mass flow calorimeter. Power vs.temperature is nearly linear and is much easier to interpret. Since calorimetry inherently integrates emitted power over the entire surface of the cell, hot or cold spots do not create errors. Once I get the new apparatus completed the first run will be done with an empty cell over the full temperature range: up to ~1300 C. For safety and reliability reasons I do not plan to go to higher temperatures.


    BTW, has anyone seen any data on COP temperature dependence? I know the Lugano team used ~1400C, but is the onset of excess heat sudden, or does it happen at lower temperatures also? Certainly, once I get things built this is one parametric sensitivity that I'll investigate.


    Jeff


    Jeff, if you want the temperature dependence from the Lugano reactor as measured, then you can find the data from that experiment, with the obvious calorimetry error corrected, in Thomas Clarke's paper on lenr canr . You will see that, independent on the various errors, there is zero change in COP between the two different temperature active tests. Also you need to realise that the two temperatures at which they tested were in fact much lower than they stated (I forget what exactly - check the paper).


    The Lugano testers have never replied to this critique, but if you read the critique the mistake they have made, and why it has such a large effect on the COP, is obvious to anyone with High School Physics.

  • Ebay comes to the rescue again. I received a used Lumasense IGA-5 IR thermometer today. It is German built and looks like a good piece of equipment. More importantly, its wavelength sensitivity is in the 1.45-1.8 um range, which corresponds closely to the Planck blackbody spectral peak for objects in the 500-1500 C range. Designed to operate at an FL of 800 mm, it's spot size is only 4 mm, considerably smaller than the diameter of the alumina tube would with heater wire. The device requires an oddball connector which I'll need to order. Then I can calibrate it against a thermocouple, setting the emissivity, as required. Note that I plan to use the IR thermometer only to monitor the surface temperature of the alumina tube for temperature feedback control. Actual power generation will be measured via a flow calorimeter.


    Jeff

  • Now that the control and signal conditioning electronics are working I have put an empty cell into the calorimeter and started taking temperature readings for different power inputs. Power is furnished by a DC supply wired with a 2.5 mOhm shunt and a 4-wire Kelvin voltage measuring configuration at the thermal boundary. Each measurement requires approx 2 hours because of the long thermal time constant. The end result will be a power vs. temperature rise plot that should be linear, passing through the origin. Then it will be time to test with an active cell.


    Jeff

  • By applying a series of known voltages and currents across the heating element of a cell placed in the airflow calorimeter it is possible to get a graph of applied power vs. temperature rise. The result is a nearly linear plot running through the origin. A max voltage of 28V was applied that, from a previous calibration run, gave a temperature of ~1100C. That temperature is as high as I believe is necessary to initiate some LENR activity. These results demonstrate that feedback based on thermal mass flow does yield a linear power vs. temperature behavior.


    The next step is to tear down the setup and connect the gas/vacuum manifold and IR thermometer. I'll make one final in situ calibration, where internal cell temperature (measured by a TC), is plotted against the temperature reported by the IR thermometer.


    Then it will be time to load the cell with active ingredients.


    Jeff

  • Over the last week or so I built a 4'x6' table to accommodate all the components for the setup. Everything but the hydrogen source is now ready to go. Lots of little fabrication jobs such as making the holder for the Lumasense sensor body. Vacuum pump achieves <1 milli Torr pressure, which is sufficient to remove air before introducing hydrogen. It also is a good check for system integrity for positive pressurization. I checked the calorimeter temp rise with the cell evacuated and at atmospheric pressure, and the results were the same. (They should be.) Also noticed that there was very little difference in the heating element temperature for evacuated vs. non-evacuated cell. A bit surprising, but probably indicates that most of the heat transfer is radiative rather than conductive.


    Jeff

  • I have been trying to get someone here in the Peoples Republic of Kalifornia to sell me a small bottle of H2. Apparently the powers that be consider bottled H2 in the same hazard class as Polonium. The welding shop will only sell it if I have a properly outfitted truck. They won't sell it if I plan to carry it in a car. Never mind that it's a total of only 25 cu ft. So I broke down and bought a laboratory hydrogen generator. Now, with my luck California will refuse to sell me de-ionized water.


    LENR science is difficult enough without politicians and regulatory agencies making it ever more so.


    Jeff

  • Such enthusiasts can buy "steam distilled" water at Wal-Mart by the gallon. If that is not good enough, then you could run that purchased through a highest quality activated carbon column and then re-distill once or twice--- depending on attention to details, you can produce your very own ultrahigh purity H2O surely well suited to electrolysis.

  • I have found several sources for ASTM II DI water. It costs about as much per gallon as really bad wine. Since I'm used to drinking good Burgundy, the DI water is a real bargain. BTW, normal store bought distilled water has too high an ion content due to the metals used in the distillation process. A friend of mine who works in semiconductor fabrication cautioned me not to let the DI water come into contact with any metals.

  • I took chance and purchased a used H2 generator off Ebay and got lucky. Other than needing a few filters replaced, the only other problem was a defective float switch which I temporarily bypassed. The unit generates H2 at pressures up to 100 PSI. To make sure the gas was indeed H2, I lit it. Now to hook the unit up to the gas/vacuum manifold.


    Jeff

  • The apparatus I built is designed such that H2 is furnished eternally from a hydrogen generator (much safer than bottled H2). The metallic species are placed in an alumina tube where both ends are stuffed with quartz wool to keep things in place, while permitting hydrogen to permeate the metals. The outer 1/3 of each end of the tube is filled with Al2O3 powder that acts as a filler and will absorb any molten metal that might tend to leak out the ends. External heating is provided by Kanthal wire wrapped around the exterior of the alumina tube.


    Before proceeding, I have a few questions that hopefully someone out there can answer.


    1. I'm aware that metallic Al will evolve as a consequence of the thermal decomposition of LiAlH. At elevated temperatures Al in a liquid state will wet Li2O and reduce it to Li (gas or liquid) + Al2O3. So Al will act as an oxygen scavenger, but does it play any other role in LENR reactions?


    2. Is there a known protocol for preconditioning the Ni + Al + Li before attempting to initiate LENR by adding hydrogen? I have read accounts that the mixture should be heated to ~800C but am not sure for how long.


    3. At what temperature have LENR effects been observed? I'm not looking for high COPs for the first experiment, just reliable and repeatable indications of LENR activity.


    Jeff

  • Dave,


    Most of the questions or suggestions you posed are addressed in some of my previous posts under "Replication Attempts". There I posted some .pdf files detailing the apparatus as well as calibration plots for the calorimeter. BTW, you are preaching to the choir when it comes to accurate calorimetry. The calorimeter I'm using operates in a closed loop mode where airflow is controlled to maintain a constant thermal mass/time rate. It yields nearly a perfect linear fit with a small nonzero Y-intercept that is due to an offset between the two thermal sensors.


    Regarding Al2O3, I plan to mix it 50/50 by weight into the Ni to prevent sintering, as you recommended.


    Jeff

  • Any news on when this report will be (or has been) published? I'm considering running DFT simulations on Ni/Li/H systems, but there are a ton of user specified conditions that must be specified, and I do not want to re-invent the wheel. I would also be interested in what the author(s) means when he states the material "satisfies all the conditions". In other words, what criteria are being used to define an NAE environment?


    Louis DeCharios news could be most interesting for you! You should read it."We have run materials simulations (also known as Density Functional Theory simulations) on our best guess of Rossi’s alloy material. It satisfies all the conditions given above, while pure Nickel does not."



    Jeff

  • Today I loaded Ni and alumina powder and a 50 mg slug of Li into an alumina tube and under vacuum applied power sufficient to reach ~500C. Afterwards I noticed a black stain on the exterior of the alumina tube corresponding to where the metallic Li was loaded. Clearly there is a reaction occurring between the Li and what I had assumed was nonreactive alumina. A bit of research yielded the following reference from the IAEA:


    http://www.iaea.org/inis/colle…Public/09/410/9410560.pdf


    Based on this report, it appears there are very few materials that are compatible with liquid metallic Li. This raises another question: does LiAlH decompose into metallic Li to the extent that it reacts with the vessel wall?


    Jeff