The Nickel-Hydrogen Brain Trust

  • This purpose of this thread is to combine our knowledge, experience, and ideas to figure methods to make the basic combination of nickel, hydrogen, and lithium (elemental, LiH, or LiAlH4) repeatedly and consistently produce massive excess heat and self sustained operation. Everyone who posts in this thread must -- even if only for the sake of hypothetical discussion if they are cynical about the topic -- write their posts with the assumption that this reaction is possible. If someone is unwilling to entertain this conjecture and at least attempt to contribute in a serious manner, then they are NOT welcome on this thread. Additionally, this is not a thread to debate the reality of the Rossi Effect or discuss the litigation between Rossi and IH. Although information about Rossi's methods, procedures, and techniques are welcome, please feel free to post data from other researchers: Focardi, Piantelli, Me356, Harold Aspden, and others. Any source of information that could be of benefit is welcome.


    There are many aspects of a successful replication that are up for discussion on this thread. Here are a few of many:


    1) Reactor design - Discussion about high temperature resistors, reactor body geometry, inner fuel tube composition, thermal insulation, infrared reflectivity, emission thermalization, etc.


    2) Safety - Blast shields, fume hoods, eye protection, respirators, chemical handling, radiation detection, etc.


    3) Fuel Selection - The various types of nickel to be tested, the optimum brand of LiAlH4 (Alfa Aesar 97%), additives (copper or palladium powder), additional hydrogen sources (other hydrides, hydrogen generators, electrolysis units, catalytic carbon, hydrogen tanks).


    4) Fuel Pre-processing - Ultrasound irradiation in a hydrocarbon (hexane, decane, etc) slurry, chemical etching, degassing via long duration high vacuum under heat, pre-hydrogenation, peppering with nano-palladium powder, etc.


    5) Heating Ramps - Fast vs. Slow decomposition of LiAlH4, temperatures to linger at, fast thermal shocks vs. gradual increases in temperature, etc.


    6) Stimulation -- High voltage multi-phase AC, application of square waves, optimizing harmonics, finding resonance, applying current through the fuel, etc.


    7) Measurement Techniques - Thermocouples, control reactors, various forms of calorimetry, best ways to reduce measurement error, IR cameras, etc.


    There are a multitude of issues we can discuss. Although I do NOT intend of LEADING the discussion or forcefully pushing it in one direction or another, my preference would be that maximizing the hydrogenation of nickel (both during pre-hydrogenation and inside the active reactor) be one of the first topics of discussion.

  • This is good, a great first step,


    I have some lengths of nickel rods out of an old delay line, a machine shop, power electronics, instrumentation and resources adequate to the task, but have been waiting for someone to step up who is willing to share the meat and potatoes of their successful forays into LENR.

  • Me356 performed a wide range of experiments ranging from nickel wire and hydrogen to nickel powder and LiAlH4 to glow discharge systems. There are many experiments that could be performed based on what he told us. I think that a good middle ground is the use of nickel powder and LiAlH4. The nickel powder has a greater surface area than rod or wire and LiAlH4 provides a hydrogen source that is probably cheaper and more available than a hydrogen tank or hydrogen generator. Of course if someone has a hydrogen tank and plenty of fabrication equipment, repeating the basic Focardi experiments and then adding a little lithium would be a good idea as well.


    If someone is to perform any of these experiments, they need to take the advice of Me356.


    1) He said that the nickel needs to be clean of oxides. The cleanest parts of his wire glowed the brightest. There are many ways to clean nickel including ultrasound irradiation, chemical etching, reduction by hydrogen, etc.


    2) He said that the nickel should be degassed by vacuum. This is important because if the trapped gases are not removed then we will not be able to fill voids and microcavities with hydrogen.


    3) He said that we should have another source of hydrogen in addition to LiAlH4. Focardi's papers tell us that the best way to maximize hydrogen absorption is to periodically increase the pressure after it drops. I think either a secondary hydrogen source should be used or the fuel should be pre-hydrogenated.


    4) The best LiAlH4 should be used. He indicated that Alfa Aesar 97% LiAlH4 seemed to produce 20 times the hydrogen of the previous LiAlH4 he was using.


    These are the biggies in my opinion. If someone has the money, resources, skills, and time they could take this much farther. For example, they could purify the 97% LiAlH4 into 99% or higher LiAlH4. Or they could add an atomic hydrogen source.

  • 1) He said that the nickel needs to be clean of oxides. The cleanest parts of his wire glowed the brightest. There are many ways to clean nickel including ultrasound irradiation, chemical etching, reduction by hydrogen, etc.
    In another thread we can read, that the surface oxides improve they yield of nuclear reaction by making the surface of nickel more porous (after in-situ reduction of oxides with hydrogen) and the oxidative/reductive cycling of nickel surface makes it rough, which is exactly the opposite of ultrasound cleaning or polishing it.. Here the cracks and pits are also reccomended. I'm not saying, that you still cannot be right - but your advices could be doubted easily by another ones.


    2) He said that the nickel should be degassed by vacuum. This is important because if the trapped gases are not removed then we will not be able to fill voids and microcavities with hydrogen.
    But does it really apply in hydrogen plasma, in which all traces of gases would react with activated hydrogen fast? The plasma would also clean the surface on nickel and reduce it (until it serves as a cathode in similar way, like the me356 used).


    3) He said that we should have another source of hydrogen in addition to LiAlH4. Focardi's papers tell us that the best way to maximize hydrogen absorption is to periodically increase the pressure after it drops. I think either a secondary hydrogen source should be used or the fuel should be pre-hydrogenated.
    It seems for me356, didn't use the LiAlH4 in his plasma experiments at all. The addition of lithium in free state would give a good meaning instead.


    4) The best LiAlH4 should be used. He indicated that Alfa Aesar 97% LiAlH4 seemed to produce 20 times the hydrogen of the previous LiAlH4 he was using.
    IMO the corona discharge cleans and reduces surface of nickel from oxides, the protons implanted by corona discharge oversaturate the surface of nickel with hydrogen in very fast and effective way by itself. Neverthelles the aluminium from LiAlH4 could still work as a getter and also neutralize the basis oxides of lithium, which would corrode the nickel surface into nickelates. But with respect to plasma they LiAlH4 would serve as an inert material which would block the active nickel surface against ion impacts.


  • 1) Ultrasound cleaning only macroscopically smooths the nickel powder. The papers by Suslick make it clear that although the entire particle looks smoother, if you zoomed in on the surface it has actually been roughened and made more catalytically active. Consider this comparison. Let's say you have an oddly shaped apple. If you placed a drop of food coloring on the skin the food coloring would mostly not be absorbed and would roll off. You could wipe off the remaining food coloring and the apple would be the same color. However, let's say you peel the apple, remove the skin, and make it into a sphere. On the macroscale it is smooth, but you have exposed a porous, roughened surface. If you placed a drop of food coloring on it now, the food coloring would instantly be absorbed. You could try to wipe it off, but the food coloring would be continuing to migrate deeper into the apple. Ultrasound irradiation of nickel does exactly what we want: remove the oxide layer revealing a roughened (on the nanoscale) that would be optimal for absorbing hydrogen.


    2) I have no interest in plasma based systems. I am only interested in systems utilizing nickel powder and various hydrogen sources and lithium. I also do not care if he ever shares any information about his glow discharge and more advanced systems.


    3) Again, I don't care about his glow discharge experiments. I'm only interested in the nickel powder and LiAlH4 experiments. He told us that Alfa Aesar LiAlH4 seemed to produce 20 times the hydrogen as the LiAlH4 he had previously used.


    4) Again, I'm not interested in his glow discharge experiments.

  • Quote

    Ultrasound irradiation of nickel does exactly what we want: remove the oxide layer revealing a roughened (on the nanoscale) that would be optimal for absorbing hydrogen

    Well, maybe the nanocavitation reveals and enhances the barriers between crystal grains. The tips of ultrasonic stirrers look like erroded sandstone after some usage.


    Quote

    I have no interest in plasma based systems. I am only interested in systems utilizing nickel powder and various hydrogen sources and lithium.

    This is the problem of most cold fusion replicators: they ignore the reliable systems which work and they continue in pursuing of explorative experiments as if nothing would ever happen. During years following the cold fusion research I never noted, that someone would attempt to replicate the plasma electrolysis (Mizuno), nickel carbonate electrolysis (Mills/Niedra/Notoya), codeposition (Spak), Cravens spheres or thermocamera experiments (SpaWar) - despite these experiments belong into iconic milestones of cold fusion research already. Why is it so?


    The same applies for me356 observation of discharge enhanced fusion during last year. The negative feeback of success manifest itself even here, within alternative community. Once some successfull and reliable experiment gets anounced, then it becomes a taboo even within cold fusion community itself! Whereas one would expect, that we would get the fastest progress with systematic pursuing and replication of most reliable routes recognized so far. At any case, once you want to establish brain trust, then the ignorance of any kind would undermine its effort. Once you'd say, you're not interested in this and that, you would get fired from my team immediately - we have enough of ignorants all around us already.

  • The stethoscope picture. A little detective work and a possible explanation for the craziness.


    I found this photograph very informative. In fact so informative that I have a copy of it on my laboratory wall. Here's why:-


    It shows the layout of the heater controls clearly. These consist of phase- frequency controllers driven by a remote computer using opto-couplers. The opto-couplers are the white squares with a round dot in the middle. The phase controllers are the bigger grey boxes. This system allows the heater current AC frequency to be controlled up to at least 700-800 Hz, maybe a little higher. If the phase controllers were custom-built, maybe they could go to more than that. Also remember that the Cats use 3-phase heating as per Lugano - so the global frequency will be 3X the indicidual phase frequencies - you get what are called 'beat frequencies' or harmonics generated as the phases move in and out of synch. Like the wow-wow-wow you used to hear from old piston engined freight-planes as their props went in and out of synch with each other.


    Since 7-800Hz and most of the global harmonics generated are well within the range of normal human hearing, it might well be possible to use a stethoscope to pick up an audible response when you hit resonance - with a colleague adjusting the frequency via the computer.


    From my electronics days, I know that there is another way of detecting resonance - but how sensitive this is depends on something called 'Q' - which describes the shape of the frequency response curve of a circuit. Think of a band-pass audio filter. These are designed to offer high-resistance to AC currents going to a speaker-system except at a particular frequency which depends on the design of the circuit. When signals at the design frequency are detected, the resistance drops, and therefore a plot of frequency / current shows that the current rises sharply at that frequency. The higher the 'Q' the sharper the peak. With a 'low Q' circuit the peak is less well defined, in fact there may be several peaks -like a little range of hills. So it could be that -depending on the software they wrote and depending on how high the 'Q' factor is - using a stethoscope could be more convenient than measuring current across all 3 phases while tuning your cat's heater frequency in - just like an old-style short-wave wireless.


    And - if the right resonant frequency kicks off the LENR reaction as I hypothesize - you could very easily hear the water start to get hot- think of the noises any electric kettle makes when you switch it on.
    What do you think?

  • Coil whine would do it. Don't forget that the heater wires expand when they are hot, so there is a little bit of 'rattle-room' no matter how tight the coils are when cold. Coil whine is certainly noticeable in an old-fashined electric fire with a radiant element. You can clearly hear a mains-frequency hum when they are on. Also in my Model T (and subsequent) reactors you can hear them singing when using DC drive and a 15 khZ PWM.


    I am just switching (finally) over to H-Bridge modulated square wave AC with arduino-controlled frequency switching. But first I must get back and finish the Nickel prep experiments. Things at the LFH lab have been rather set back over the last few weeks by a sudden and very serious health problem in my close family leaving me too little uninterrupted time to perform long experiments. Or indeed do much experimenting at all. However,I'm gradually getting back into the old routine. Shit happens- we just have to get over it. :|

  • Quote

    you could very easily hear the water start to get hot...


    What a genius! Rossi measures temperature with a stethoscope rather than a thermometer. Next, the incredible Fox of Miami will be checking the energy output by smelling the burning insulation! It's all part of his "parafrenalia"!

  • In Rossi's patent update, he says that he does not use heating coils anymore and just uses high electrostatic field potential. Why would he do that?


    https://patentscope.wipo.int/s…621/PDOC/WO2016018851.pdf


    At the bottom of page titled: "Provisional patent application" Rossi says that he does not use an electric heater anymore and then describes his high voltage (up to 100 KV) electrostatic reaction stimulator.


    Are you good old fellows chasing your tails?

  • Quote

    In Rossi's patent update, he says that he does not use heating coils anymore and just uses high electrostatic field potential. Why would he do that?

    Isn't it quite obvious? The thermally initiated E-Cat is unreliable and it does provide usefull COP at higher temperatures only - which is why A. Rossi abandoned it soon on behalf of hot Cat. But the hot Cat is prone to runnaways and in essence it's dangerous during overheating - so it could never pass the certification for domestic usage. The discharge initiated ECat (Quark-X reactor) can be controlled in much wider range of output power and it remains prone to runaways, because the corona discharge initiates the fusion reaction instead of temperature increase.



  • Zephir,


    You are totally and absolutely wrong. The earliest E-Cats that Andrea Rossi built and tested with Focardi utilized only nickel powder, catalyst powders to enhance hydrogen absorption into the nickel (palladium powder and perhaps copper powder), and hydrogen gas from a tank. Rossi and Focardi jointly reported in one of the first (if not the first) paper on the JONP that these system produced COPs in the hundreds! Furthermore, they did not operate at ultra high temperatures, because these reactors built and tested around 2008 utilized COPPER REACTOR CORES which would have melted at 1085C. Typically, they operated at much lower temperatures except when they went into runaway mode (when self sustain goes wild and crazy and the temperature goes up beyond the melting point of nickel). But even at the temperatures they operated at, their COP was very high.


    Andrea Rossi then pursued building *stable* higher temperature reactors to allow for steam temperatures that could allow high efficiency in the production of electricity. The first hot cats used hydrogen from a tank, and then later reactors used LiAlH4.


    The low and high temperature E-Cats were not abandoned. Andrea Rossi simply moved on to maximize the potential of the technology.


    However, what I'm interested in is replicating the classic E-Cats we know something about that utilized mixtures of various powders. They are simple, they worked, and they have been replicated by Songsheng, Parkhomov, Stepanov, Russian teams, and others which seek to remain nameless for now.

  • I wouldn't even attempt for nickel-lithium system without corona activation in me356 style - especially in amateur conditions it would be just waste of time.


    Surely if 'amateur conditions' (whatever that means) would create problems for corona activation experiments too? Unless we try, we cannot be so dogmatic about the possibility or the impossibility of anything.

  • Usage of plasma discharge has many advantages over plain usage of LiAlH4:

    • the traces of oxygen are continuously removed by its activation and reaction with excess of hydrogen
    • the impacting ions clean and erode surface of nickel continuously, thus revealing microcracks and crystal grain boundaries
    • the accelerated electrons reduce the surface of nickel from oxides continuously, even at the presence of traces of oxygen and humidity common in amateur conditions. It may even recycle the LiAlH4 in situ.
    • the ions (protons) implanted with high voltage would forcefully and continuously saturate the surface of nickel with hydrogen, the oversaturation of lattice can be easily reached here
    • the electric field intensity can be modulated with HF corona to a much higher voltage than just by using AC current for heater
    • the system can be still combined with Li vapors (Li+D corona is most reliable cold fusion system) and/or with LiAlH4, which would provide the hydrogen atmosphere at higher temperatures
    • the HV/HF voltage sources are cheap components and sold ready made or DIY at many chinese e-shop sites (1, 2)
    • the plasma discharge is fancy and with bit of experience it enables to monitor hydrogen pressure and its reactions with substrate visually
    • the AC/DC ratio and voltage/HF frequency used represent another wide system of variables, which would enable to tune up reaction conditions precisely and finely
    • it was actually the only Ni-H system repeatedly replicated by amateur (QuarkX/me356). Parkhomov didn't succeed in his further replications.
  • Quote

    I wouldn't even attempt for nickel-lithium system without corona activation in me356 style - especially in amateur conditions it would be just waste of time.


    A nickel lithium system can work fie without corona activation or other exotic techniques if the nickel has been properly pre-processed. In most systems that fail, people used nickel that hadn't been cleaned of oxides, degassed, or pre-hydrogenated to any degree. They hope to just turn on the resistors and see excess heat appear. The truth is that getting hydrogen into nickel is VERY TRICKY and even PhD researchers who have NOTHING to do with LENR have difficult hydrogenating nickel if they do follow strict guidelines. The number one most important guideline is probably degassing for an extended period of time under high vacuum while step wise increasing temperature. To remove all the trapped gases, this process can take many hours or days.


    For example, the device Dr. Levi tested that operated for eighteen hours in self sustain mode was not a glow discharge device.

  • Alan,
    a three phase VFD will always have all three phases at the same frequency and with a constant 120 degree phase difference phase to phase,
    recent units have multi kilowatt capacities at very economical prices, it would make no sense to design a custom unit, the frequencies of off the shelf units usually top out in the 400 Hz range

  • Hi Mike. I have a VFD unit rated at 1200W, brand new $125. As you say, cheap and available.


    But not square wave, in fact most manufacturers of VFD's stress the smoothness of the output. Square waves make very hot and noisy motors.