Brian Ahern: Thermacore replication

    • Official Post

    On vortex brian ahern announced his efforts to replicate Thermacore 1996 experiment,

    It is cited in another thread here (on Darden's interview in the Triangle Business Journal).

    I am close to completing a repetition of the 1996 Thermacore runaway reaction. This seems like an obvious application of chemical engineering and the experiment is straightforward.

    That result may solve a great many riddles in LENR. If it is successful, I expect Andrea Rossi and separately Randall Mills will claim full credit for an obvious result of their actions.

    There was an article in ECW based on vortex discussions…ent-jones-beene-vortex-l/…

    Whatever you think of Rossi or Mills, replicating NiH experiment and proving definitively LENR happens with Ni and 1H, is a great news for humanity.

  • Whatever you think of Rossi or Mills, replicating NiH experiment and proving definitively LENR happens with Ni and 1H, is a great news for humanity.

    In the early days, when the Thermacore replication was carried out (?), Mills was using electrolysis with a potassium salt electrolyte (I think this was still going on at that time). If Thermacore used potassium (there is some question on this detail), the system would be the Ni/H/K system. My bet: nickel and hydrogen are either inert or only catalytic in this system, and potassium is the main participant, via:

    1. 40K → 40Ca + β + ν + 1.3 MeV
    2. 40K + e- → 40Ar + ν + 1.5 MeV

    Whether this is true or not, I hope people will be alert to the exact details of the Thermacore replication should they attempt it and not assume that just nickel and hydrogen are involved.

  • Does anyone know when this will take place? 1996 is 21 years ago. The vortex thread is from May 2016. It would be nice if Brian could provide some status. I am going to die of cold age (brrr) before we get a reproduction.

  • AlainCo and others -

    Now that Brian Ahern said that he is close to duplication. Has anyone seen or asked him on his setup? Is he doing an exact duplication of

    last time? Or is he checking for radiation? Since we now have a thread about this, any more details would be great.

    I see that [Brian ahern] is a safty moderator here at LF and has posted before. So Brian A. if you can describe your experiment we would like to hear about it. -TIA

  • Quote

    nickel and hydrogen are either inert or only catalytic in this system, and potassium is the main participant

    40K → 40Ca + β + ν + 1.3 MeV 40K + e- → 40Ar + ν + 1.5 MeV

    The proton capture has been routinely observed during electrolysis of alkali-metal carbonate solutions at nickel cathode, during which the potassium, strontium or barium ions gets formed accordingly.

    The 40 K is known to be susceptible to electron capture - but Rb and Ce?

    At any case, the Thermacore replication is interesting from amateur perceptive, because it's simple and inexpensive cold fusion system running at mild conditions (suitable for home heating) and the yields reported by Mills were excellent. The most outstanding example is a cell producing 41 watts of heat with only 5 watts of electrical input. The cell has operated continuously for over one year. Thermacore International is now a subsidiary of Modine Manufacturing Company, and a global supplier of thermal engineering products for many industries.

  • The difficulty of the Coulomb barrier makes electron capture and beta decay very much more plausible to my mind than proton capture. I suspect any conclusions of proton capture in the LENR literature are mis-identifications of something else.

    The 40 K is known to be susceptible to electron capture - but Rb and Ce?

    Zephir, can you clarify the connection of rubidium and cerium to the Thermacore replication? Or are you referring to these elements in the context of Mills' own work? Or are you referring to them in general terms?

    How about:

    • 87Rb → 87Sr + β + ν + 283 keV

    Regarding cerium, all isotopes of which are stable, this is an interesting question. There might be another trace impurity participating. Also, at ~ 140 u, cerium is heavy enough to start to be susceptible to fission with sufficient screening, and some of the daughters will be unstable against electron capture and beta decay.

  • My apology: I confused Cesium (Cs) for Cerium (Ce).

    The electrolytic transmutation of Cs to Ba:

    The transmutation of Cs to Ba has been observed in another systems, than just electrolytical (Kervran, Kornilov and others):



    Mitsubishi observed transmutation from cesium (Cs) to praseodymium (Pr), from barium (Ba) to samarium (Sm), from strontium (Sr) to molybdenum (Mo), etc

    • Official Post

    MHI/Iwamura and Toyota/Takahashi replication are described in those papers published/reviewed in JJAP

    NB: I remember some people speculating on those experiments considering

    the observed transmutations were

    X-> Y=X+k*2D (k=1,2,3...) where Y is stable.

    Strange condition, in line with low energy outcome observed, unless you think the LENR reaction is a decay (slowfusion, 24Mev safe leaking), and not an excitation (coulomb barrier rape).

    Anyway it seems minority reaction... But why not catalysis?

    Reproducing Thermacore runaway, I hope, may give mass of transmuted product to analyse... whether it is deuterium, tritium, He4, or heavy nucleus, should be clear if care is taken to answer that question

  • Zephir, I think the transmutation of Cs to Ba would be another example of what I was suggesting, i.e., induced decay:

    • 137Cs → 137Ba + β + ν + 1.1 MeV

    I am familiar only with the broad gist of Vysotskii's work and am unable to comment beyond this.

    Regarding the results of Iwamura et al., I would put them in another category. The results might be genuine, but they're in need of further confirmation. David Kidwell ran into many difficulties when he collaborated with them in an attempt to replicate their work. Whatever is going on, assuming it's real, it has me stumped, and I don't have any ready ideas. A very weak hunch is that it might be the result of the pile-on of alpha capture, but this poses some difficulties. However implausible the suggestion is, it seems to me more plausible than simultaneous deuteron capture, as proposed by certain theories, including that of Iwamura.

  • Last night I read a blurb on Vortex below is the context it was dated last Saturday. Original B.Ahern-close-oh-so-close

  • It's worth to note, that Thermacore replications could be extended with introduction of all tricks known from palladium-electrolytic systems: the co-deposition of nickel with hydrogen, with application of magnetic field and HF AC field. And nothing prohibits us to reduce also palladium and lithium ions within the system together with hydrogen (which is originally based on potassium carbonate electrolyte only). Therefore there is still lotta rather simple and cheap factors for improvement.

    Another modification may include the usage of molten eutectic solute of lithium hydride instead of aqueous solutions.

  • Quote

    We will set the power at 400 watts to begin. At 650 Watts (full power) we could only reach 600C. The K2CO3 melts at 891 ~C. We will add insulation and hopefully get to 900 °C tomorrow.

    I dunno what these guys are trying to achieve, but the Thermacore incident started, when Nelson Gernert - the chief researcher - added 2.5 pounds of nickel powder (200 mesh of Ni-200) into a 3 liter stainless steel Dewar. The Dewar weighed 300 pounds. It was a strong pressure vessel with a hemispherical volume. Thermacore evacuated the nickel under vacuum for several days before adding H2 gas at 2 atmospheres (apparently there was no potassium but this detail needs to be verified). The most amazing thing happened next. The powder immediately and spontaneously heated before external power could be added. The Dewar glowed orange (800C) and the engineers ran for cover. They did not measure it for radiation.

    Superficial thermal analysis – 3 liters of H2 gas at 2 atmosphere will have a heat of combustion of 74 kilojoules when combined with oxygen (but there was no oxygen in the Dewar). Heating a 300 lb Stainless vessel to 800C requires 21 megajoules. That is ostensibly 289 times the possible chemical energy! The Dewar was no longer safe as a pressure vessel and they junked it. The Thermacore incident was not reported for any number of legal and liability reasons, not to mention OSHA – and the project was canceled immediately.

    It' important to note, that no external heat, neither some potassium carbonate had been used in original Thermacore experiment - so I don't quite understand the word "replication" in the above thread title. The REPLICATION implies the REPRODUCTION and REPEATING conditions of original experiment. From the above description is apparent, that the heating didn't START the reaction, it (luckily) QUENCHED it.

    With such an attitude they could attempt to replicate it for ever.

  • apparently there was no potassium but this detail needs to be verified ... It' important to note, that no external heat, neither some potassium carbonate had been used in original Thermacore experiment ...

    I'm interested in the matter of potassium in early Mills experiments, which I believe he used at one point. Are the two statements above separated by ellipses referring to the same detail, or to separate details? I.e., was it the case that there was never any potassium in the Thermacore replication, or is this something that must be further verified?

  • The original source doesn't mention any additives - just nickel nanoparticles.
    I don't know, why Brian Ahern is trying potassium carbonate in melted state at the first place. I don't even think, such a mixture will be thermodynamically stable - the nickel would probably reduce molten carbonate under formation of nickel oxide and carbon monoxide at high temperatures.

  • That's Jones Beene's account. I would consider it a secondary source. I would not be surprised if the Thermacore replication employed potassium, which Mills was using early on.

  • He's written this some time back:…ters-cold-fusion-article/

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