Palladium cold fusion as an energy source

  • Okay, I worked up some numbers and posted this over at Vortex. Peter Gluck ran some numbers. I believe he used the 1-year production of Pd only, which is ~180 million g. I think he forgot that we can continue using Pd for more than 1 year. In other words, after 20 years the total amount in use could be 20 * 180 million g = 3.6 billion g.

    Here is my estimate --

    Palladium is expensive and rare. If it turns out we can only generate cold fusion energy from palladium, and not some other metal such as nickel or titanium, this will probably limit the use of cold fusion to things like central generators which have a high duty cycle, making maximum use of the metal. However, palladium is not so rare that a Pd-D energy source would make only minimal contributions to overall energy production. It could generate more than coal, or natural gas, or any other single source today. Martin Fleischmann once estimated that it could produce about one-third to half of all electricity. I believe that is reasonable.

    In other words, Ni or Ti would make cold fusion cheap and ubiquitous, but even with Pd we could supply a large fraction of today's energy, and it would be cheaper than any other energy source.

    Here are three very rough estimates, with different assumptions.


    The palladium supply in 2015 was 6.7 million ounces mined, 2.6 million from "secondary recovery" (recycling). That is 190 million grams mined, 74 million recycled.…y-and-demand/default.aspx


    No increase in production despite increased demand. Production from mines continues to be ~190 million grams per year, indefinitely. I think this is unrealistic. When demand increases, more mines are opened and extraction techniques improve.

    The main use of Pd today is in catalytic converters. Assume that eventually, all cars are electric and no more use of Pd is needed for catalytic converters; nearly all Pd used for cold fusion.

    No transmutation of Pd. The Pd is in sealed cells, so little is lost. 95% is recycled; 5% lost.

    This means that after 20 years, annual losses would equal production and the supply would not increase. The total supply would then be 3.8 billion grams. (I ignore today's existing stocks.)

    Additional assumptions regarding energy production

    With Pd-D 200 W/g can be achieved, at any desired temperature up to the melting point of Pd. I believe the current record is 25 W/g, which is approximately the same power density as a uranium oxide fuel pellet in a conventional reactor. See "Power density is compared by volume or by surface area:"

    (Note that Pd weights 14 g/cm^3.)

    I think higher power density might be possible with nanoparticle Pd.

    The Pd would mainly be used for applications with a high duty cycle, such as centralized electric power generation, railroad locomotives, and pacemakers. (Pacemakers have very low power but they must maintain a 100% duty cycle or the patient may die.) Assume the Pd is active 60% of the time.

    With 3.8 billion g, that comes to 0.456 TW thermal output. Electricity requires 5 TW thermal to produce 2.3 TW electricity. Assume thermal conversion efficiency does not improve. In this case, 0.456 TW would produce 9% of electricity.


    Cold fusion would make Pd quite valuable, so let us assume production doubles to 380 million grams.

    Lead-acid batteries resemble cold fusion cells in that they are sealed and none of the metal is used up or lost. Nearly 100% of the lead is recycled. Assume that only 1% of Pd is lost every year, because most Pd generators are large, central units that are carefully recycled. After 100 years we would have 37.6 billion grams.

    Assume no increase in the thermal efficiency of conversion, and the same 200 W/g and 60% duty cycle.

    Total thermal output is then 4.5 TW which produces 90% of today’s electricity. However, there is no doubt demand will grow, so perhaps it would be about half of total electricity.


    Assume Pd can be extracted from seawater, or from mining asteroids. Asteroids are 80% iron and “20% a mixture of nickel, iridium, palladium, platinum, gold, magnesium and other precious metals such as osmium, ruthenium and rhodium.”


    "The platinum group metals are some of the most rare and useful elements on Earth. According to Planetary Resources, a company that hopes to mine asteroids in space, those metals exist in such high concentrations on asteroids that a single 500-meter platinum-rich asteroid can contain more platinum group metals than have ever been mined on Earth throughout human history."

    This would give us enough Pd to produce all of the energy on earth and in the solar system.…at-are-asteroids-made-of/

    - Jed

  • Palladium ounces are troy ounces, so that there are 31.1 g/troy ounce.

    Who knew! Troy ounces . . . Do they launch a thousand ships?

    There are several conservative assumptions in my estimate which I did not enumerate. I am assuming there is practically no improvement in related technology, which is silly. For example:

    Even with cold fusion central generators, we could have small ones, in the 1 MW range. They could be close to population centers, or in population centers where there are now transformers. This would greatly reduce transmission and distribution losses (T&D).

    It is unreasonable to assume that thermal conversion efficiency will not improve.

    The 60% duty cycle may be too conservative. I estimated that from the demand for electricity, which falls at night. You cannot turn off a fission nuclear plant, but you can turn off natural gas or -- probably -- cold fusion, so you probably would. So it would only run 16 hours a day (60% duty cycle). However, Elon Musk is now trying to make tremendous numbers of batteries very cheaply. If he succeeds, we can leave the cold fusion generator on 24 hours a day and store up the electricity. The duty cycle is close to 100% and the spreadsheet tells me that's . . . 15% of today's electricity in Scenario 1, and 150% in Scenario 2.

    Musk is trying to do this so that we can use solar power, or wind power. It works out better and cheaper for Pd-D cold fusion power. With Ni or Ti, you would not need batteries at all, except for a transient increases in demand.

    • Official Post

    Whatever you think about NiH replications (I'm pessimistic at short term), if PdD LENr is mastered we enter a new world.

    What is important is to develop a theory of what is required to make LENR works, in PdD.

    When understood, sure we will be able to derive new LENR technologies in other metal (Ni,W,Ti), alloys (FeX,NiX,WX TiX), why not graphene, or diamond, or complex nanomaterial (why not SiC graphenoids? just joking).

    When we master PdD, we should be able to use other material.

    My position is that we should investigate in anything that works, torture the device until it produce a theory that allows to improve the device, derive and control.

  • Quote

    When we master PdD, we should be able to use other material. What is important is to develop a theory of what is required to make LENR works, in PdD.

    For what? The nickel-H system is quite different system than the PdD. I even suspect, that the Pd serves as a spillover catalyst only, the actual LENR runs at transition metal impurities in it.

    If you want to develop Ni-H energetics (because the supplies of palladium are scarce), then you should study the Ni-H system primarily.

    The scientists should focus to problem, not to try "everything what works". If the palladium is scarce, then it simply doesn't work as a solution of energetic crisis.

    The research of Pd-D system is just waste of time from this perspective.

    • Official Post

    PdD is proven to work, and is massively replicated. NiH less, and the process is unknown.

    Even if PdD works because of what you say, it is enough to find that, to make NiH work better...

    If really NiH is different from PdD, then understanding PdD will make it clear, but currently there are hints it is a single family of phenomenons. Conservation of miracle is a good heuristic, until proven false.

  • IMO the only reason of lack of progress is the lack of replications. I know and many other people (Piantelli) also know, that the Ni-H fusion runs within nickel whiskers stabilized against their recrystallization with pyrolytic carbon layers. But it was never attempted to replicate.

    Even without special preparation the Ni-H fusion runs within hydrogen discharge, when the hydrogen atoms get forcefully implanted beneath the surface. But it was never attempted to replicate.

    It's probable, that the combination of both approaches would run even better. But nobody did even attempt for it - it's as simple as it is.

    Until these attempts for replications will not be done, I wouldn't spend a dollar into another research of Ni-H, not to say the research of Pd-D and another systems.

    • Official Post

    Is it a quote, or your own?

    It is somethin Edmund Storms borrowed probably to Mike McKubre (as Jed said one time)

    It is a parsimony principle similar to Occam Razor.

    If two people are killed in two different way in the same building, the same week, you can suspect, the two crime are linked...

  • Palladium based energetics is indeed nonsense

    No, it isn't, as I just showed. I suggest you look at Fleischmann said, and what I said, rather than announcing we are wrong without presenting any evidence. "I say X" is not proof that X is true.

    And supplies of nickel aren't also infinite...

    Nickel would last far longer than the sun will. It is one of the most abundant elements in the earth's crust:

    For that matter, as I showed, once space-based mining becomes possible, we will have virtually unlimited supplies of palladium.

  • Jed,

    Fleischmann was a man of the highest intelligence and realist. I had the privilege of speaking with him in 1997 at an Asti meeting (workshop 7) It was after the bad IMRA France exprience and Martin was rather pesssimist. (Stanley has retired from CF activity)

    Now when has he made that prediction of such a great contribution of Pd to the world's energy, is it a written source? I confess that my memory is not the best, I remember different calculation s made by our friends but this one...not. (I looked to lenr-canr as primary source)

    Is this an offense to the memory of our Founder?

    Does it change the data?


  • I may be wrong with the following statement, but it is my gut feeling. And I'm not going to debate it. If it is a worthless idea, I have zero problem with it being ignored.

    The properties of nickel that seem to be drawbacks can be turned around as benefits.

    Nickel absorbs hydrogen much more slowly than palladium. This may mean you can trap hydrogen in the lattice more effectively, without leakage, after quenching from a high temperature.

    Nickel has twice the tensile strength of palladium. This means that it may take more work to deform the lattice to produce the tiny cavities we desire. However, upon thermal shocking or other forms of stimulation, these cavities may exist longer without either breaking or growing to a size where they are useless.

    Nickel has an affinity for oxygen that's extremely strong. This can inhibit hydrogen absorption due to the creation of nickel-oxide on the surface or trapped oxygen in the interior. However, if we are willing to go to the great effort to remove the oxygen, this affinity might just have produced the NAE we desire.

  • However, if we are willing to go to the great effort to remove the oxygen, this affinity might just have produced the NAE we desire.

    I cannot address the other questions you raised, but I have a good answer for this. Rather than removing oxygen, I think it is better to exclude it from the beginning, using Mizuno's technique. That is:

    1. Clean and purify a bulk metal sample.

    2. Put it in a vacuum chamber where it will remain for the life of the product, like the filament of an incandescent light. The chamber becomes the cold fusion cell.

    3. Evacuate the chamber, change out the gas and evacuate it again, until there is very little oxygen left.

    4. Erode the surface of the metal with glow discharge. This exposes metal that has never been exposed to air or oxygen. Since there is no oxygen, it is not exposed now.

    5. Fill the chamber with hydrogen or deuterium gas, and turn on cold fusion by some method. (This is part is still a work in progress.)

    That works for Pd and it should work for Ni, Ti or some other metal.