Chemonuclear transmutation? Help me find a proper control experiment to this unusual report.

  • This paper published by Lu, Zhang and Zheng in January 2019 reports a rather simple experiment with a rather unexpected and unexplainable result.


    http://www.jmcchina.org/html/2019/1/20190101.htm


    Abstract: Here, we report the transmutation of K-Ca under the negative hydrogen condition (NaBH4, LiBH4 and NH3BH3) at room temperature. In all reaction systems, the amount of K+ and Ca2+ concentrations were monitored by inductive coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) and inductive coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) techniques. The ICP-OES test results showed that K+ concentration was gradually decreasing, while the Ca2+ concentration was gradually increasing. In addition, by comparing the K and Ca concentrations and their isotopes from the ICP-MS results, we found the increase of 40Ca concentration accompanied by the increasing concentration of 41K in the presence of hydride under our "reaction" conditions, which implying 40Ca formation correlated to 41K.


    I think this experiment is within reach of replication by anyone with access to an academic Chemical Analysis laboratory. I have potential access to replicate this, but I think is only worthy if a proper control experiment can be designed.


    If you were going to replicate this, which control would you design? is not straight forward because as the hypothesis is that the H- is the culprit, I see no simple way to use the same mixture of elements to yield solutions with the same dissolved ions and H+ instead of H-. I think it could be more easy to create a solution with the same ions but without H either + or -, but I have to brainstorm with my C.A. friend.


    I think the same paper with a proper control would be far more interesting and hard to dismiss. I am just looking for an easily repeatable and unambiguous experiment that many people could replicate. If LENR will ever be accepted its going to take a foolproof replicability and I think this is the closest anyone has got, assuming this can be replicated even without a control.


    Adding D2O would also be interesting, but one step at a time.

  • The paper attempted to do something that could be considered as control using Mo as a marker. They assume that if Mo concentration does not vary in the same way that K then the effect is only affecting K and Ca. I agree this is a very useful check and gives a good comparison point, but I still think that a proper control of the hypothesis is a run with the same ions except by H-.


    Without the control one can only say that there is a transmutation affecting K. This is a strong result per se but we can’t say the effect is due to the hydride. As the stirring of the KCl is with ultrasound one should also try a non cavitation inducing stirring method.

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.

  • I have reached to Dr. Lu through email and also through researchgate. I doubt a quick answer (a look to his personal bio tells he is a very busy researcher).


    I am trying to discern if he used the ultrasound stirring during the entire period or just initially. The paper seems to stablish it was only initially but at some other points it can be interpreted as it was kept for longer and this is bugging me. This research team might have not been aware of the cavitation transmutation relationship and this ends being a confounding factor

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.

  • On a side note, when comparing the reported purity from the chinese salts used, to Merck or Sigma Aldrich standards, the Chinese come very close, if not better.


    For Example, Merck NaBH4 reports 95,6% purity and Chinese reports over 97%. Sigma Aldrich LiBH4 sells ad 95% or better, same as Chinese LiBH4.


    So, the impurities in the analytic salts (which Lu et al measured and reported), is not likely the source of excess.


    JulianBianchi , have you read this Chinese work? As you are familiar with ICP MS, which mistake you think could explain these results? I am not saying I see an obvious or even a non obvious one, I am just searching for a different point of view as I want to replicate these results and I am trying to isolate potential non obvious sources of error.

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.

  • Here is a very crude guess from a rank amateur:


    Curbina: What about somehow incorporating solid superacids in one "control" and solid "super bases" (if they exist) in the experimental? The former should regenerate hydrogen from H-, at least in a gas phase rather than aqueous milieu. The latter would at least be consistent with the overwhelming numerical count of protocols emphasizing that naked protons are not often seen in LENR results (FP electrolytes are almost always strong bases, for example... IIRC).

  • Use of standards, blanks, duplicates, and sufficient analyses to determine the uncertainties for the elements of interest will yield believable results.

    Lack of standards, blanks, and duplicates etc. will lead to an endless spiral of uncertainty and unactionable barely-data.

  • JulianBianchi , have you read this Chinese work? As you are familiar with ICP MS, which mistake you think could explain these results? I am not saying I see an obvious or even a non obvious one, I am just searching for a different point of view as I want to replicate these results and I am trying to isolate potential non obvious sources of error.

    I'm skeptical with these results. First their instrument hasn't enough resolution to separate two isotopes with the same mass number, therefore I find misleading to claim a change between two elements. An isotopic, and not elemental, analysis is required here. Second, much of their ICP-MS work was about a mass number of 40. In practice this mass is usually avoided because of the interference with argon. There is not enough information in the article to know how they dealt with this interference and what neutral gas they used for the plasma. There are other few aspects that I didn't like such as the unusual distribution of the K isotopes (40K has an abundance of 0.01% only), the lack of calibrators and standards for a true quantitative analysis and the lack of 44Ca data. In my lab we analyse K and Ca routinely, with 44Ca measured by both a single quad in an Ar plasma and with a triple quad together with some oxygen to avoid any interference.


    That said, this does not put into question the fact that some of their results are interesting. Mostly those by ICP-OES shown in Fig 1 as a function of temperature. Their ICP-MS work is less convincing to me for the reasons I mentioned above.


    If you plan to replicate this work, I would be happy to analyze your samples for free. The only condition I ask is that you send the samples blinded to me, i.e. in a random order with a code, with the decode key sent to a third party, such as a moderator here on LF, to whom I will send all ICP-MS profiles, with then all results made public here. Of course the set of samples must include enough controls and blanks.

  • Here is a very crude guess from a rank amateur:


    Curbina: What about somehow incorporating solid superacids in one "control" and solid "super bases" (if they exist) in the experimental? The former should regenerate hydrogen from H-, at least in a gas phase rather than aqueous milieu. The latter would at least be consistent with the overwhelming numerical count of protocols emphasizing that naked protons are not often seen in LENR results (FP electrolytes are almost always strong bases, for example... IIRC).

    Interesting thought Longview. These researchers avoided alcalinity for avoiding precipitation of Ca, however, that would not be a bad thing per se if one could recover the precipitate and later analyze it.

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.

  • Use of standards, blanks, duplicates, and sufficient analyses to determine the uncertainties for the elements of interest will yield believable results.

    Lack of standards, blanks, and duplicates etc. will lead to an endless spiral of uncertainty and unactionable barely-data.

    Hello, Paradigmnoia, your recommendations kind of read as a blinding flash of the obvious, specially if you don’t support them with an analysis that points where you find fault in this regard. Would you care to point out what fault do you find in the published paper to this respect? I am trying to reach Dr. Lu and see if he can share the individual values of the samples that are averaged, that always helps, but three samples per point are quite enough in terms of certainty when using ICP MS and ICP OES.

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.

  • I'm skeptical with these results. First their instrument hasn't enough resolution to separate two isotopes with the same mass number, therefore I find misleading to claim a change between two elements. An isotopic, and not elemental, analysis is required here. Second, much of their ICP-MS work was about a mass number of 40. In practice this mass is usually avoided because of the interference with argon. There is not enough information in the article to know how they dealt with this interference and what neutral gas they used for the plasma. There are other few aspects that I didn't like such as the unusual distribution of the K isotopes (40K has an abundance of 0.01% only), the lack of calibrators and standards for a true quantitative analysis and the lack of 44Ca data. In my lab we analyse K and Ca routinely, with 44Ca measured by both a single quad in an Ar plasma and with a triple quad together with some oxygen to avoid any interference.


    That said, this does not put into question the fact that some of their results are interesting. Mostly those by ICP-OES shown in Fig 1 as a function of temperature. Their ICP-MS work is less convincing to me for the reasons I mentioned above.


    If you plan to replicate this work, I would be happy to analyze your samples for free. The only condition I ask is that you send the samples blinded to me, i.e. in a random order with a code, with the decode key sent to a third party, such as a moderator here on LF, to whom I will send all ICP-MS profiles, with then all results made public here. Of course the set of samples must include enough controls and blanks.

    JulianBianchi , that’s exactly what I am talking about, that kind of potential error identification in the reported methodology to be able to improve upon is what I am looking to gather.


    The isotopic data is the weakest point on the work as I see it. However I am not that worried about it in the sense that it was performed as a way to support that the change of mass between K and Ca is exotic, but the change of mass is hard to dismiss outright as an artifact, and that is what prompts my interest in this.


    A more specific technique for isotopic analysis is what I also want to implement, or two alternative methods for comparison and disambiguation.


    Your offer of independent and blind analysis is really wonderful. This is exactly the way to add robustness to the finding of such anomalies. I have a long road ahead to replicate this and even if this is within my reach, as I want to perform this within an academic context, I have a series of formalities to fulfill in the mean time, but be sure when the work begins I will be more than happy to consider a series of samples for sending to you, and your name will be added to any publication that might be generated. Much Thanks!!!!

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.

  • Your offer of independent and blind analysis is really wonderful. This is exactly the way to add robustness to the finding of such anomalies. I have a long road ahead to replicate this and even if this is within my reach, as I want to perform this within an academic context, I have a series of formalities to fulfill in the mean time, but be sure when the work begins I will be more than happy to consider a series of samples for sending to you, and your name will be added to any publication that might be generated. Much Thanks!!!!

    Our ICP-MS is already waiting for your samples 😉

  • I like a suggestion made by Russian YouTuber Danilov. His point is that what if Santili is correct about new type of molecular bonds he called magnetic. In this case the ionization energy typically used by spectrometer may not be enough to fully ionize the sample. That is how you start seeing new strange elements. He suggest using at least few different methods together and maybe NMR which is of course expensive.

    How about chemical tests like Ohmasa was showing. Will they increase reliability of the result?

  • I like a suggestion made by Russian YouTuber Danilov. His point is that what if Santili is correct about new type of molecular bonds he called magnetic. In this case the ionization energy typically used by spectrometer may not be enough to fully ionize the sample. That is how you start seeing new strange elements. He suggest using at least few different methods together and maybe NMR which is of course expensive.

    How about chemical tests like Ohmasa was showing. Will they increase reliability of the result?

    Well, if this were an electrolysis experiment that would be applicable, but this is just plain old dissolved salts interacting.


    I have yet to elucidate the potential role of the ultrasound stirring as the culprit of the weirdness, tho. I mean that if Dr. Lu was unaware of the cavitation/transmutation previous reports, and every time he added the hydride compound, he used the ultrasonic stirring, that might well be what caused the anomaly, and not the hydride, or perhaps both factors, that’s why I want to go further with a non cavitation inducing stirring control.


    BTW In his 2003 publication of the “new form of hydrogen from water” In the international journal of Hydrogen energy, If I recall correctly, Santilli did use two systems of measurement to identify his new species, and he discusses why one alone could not be used by reasons alike to what your quoted Russian argues. I recall there was one rebuttal paper published to his work and one other by an Irish mathematician rebutting the rebuttal.

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.

  • Curbina to give you an example how bad it can get. A year back one guy from Russia had a presentation in which he claimed to have developed bacterial culture capable of convert depelted uranium in all sorts of transuranium elements, actinides etc. As well as elements with masses heavier than any on periodic table. He showed test results from two labs, mainly testing minerals and oil, confirming his claims.

  • Curbina to give you an example how bad it can get. A year back one guy from Russia had a presentation in which he claimed to have developed bacterial culture capable of convert depelted uranium in all sorts of transuranium elements, actinides etc. As well as elements with masses heavier than any on periodic table. He showed test results from two labs, mainly testing minerals and oil, confirming his claims.

    Well, claims of this sort will always face much scrutiny, but at some point they either hold or are proven false. Hope we can elucidate at least this one that looks easier to.

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.

  • AFAIK this paper from Lu et al is the first to report transmutation in aqueous media without the intervention of living things and just in the presence of hydrides.


    But, the very reason I found this paper in the first place (the use of ultrasound as a stirring mechanism for dissolving the salts) I suspect plays a role that Dr. Lu might have overlooked. If you see that he added pulses of the hydride salt, and it resulted in incremental transmutation from K to Ca, the paper is not clear on this (again because they did not give any importance to the stirring method) but I suspect they stirred each pulse with Ultrasound.


    If that’s the case, chances are the whole effect was caused by the cavitation alone and the hydride played little to no role.


    I will send another e-mail to Dr. Lu, anyone here is good translating English to Chinese?

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.