Plasma electrolysis at lower voltages

  • Nothing to do with signal bounce, but caused by the capacitance effect of your body on the sensitivity of the antenna. Well known phenomenon in UHF radio.

    I guess I was not expecting such effect to act at relatively large distances. These were the antenna, cell positions in the room and walking path (arrow).



    https://physics.stackexchange.…dy-affect-radio-reception

    https://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?t=1201283

    https://www.physicsforums.com/…-a-radio-receiver.992613/

  • I think by now it should be known that Hal Fox promoted the idea of checking out EMI for instance using a common radio receiver—my tests in this regard have been also due to this. In 1993 , in https://doi.org/10.13182/FST93-A30214, he suggested that to Matsumoto, as a comment to his paper on plasma electrolysis experiments at relatively low voltages (up to 70–90V in moderately concentrated K2CO3 solutions) using a 'pin' electrode.



    Fox also clarifies here that thin cathodes were used in Shoulders' experiments and that's where the EV or HDCC (high density charge clusters) are supposed to be generated from (for some reason some have more recently proposed the opposite, considerably less efficient configuration with a thin anode).


    I realize however that only EMI on their own may not necessarily be a very accurate indicator of the desired reaction since they may be produced also by the equipment used as a result of varying loads.

    • Official Post

    Fox also clarifies here that thin cathodes were used in Shoulders' experiments and that's where the EV or HDCC (high density charge clusters) are supposed to be generated from (for some reason some have more recently proposed the opposite, considerably less efficient configuration with a thin anode).

    Safire uses relatively small anodes with several cathodes an order of magnitude larger. But they are also using very large currents at anything up to 1000V. Efficiency is really only determined by the ratio between input and output, and they seem very happy about that.

  • Alan Smith

    Bazhutov et al. had an aqueous spark discharge setup where the thin electrode would be the anode and the solution would be concentrated NaOH. There were theoretical justifications for having the anode configured that way as described in their patent application, but if one wants a large electron emission to occur from a concentrated point, the most natural choice (in that it's physically favored) appears to be with the thin electrode as the cathode, as it is in most discharge systems. As the cathode heats up in the process, electron emission is also further increased, and in a sort of 'runaway' fashion if material vaporization at the cathode takes place. This seemed also the general idea behind Ken Shoulders' thin cathode configuration, partially relayed by Hal Fox in the letter above.


    During more ordinary plasma electrolysis, the thin electrode as the cathode appears to work more easily, at lower voltages and with stronger EMI.

  • Here is another paper from Takaaki Matsumoto describing again plasma electrolysis using DC at low voltages (>40V). It's from the ICCF5 (1995) proceedings, but I extracted only the pages of interest.


    Cold Fusion Experiments Using Sparking Discharges In Water


    Quote

    Abstract: Experiments on the DC discharge associated with microsparks were performed in ordinary water. Thin metal wires of Pd. Ni. Ti. Fe. Cd. Mo. Pt and W were used as the electrodes. Numerous sparks appeared on the surface of the electrodes. in high voltage over 40 V. and simultaneously extraordinary phenomena were observed such as ball-lightning like phenomena.

    The paper is very similar to another one from the same author that I posted earlier, but some additional interesting observations were made here:

    Quote

    Miscellaneous

    Other extraordinary phenomena were observed during or after the discharge experiments. The first was the formation of string products. which was observed with SEM on the surface of the Pd cathode after the discharges. The analysis with EDX indicated that there were only K elements in the string products. Similar string products were observed by the VTR system during the discharges. The second was the formation of film products. which were observed with the VTR system. The film pro­duct was formed at the bottom portion of the cathode. where the microsparks were frequently generated. The third was the magnetization of the Pt wires (0.5 mm). which were used as leading wires. The magnetization effect was noticed at the tip of the Pt wires in which the electrodes were connected. The magnetization could be related to the formation of the ring cluster. in which the closed current flows to induce the magnetic field.

  • After a few more brief tests, I noticed that the electromagnetic noise generated by the plasma reaction appears to be unusually high right in the "negative resistance" operating region, i.e. the one highlighted in red in the current-voltage diagram from one of Matsumoto's papers:



    After this region is crossed and a full plasma develops at the cathode, the EMI tends to suddenly disappear, only to slowly appear again at higher voltages where cathode erosion is more severe and applied power much higher. The graph below shows average and peak RF emissions from a test I made earlier today. The initial peak was at 72V, but afterwards the plasma reaction was operated mostly between 31V and 40V. I tried different cathodes and electrolyte concentrations (increasing), currently fairly concentrated KOH-K2CO3. Nickel and Tungsten still seem to perform best, but at these low voltages where there is not strong heat generation almost any material could be used.




    There's a fairly complete article on Wikipedia on the negative resistance effect. One of the I-V graphs is very similar to what is typically obtained in plasma electrolysis experiments (compare with the one above from Matsumoto):



    Whether this is significant or not, it depends, or better: it's not confirmed. Until a while ago there has been at least one notable strong proponent of "negative resistance regime". If the electromagnetic noise generated as I've been highlighting so far is related to LENR and if such operating regime is deemed important, then it could be of interest to check for particle tracks, transmutations and so on with an electrolytic plasma cell operating there rather than at higher voltages as commonly done.

  • An unusual behavior I noticed is that oftentimes during cathodic plasma EMI remains elevated for a while after decreasing voltage from a high level, even if the high level was only very briefly reached. The graph below shows this. Applied voltage was 40V, and periodically I would quickly smoothly increase it to about 50V, then dial it back to 40V. The process took just a few seconds, but the EMI remained elevated for 1–2 minutes (slowly decreasing in the meanwhile).



    Turning the power supplies off would remove all the EMI, though (end of the graph).


    What this means exactly I'm not entirely sure, but it could have to do more with the concentration of alkali ions around the cathode rather than (mainly, at least) temperature.



    EDIT: a possibly related effect to this slow decrease is that the plasma remains visible for a short while after one the power supplies is cycled on/off. This is visible in the video below, where I switch between 40V and 71V. The power supply is triggered by a mechanical relay, so it seems unlikely that current from it still keeps flowing for 1–2 seconds.


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    The cathode was a 0.3 mm Ni wire immersed for a few mm in a moderately concentrated K2CO3-KOH solution, with a large steel sheet anode.

  • I realized I never posted this brief video in this thread before. Normally I documented plasma electrolysis tests with wires of thickness smaller than 1 mm, but a couple times I tried using a larger steel piece (a 9 mm wide and 0.5 mm thick carbon steel blade). If I recall correctly, in the video below current draw was too high for the reaction to start with the electrode already immersed in the electrolyte, so I had to manually progressively immerse it, although in this case it could be done with ease.


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    This came up recently in another thread in reference to a question about possible methods for loading a steel piece with hydrogen at high temperatures (>700 °C) and quenching it in water. I think this could be easily done with plasma electrolysis as shown in this video if current was pulsed, as the evidently hot steel piece (at least 1000 °C; it's not just surface plasma making it appear hot) would get immediately quenched if power was removed. Larger steel pieces would require a serious power supply, though.


    How this actually manages to work, I think first that's mainly due to the insulating gas layer forming around the piece under plasma electrolysis operation allowing it to heat up to temperatures much higher than that of the surrounding electrolyte. A second important factor is that the power involved (using 8–10A and 72V, therefore 600–700W) caused the steel piece to heat up also resistively; a lower thickness likely could have helped here.

  • Alan Smith

    The solubility of hydrogen in steel/iron is reported to increase with temperature. Why wouldn't high temperatures help?

    Typical hydrogen solubility diagrams look like this:




    Figure 1 : Hydrogen solubility in pure iron at 1 atm pressure of H 24
    Download scientific diagram | Hydrogen solubility in pure iron at 1 atm pressure of H 24  from publication: Changes in Hydrogen Content During Steelmaking |…
    www.researchgate.net


    Fig. 1. Solubility of hydrogen in iron as a function of temperature and...
    Download scientific diagram | Solubility of hydrogen in iron as a function of temperature and pressure [2, 13]   from publication: Prevention methods against…
    www.researchgate.net

  • There are other opinions on the topic of de-hydrogenation of steel, in fact 'bake outs' are routinely used as mentioned here. I use this example from the trade literature, as it is very representative of the processes used to create the LEC- and mentions the insertion of monatomic hydrogen by acid pickling alone - which tends to confirm my hypothesis about what is going on in some of these experiments.


    (2)Dehydrogenation treatment of high-carbon steel

    Additionally, one of the important points specific to steel materials is post-treatment after plating. Where acid pickling, zinc plating, or industrial chrome plating is applied to carbon steel, hardened steel, or other materials, which contain 0.4% or more carbon, atomic hydrogen is produced on the surface of the materials during the treatment and the hydrogen atoms are occluded in the steel microstructure. If the product is used without removal of hydrogen, it offers high hardness but becomes very brittle and then defined as a defective product. This is referred to as hydrogen embrittlement.

    In order to prevent this phenomenon, heat treatment is conducted within four hours after plating to remove the hydrogen from the material.


    The time/temperature table is clearer in the link.


    Surface Finishing Tutorial | Technical Tutorial - MISUMI

  • It does make sense that hydrogen will be desorbed from steel by baking in air or in a vacuum, but why would that happen during plasma electrolysis at red-hot temperatures? Perhaps it will diffuse out from the unimmersed cathode portion, but it should penetrate well and readily into the hot active region.

  • I don't know. I think in that context baking works because for many metals (including iron/steel) not only the solubility but also the permeability of hydrogen increases with temperature, which means that higher temperatures will make it easier for H atoms to migrate from high to low density regions, and a standard atmosphere (i.e. air) contains very little hydrogen.


    FIGURE 5 Hydrogen permeability as a function of temperature for various...
    Download scientific diagram | Hydrogen permeability as a function of temperature for various metals. Reprinted with permission from Adhikari, S. and Fernando,…
    www.researchgate.net


    In the figure linked here, by the way, it can be seen that Fe is more permeable to hydrogen than Ni, although hydrogen will be less soluble in it. I think something similar was also linked in the LEC thread.

  • can

    Inspired by another discussion thread I wonder whether cavitation voids caused by discharge through sparks play a role at plasma electrolysis. Such cavitation voids could cause a very high mechanical impact at the surface of electrodes, causing phonons that compress the metal lattice which contains absorbed hydrogen atoms. Did you ever consider this possible mechanism to be causing transmutations in plasma electrolysis?

  • can

    Inspired by another discussion thread I wonder whether cavitation voids caused by discharge through sparks play a role at plasma electrolysis. Such cavitation voids could cause a very high mechanical impact at the surface of electrodes, causing phonons that compress the metal lattice which contains absorbed hydrogen atoms. Did you ever consider this possible mechanism to be causing transmutations in plasma electrolysis?

    Cavitation having a role in electrolysis cold fusion experiments has been suggested by many, I have read it in more than one source. Can’t remember one in particular at this moment but I have been gathering literature on this for over a couple of years now and am sure about having read about it more than once.

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

  • Rob Woudenberg

    One thing that is not immediately apparent with these experiments is that the formation of a gas layer all around the active electrode (typically the cathode) is required (*) for initiating and maintaining a plasma, which means that when plasma electrolysis occurs, liquid water would not be getting in contact with it. So, I don't think that cavitation would be expected to directly affect the electrode surface or have a major effect on it compared to the sparking.


    However, the localized intense heating and pressure pulses could be causing cavitation in the surrounding liquid water, especially at the electrode tip where the reaction is more intense (higher current density). I think this is the reason why sometimes "sprites" can be seen ascending after plasma electrolysis starts occurring, as in the example below:



    (*) Also see the explanation from this recent short review on the subject (open access):

    Contact Glow Discharge Electrolysis: Effect of Electrolyte Conductivity on Discharge Voltage
    Contact glow discharge electrolysis (CGDE) can be exploited in environmental chemistry for the degradation of pollutants in wastewater. This study focuses on…
    www.mdpi.com


  • By the way, I think the "sprites" could be "cloud cavitation", although I'm not 100% sure.


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    (PDF) Cloud Cavitation: The Good, The Bad and the Bubbly
    PDF | In many cavitating liquid flows, when the number and concentration of the bubbles exceeds some critical level, the flow becomes unsteady and large... |…
    www.researchgate.net

  • can

    The video shown above shows mainly glow discharge rather than sparks, so indeed in such setup spark initiated cavitation is not likely.


    The downwards directed 'sprites' show a peculiar effect. Seems that the big floating gas bubbles are formed in the sprites area below the tungsten tip. This could be recombined H atoms to H2. The violet glow is clearly hydrogen plasma.