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).


  • 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, 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.

  • 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


    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:



    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.