can Verified User
  • Member since Jan 20th 2017

Posts by can

    Stevenson

    A possible solution would be using an plastic sheet or standard DVD/CD case as an intermediate protection layer, but I do not know if this would affect the results as shown by Parkhomov and coworkers. There does not seem to be much detailed accessible information on the methodology; from my past attempts, both making sure that the disks do not get scratched and keeping track of existing light scratches proved challenging.


    For most other researchers who have used CR-39 sheets to observe loosely similar particle tracks&spots, there is usually a need for the sheets to be very close to the cathode during active conditions, and to etch them in a temperature-controlled hot caustic solution.




    EDIT: gif animation from the previous video, unrelated to the comment, showing how the reactive spiky surface appeared to burn/combust in air. I tried looking at it closer once and it had a dark green color (presumably from NiO). In later attempts I used Ni25Cu75 alloy and the color was different (blue-gray, similar to how coins made of the same material look when oxidized).


    Stevenson

    For what it's worth, after that test I also tried using a 50 pence coin (3:1 CuNi alloy) as the anode, in the same 10% HCl solution, obtaining similar results. The solution acquired a darker yellow-green color.


    I wasn't intensely focused on the power supply, but current at about 25–30V was in the order of 1.2A.


    I noticed that there is an optimal voltage range for deposition to occur. Below 25V it's slow, and below 22–23V the reaction easily reverts to normal electrolysis although once the glow-deposition-plasma starts voltage can be sometimes decreased down to 17V. In the 25–31V range deposition is faster and the spikes tend to glow by incandescence; the lower end of this range seems optimal for the deposition process. Above 35V and up to 62V the deposited spiky ball formation gets destroyed and gets replaced by denser layer, of slightly larger diameter than the base tungsten wire. At the same time a blue plasma (possibly from chlorine) is developed, with emission of occasionally intense EMI.


    I did not use laboratory-grade HCl, but according to the label it's 10% HCl. The bottle is relatively new.


    I haven't noticed much from the Cosmic Ray Finder program. I track the number of events using a spreadsheet but there did not seem to be much clearly associated with the testing, and overall the curve shows a rate of 250 events/day as usual (the threshold is the minimum value that does not cause false events). The image on the right shows all the events composited on top of each other since about 9 hours ago.



    Another non-obvious way along which a magnet can improve the reaction is by placing it behind the anode. Then, part of the ferromagnetic particles depositing and then falling off the cathode (nickel) will contribute increasing the surface area of the anode, making the cathodic plasma/deposition reaction less likely to fail as the cathode grows.



    It would be interesting to wash the cathodic material, dry it, and gracefully place it on a CD for a couple of days: this material has all the ingredients that typically generate Strange Radiation...

    I would need to come up with a good plan to do that properly (e.g. how to dry, how quickly, how to avoid external scratches to the easily scratched CDs/DVDs, etc)

    I repeated the suggestion by Stevenson using a closer distance between the electrodes and different cathode position so that it would draw material from the anode nickel wire "wool", and results (again using 10% HCl) were interesting.


    Unfortunately experiment duration turned out to be limited. I used 24V and the the cathode was a 0.3mm tungsten wire. Nickel would homogeneously deposit on the tungsten wire as a spiky ball, and at the same time a glow (?) plasma would occur on its tips. Such Ni ball appeared to be quite reactive and readily burn in air at room temperature. Unfortunately the anode broke after a few minutes of testing.


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    (Video focusing improves after minute 0:33)


    EDIT: overall, the reaction side effects (noise, light) appear to be considerably weaker than with alkaline electrolytes, even at 62V (the maximum I can currently apply).


    EDIT 2: from the video, interestingly it appears that the anode has bright spots too during the reaction. I was focused on the cathode during the test and did not notice this until I reviewed the video.

    Years ago I used a solution of HCl only (about 10%) in a small vial, a Ni chip as the anode and a 0.5 mm diameter Fe wire. The power was from a 12 V Li-ion cell (3S). The original idea was that Ni would be dissolved from the anode and goes into solution as Ni++ (it is just like having a NiCl2 solution) and then would be plated on the cathod together with lot of H+, so to obtain a very higly loaded material. This would actually happen if you limit the current to 10s of mA, but without limting it, you can get plasma and a black denditic deposit on the cathod. In order to get plasma, you have to insert the cathod wire slowly from above the liquid surface. The plasma will ignite and can be maintained to some extent. Apparently current is not very high (100s mA), but the solution become very hot immediately. I've been told that if you place a magnet close to the cell, you can record some counts with a Geiger counter (never tryed).


    Just tried again properly with 10% HCl, worn tungsten wire cathode, but steel anode. Indeed, in this non-optimal setup it appears that a visible [blue-colored] plasma can be observed even at 18–19V or so, but only if the cathode is very sharp and barely immersed in the electrolyte. If dendritic deposition occurs the surface area increases and the voltage from which the plasma starts is too increased.


    I tried adding a magnet (position not optimal), and it has a beneficial effect in that it tends to pull away the particles (composed of iron, thus ferromagnetic) deposited on the cathode, keeping the voltage from which the plasma is observed low.


    Increasing voltage further makes makes the sharp cathode tip apparently glow from incandescence.


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    The amount of chlorine actually evolved is not significant, but chronic exposure to acidic fumes is harmful in nasty ways.




    EDIT: I suspect that the difficulties in maintaining the reaction are mainly matter of anode surface area. I did not want to use too much HCl so the immersed surface area ended up being limited. I tried again using several centimeters of Ni wire as the anode and it became more difficult to have a plasma along the same amount of surface area, although the minimum voltage from which it could be seen did not seem to be affected much.

    Stevenson

    I am mostly looking at what parameters appear to lower the voltage from which the cathodic glow discharge plasma starts under alkaline conditions. I made a new thread to separate these efforts from previous ones using a low-current high-voltage power supply.


    Using KOH, results seem to be proportional on electrolyte concentration, also beyond the point from which maximum conductance would be achieved.


    Best results with concentrated KOH solution seem about 12V for breakdown (voltage above which current starts decreasing rapidly and possibly sparks be observed in the dark) and 28–29V for a clearly visible plasma, but results (especially for the breakdown voltage) vary significantly depending on temperature and wire type and geometry. A run had a similar voltage-current relationship, but it was with a 0.3 mm worn tungsten wire immersed for just a couple mm in the electrolyte:



    Small-diameter (in the order of 0.3 mm or less when they wear up) resistive wires that do not oxidize easily (like Ni) work well, but since they tend to melt easily tungsten tends to be the most practical choice. Cu melts too easily; Ti burns easily. A greater immersion depth also may also remove more heat from the wire and make the reaction worse.


    Years ago I used a solution of HCl only (about 10%) in a small vial, a Ni chip as the anode and a 0.5 mm diameter Fe wire. The power was from a 12 V Li-ion cell (3S). The original idea was that Ni would be dissolved from the anode and goes into solution as Ni++ (it is just like having a NiCl2 solution) and then would be plated on the cathod together with lot of H+, so to obtain a very higly loaded material. This would actually happen if you limit the current to 10s of mA, but without limting it, you can get plasma and a black denditic deposit on the cathod. In order to get plasma, you have to insert the cathod wire slowly from above the liquid surface. The plasma will ignite and can be maintained to some extent. Apparently current is not very high (100s mA), but the solution become very hot immediately. I've been told that if you place a magnet close to the cell, you can record some counts with a Geiger counter (never tryed).


    In the past I attempted something loosely similar at low voltages (fixed 12V) using 10% HCl solution with closely-spaced electrodes (but not thin). I observed sparking, but with a different working mechanism than a glow discharge as in these experiments. As I saw it, the anode (steel) would rapidly dissolve in the strongly acidic solution, deposit material on the cathode and eventually form a short-circuiting "bridge" with the cathode due to the small electrode spacing. The bridge would then vaporize and the cycle would repeat many times.


    The main issues were unreliability (often the short-circuit would not be able vaporize the deposition bridge formed, so the electrodes needed to be manually separated often), and the amount of chlorine evolved from the reaction which made it unsuitable for prolonged operation, especially without a suitable testing environment.


    EDIT: the above process wasn't much related to what you suggested, please ignore (I left these paragraphs here anyway, just in case).


    BTW, a couple of days ago I made a similar experiment, and I used a webcam with the Cosmic Ray Finder software in order to detect something anomalous. It recorded 3 events while the current was limited to few tens of mA, than when I increased it to 1 A for about 1 second, the webcam stopped working completely (it was permanently damaged)... :/


    I am also using the Cosmic Ray Finder application with a slightly modified cheap webcam (lens removed, Al foil in front of the CMOS sensor), no lead shielding and lowered detection threshold (since it is not necessarily muons or cosmic rays that have to be detected).


    Results with it so far do not suggest that much is going on besides background activity (about 250 detection events/day on average at the current settings). As it is, it appears to be working like an insensitive Geiger detector, since it responds to weak gamma sources (KOH/K2CO3 canister) and lead shielding similarly to the detector I previously had.

    I found this graph for Na2CO3 which easily explains why the problem became more severe with it (assuming complete decomposition of NaHCO3 with time and temperature).



    Found here, but actual source unknown: https://www.quora.com/Na2CO3-+…-this-equation-reversable


    [...] More spark-like features started appearing today after I added NaHCO3.

    I made a short video of that. They appear under certain conditions when the electrolyte starts accumulating on the cathode and presumably electrolytic dissociation into alkali metal starts occurring:


    Most IGBT welding machines have an open-circuit voltage ranging 55–75V, which on its own would seem sufficient for at least starting a glow discharge plasma in concentrated electrolyte solutions as described in this thread. How this is maintained under light load would be the main issue; controllability, a close second.


    There are several cheap options for getting a few hundred volts at a few amps, but regulated, safe-to-use power supplies of sufficient power for entry-level laboratory use tend to be expensive.


    The finding (probably not novel, but likely not widely known) that at a sufficiently high electrolyte concentration the same processes can be observed in the 30–60V range means in any case that widely available and affordable bench power supplies can be used instead, without need for high voltages—this was my initial point.

    Diluting the potassium carbonate–sodium bicarbonate (mostly decomposed to carbonate, I would think) solution for the most part mitigated the electrolyte accumulation issue, but the so-called mid-point voltage (voltage at which current is minimized) shifted above 50V, even at a temperature greater than 90 °C.



    Due to sodium ions, plasma color at the [still partially blocked, it seems] cathode even at 62V was intense yellow (see gif below). At the same time, slow-moving strings (?) could be seen moving upwards in its proximity, which I also observed in earlier tests.


    Alan Smith

    Here is relevant data from the indicated paper (I added Celsius scale on the right graph).



    From here it does not look that the solubility decreases above 427K, only that it increases slower. It could still be that at higher temperatures the solubility actually starts decreasing, though.


    It could also more simply be that the rapidly boiling water around the cathode causes precipitation and local accumulation of the electrolyte, and that conditions are such that the phenomenon became macroscopic.

    Actually every welding inverter provides more than sufficient energy source for such a fun..

    In the opening post where I wrote that as an introduction, I was referring to high-voltage power supplies commonly used for plasma electrolysis experiments (technically also known as "contact glow discharge electrolysis" or "CGDE"). VARIACs are often used and I could have got one, but besides maybe a fuse, they don't have any built-in safety feature.


    In principle it should be possible to use a welding power supply for the experiments described here, but many low-end cheaper models such as the one you linked don't allow to directly vary voltage, or only allow to vary it on a limited range; not from 0V.


    Keep in mind that the reaction observed here is not an electric arc and unlike them, it does not need current limiting to be properly and safely driven. I don't need tens–hundreds of amps, only a few at most, and during the glow plasma discharge typically much less than 1.


    A lot of the basic information you need can be found in this - now very old - 1902 - source book. The basic science remains pretty much unchanged, and it was written by Ahrennius, a master of the subject. I use it as a reference book for the basics and beyond. The physics and the methods might have changed in the last 120 years, but the behaviour of the materials remain the same.


    ofelectrochemistry handbook 1902..pdf

    I definitely need a basic electrochemistry read, but to clarify one point here: the electrolyte mixture, under cold conditions, appears to be completely dissolved. It's only when voltage is increased to a level close to where plasma electrolysis starts that it accumulates close to the cathode and onto it in solid form.


    I'm aware that during electrolysis the electrolyte concentration locally varies, so it could be dynamically exceeding the solubility threshold under the conditions tested.

    It turns out that Randell Mills also has worked (at least for a period) on plasma electrolysis and been suggesting that hydrinos are produced in these systems. In some of the published patent applications there are descriptions of plasma electrolysis devices, like for instance in the abandoned US20040247522A1 - Hydrogen power, plasma, and reactor for lasing, and power conversion. Below is a composite image with relevant excerpts and figure extracted from it.



    Interestingly, the use of vibrations for the cathode and/or the solution is suggested. I also thought of something along these lines (but haven't applied it yet); I think it could help forming a gaseous layer around the cathode and start plasma electrolysis at lower voltages in particular when the electrolyte solution is cold.


    But more than this, of more interest is the possibility of using more than one electrolyte, in particular the "catalysts" reportedly useful for producing hydrinos. This would mean for instance having not just K2CO3 (or KOH) but also other compounds-catalysts in solution at the same time, as this could plausibly help lowering the voltage from which the process starts. A lowering of the voltage of plasma generation under the presence of these catalysts has already been reported by Mills with gas discharge cells in some publications.


    There's a paper from Mills et al. where plasma electrolysis has been used; I'm not sure if there is more on the same topic:



    Along these ideas, I tried adding sodium bicarbonate to the previously made concentrated K2CO3 solution, hoping it would decompose to sodium carbonate at the higher than water-boiling temperatures reached (115–120 °C), but [perhaps not too unexpectedly] it made things worse, with more severe blocking of the cathode by electrolyte accumulation. I'm not entirely sure if this was because of the bicarbonate and conversion of potassium to bicarbonate or because it would not have helped anyway to add anything more under the close-to-saturation concentration conditions.



    These electrolyte "sticks" are what I kept frequently removing from the thin tungsten cathode. Sometimes, when crushed just after/during removal they produced sparks and emitted tiny but dense smoke plumes; I think elemental Na-K is formed under these electrolyte accumulation conditions due to the electrolyte itself getting electrolytically decomposed.


    These formations prevent plasma electrolysis from taking place; a form of normal electrolysis at high current occurs instead with them. When the hot electrolyte solution concentration is high enough under their presence, sparks and explosions from larger electrolyte formations start occurring, as I showed previously. More spark-like features started appearing today after I added NaHCO3.


    This might work better using LiOH–NaOH–KOH and other soluble hydroxides of the elements listed as hydrino catalysts, but it needs more professional equipment and testing conditions than what I can provide. Furthermore, the solubility of mixtures of common electrolytes is likely to be different than that of the separate electrolytes, and that needs to be investigated.

    Yes, that's what he's saying. There must be an 'excess' of hydrogen atoms for the process to have an effect.


    Quote

    [0205] The potential energy of H2O is 81.6 eV (Eq. (43)) [Mills GUT]. Then, by the same mechanism, the nascent H2O molecule (not hydrogen bonded in solid, liquid, or gaseous state) may serve as a catalyst (Eqs. (44-47)). The continuum radiation band at 10.1 nm and going to longer wavelengths for theoretically predicted transitions of H to lower-energy, so called “hydrino” states, was observed only arising from pulsed pinched hydrogen discharges first at BlackLight Power, Inc. (BLP) and reproduced at the Harvard Center for Astrophysics (CfA). Continuum radiation in the 10 to 30 nm region that matched predicted transitions of H to hydrino states, were observed only arising from pulsed pinched hydrogen discharges with metal oxides that are thermodynamically favorable to undergo H reduction to form HOH catalyst; whereas, those that are unfavorable did not show any continuum even though the low-melting point metals tested are very favorable to forming metal ion plasmas with strong short-wavelength continua in more powerful plasma sources.


    Again, seemingly no relation with Holmlid's research, although the iron oxide catalysts used are active when they are oxidized, and hydrogen admission will reduce them, so one could argue that similar processes are involved.

    As far as I am aware of, according to Mills rather than H2O on its own, it's the process that chemically forms H2O which is a hydrino catalyst (in the presence of hydrogen atoms), i.e. "nascent water".


    Right in the claim of the application I linked earlier: https://patents.google.com/patent/US20200002828A1/



    However, I don't know how this could be related to Holmlid's research.


    In the past it was shown by Holmlid et al. that styrene catalysts can form Rydberg K–OH2 (alkali–water) complexes, but I haven't found suggestions that these can also form Rydberg matter (or in other words, a phase composed of just these complexes): https://doi.org/10.1021/la034142t


    If RM could be formed from them, incorporation of other atoms and molecules could be possible similarly to how it occurs with alkali RM, but I'm not sure if this is much related with Alan's report above which seemed to only involve atomic hydrogen and water vapor.

    Rob Woudenberg

    I find unlikely that hydrinos and H(0) are completely different things, but Mills and Holmlid have focused their studies on different aspects of it, so either researcher's view might not be complete.


    I think Alan is suggesting that normally atomic hydrogen would recombine very quickly close to the production source, but sometimes it appears as if it is taking enough time to travel meters of tubing.

    Alan Smith

    I have never measured temperatures accurately, but in my crude testing I noticed that soot/carbon appears to be more readily gasified or combusted while the KFeO2 compound is being formed rather than after it has formed—at higher temperatures even. This could be a further indication that reactive species are at least transiently formed during the synthesis of this compound, and in the previously linked paper it is incidentally mentioned:


    Quote

    [...] The efficiency of alkali promoted catalysts for reactions involving hydrogen transfer leads us to suggest that it is the H(0) formed which is the source of reactive hydrogen in the catalyzed reactions.

    By random chance, while discussing about BrillightLightPower patent applications in the Telegram LENR-Forum channel, I found this interesting excerpt in one of them: https://patents.google.com/patent/US20200002828A1/ from paragraph [0310] :



    By substituting Na with K, this is chemically the same process for forming the active phase of the styrene catalysts used by Holmlid in his experiments. Basically it is saying that hydrinos—i.e. ultra-dense hydrogen—would be formed as such active phase is also formed.


    Since the compound decomposes with water at low temperatures, it should be possible to conceive a reactor where such phase is cyclically formed-destroyed since the reaction is reversible. This is also a suggestion being made in the same patent application, and a table lists it among many other reversible reactions that would also be forming hydrinos.




    The overall process described by Mills for forming hydrinos however is different than that suggested by Holmlid for forming RM and then UDH. From his latest publication with Kotarba and Stelmachowski, furthermore, Holmlid does not seem to think that Hydrinos are a proven concept:


    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2021.02.221


    Quote

    [...] Other forms of hydrogen H have been proposed to exist but have not been convincingly observed or deeply studied. The most discussed case may be the hydrinos proposed by R. Mills [4] with very little experimental evidence. The proposed hydrinos have no resemblance to H(0). Further, based on quantum mechanical calculations a form of picometer-sized hydrogen molecule was proposed by Mayer and Reitz [5] to exist at high pressure. These proposed molecules are similar to H(0) in some respects, and may well exist, at least transiently.

    I haven't tested it long and deeply enough to verify how reliable it is, but it seems well-built. The floating outputs also make it more suitable for laboratory usage.


    I set it to 31V so that after arranging it in series with my bench power supply (0–31V selectable) I can more or less seamlessly adjust voltage in the 0–62V range.

    In order to extend the usable voltage range of my adjustable power supply I recently got a 36V 10A fixed voltage DC PSU. Surprisingly, not only it is adjustable in a relatively wide 26–41V range, but it also has floating outputs, which makes it more flexible than laptop/computer PSUs which are usually ground-referenced (I checked the ground connection and it was ok).



    Not much difference in reaction at higher voltages at least up to the maximum I could reach overall (72V), although the plasma starts to acquire a more violet hue reminiscent of potassium there. Cathode wear and reaction intensity (noise, etc) also start becoming significant and for practical purposes it might not be useful to go much higher since then the experiments would only last minutes.


    The applied current only increases after the minimum abruptly reached at about 31–35V (under hot K2CO3 electrolyte conditions at high concentrations depending on temperature; when cold this threshold is higher) and in one test I could plot a similar voltage-current curve:



    The highly dynamic conditions make it difficult to plot an accurate graph in this respect, since the reaction changes quickly with electrolyte temperature and concentration, and both change during operation given the relatively small amount of electrolyte solution used.




    Perhaps the most significant observation so far is that at the high electrolyte concentrations used, at the same voltages where plasma electrolysis occurs, the K2CO3 electrolyte appears to slowly accumulate on the surface of the cathode in relatively large amounts. Local temperature can occasionally even reach levels high enough to turn it incandescent and melt it, sometimes bursting with the emission of potassium-like light as shown previously. Possibly, electrolytic decomposition of the solid electrolyte to metal also occurs to some extent, while water electrolysis still continues.


    It would seem that this accumulation process is somewhat related to the plasma electrolysis phenomenon, i.e. that plasma electrolysis could be occurring because (or also because) of the strong increase in electrolyte concentration close to the cathode (K+ ions in solution, here). Since increasing the concentration of the electrolyte in the solution very easily lowers the voltage from which the electrolytic plasma process starts also (beyond conductivity), at least on an intuitive level this seems correct.



    Whether allowing the electrolyte to accumulate like this is advantageous, I'm not entirely sure. The cathodic plasma appears to be still occurring to some extent below the surface and on the exposed cathode portion, but not as with the clear surface.


    On their own, conditions where hydrogen atoms (from electrolysis) are forced through alkali as partially molten salts and as metals could be interesting, though. LENR in molten salts has indeed been reported in the past, although under different conditions than what I've tested so far. Just a couple examples from lenr-canr.org: