In past articles e-Cat Site has explored the LANR patents of Belgium industrial chemist and patent attorney Mr. Joannes Van den Bogaert. He has been kind enough to do a write up for this site regarding the catalyst reported to be used in some cold fusion devices, including the e-Cat of Andrea Rossi. In this piece, he also touches on some principles of chemistry, as well as the work of Prof. Piantelli, Dr. Randell Mills of BlackLight Power and some well-respected German chemists that you may or may not be aware of. Once again, I cannot vouch for this material in terms of its industrial utility, but the information has been well-researched, and I do feel it informative and thought-provoking at the very least. I would also add that past articles regarding Mr. Van den Bogaert’s LANR patents, found here and here, continue to be a popular feature of this site. If you have not viewed his previous material, I would certainly recommend it.
Lastly, some of this material has been translated from German, so the translations may not be exact, but I think they are accurate enough to convey the message intended. Some of the material has also been processed using an OCR program, so an odd character or word may pop up from time to time. I have tried to correct such errors to the best of my ability but my presbyoptic eyes may have missed a thing or two. If you notice something glaring, please alert me with an e-mail.
Catalyzed Nickel-Hydrogen Reaction
As you know, Andrea Rossi explains the working of the E-Cat reactor operating with an exothermic reaction, relying strongly on the transmutation of nickel into copper by hydrogen in particular circumstances of pressure and temperature, using nickel powder in the presence of an undisclosed catalyst (USPO application #2011/10005506 Al). Francesco Piantelli, in his method for producing energy (USPO application #2011/0249783 A1), uses micro/nanometric clusters of a transition metal, preferably nickel, capturing negatively charged hydrogen atoms, i.e. H- ions (a proton surrounded by a pair of electrons), having opposite spin following Pauli’s Exclusion Principle of differing quantum status of some Fermi particles (here electrons). According to Piantelli, said H- ions can be obtained by treating, under particular operative conditions, hydrogen H2 molecules that have been previously adsorbed on said transition metal surface, with heating needed to cause lattice vibrations, causing an interaction with valence electrons of the metal and formation of H- ions.
According to Piantelli, the conditions are created for replacing electrons of metal atoms with the H- ions having a mass 1838 times larger than the electron mass. Such H- ions tend to go towards deeper layers (towards the positive nucleus), and on their way through the electron shells cause the emission of Auger electrons and of x-rays while being captured by the metal core, causing a structural reorganization and freeing of energy by mass defect. Piantelli puts forward that the H- ions can now be expelled as protons, and can generate nuclear reactions with the neighboring cores. Piantelli makes it clear that the actual process cannot be considered as a fusion process of hydrogen atoms, in particular of hydrogen isotope atoms. Instead, the process has to be understood as an interaction of a transition metal and hydrogen in general in its particular form of an H- ion.
In that connection I draw attention to the resemblance of an H- ion to a muon, which is a negative particle being 207 times more massive than the electron, and are used in muon-catalyzed fusion. From the muon, it is said, when it replaces one electron in a hydrogen molecule, the nuclei are consequently drawn 207 times closer than in a normal molecule. When the nuclei are this close together, the probability of nuclear fusion is greatly increased, to the point where a significant number of fusion events can happen at room temperature. Unfortunately, current techniques for creating large numbers of muons require large amounts of energy, larger than the amounts produced by catalyzed fusion reactions. So, I propose to try to produce in an economic way much more massive D- ions to obtain deuterium (tritium) fusion.
For the Piantelli invention, it is my hypothesis that negatively charged hydrogen ion particles (H- ions) are not hindered from contacting the positively charged transition metal nuclei, as no repulsive Coulomb barrier exists between oppositely charged particles. Consequently, the negatively charged hydrogen ions have only to tunnel at relatively modest energy through the relatively largely spaced electron shells of the positively charged transition metal ions of the metal lattice to combine with a nickel nucleus, leaving 1 more proton and thereby transforming that nickel nucleus into a copper nucleus and expelling the surplus electron to be captured again in the electron sea of the electro-conductive metal and therefrom to the positive potassium ion left, that way regaining the catalyst. One electron of the H- ion becomes a valence electron of the copper nucleus, restoring in that manner charge neutrality in the metal lattice.
Now is there still the question: Where does the energy come from?
The energy set free comes in my opinion from the difference in mass between a free hydrogen ion (H+) and a proton (p+) locked up into the nickel nucleus now becoming a copper nucleus associated with 1 electron more than nickel. In that case no neutrons have to be set free and cannot be detected.
Turning now to the production of H- ions it is not so exotic as one may think. About six years ago dealing with the “hydrino” theory of Dr. Randall Mills I came across a method for producing said ions from metallic hydrides, more particularly alkali metal hydrides and earth alkali metal hydrides.
In the German chemical textbook “Fundamentals of General and Inorganic Chemistry” by Dr. Hans Rudolf Christen, I found under the heading “Hydrogen Compounds” a passage that reads as follows:
“One of the simplest hydrocarbon compounds includes substances which are formed at moderately high temperatures of alkali or alkaline earth metals and hydrogen … they contain, in addition to the positively charged metal cations, hydride (H-) ions, and yield as molten salt on electrolysis hydrogen at the anode. Formation of a salt-like solid is made possible by the not too high, but measurable, electron affinity of hydrogen, particularly by the large lattice energy of the hydrides.“
It is further mentioned that the H- ion is practically of the same size as the F- ion, such being 1.36 Angström. On page 560 of said German chemical textbook , I found : “Alkaline earth metals calcium, strontium, and barium form salt-like hydrides with H- ions as lattice elements,” which means that H- ions are linked to said earth alkaline metals in their crystal structure.
Under the heading “Hydride” in the German textbook “Chemical Lexicon,” Prof. Dr. Hermann Römpp is mentioned as stating “lithium hydride is the most durable; the other hydrides of the alkali metals are decomposing above 400°C.” From this it may be concluded that free H- ions may be obtained by heating the hydrides of alkali metals above 400°C, such as sodium and potassium, and likewise the hydrides of calcium, strontium and barium.
Turning now to a possible relationship of the production of “Black Light” according to Dr. Randall Mills, and the use of a catalyst(s) in the e-Cat fusion technique of Eng. Andrea Rossi,
I wrote a letter to the Dutch journal “Natuurwetenschap & Techniek” (July/Aug. 2005), in which I expressed the idea that H- ions were produced in the Black Light reactor of Dr. Mills. As described in the article of Ernst van Eijk in said Dutch journal, referring to an experiment of Prof. Dr. Kroesen of the University of Eindhoven, potassium (vapor) was used in a hydrogen atmosphere with the intention of producing energy and “Black Light”.
According to said experiment, a plasma had been produced using potassium carbonate in a hydrogen atmosphere, precipitated on a metal screen surrounding an electrically heated tungsten spiral, with said plasma emitting a bluish light. Following the opinion of Dr. Randall Mills, “hydrinos” are formed from the hydrogen atoms present in the plasma.
In my reply to said experiment, I referred to the common knowledge that potassium carbonate ( K2CO3) is decomposed by heating into K20 and CO2. In the reducing atmosphere of hydrogen gas in the reactor, it is very probable that potassium oxide (K20) undergoes reduction to free potassium and water vapor according to the following equation:
(K20 + 2H → 2K + HOH)
Immediately followed by the exothermic reaction of potassium with water vapor, a positively charged potassium ion, a negatively charged hydroxyl ion, and a neutral hydrogen atom are formed according to the following equation:
(K + HOH → K+ HO- + H)
When we have in the reactor free potassium (K) atoms, atomic hydrogen (H) can react therewith, forming a not very stable hydride (K-H), wherein potassium is positively charged (K+) and hydrogen negatively charged (H- ) (see the above mentioned German chemical textbook). When the reactor contains nickel clusters, atom transmutation may take place with a said negatively charged hydrogen ion (H- ), which may enter a nickel nucleus to transform it into a copper nucleus representing an example of atom transmutation through a catalyst, in this case potassium atoms.
Please note that Dr. Kroesen has repeated the experiment with strontium grains, obtaining likewise a plasma and bluish light. By combining strontium with atomic hydrogen, 2 H- ions are formed, and according to my expectation, in the presence of nickel nuclei zinc nuclei are obtained.
It is a bit strange that Eng. Andrea Rossi, although not mentioning his “catalysts” in his US patent application, writes the following:
“Moreover, it has been found that, after having generated energy, the used powders contained both copper and lighter than nickel atoms (such as sulphur, chlorine, potassium, calcium). He mentions “This demonstrates that, in addition to fusion, also a nickel nucleus fission phenomenon generating lighter stable atoms occurs“.
At last I would like to say something about the “hydrino theory” of Dr. Randell Mills, combined with “E-Cat fusion” as illustrated in the article of Prof. Dr. Stremmenos “Hydrogen/Nickel Cold Fusion Probable mechanism.” Herein it is said that the hydrino atom is a mini hydrogen atom of reduced volume and
“The neutral mini-atoms of high energy and very short wave length, which is in phase with the “cyclic” orbit (de Broglie) are statistically captured by the nickel nuclei of the crystal structure with the speed of nuclear reactions (10-20 sec)“.
Further he states
“The mechanism proposed by Focardi-Rossi, verified by mass spectroscopy data which predicts transmutation of a nickel nucleus to an unstable copper nucleus (isotope), remains in principle valid. The difference is that inside the unstable copper nucleus, produced from the fusion of the hydrogen mini-atom with the nickel nucleus, is trapped the mini-atom electron (β-), which in my opinion undergoes in-situ annihilation, with the predicted (Focardi-Rossi) decay (beta+) of the new copper nucleus.“
If such would happen, gamma-rays of the annihilation should be detectable. Further I like to point out that if hydrino atoms would be formed in a “Black Light” reactor, they can in my opinion be rather easily be detected with a mass spectrometer coupled to that reactor.
If neutral hydrino atoms (having a reduced radius with respect to normal hydrogen atoms and lower mass) are found, then the Randell Mills theory is on sound basis. I think that certainly H- ions having a radius, as present in F- ions, will be found, confirming my theory that potassium and alkaline earth metals such as calcium and strontium are the real catalysts in forming H- ions, penetrating the Coulomb barrier and yielding atom transmutation.