Monday, June 17, 2013

LENR I don't think I'm crazy...

The AVC is over its time to talk a little bit about my LENR project.
24 years ago  or so Pons and Fleischmann  made a big splash with claims of Cold Fusion, ie using simple electrochemical cells generating excess heat beyond what could be explained by chemical energy.

This caused quite a controversy and after a few years the furor died down and it seemed like Cold Fusion was largely discredited. At the time my Dad was a commodities trader and I bought Pd futures and made a few hundred dollars by riding it up and most of the way back down.

Every once in awhile since then I'd  hear of some experiment or another and then it would go dark.  About 6 mo's ago a non-technical someone asked me to review some stuff in this field for technical validity as they were contemplating an investment. I expected to report back that t was a fraud or junk science.  What I discovered surprised me.

You may believe me or not but this is what I now believe...
The Pons and Fleischmann effect is real. (here after called PFE)

To this day we still do not understand what is going on, replicating the PFE requires Pd of specific structure, and unknown contaminates. A number of cases have been shown where a specific Pd rod that works in one lab will work in a different lab with different apparatus.  Just plain unscreend Pd works about 5% of the time. Pre screening the Pd  for high D-Pd loading ratios without Pd swelling can reduce this ratio to about 33%, ie if a Pd rod will absorb > 0.95 D for each Pd atom without swelling and cracking the odds of it demonstrating the PFE is 30% or better.

Whatever is happening it does not generate neutrons expected of traditional hot fusion., and is probably not traditional fusion. There have been a large number of theories presented, none of them presently fit all of the facts, so we effectively have no theory.  Over 60K peer reviewed papers have been written about High temp superconductivity and we have no theory there either, so if science was functioning properly this lack of theory should not be a total block to progress.

I think one of the pathological failures  was calling it Cold fusion, because it's probably not fusion in the traditional sense.   Much more likely to be some path following the weak force rather than the strong force...Also there is now a growing body of evidence that whatever is going on can happen in regular water and ni, so some of the early "dead" experiments that were used to prove an instrumentation error were later found to be lower grade PFE reactions on their own.

Another body of evidence also shows that the Pd needs to have some "Stuff" plated on it to work really well, P+F were a tiny bit sloppy about contamination, so when it came time to replicate the more meticulous the lab the less chance they had of replication.  Its also been shown that most of the successful replications from the time of early P+F all came from the same batch of Pd rod all contaminated with a few ppm of Rhodium and other trace elements.  

Some of the experiments show that it takes 100hrs+ to load a Pd rod enough for it to turn on... again it does not help replication....

My Friend Dave W, says its sort of like the story:  I've been told that if I put a bent piece of shiny metal and small bit of wire on the end of a string and dip it in water I can pull up free food.   I've been doing in my lab with sterilized string and distilled water for three weeks and still no food....
We clearly don't know what we are missing...

An ideal energy source that runs off of water is too good to be true and it attracted a bunch of scammers eager to make a buck. These scammers did not do the real scientists any favors. I'm still not convinced that the most notorious of the lot Rossi is not a scammer/huckster.

I am convinced that the Navy SPAWAR lab, SRI, briillion, Ed Storms,  Toyota and others have done very careful science, addressing every issue brought up in opposition to their results and have proven to me beyond a doubt that there is a PFE and there is science here we don't understand.

So all the scientists with a desire to be accepted by other scientists have worked very hard doing careful Calorimetry running experiments lasting 100's of hours proving that the result can't be chemical.
A properly done long term calorimitry experiment is the gold standard of proving its not a chemical effect....

If your experiment takes 100hrs to complete then its really hard to do fast cyclical testing.
Each sample you try is a major commitment of time and care.

My idea is this, accept the PFE is real. Try lots and lots of samples and screen for it.
Don't wiat 100hrs to toss a sample that is not working.   Toward that end I've built a tiny little stainless reaction chamber that I can heat and pressurize with H or D  and  stimulate the sample with RF or electrical pulses ... (the system is 50 ohms up to and back out of the sample chamber.) I've got an fast reading 15msec IR pyrometer with a tiny spot size that I can use to measure the instantaneous temperature of the sample, so if some stimulation causes the sample to "go" I don't have to wait hours to know what I just did.
(The IR pyrometer looks through a sapphire window rated for the temps and pressures I expect)
I want to try dozens of samples a day, try 1000's of possible stimulation....
I also have 4 wire restive measurement of the sample and a large pancake style GM  tube to detect any radiation form the experiment.

A picture inside the reactor the depression holds an alumina plate and the ceramic feed through on both sides are 50 ohms up to the wall, and with 0.016 thick wire the plate is the right thickness for 50 ohms.

Both sides of the reactor with the sapphire sample window visible.

The reactor inside its heater jacket with thermocouples attached, the PID controller holds a constant temperature. Design operating point is 300 PSI and 600C with SF of 3.0. You can see the IR pyrometer lying on its side next to the reactor, I still need to fabricate an adjustable support to make it peer through the window.

The wright bothers did not build a plane first, first they built a wind tunnel.
I'm building a LENR wind tunnel, the samples will be tiny and useless, but if they generate excess power above the chambers elevated temperature I'll know quickly and hope to be able to optimize to maximize the effect.   in the next day or two I'll organize my pictures of the reactor and test equipment and post it all here...

I'm on my second revision of the reactor, the first revision was a bit too clunky to assemble and disassemble, the current version seems much easier.

In this same theme I'm going to the ICCF-18 in July...


Blogger QuantumG said...

Thanks for writing this up. Good luck with your search!

12:08 AM  
Blogger heroineworshipper said...

You need 50 grams of unobtanium for it to work. Then, your PFE reactor will be able to predict lottery numbers & regrow hair. It's almost as amazing as graphene & stem cells.

7:12 PM  
Blogger SexStrap said...

Wow this was a slap in the face I was recently convinced that there was possibly something in the PFE by a couple of aging but respected academics who have been following this and Rossis experiments, but after doing my own (web based)research I came to the conclusion that they were probably loseing it in thier old age, now you have me doubting that conclusion can you post more details of what possible new evidence has convinced you to take a fresh look at this.

I am very interested.

Thanks for the great blog by the way, varied topics and always captivating.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Paul Breed said...

Reading the quality of some of the papers and researchers largely found here..

Chapter 4 of Ed Storms LENR book...
(This is the middle book in the bottom set of three on the page listed above)

12:55 PM  
Blogger Paul Breed said...

I still think Rossi may be a fraud.. I'm just as convinced that there are legitimate scientists that are not frauds whoose experimental results can't be ignored.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous dave w said...

The "cold fusion" phenomenon, as reported by credible researchers is sufficiently erratic that I doubt it's all mere fabrication - a genuine "rigged demo" would (appear to) work more consistently!

My best guess regarding Rossi (and a probable suspicion regarding anyone claiming a "reliable secret process" for producing the effect) is he's in "fake it till you make it" mode: he might have got a lucky batch of substrate material, seen some actual results, and is exaggerating in hopes of obtaining support to research how to make the process reliable.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Alain Coetmeur said...

About characteristics of the Pd used in LENr experiment, ENEA have done a great job to precise the conditions :
and latest conference in Brussels
( from )

People interested in that domain should read that executive summary, and the few reference mad at the begining (one artcile on evidences, lenrftw page, lenrproof slides of tyler, kuhn slides, wikipedia controversy, mckubre and storms documents)

10:05 AM  
Anonymous dave w said...

The Violente (et. al.) presentation cited by Alain C. looks interesting - it looks like they're investigating the sort of material characteristics that I think will turn out to hold keys to the puzzle - surface morphology, crystal grain structure, etc.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've followed the Rossi saga for years now for giggles and am 110% sure he is a fraud. He has a fraudulent past, is a proven liar on many issues and refuses to do simple calorimetry that would prove his device works. See For the rest, I'll wait until it is replicated by many other researchers since the entire LENR concept violates our basic nuclear physics understanding.


4:53 PM  
Anonymous dave w said...

Re: anonymous (comment #9) - the effect has been replicated by a number of workers, in the US and Japan - it seems to be a real phenomenon, not a hoax or false effect (like "polywater") that turned out to be something else.

In this case I think it's a real but elusive effect - it seems like it's a question of getting a metallic (Ni or Pd) surface with the right morphology (in ways that are not quite understood)... it may well be (for eample) that when the PF experiment actually works, the actual active surface may consist of metal that had been leached from the cathode and then replated on the surface, rather than the original parent material... this is known to happen in the standard "bulk" electrolysis version of the FP expt.

If the plated layer is actually what is active, this may partially explain the long delay which is commonly encountered, in the original form of the FPE, before exothermic effects become apparent. (Some researchers have seen activity appear more rapidly when they intentionally plated a thin palladium layer onto an impermeable cathode substrate such as platinum.)

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Dave, but I am of the opinion that this is not real and those showing positive results are in error. Time will tell...


10:19 PM  
Anonymous dave w said...

I think it's more like there's some unrecognized factor, and when it's identified folks are gonna look at each other and say "no wonder it's been so consistently erratic"... like discovering that phosphate impurity in the peroxide is why the decomposition catalyst only works sometimes...

This hypothesis seems to fit the observations better than the one that everyone is making the exact same error... the conjectured artifacts and error sources (e.g., temperature gradients, instrumental noise, etc.) have been given significant attention, and many of the "excess heat" observations do hold up under such scrutiny (including detection of helium consistent with the expected energy of the D + D -> He reaction) - under "cold fusion" conditions, the reaction is observed to "branch" differently, and tritium and neutron production are minimal.

I think the state of the art in producing the PF effect is about at the same level as the state of the art of electronic signal rectification in the era of the "galena crystal detector", which required the user to probe the surface of a natural mineral crystal with a fine wire "whisker" to find an "active site". Maybe someone will develop a reliable recipe for something more like a selenium stack rectifier.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous dave w said...

I also think the economic politics of the energy industry put some weird decision gradients into the mix: the US was eager to explore CF if and only if it was a sure thing to provide a practical near-term power source: and we were eager to reject it totally when it turned out to be an elusive effect, being disinterested in committing to exploring a curious scientific longshot that -might- make petroleum obsolete.
Japanese attitudes are different - to quote one researcher from there, "The US has much oil so if there is a one percent chance that cold fusion is not real you will reject it. Japan has little oil so if there is a one percent chance that cold fusion is real we will explore it."

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Greg Goble said...

Transmutes Radioactive Wastes Now – U.S. Navy and LENR Energy

The United States of America Navy LENR energy patent is noteworthy. The transmutation of radioactive waste to benign elements through LENR low energy nuclear reactions is of global importance.

With the continuing Fukushima disaster and the plutonium sludge leaks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation site, which threatens planetary health, our government should be fast-tracking the LENR remediation of nuclear waste.

This technology should be brought forward with broad disclosure and international involvement. The U.S. has not made broad disclosure and is thereby stalling international collaboration in development of this important nuclear waste and pollution remediation, a cold fusion technology.

Can we trust the DoE to do it right this time?

GOOGLE This...

"NAVY LENR Patent Granted – Transmutes Radioactive Waste"

1:21 AM  
Anonymous Dr Bob said...

@ admin
Hi there friend,
I dont think you are crazy either.

Can I have your email adr?
I am planing to send you something on the subject.
Kind regards bob (at)

2:15 PM  
Blogger johnscott4 said...

Love it! Also no ITAR.

12:20 AM  
Anonymous dave w said...

I note that Storms's book commented that just about everyone "who tried long enough" eventually managed to replicate the Pons/Flieschman effect: it could be that what you need is old funky D2O/LiOD solution that you've been running all your experiments in, until it picks up a certain degree of dissolved palladium ion which can be replated onto the cathode (potentially producing the sort of microcrystalline/semi-amorphous surface morphology that might be rich in active sites).
Som of the "co-deposition" experiments (where palladium as well as deuterium were intentionally reduced together at the cathode surface) were reported to produce more rapid results than the "classic" Pons/Fleischman deuterium electrolysis...

7:02 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

Thanks for the write up. It was great meeting you at ICCF last week. I would like to post this link on the MFMP blog. Is that OK with you, Paul?
I hope we get to collaborate on exploring this field. Do you have cad drawings and a BOM for your test set up so anyone interested could build a copy of your cell and compare results?

9:19 AM  
Blogger Paul Breed said...

Feel free to post, link or whatever.... My default position is you may share anything I post or say or email to you , even things in private emails directed to you unless I explicitly say otherwise and in the few cases where I say otherwise I'll be very specific about what can't be shared. On the other hand I will not share private communications from others unless I explicitly have their permission.

9:01 PM  
Blogger Ian Walker said...

1.On the matter of Rossi and whether he is scamming, there has been a lot of what I would characterize as misinformation written by some who Rossi threw out of his lab when he caught them engaging it what only be described as corporate espionage and trying to steal trade secrets. Those who actually have been honest with Rossi include members of the Swedish skeptic society and the Nobel committee, as well as professors at several Universities and commercial corporations. Elforsk think he has a working system and they have seen it are believe it to be an operating LENR energy producing system.

2 Since it was Rossi who pioneered the Ni LENR along with its Co Discoverers Focardi and Piantelli and all those others Brillion, Defkalion, US Navy SPAWAR lab, SRI, etc. are basing their LENR on Ni ergo it follows that Rossi the person who pioneered Ni has a working system if you think the others have valid claims.

3. On the matter of Edison-ion methodology, Rossi is who NASA are talking about when they mention Edison-ion research. Secondly your own try out various samples to see which works best is Edison-ion, and of course it worked for Edison, that is after all how the first filament light bulbs were made and how every light bulb since has been refined, and in fact is 99% of engineering.

One can of course check up what the oil companies, banks and major corporations are doing, If LENR is coming then they will be selling off their oil fields, nuclear and green power assets, putting a massive multi-trillion dollar bet against the price of oil, preparing their businesses to move off grid.

All of which they are doing.

7:38 AM  
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10:07 PM  

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