added a research item
The presentation is a review of the last results discussed in several recent conferences on LENR, aimed to give an overwiew of the state of the art of the experimentation to a diverse and non-specialistic audience interested in the energy production from Hydrogen. Some preliminary results from our entourage are showed as well.
One more 3-days Workshop, series ANV (Assisi Nel Vento), of Multidisciplinary Science (mainly: Energy, Medicine, Geology) was held in Assisi-Italy; part of the Workshop had even arguments related to Philosophy/History/Art/Religion. The reported event was the 8th edition (December 2021). One of the characteristics of such Workshop is that the time spent on open discussions, after talks (usually 30-40 minutes long), was comparable to time spent to show the data/argumentations. Moreover, the possible comments/suggestions from people expert in different fields could be useful as stimulating point of view to “open the fog” in very difficult/controversial problematics. We take the opportunity of such peculiarity to show our systematic studies aimed to find a SIMPLE procedure to activate the core of our “reactors”: framework of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction-Anomalous Heat Effects (LENR-AHE), mainly experimental studies. We have been active in such Research field since March 1989. Since 2011 we have focused on the use of a low-cost material, Constantan (alloy of Cu55Ni44Mn1), as “practical” material able to dissociate and absorb large amount of Hydrogen and/or Deuterium, starting from 150 °C, in gaseous environments. Previously, in the LENR field, the most used material was Palladium (Pd) and its alloy. Considering the progresses about AHE and the forecast of practical application of the effects, the precious metal Pd, now extremely costly (about 80 €/g), have to be substituted with more affordable ones (usually Nickel). In the case of the Constantan, the results were promising but quite difficult about the reproducibility of the effects. We realized that, to make a material useful for our purpose, in the case of long and thin wires that we usually used, two steps are needed at least: a) conditioning of it (i.e. change its morphology, from smooth to extremely sponge/coral shape, in order to increase the specific surface area; adding materials able to emit large amounts of electrons at temperatures higher of 600 °C); b) activating them to be able to produce AHE, after proper Hydrogen absorption. The point a) was almost easy to be performed; point b) was unpredictable. We experienced that providing very large pulsed current along the wire, up to 40 kA/cm2, pulse width 10 s, repetition rate 2.5 kHz, time duration 6-8 hours, was enough to activate the wire and producing AHE, of the order of 10-20%, for long times. Anyway, the procedure was difficult and only specialised Researchers were able to do it. Moreover, we observed, sometimes, that even DC current, at enough current density (6-7 kA/cm2), was enough to activate the wire, when the time of activation was prolonged to 1-2 weeks. As main drawback, the value of AHE were lower (factor 2-4) in respect to pulsed activation. Main advantage of DC operations is the high accuracy of measurements because of no EM noise induced. In conclusions, we make systematic studies about DC activation and enriched the studies to check if the high temperature of the wire, by itself, is able to increase the values of AHE. The frustrating aspect of irreproducibility in LENR-AHE experiments, was solved, at least for Academic purposes. We take the advantage of Workshop, also via web, to ask, to all the people attending our presentation, to examine deeply our procedures and try to find possible errors. Waiting time to send comments was fixed to 1 month. The document reported is an edited version of what presented last December 2021, enriched with the suggestions of the Researchers attending by web. We anticipate that no key-errors were found in our procedures.
• Introduction. a) Sketch of reactor core: coiled constantan coil, with long and thin wire coated by Low Work Function (LWF) materials. Counter-electrode geometry . b) Hybrid glassy-Quartz/Alumina sheath, large surface area, LWF materials coated. c) Richardson equation and plot (i.e. electron emission at low pressures). d) Paschen plot (i.e. gas ionization regimes, at mild pressures). e) Sketch, with photo, of reactor assembly and drawing with key aspects. • Probable pre-activation procedures. • Current, very simple, measurement procedures. • Results. • Comments. • Conclusions with future work.
[Enriched version of the original presentation] This short presentation introduces an experimental design for the enhancement of the anomalous thermal phenomena (AHE) observed since 2011 in Constantan3 wires exposed to a deuterium or hydrogen atmosphere, and heated by direct current. In fact, the occurrence of AHE requires specific conditions such as deuterium/protium absorption in the wire, sufficiently high temperature, as well as presence of strong non-equilibrium conditions such as those induced by thermal gradients, variations of pressure, and electric/magnetic fields. Previous experiments provided a strong evidence for the role of a flux of active species through the wire or at the wire surface. Though various techniques to induce a flux were tested before, and have been instrumental for a phenomenological understanding of AHE occurrence, they could not provide a solution for a sustained and exploitable energy production. For instance, wires loaded with deuterium at 700 °C and 1 Bar, may show the occurrence of AHE when the pressure is slowly reduced to 1 mBar. During this process, anincrease of wires electric resistance is observed and corresponds to the out-gasing of deuterium or hydrogen; this creates a flux associated with AHE. Nonetheless when the out-gasing ceases, the phenomenon tends to vanish. Similarly, simple knots along the wires, can be used to create hot-spots and corresponding thermal gradients; this approach proved quite effective and AHE could exceed 40% with respect to the electric input to heat the wires. Notwithstanding, the method was affected by a cumbersome preparation of the wires and their frequent breaks. In 2016 a second non heated wire was positioned near the active hot Constantan and, at a sufficiently reduced pressure did reveal a thermionic emission of electrons from Constantan. The empiric correlation between this electron emission and AHE occurrence was initially puzzling, but soon lead to experiments where the electron emission was enhanced by mean of an external power supply to sustain an active voltage bias among Constantan and the second wire (anode). This approach also proved able to trigger AHE though not indefinitely. The next step was using an alternating current between the two wires, an approach which led to observe the occurrence of Paschen or dielectric barrier discharges (DBD) when voltage and pressure were in the appropriate range. Interestingly in presence of these discharges, we recorded high and long lasting AHE as observed by other authors before. An intense scrutiny of the data collected from the experiments mentioned above led us to design an updated setup which could take into account the learning of almost ten years of Constantan wires studies. This setup includes the implementation of pulsed power supply based on a previous concept used by some of the authors of this presentation in electrolytic experiments with palladium. This power supply configuration and overall circuitry, is capable of providing powerful negative pulses along the wire, and positive pulses among the wire and an iron tube anode on which the wire (insulated with a special glass fiber sheath) is coiled. The positive pulses among the Constantan and the tube are used in particular to trigger Paschen or DBD discharges, while the tube can also be used as support for a multilayer coating of nickel-copper and low work-function oxides described in previous works.
- Historical introduction with some key experiments, worldwide. - Some procedures to get AHE (INFN-LNF expertise). - Explanation of the role of the external FLUX of Hydrogen (and/or their isotopes) to induce “Anomalous Effects”, both thermal and/or nuclear, on specific materials (pure or alloys) properly loaded by Hydrogen itself, at the bulk or in the near surface (preferably at sub-micrometric dimensionality). - 3He and 4He detections: few words. - Transmutations: few words, mainly from Y. Iwamura group at Mitsubishi-Yokohama. - Explanation of recent key results obtained by the (large) Japan collaboration chaired, recently, by Prof. Yasuhiro Iwamura
This paper presents a summary and some deeper details about the experiments presented at the 22nd International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science (ICCF22). It reports on the experimental study of LENR phenomena in Constantan (Cu55 Ni44 Mn1) from its inception in 2011 to the most recent experiments. Using an empirical approach we identified the effect of surface modification of the Constantan wires with coatings comprised of elements that enhance the absorption behavior, and oxides with low work function for electron emission. We also explored certain geometrical arrangements of the wires such as knots and coils in order to induce local thermal gradients and predictable hot-spots. Moreover, the DC polarization of the wires by a counter-electrode proved to be a versatile approach to induce non-equilibrium conditions that are essential for Anomalous Heat Effects (AHE), especially when a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) is produced. From the review of experiments summarized in this article, we obtain indications that the main parameter controlling the AHE is the flux of reactive species through the surface of the loaded material. As a consequence, all other external conditions of the reactor core (voltage-current, temperature, pressure, electric field stimulations, DC and/or AC external fields), can be seen as co-factors that enable a flux of active species through surfaces and in the bulk of the materials. Although most of the tests are in agreement with a possible flux model, some results still lack an interpretation, probably due to limits of the experimental setup.
Anomalous Heat Effects (AHE) have been observed in wires of Cu55Ni44Mn1 (Constantan) exposed to H2 and D2 in multiple experiments during the last eight years. Improvements in the magnitude and reproducibility of AHE, and improvements in wire preparation and reactor design were reported by the authors in the present and previous papers. The oxidation of the wires by pulses of electrical current in air creates a rough surface featuring a sub-micrometric texture that proves particularly effective at inducing thermal anomalies when temperature exceeds 400•C. This effect appears also to be increased substantially by deposing segments of the wire with a series of elements (such as Fe, Sr, Mn, K, via thermal decomposition of their nitrates applied from a water solution). Furthermore, an increase of AHE was observed after placing the treated wires inside a sheath made of borosilicate glass (B-Si-Ca; BSC), and even more after impregnating the sheath with the same elements used to coat the wires. (continued in the next page) The treated wire, comprised of knots and sheaths, was wound around a SS316 rod and inserted inside a thick wall glass reactor. The presence of thermal and chemical gradients is an important factor, especially when considering the noteworthy effect of knots on AHE. The ICCF21 Conference held in June 2018 marked a turning point, when the scientific community showed notable interest in the effects of knots and wire treatments, further increasing confidence in the approach. From that time on, attempts to further increase AHE focused on the introduction of different types of knots, leading to the choice of the "Capuchin" type. This knot design produces very hot spots along the wire and it features three areas characterized by a temperature difference up to several hundred degrees. Efforts were also made to better understand the thermionic effect of the wire, and the spontaneous voltage that arises when a second wire is introduced close by (anode). Eventually a large AHE rise was observed when an extra voltage was introduced between the active wire (cathode) and the second wire (anode) through an external power supply; a truly remarkable effect, despite its short duration due to the wire failure caused by an AHE runaway that melted the wire. This article summarizes the presentation given at the 13th International Workshop on Anomalies in Hydrogen Loaded Metals and reports the latest AHE results obtained from a new reactor design comprised of Capuchin knots and new custom manufactured, enhanced sheaths.
Anomalous Heat Effects (AHE) have been observed in wires of Cu55Ni44Mn1 (Constantan) exposed to H2 and D2 in multiple experiments along the last 8 years. Improvements in the magnitude and reproducibility of AHE were reported by the Authors of the present work in the past and related to wire preparation and reactor design. In facts, an oxidation of the wires by pulses of electrical current in air creates a rough surface featuring a sub-micrometric texture that proved particularly effective at inducing thermal anomalies when temperature exceeds 400 °C. The hunted effect appears also to be increased substantially by deposing segments of the wire with a series of elements (such as Fe, Mn, Sr, K, via thermal decomposition of their nitrates applied from a water solution). Furthermore, an increase of AHE was observed after introducing the treated wires inside a sheath made of borosilicate glass (Si-B-Ca; BSC), and even more after impregnating the sheath with the same elements used to coat the wires. Finally, AHE was augmented after introducing equally spaced knots (the knots were coated with the mixture of Fe, Mn, Sr, K) to induce thermal gradients along the wire (knots become very hot spots when a current is passed along the wire). Interestingly, the coating appears to be nearly insulating and it is deemed being composed of mixed oxides of the corresponding elements (mostly FeOx, SrO). Having observed a degradation of the BSC fibers at high temperature, an extra sheath made of quartz fibers was used to prevent the fall of degraded fibers from the first sheath; recently the 2 sheaths assembly has been replaced with a hybrid single sheath developed by SIGI-Favier (i.e. made of both glass and quartz fibers). The treated wire, comprising knots and sheaths, was then wound around a SS316 rod and inserted inside a thick glass reactor. The reactor operates via direct current heating of the treated wire, while exposing it to a 5-2000 mBar of D2 or H2 and their mixtures with a noble gas (in these conditions electromigration phenomena are supposed to occur). In 2014, the Authors introduced a second independent wire in the reactor design and observed a weak electrical current flowing in it while power was supplied to the first. This current proved to be strongly related to the temperature of the first wire and clearly turned to be the consequence of his Thermionic Emission (where the treated wire represents a Cathode and the second wire an Anode). The presence of this thermionic effect and a spontaneous tension between the two wires did strongly associate to AHE. All these observations were reported at various Conferences, and tentative explanations were provided for the observed effects. The presence of thermal and chemical gradients has been stressed as being of relevance, especially when considering the noteworthy effect of knots on AHE. The ICCF21 Conference held on June 2018 marked a turning point, and the scientific community did show a notable interest on the effects of knots and wire treatments, further increasing the confidence on the described approach. From that moment, attempts to further increase AHE focused on the introduction of different types of knots, leading to the choice of the “Capuchin” type (see fig.). This knot design leads indeed to very hot spots along the wire and features three areas characterized by a temperature delta up to several hundred degrees. Efforts were also made to better understand the thermionic effect of the wire, and the spontaneous tension that arises when a second wire is introduced close by (anode). Eventually a large AHE rise was noticed when introducing an extra tension between the active wire (cathode) and the second wire (anode) through an external power supply; a truly remarkable effect, despite his short duration due to the wire failure attributed to an AHE runaway able to melt it. Eventually the authors have observed a stunning similarity of the best performing reactor design and a thermionic diode where the active wire represents the cathode and the second wire the anode, whereas the electrodes are separated by fibrous layers impregnated with mixed oxides comprising Iron and alkaline metals. This observation allows to speculate on a thermionic power converter able to generate electricity through the thermionic emission of a cathode heated by AHE and collected by an anode (colder and/or featuring a different work function with respect to the cathode). The presentation, summarized in this abstract, reports the latest AHE results obtained from a new reactor design comprising capuchin knots and hybrid sheaths manufactured for the purpose.
In the frame of LENR field, we introduced in 2011 the use of Constantan alloy (in the form of long and thin wires) as a Hydrogen dissociation promoter. We have disclosed for the first time the reason for the choice of such material at IWAHLM-12 Workshop, hypothesizing it was the initiator of the reaction in Andrea Rossi’s experiment. We developed a specific treatment to increase the dimensionality of wire surface through the application of high peak power pulses. The wire is inserted in fiberglass sheaths, made up of micrometric fibers, impregnated with a solution of an electron-emitter element (Sr). Later, we added Fe and K to the wire surface and the sheaths and adopted the procedure of making equidistant knots along the wire to produce thermal and magnetic gradients. We also pointed out that the addition of noble gases with low thermal conductivity, and in particular Xenon, to the H2/D2 atmosphere, produces a considerable rise of temperature in the reactor, maybe those gases acting as catalyzers in the generation of power excess. Measurements were always performed in isoperibolic calorimetry, which has the advantage of producing non-equilibrium conditions that favor the generation of anomalous heat excess (AHE). With this procedure, we reached a gain of almost a factor 2 at the highest temperature, although with limited stability over time. In the article, we present SEM observations and EDX analyses of the wire before and after applying the treatment. We have also conducted a series of experiments using the air-flow calorimetry approach. The calorimeter consists of an insulating Styrofoam box whose internals walls are covered with a thick foil of aluminum and the external walls with a double layer of black and thick aluminum foil to homogenize temperature. The calorimeter contains the reactor and a Halogen tungsten lamp inside a dummy reactor used for calibrations. Even with the air-flow calorimetry approach, which does not produce the most appropriate conditions for AHE, we have obtained power excess, although in a quite lower amount. The best results are: a) with 100-μm diameter wire, D2 at 1 bar, input power 90W, the AHE was over 12±2 W, but after 1 day the wire has broken; b) with 200-μm diameter wire, Xe-D2 mixture each at 0.1 bar and input power of 120 W, AHE was 6-7 W stably for weeks.