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Reaction matrix [UPDATE #5 - Dr. Brian Ahern's powder received, 5g QSIs powder en-route to France]

Written by Robert Greenyer on .

As you may be aware, the MFMP is taking a second additional direction in its research, taking forward the experience of our first year or so and learning from the best work being done, to try and up the signal to noise ratio. Part of this new thrust was triggered by Dr. Stoyan Sarg, who, we can report, is finalising his Tesla inspired circuit, that by his understanding, will permit the production of Rydberg matter hydrogen, one of the claimed intermediaries required for high yield LENR.

That is great, but as many might know, having Hydrogen species in the right state is only part of the story when it comes to claims of successful LENR technologies that show promise of utility. The other key component is the right environment for any reaction to take place in/on/with. Part of that environment is the structure of the reactor, but that is the topic of a coming blog, the purpose of this blog is to introduce what might go into the reactor in addition to the Hydrogen, and for want of a better phrase, we’ll call this the ‘reaction matrix’.

You might hear Brian Ahern at the up and coming Colloquium say that nickel grain sizes need to be in the 3-12nm range because they have “special qualities” and he bases this on the 2008 work of Yoshiaki Arata and later successful replications of Akito Takahashi. Now nano nickel is really nasty stuff, it can make you very ill, so we won’t be wanting to spend a lot of time with that. Plus, Nickel alone may well not be all that is needed for a successful experiment, indeed many researchers claim just that. Ideally, we would also like that to be safe, so affixing or agglomerating these grains in such a way that they are safe but still active would be ideal.

Therefore the reaction matrix is a combination of one or more elements or compounds, geometrically arranged optimally, to enable a safe, stable and efficient reaction with matched hydrogen species.

Without knowing exactly what is going on, it would be hard to know the specific geometries that are optimal for efficient and stable reactions, or what resonant structures would enhance the effect. We are experimentalists at MFMP; and so, if we had the resources, we might come the other way at this by establishing optimal structures through parametric trials using lithographic arrays, laser layer ablation/wetting or controlling crystal/structure growth - discussion on this can come later. First, however, we must start from what is said to work and there are several jumping off points to consider.

Basic reactor capabilities

The reactors will be able to hold low vacuums and multiple atmospheres of positive pressure. They will be designed to operate with both heat gradients alone and in combination with HV discharge which will provide a smorgasbord of stimulation for any potential reaction.

The reactors will test for LENR activity in two principal ways: firstly, signs of excess heat, secondly, gamma emissions. One or more reactor designs may need to be made to achieve these aspirations.

Reaction matrix options

  1. Celani : Structures in a wire

    Our first option has to be Celani wire - first, we have some and access to more; second, we have seen signs of excess heat. So, for us, it is a real option now. We also know that the nano and micrometric structures built on those wires haven't caused anyone any ill effects.

    Figure 1: SEM close up on a Celani wire

    The great thing is, the new reactors will be either designed to look for the slightest gamma emissions (read, low energy photons) or to accurately measure total heat output through advanced calorimetry. This means that we will be stepping away from thermometry, which will be good for the robustness of our experiments in general.

    Secondly, no one, not even Celani has tested his wires in an environment potentially rich in Rydberg State Hydrogen, high pressure shock waves, EUV, Soft X-rays, broadband RF and electrostatic goodies that you get from an arc discharge. This will present a scatter gun approach to triggering his wires.


  2. Akito Takahashi : CuNi Silica powders

    As mentioned above, Yoshiaki Arata had seen excess heat in Silica-included Pd nano powders and Deuterium way back in 2008. After a little tip-off from Brian Ahern, Akito Takahashi replicated this.

    With the reporting of excess heat in Ni+H systems from Piantelli, Rossi, Defkalion, Celani and Kobe-Technova, they decided to try Nickel systems.
    The data can be found here. To cut a long story short, they saw excess heat from Ni/Zr02 for extended periods of time, but when they took the Celani route and added Cu into the mix, they saw a 10-fold increase in the excess heat (which was way beyond chemical). In their words, the Cu appeared to act as a ‘very strong catalyst’ for the nickel core particles to absorb hydrogen, quite how the Cu is integrated is not known.
    Interestingly they repeatedly saw an anomalous endothermic effect during pre-treatment and a mechanism for this is discussed in their slides above. Also they report some cross-correlation between excess heat and increased gamma count but no neutrons have been detected.

    So having been shown to give strongly positive results, this would be a good candidate for our “powder” reactors, but can we get some of their reactive material? Well, Mathieu grabbed the image in Figure 2.

    Figure 2: Technova tested Copper, Nickel, Silica and Alumina sample suppliers

    So, either Admatechs Co. Ltd / Showa Denko K.K. can supply this powder combination, or we’ll have to negotiate with Takahashi for a sample to test. Perhaps Celani could assist - he knows them and speaks Japanese.

    As with the test of Celani’s wire in our new reactors, if we get access to the powders, we’ll be able to see if there is any additional effect resulting from the HV discharge.


  3. Alan Goldwater : CuNi nano structures on nickel foam

    It is with great delight that we welcome Alan Goldwater to the MFMP. He has been following our efforts from the beginning and we are very happy to have him adding his strength to the team. He has a novel idea to take the type of 200um open cell nickel foam that Defkalion Green Technologies say they use in their Hyperion, and build nickel/copper Celani like structures on this nickel support lattice.

    Figure 3: Close up on the Nickel Foam that Alan is starting with, 1 division=0.1 mm

    Given our experience with Celani wires and the experience of Takahashi at Technova as detailed above, we think this is an excellent approach and look forward to testing the results. However, Alan is at the earliest stages in the development of this concept, and if the nickel foam does not stand the temperatures required to make the composite, it might need a re-think. We hope he has success and can share his process in a future blog.


  4. Bob Higgins : Carbonyl Ni micro-powder with activated Fe2O3 nano-powder catalyst

    We are again, very excited to welcome another extremely capable individual into our collective effort: Bob Higgins.

    Bob has been working to produce a reaction matrix based on his understanding of the work and patents of Piantelli, Focardi and Rossi. Key to that is employing the well known H2 splitting catalyst, partially reduced Fe2O3, to activate the high external surface area of carbonyl Ni micro-particles. In his own words:

    “Once the nanopowder Fe2O3 and the Ni micro-powder have been mixed and thermo-chemically reacted, there is no loose nano-powder.  The reacted mix must actually be pulverized in a mortar and pestle before it becomes powder again.  It still has almost all of its surface area, but enough boundaries sinter to form a porous (and nano-activated) semi-solid body.  Once crushed into powder, there is no real need to grind to small granule size because each of the pieces is highly porous.  The resulting particles are heavy and do not loft like nano-powder does when vacuum is pulled.”

    Here are some SEM image of his highly porous powder we look forward to testing.

    Figure 4: SEM of pulverised powder

    This is a “safe” nano-structured large grained powder with H2 splitting capability right where it needs to be. It is safe because the grain size is such that it does not become an aerosol, however, it still has much smaller structures, hopefully some in that sweet spot between 3 and 12nm. See below:

    Figure 5: SEM zoom of pulverised powder showing Ni dendrite growth

    Strictly, this is a reaction matrix that is designed for thermal and pressure stimulation only; but, who knows, perhaps the addition of HV might take it up a level. Bob has a plan to predominantly look for gammas and you will see in a coming blog posts, the suggested reasoning behind this approach. If you want to get a good overview of his work and the strength he brings to the project,
    please read his paper here.


  5. Stoyan Sarg : Chromium

    Stoyan’s “basic structures of matter - super gravitational” (BSM-SG) theory suggest that through proton/deuteron capture, chromium would be a suitable candidate for high yield LENR in a similar way to nickel.

    Figure 6: The BSM-SG reaction paths for Cr + H > Mn and Cr + D > Fe

    Depending on how we get on with the other candidate reaction matrix options, we might find ourselves going down this route and potentially enabling a more open source reactor technology for the masses. Stoyan calculates that a reactor based on Cr would have a higher base operating temperature, but will have a higher energy yield. You can find out more information
    in his book.


  1. Bob Greenyer : Modified Ni/Cu electroless plated micrometric diamond or cubic boron nitride

    Bob has had an idea for more than one year, not shown in any other patent or experiment we know of and now we are finally discussing reactors capable of testing it, he would like to share openly his concept for a reaction matrix. Based around commercially available “super-abrasives”, it was originally inspired by discussion of the ‘nano-diamondoids’ discovered by Celani on his 2L wires that were thought to come from decomposition of the plastic coating on the stock Constantan wires. It basically turns the relationship of small diamonds on large metal base around and makes small amounts of metal on a large diamond substrate the principal structure.

    Figure 7: Coated diamond super-abrasives; Ni left, Cu right by wwsuperabrasives

    In the images above you can see nickel and copper chemically deposited onto synthetic diamond. Perhaps we can get one of these abrasive manufacturers to deposit alternate layers of Cu and Ni and then through heat treatment and chemical etching, we end up with a constantan/Celani like surface structure on the diamond substrate.

    We already know that we see signs of excess heat in Celani’s wires and several other experiments in the LENR space that employ carbon - so there is a good likelihood that diamond would not poison a reaction. Diamond also has the highest stiffness of any known substance and additionally the highest debye temperature which may have several advantages that we can discuss later. The second stiffest thing known is cubic boron nitride, also a common super abrasive and another potential candidate (though it does add a few extra elements into the mix), here is an SEM of it Ni coated.

    Figure 8: Ni coated cubic boron nitride super-abrasive by wwsuperabrasives

  2. Catalytic convertor cores

    In June 2010, Lewis Larson of Lattice Energy LLC
    presented a review of evidence of LENRs occurring in automotive catalytic converters. Recently, there has been an active group testing their activity with “HHO” gas. A study of this has been instigated by the crowd at the UK based start-up, Leap Forward labs. We look forward to see the findings from that undertaking.

    Figure 9: Picture of a catalytic convertor showing the its reaction matrix.
    Photo: The Redburn

    Since this potential reaction Matrix is readily available, it would make sense, if possible, to test some in the apparatus we produce, we would hope that one of the more experienced participants working in this area might supply a little of a core they feel is highly active. The experiments we do would be materially different to those taking place at Leap Forward as they would only involve Hydrogen, with the addition of the HV and all that brings, it would be prudent to see what comes of LFLs work first.



So we have quite a range of options to get on with, which is really exciting, some ready to go, others in progress and yet others more theoretical. I think it is also nice to see how these are all related to each other in some way. If you have any other reaction matrix you feel we can realistically explore, please let us know.

As ever, we'd like you to do what you can to explore the information put forward above and research beyond the links given.

UPDATE #1 - Proven powder?

Since publishing this blog we have come to learn of a potentially proven powder that is available on the market for us to test.

In reviewing the work of the same Brian Ahern as mentioned above, we found a summary he produced of his research into this phenomenon that was sponsored by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and published in August 2012. In the report entitled “Program on Technology Innovation: Assessment of Novel Energy Production Mechanisms in a Nanoscale Metal Lattice”, Brian had a range of materials custom made which sound very complicated, but in addition he tested some commercially available Nickel nano powder at the 10nm scale range, this is in his "magic" size range of 3-12nm as noted above.

What is also interesting is that the Nickel powders tested in our previous experiments in Minnesota were no smaller than 40nm and according to Brian's understanding, confirmed by Takahashi, this size does not yield excess heat - it is possibly some kind of resonance thing, but knowing that there maybe a reason why our previous research would not result in a positive outcome is useful.

In the EPRI report which can be found here on pages 4-3 and 4-4 Brian notes:

"In a final experiment researchers used 10nm nickel powders from Quantum Sphere Corp that were vacuum baked at low temperature (150°C) to remove water vapor. The powders were exposed to high pressure hydrogen gas at room temperature. The exothermic reaction of hydrogen absorption was minimal. The hydrogen pressure was reduced to sub atmospheric conditions. 

A heating tape wrapped around the dewar was energized to heat the nanopowders. The outer RTD is mounted just inside the heating tape and its temperature is generally about 20 degrees C hotter than the inner RTD.  When the temperature reached about 280°C the inner RTD showed a discontinuity and it became significantly hotter than the outer RTD. This heat flow reversal indicates energy being produced by the hydrated powder itself.  There was a second discontinuity at 450°C.

From earlier calibrations the amount of thermal power being produced was estimated to be about 100 milliwatts per degree C of elevation above the value of  the outer RTD. In the last experiment the inner RTD was 208°C hotter than the outer RTD (533°C versus 325°C) as shown in Figure 4-3. That represents roughly 21 watts from 5 grams of nanopowder. This value is based upon the calibration from Phase I. This is roughly equivalent to four kilowatts per kilogram. This result is approaching the level reported by the three independent European efforts [5, 6, 16]. The powder maintained this rate of thermal power output for a period of five days when it was terminated for evaluation. There was no sign of degradation of the energy output. Unfortunately the test data for this run was lost and this test run is recommended to be duplicated in any follow-on effort."

Here are some images taken from this Quantum Sphere document...

Note the small print on the jar!

We have contacted QSI requesting supply and this was there response:

"Thank you for your interest in QuantumSphere and our QSI-Nano materials. Pricing for our nano Ni is $18/gram with a 10 gram minimum order."

So it would cost $180 for a minimum order of 10g. We could test powder in a number of ways, directly using same techniques as Brian did, sinter it to another structure like Alan is doing, fluidize it using ultrasonics in a Celani cell as suggested by a follower or suspend it in some electrolyte in the high pressure Mizuno-type wet cell that Mathieu has been working on with Jean-Paul Biberian - let us know if you have some other ideas.

So what do you recon - we know there will be very special handling requirements, and it is darn expensive - but what price success? Do you think we should we get some?

UPDATE #2 - QSI quotes to supply

We have received a quote back from QSI for 20g of 10nm Nickel powder - including delivery we are looking at $390, we have to get agreement on that from the rest of the team as we are extremely tight on funds, however, if all goes to plan, then we are discussing a range of approaches to testing it besides that done by Dr. Brian S. Ahern (5g in one charge/one experiment). The reason is partly the high expense, but more importantly, the complications arising from the fact that at this size, the particles loft easily and become aerosols, contaminating and damaging pumps, valves etc. not to mention the potential human toxicity. So we are considering other approaches that would be both safer and make the material go further, also exploring other apparatus.

1. Partially sintering onto Ni/Cu foam (Cu has significantly lower melting point than Ni)
2. Rolling powder in a metal cylinder and partially sintering to inside
3. Partially sintering onto Bob Higgins' powder
4. Taking porous zeolite grains and using a suspension of the particles in fluid (possibly under pressure and agitation) to force into the pores, then some drying under vacuum and heat
5. Dusting Celani wires with a little and partially sintering
6. Partially sintering onto micro-metric diamond super abrasive that has been previously electrolessly plated with either Ni or Cu

These are just some ideas, but we are sure you will have others, let us know what you think below.

Additionally, Jean-Paul Biberian has agreed that the high pressure Mizuno wet cell he is working with Mathieu on in France (which is producing good results - more on that in another thread soon) could take a little powder in suspension, Nickel rod and mesh electrodes and Nickel based electrolyte like Nickel Chloride. Perhaps this would enhance the effect the are seeing.

UPDATE #3 - Dr. Brian Ahern to provide powder

We are happy to report that Dr. Ahern will be providing us with some of the same family of material composites that produced over a dozen consecutive excess heat results, whilst not at spectacular levels, some were lengthy tests and only in simple thermal and pressure loading environments. There are only a few places in the world that can produce the raw material for these powders and it is not certain we would readily gain access to them even if we had the money. There is one such facility under the control of NASA and they have a few photos here:

Nasa melt spinning facility

The purpose is to get around the natural tendency of slow cooling molten mixtures of metal to separate out into large zones of individual metals in the solid state. The molten metal is spun off a wheel into ribbons that are "splat cooled" at rates of say 1000 degrees centigrade per second. The result is tinsel like homogenous metal alloys that can be ground into powders of a similar nature.

In Brian's material preparation, the raw metal ribbons are first baked to oxidise the Zr (which really loves to be ZrO) which is a dielectric. It serves to protect the 'active' transition metals (Ni and Pd) from sintering and leaves them in little islands in the "magic" 3-12 nano meter range as confirmed by TEM.

In this particular image, the darker areas are Pd islands in the lighter coloured ZrO

He will be providing us with 30g of 75 micro meter ZrO with islands of Ni and Pd (at 3% - Brian says not necessary to have more Pd). Quite possibly from one of these vials shown in a photo of his below.

Brian's powders in vials

Brian had his explosion event, after which he found he had ground over his target size to 15um - we are also informed by a follower that we should target 5um as it was said this is the black body radiation resonant size for 400-500 degrees centigrade and the active particle size in the DGT reactors.

So we have an idea of how to mill grind these with either steel or zirconia balls, but it would be great if you guys can do a little research to find the best solution to our needs. Brian says it may take a few weeks to grind and Bob Higgins suggests grinding in de-ionised water, flushing with the same and filtering out - then a vacuum bake to dry the powder out.

When we have the right plan for doing the milling, Permanetix Corp has offered to buy the correct equipment and then mill the powders. The proposal is to characterise the milling process by periodically taking samples and studying them under high power microscope to establish the milling time to size curve, given a particular mill and ball setup, we think this will be a valuable piece of research in its own right and they are offering to donate this work to the MFMP.

Brian was never able to stimulate these powders with HV discharge, so we want to do that. He also wants to apply magnetic B fields to the powders as part of experimental protocol and we have several reactor designs on the go at the moment and we'll need you to get your thinking caps on soon to evaluate the designs with multiple research locations likely to explore these powders and other reaction matrix in parallel.

Dr. Brian S. Ahern is contributing regularly to our discussions and we thank him for his bravery too, like Celani and Stoyan before him, he is opening up his technology and ideas for open scrutiny.

UPDATE #4 - Dr. Brian Ahern's powder shipped, QSIs received

So the funny thing is, one of our followers (ECCO) clocked that we had received the 10nm QSI Ni before we did! Anyhow, we have it, which is great, so Ryan will distribute some to Mathieu in France who is trying to establish with partners the best protocol for testing it in the High Pressure Mizuno and yet more to Alan Goldwater for possible incorporation into his Nickel foam processing.

But wait, there is more!

Dr Ahern has excelled all our expectations, he has shipped 60g of his special powder! We hope to have a tracking number for you soon!

UPDATE #5 - Dr. Brian Ahern's powder received, 5g QSIs powder en-route to France

Ryan has now received the 60g of micro-metric powder from Dr. Brian Ahern, taking a quick look under the SEM produced the images belo and so we may need to grind them down to 15um.

Ryan has also shipped 5g of the QSI 10nm Ni powder to Mathieu in France.

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