I received from Eng. Ventola this original contribute, inspired by a Swedish document online that seems to contain some interesting info about the “Rossi Effect”:

In 2011, the Swedish Defense Material Agency (FMW) has financed some very rudimentary experiments with nickel and hydrogen, trying to experimentally reproduce the excess heating power claimed by Andrea Rossi and prof. Sergio Focardi (Physics Department, Bologna University) in their paper “A new Energy Source from Nuclear Fusion” (2010).

This information is contained in an original document 25-pages long, titled “Experiments with Nickel and Hydrogen”, by Curt Edström and Jan Erik Nowacki. You can find it here. FMW, a government agency connected with the Swedish military, is the Sweden’s equivalent of DARPA (Defense Advanced Projects Agency) in the US.

Vessels

Some vessels used by the Swedish scientists in their experiments on Ni-H systems.

The report is a short description of some experiments on the nickel-hydrogen line of research, in which 4 different forms of nickel (see the table below) were tested in contact with hydrogen at different pressures and temperatures. Some of the nickel samples also contained other metals as “catalysts” like lithium, potassium and iron.

In some of the samples the nickel was in micrometer large crystal grains, in other samples – for example, some powders provided by Brian Ahern upon request, because he had said to have powders that had resulted in some form of reaction – the nickel was in the form was in the form of nanometer grains embedded in zirconium oxide.

Powders_used_2

Examples of powders used in the experiments of the Swedish Defense Material Agency.

However this document is interesting not for the description of their experiments – as neither significant excess heat, nor any radiation indicating nuclear reactions has been detected by these Swedish researchers, likely due to a not extended experimental effort – but because the group received precious advice directly from Rossi.

Indeed, we read already in the first page of the report: “Contact were taken with many active researchers in the field, including Andrea Rossi, for guidance to find a functioning solution. Andrea Rossi could not reveal his catalyst for us but thought that we would get a small indicative response using just pure nickel and hydrogen”.

The other precious information contained in the Swedish paper is the following: “Rossi also mentioned that a hydrogen pressure of at least 200 bar and a temperature of 500 °C was necessary in order to see any effect without the catalyst”.

This is a news, because Rossi has never publicly stated that to reproduce his “Rossi Effect” the catalyst is NOT necessary. We have had a clue of this only from the recent Alexander Parkhomov’s successful replication of a Hot-Cat, but the powders used by the Russian physicist include also Lithium and Aluminum under the form of lithium aluminum hydride (LiAlH4), so in theory one of these two elements (or both) could be a catalyst.

H2_3

A. Parkhomov has used a LiAlH4 powder as Hydrogen source, instead of a gas cylinder.

As, according to the prof. Sergio Focardi (that collaborated with Rossi since around 2008), the function of the catalyst probably was to transform the hydrogen from normal, or diatomic, into monatomic – so that it could penetrate into the metal lattice of nickel – it is reasonable that, at high pressures and temperatures, the catalyst is not necessary to make the hydrogen penetrate the nickel lattice, then showing a hint of “Rossi Effect”.

However, the words of Rossi should be taken with caution, since it is well known that at high temperatures nickel powders sinter together, probably making impossible the occurrence of Rossi Effect. It seems that also the Swedish researchers, in some of their experiments – probably for a deliberate choice – did not address this problem.

Therefore, presumably, the situation can be summarized as follows: at high temperatures a catalyst is not necessary, but rather an element or a substrate which avoids the sintering; whereas, at low temperatures, a catalyst – in the strictest sense of the term – is required to make the hydrogen monatomic. I prefer not to say more.

Regarding the values of pressure and temperature suggested by Rossi to the Swedish researchers, it is interesting to notice that the first Rossi’s international patent application for the E-Cat, filed in 2008 (WO2009125444A1), mentioned in the Abstract “a reaction between nickel and hydrogen atoms in a tube” having a pressure “preferably from 2 to 20 bars” and heated to “a high temperature, preferably from 150 to 500 °C”.

Rossi_Effect_10

The two “allowed zones” for Rossi Effect on the Temperature-Pressure diagram.

The picture above shows the “allowed zones” for the Rossi Effect, according to the old patent application and the advice given by Rossi himself, 3-4 years later, to the Swedish scientists. I added in red the likely or reasonable position, on this Temperature-Pressure diagram, of the recent Parkhomov’s experiment, which would explain its success.

Moreover, it’s quite remarkable that 200-220 bar is also the typical pressure of gas in Hydrogen cylinders, used by Rossi in his early experiments. So, it would seem that, in the MFMP’s experiment trying to replicate Rossi’s “Dog Bone” reactor, the importance of the (right) pression inside the ceramic vessel has been largely underestimated.

The Swedish document also mentions, even if with not so many details, an interesting experimental result: “According to an e-mail conversation with Hanno Essén and Rossi, Rossi has received measured spectra of electron-positron annihilation at 511 keV”.

This is another “news”, because such annihilation, predicted in the Focardi and Rossi’s paper as a consequence of a possible reaction transforming a nickel atom plus a proton into a copper atom – later decaying back into nickel again with the release of a positron and a neutrino – was not detected in the public test performed on January 14, 2011.

Experiment_Jan_14_4The detector for gamma rays at 511 keV used on the E-Cat tested on January 14, 2011 (original photo taken by Daniele Passerini, slightly modified).

The failure to detect the phenomenon is in accordance with the recent Rossi’s answer given in an interview: “After these years of experimentation, testing, measuring and analysis, we noticed that the main source of energy in our reactor is not so much a fusion, but a shift of the isotopic composition of the atoms contained in the fuel charge”.

Finally, another important information given by Andrea Rossi is cited in the Swedish document at page 15: “As we have been told by Rossi, the powder had to be cycled several times to get “active” and as the power from a possible reaction would also come in ‘bursts’ (the length of these ‘bursts’ were however largely unknown to us)”.

For a description of what “to be cycled” means in practice, you can read the Sergio Focardi’s papers on his early experiments performed (on nickel rods and at pressures of the order of 1 bar) with Francesco Piantelli in Siena. One important difference: using high pressures, you do not need to use a vacuum pump, instead at 1 bar it was a “must”.

R. Ventola – Electrical engineer

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One comment

    • Luca

    • January 12, 2015

    • 1:14 PM

    • Reply

    Come già detto in precedenza gli interventi dell’ing. Ventola sono sempre
    molto interessati e competenti. Grazie
    Se posso commentare l’articolo, mi pare che in questi anni Andrea Rossi non
    abbia mai detto che il suo catalizzatore fosse indispensabile per ottenere gli eccessi di calore. Seguendo Rossi e Focardi sin dall’inizio mi è invece facile ricordare che, nelle varie domande che si sono succedute sia su JONP che in altre occasioni, Rossi abbia sempre detto o fatto capire che il catalizzatore (segreto) sia il mezzo per rendere l’eccesso di calore suffienciente per giustificare industrializzazione del prodotto.
    Saluti
    Luca

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