Brillouin Energy’s reactor, with still only a few watts produced, is (on the paper) one of the possible future alternatives to Rossi’s E-Cat, whose 1 MW plant in these days has outperformed all the competitors with its huge COP: >20 according some rumors from Mats Lewan and others.
But what is interesting in the case of Brillouin’s reactor is not the quantity of energy produced (in 2015, at 642 °C they have 24 W of thermal production from a 6 W power input), but the fact that there is a quite clear theory behind their device and – the most important thing – it seems to be in agreement with the experimental results.
Therefore, it can be useful to analyze this theory in the light of the latest info presented in a poster at ICCF-19 by the Company of Robert Godes, to see if there may be points in common with the E-Cat. He said in Padua that the theoretical basis of their reaction is the Electron Capture and that multiple tests run by Tom Claytor, formerly at Los Alamos National Laboratory, detected a production of Tritium which matches this hypothesis.
The poster presented by Brillouin at ICCF-19 (courtesy Brillouin Energy).
Indeed, as shown in the poster, in 2014 they detected, near their running reactor, a slight increase in activity of the background radiation level from the 0-18 keV tritium window, whereas the higher energy window 18-150 keV showed no excess activity.
Tritium, or H-3, is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, containing one proton and two neutrons. Naturally occurring tritium is extremely rare on Earth, where trace amount are formed by the interaction of the atmosphere with the cosmic rays. It has a half-life of 12.3 years and decays (through a so-called “beta decay”, a type of radioactive decay in which a proton is transformed into a neutron) into Helium-3, releasing 18.6 keV of energy in the process.
Brillouin’s technology converts the hydrogen – most easily directly from water – to helium gas, a process that releases large amounts of useful heat. The process starts by introducing hydrogen into a suitable piece of nickel. Then, a proprietary electronic pulse generator creates stress points in the metal where the applied energy is focused into very small spaces.
This concentrated energy allows some of the protons in the hydrogen to capture an electron, and thus become a neutron. This step converts a small amount of energy into mass in the neutron. Further pulses both create more neutrons and allow neutrons to combine with some of the hydrogen to form deuterium, or H-2 (a form of hydrogen with both a proton and a neutron in the nucleus). This ‘combination’ step releases energy.
The process continues, again, with some neutrons combining with deuterium to form tritium (hydrogen with one proton and two neutrons). This step actually releases still more energy. The process continues with some neutrons combining with the tritium to form the so-called “quadrium”, or H-4 (hydrogen with one proton and three neutrons).
As pointed out by Brillouin, since quadrium is not stable, it quickly turns into helium in a process that releases more energy than it took to create all the preceding steps (2.4 units of energy go in and 24 units come out). The released energy is initially absorbed by the metal element, and then made available as heat for thermal applications.
The Brillouin controlled Electron Capture reaction (courtesy Brillouin Energy).
In Brillouin’s theory, the nickel (or other metal elements with the correct internal geometry) acts only as a host and catalyst, and is not consumed, the only consumable is hydrogen, and the electron capture reaction is controlled by the proprietary electronics developed by Godes (an electronic engineer), which compress the electrons to create the right conditions: probably coherent phonon waves within the metal lattice created by electro-magnetic pulses.
Hydrogen enters as an ion in the nickel (or metal) lattice, where it is highly confined. According to a study of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) – a U.S. Department of Energy research laboratory – confinement energy alone can drive electron capture events. However, it is the electrical stimulation to provide energy levels in excess of the 782 KeV threshold needed to produce a neutron out of the combination of an electron and a proton.
The lattice, stimulated with precise, narrow, high voltage, bipolar pulse frequencies (called “Q-pulse” by Brillouin) cause protons to undergo electron capture. The Q-pulse reverses the natural decay of neutrons to protons, plus beta particles, catalyzing – through a dramatic increase of the phonon activity – an electron capture in a first endothermic step, then an ultra cold neutron is formed. This triggers the cascade of reactions described above, resulting in a beta decay transmutation to Helium-4 plus heat.
ALESSANDRO CAVALIERI is a physicist who teaches Mathematics and Physics in a secondary school, in Northern Italy. His cultural interests goes from Chaos Theory to the Mind-Matter connections. He loves to read books on the history of Physics.