Ah, dear. Twice in a row now I’ve gone on a “data dive” and had a brilliant discovery only to find another was there before me. Oh well, more time saved…
In this case, I was looking at LENR (Cold Fusion) reactions in metals, and in particular in electrolytic cells with aqueous solutions. Having gotten tired of waiting for Rossi and the eCats News… I decided to go back to P&F and some of the rest and “see what could be seen”. As usual, one thing leads to another.
I was speculating about the way alloys worked and pure metals didn’t (as noted in that NAVSEA paper in the prior posting) and that larger “defects” or voids in the crystal structure seemed to be needed. How many Angstroms is the H2 atom, and how big the defects? I pondered. (Those afflicted with S.I. units who wish to poo-poo my use of Å ought to note it is very useful in atomic scale things, being a nice single integer sized unit in many cases. The use of pm picometres instead is just painful.)
I’ll skip over all the wandering around crystallography pages and wiki pages on interatomic distances in metals and more…
The bottom line was that the line of attack looked promising. Perhaps even fruitful. A hydrogen atom is about 1/2 Å but the molecule is much larger. It can range from about 2 to 6 Å most of the time, depending on electron state. There’s an interesting page here on that:
The Hydrogen Molecule
Theoretical Information :
The hydrogen molecule is the simplest molecule – consisting of 2 protons and 2 electrons. The wave-function for the electrons were produced by the PCGAMESS programme using STO-3G basis set. Here you can find links for the PCGAMESS input (h2.inp) and output (h2.txt).
The following picture created by AViz illustrates the geometrical structure of the molecule :
[ Pretty Picture left out – E.M.Smith ]
Visualization Information :
The visualization has been done according to the description given in the visualization page using the AViz programme. The XYZ files produces for these atoms can be found here (h2.zip). I’ve calculated the solution for the molecule for different distances between the atoms : 7.5, 6, 5, 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3, 2.5, 2, 1.5, 1 Angstrom and finally the known 0.734 Angstrom.
So we can see right up front that the “known” distance is 3/4 Å, then add about 1 Å for the diameter of the two atoms, you get about 1.5 to 2 Å for the molecule. IF you want a molecule in the space, it needs to be above that. Then they model up to 7.5 Å for some energetic states. So, IF you want an energetic state, the space may need to be even up to that size. Most pure metal latices are not that large… Most pure metals have the hydrogen disassociate into H atoms to enter the lattice. Fine if you want to fuse the H into the metal, not so fine if you are trying to fuse D2 into He…
Well, somewhere along the line I ran into the name Laves phase. I had no clue what it was… so went chasing. It’s an interesting metal crystal structure made when specific ratios of specific types of metals are alloyed. It’s rather important in many kinds of special uses, including very high temperature strong coatings for jet turbine blades, for example, and it shows up in superconductors as another. Interesting stuff. It also can hold a lot of hydrogen gas for H2 gas storage… and since (as the link describes) your first problem is to get the H2 into the metal, understanding hydrogen storage matters.
At that moment, I was “on the hunt”! A high temperature alloy, that holds a lot of hydrogen. Sounds great for a LENR candidate substrate lattice! Then I found this:
Note that at the bottom of the first column, it says that the atoms are packed at a ratio of 1.225 when they may have actual radii of 1.05 to 1.67. Atoms can be compressed in the Laves structure, or gaps can be larger. BOTH have potential to let more happen. More hydrogen it, or more compression of it into a new atom.
Compression of atoms, what a concept ;-)
So now we have a highly compressive space, that holds lots of hydrogen, and takes heat well. Sounds just about ideal. At this point, I was nearly certain I had a clue about how to make a good LENR electrode material and perhaps even a good candidate for “hot cats”. Then I did what I always do. I did a “search” on my hot terms. “Laves LENR Fusion”…
And found a patent. From Japan. Someone already had figured this out. Clever folks.
1990, so a good 26 years ago. Yet nobody seems to say “Laves Phase” metals when talking about LENR. I wonder why…
Publication number EP0395066 A2
Publication type Application
Application number EP19900107987
Publication date Oct 31, 1990
Filing date Apr 26, 1990
Priority date Apr 27, 1989
Also published as EP0395066A3
Inventors Takaharu Gamo, Junji Niikura, Noboru Taniguchi, Kazuhito Hatoh, Kinichi Adachi
Applicant Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
Apparatus for cold nuclear fusion
EP 0395066 A2
An apparatus fo cold nuclear fusion and an electrode therefor are disclosed.
The apparatus comprising a container for containing hydrogen isotopes in liquid or gas state and at least one element made of a hydrogen isotope occlulding alloy such as Laves phase C14 type or C15 type alloy wherein hydrogen isotopes are occluded in the element in a high density and occluded hydrogen isotopes collide with each other.
1. An apparatus for causing nuclear fusion reactions at a low temperature comprising cathode means made of an alloy of Laves phase C14 type or C15 type as a main component,
annode means made of a material selected from a group including metals, metal oxides and metal hydroxides as a main component,
electrolyte means including hydrogen isotopes and
container means for containing electrolyte means therein
wherein said electrolyte means is electro-chemically decomposed by applying an electric power between said cathode and annode immersed in said electrolyte means to make said cathode absorb or occlude ionized hydrogen isotopes and
nuclear fusion reactions are caused by reactions between or among said ionized hydrogen isotopes.
2. The apparatus as claimed in Claim 1 in which said electrolyte means is heavy water.
3. The apparatus as claimed in Claim 2 in which said electric power is a current applied as pulses.
4. An electrode for use in an apparatus for causing nuclear fusion reactions at a low temperature being characterized in that said electrode is made of an alloy being capable of occluding hydrogen isotopes.
5. The electrode as claimed in Claim 4 in which said alloy is an alloy of Laves phase C14 type.
6. The electrode as claimed in Claim 4 in which said alloy is an alloy of Laves phase C15 type.
7. The electrode as claimed in Claim 4 in which said alloy is a mixture of an alloy of Laves phase C14 type and an alloy of Laves phase C15 type.
8. The electrode as claimed in either one of Claims 5 to 7 in which
said Laves phase alloy is represented by a general equation ABα (A and B are elements different from each other) wherein
A indicates at least one element selected from a group of Zr, Ti, Hf, Ta, Y, Ca, Mg, La, Co, Pr, Mm, Nb, Nd, Mo, Al and Si (Mm indicates a mixture of rare earth elements), B indicates at least one element selected from a group of Fe, V, Ni, Cr, Mn, Co, Cu, Zn, Al, Si, Nb, Mo, W, Mg, Ca, Y, Ta, Pd, Pt, Ag, Au, Cd, In, Bi, La, Co, Pr, Nd, Ta, Sm and Mm, and α is a value of 1.5 to 2.5.
9. The electrode as claimed in Claim 5 in which said Laves phase C14 type alloy has a crystal structure of hexagonal symmetry and crystal lattice constants thereof a and c are of 4.8 to 5.2 Å and 7.9 to 8.3 Å, respectively.
10. The electrode as claimed in Claim 6 in which said Laves phase C15 type alloy has a crystal structure of cubic symmetry and the crystal lattice constant a is of 6.92 to 7.70 Å.
So there you have it. Clue.
It looks like there is a VERY rich field of opportunities to explore. Lots of candidate mixtures. I note in passing that Aluminum is in the first group (A) and Nickle in the second (B) (I’ve bolded them), though Aluminum also appears in the second list, so it’s a “2 fer” in mixes.
Also note that Ti is in group A and W Tungsten in group B with Pd Palladium. This implies that with the right “contaminant” those metals would become active as some small Laves sites would be formed. So a nice “Dig Here!” would be to find out if W / Th makes a Laves Structure. The electrolytic cells using Tungsten welding rods typically used the “thoriated” rods with some Th in them. Titanium has shown up in some formulas as well, so one ought to look there, too.
Though this document, on page 133, says there are no such compounds of Th:
The Constitutional Diagram
The diagram which is shown was determined by Lloyd and Murray(l). It is based on studies in which a variety of experimental techniques were used.
There is little solubility in any of the terminal phases.
This is in general agreement with earlier work of Wilhelrn, who reported that there were no intermetallic compounds in the system and that the eutectic temperature was 1475 C.
No compounds occur in this system.
Then again, maybe perfection isn’t needed to have a little reactivity at the grain boundaries.
Is it real? I think so, but “needs proving up”. As I remember it, patents used to expire in about 18 years. But folks have been tinkering with patent and copyright laws (mostly companies trying to make permanent what is supposed to be a temporary monopoly) so that may have changed. Still, that patent ought to be expired, or nearing expiration. So folks ought to be able to do all sorts of interesting things.
Also I noted that Fe Iron was on the second list. Hmmm… would be nice if you could make LENR “go” with something as common as Iron. Up in the A list was Mo Moly that is about as common as Iron. One wonders… and the Internet Provides:
Iron-based Alloys Strengthened by Ternary Laves Phases.
Source MISSING :13 pages
NIOSHTIC No. 10006823
A primary goal of the federal Bureau of Mines is to minimize the requirements for scarce mineral commodities through conservation and substitution of more abundant elements, such as iron and molybdenum. One example of this is the research effort to devise substitute materials for specialty alloys, thereby conserving nickel and chromium in high-volume stainless steels. As a possible substitute for the solid solution strengthening of chromium and nickel, the precipitation hardening characteristics of a number of binary iron- based systems in which laves phase precipitates, such as fe2mo, are formed were investigated. Several hardening responses were observed, but none were ideal. The fe-ta binary system had the highest magnitude of hardening, even with low alloy additions, and the fe-mo system had unique stability at temperature. Accordingly, the fe-mo-ta system was selected for study to determine if a ternary laves phase could combine hardening with long-term stability at elevated temperature. Hardening and stability were reflected in excellent elevated temperature, tensile, and stress rupture strengths. Future research will study ternary systems based on more abundant resource materials, such as the fe-mo-ti system, together with additions, such as aluminum and minimal chromium, to provide oxidation resistance.
Golly. I don’t really care about how hard it gets, but that a Fe2Mo system can be made, and some Aluminum helps it not corrode, leads me to wonder about using it as an electrode in an electrochemical cell, or in an eCat “knock off”. So “you heard it here first!” (unless some other web search shows it to be a 1/4 century late too ;-) and get that lab bench going!
I don’t know the spacing of atoms in that alloy, or the hydrogen absorption. But hey, that’s what Science and tinkering are supposed to be all about.
If anyone makes this, and it works a champ, and you get Filthy Rich off of it, please give at least a footnote… (though a couple of percent of gross would be nice too ;-)
I need a lab somewhere… and some Grad Students ;-)