I a couple of prior articles with the “LANR” or “LENR” tag, we’ve seen that the Laves crystal structure is important, and that for a particular patent, the size of the “lattice constant” was claimed to matter. I’m going to go out on a speculative limb and claim that for the “Rossi Effect” in the E-Cat, the size of Lithium matters.
Note the big space between the blue and green atoms.
First off, the “size of hydrogen” as a diatomic gas can range from about 2 Å up to about 7 Å with heating. (As a reminder to those limited to using only S.I. units, the Å is about 0.1 nm, I just find it very useful as it is ‘roughly an integer’ at atomic scale things and it was also the unit in which I first learned all this stuff in High School in the ’70s… and I still have my High School Chem text as they “upgraded” the books and gave away the old ones ;-)
From that Laves link, per the H2 molecule:
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.
And from the patent application referenced in that article:
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.
Again, note that I’ve bolded the reference to Al and Ni and the Angstrom sizes of the lattice constants. For anyone wanting a ‘brush up’ on lattice constant, here’s the wiki.
Essentially, for a cubic crystal, it is the distance between the two atom centers in either of 3 directions. Up/down. Side to side. Front to back. It’s a cube so they are all the same. For a hexagonal crystal, it gets more involved, and for other crystals all three axis can be involved. For Hexagonal, two directions ‘match’ so you just have a length and width to measure.
So they claim you need “about 7” Å (about 7.31 +/- .38 or so Å ) while in the hexagonal it is about 8 Å long ( 8.1 +/- 0.2 Å ) but only about 5 wide ( 5.0 +/- 0.2 Å ) so one presumes a bit more ‘snug’ fit to something that has a long axis and a narrow axis.
Now, from those lattice constants, you must subtract 1/2 the diameter of each atom on each end of each axis. I’ll leave it for someone else to work out just which atoms are in what end and exactly how they define the space. For my purposes, I’m just going to make a “close enough” estimate via the sizes of Nickle and Aluminum atoms.
Consulting said old high school text book… (“Modern Chemistry” by Metcalf, Williams, & Castika) pgs. 578-579 “Relative Sizes of Atoms and Ions in the Periodic Table” a two page chart, we find Al at 1.43 Å radius for the atom, and 0.50 Å radius for the ion. Ni is only listed for the atom, at 1.24 Å, probably due to their being several sizes based on ionization. I’m not sure what the sizes would be in the metalic phase. (Someone who wants more accuracy and precision can look up metallic ion sizes…)
lists a “Ionic Radius: 69 (+2e)” which one presumes is in pm since their other similar measures are so marked, so about 0.69 Å is likely. Adding each together gives about 1.2 Å as the likely distance taken up by the atoms on each end of the space. That would make it about a 6.1 Å wide space for the cubic form, or about 6.8 x 3.8 Å for the hexagonal space.
Anything larger than that can’t get into the space. Anything too much smaller can’t be effectively “compressed” by the surrounding atoms when hit with some vibrational / electronic “whack”.
FWIW, this chart is also nice, but doesn’t have a decent label for units (pm?) and is only atom sizes (I think).
But it’s pretty, even if the lack of a decent ledger and units markings makes it somewhat hard to use for anything important…
Then there’s this semi-dodgy page that has a nice table of atomic radii. They are sensible enough to use Angstroms, and list ionic, covalent, atomic, Van der Waals, and “crystal” radius sizes.
They have “crystal maker” software to sell, so it’s a bit “puffy”, but the data is there.
On, and this is a nice chart with both atoms and ions images in it, though the sizes are, I think, only for the ions (and have no size unit listed, so pm?). It includes the H+ ion at 154…
So if you managed to “blow up” the H- and Li+ to be H+ and Li (neutral) you could get to much larger sizes and more cramped space even faster. (Though it would be nicer speculation if folks bothered to put legends and units on their charts…) Oh, and one wonders if it is radius or diameter…
Gives all sorts of other numbers (for radius clearly marked this time, and in pm) but not always in agreement with any of the others. Sigh. So many clocks just leaving even less certainty as to what time it is…
At any rate, anyone wanting to find a more decent and more clear source as to ‘metalic radius’ or ‘atomic diameter’ and / or clean up the math above, feel free…
Now We Can Look At Targets
So lets take a look at the targets. We’ve got H2, D2, T2, and the various mixes like H-D, T-D, etc. We’ve also got Lithium knocking around. For now, I’m going to ignore the D and T variations. Anyone seriously interested in them can look up their size compared to H2 and maybe even compare the spacing in Pd and see if “the size fits” (or the “shoe” fits the “atom foot”…). If they both are, say, 0.14 Å larger (as Pd is to Ni in my old text, or perhaps smaller if the lattice constant is the same or smaller) then one might leap to conclusions…
For now, we know that H2 starts off about size 2 Å long axis but grows up to about 7 or 8 Å on heating. One could easily load up 2 or even 3 molecules into a space in the crystal, then on significant warming and / or an electrical ‘whack’, have some of them “jump up” in size to where they don’t fit in the space anymore and either “two H become one” or one H goes into a metal ion. Not much else they can do to get away… especially if the “loading” is at 80% or more as is stated to be a requirement in the Pd system. Go to the next space, whack another H… The H atom is only 0.3 Å (and the ion is only a proton so even smaller…) so in a metal lattice with a sea of electron “gas”, one might expect a whole lot more H ions filling that space. IF they are H ions, you could have a whole herd of them in there, but even just as H atoms, it’s about 22 atoms wide…
Clearly it’s important to have H2 molecules in the space, or something “else” to help fill it up. As H2 (or D2) molecules, just heating could make the wave function large enough that “there ain’t room enough here for the both of us!” and something has to give. I’d further speculate that Laves structures with even smaller Å length might work better with straight H2 or D2 systems, or that putting “something else” in the space might also work. It can’t be a strong enough ion to enter the crystal structure itself, so one might be hard to find… but might explain why the Papp Engine used Noble Gas. A Xenon is about 1.9 Å and a couple of them with a H or two might be close enough packed to “go” under pressure and with lots of electrical discharge stimulation. (A minor “Dig Here!” would be solubility of noble gasses into metals…)
But back at Rossi… and about that Lithium…
My text lists Lithium as 1.52 Å radius for the atom, and 0.60 Å for the ion. That would make LiH about 1 Å radius or 2 in diameter size and an ‘easy fit’ into the space. In fact, one could likely get a couple of them in there. The wiki on Lithium Hydride lists it as a FCC (Face Centered Cubic) crystal with a lattice constant of about 4 Å which implies you could get (almost) 2 of them into the space.
a = 0.40834 nm
If, then, the Lithium “picked up an electron”, even briefly, it would balloon out by 2 Å diameter and completely engulf the H next to it. IFF that H had nowhere to go (say, due to a hard Ni or Al wall next to it), what happens?
I note in passing that the wiki also says: “it is soluble and non-reactive with certain molten salts such as lithium fluoride, lithium borohydride, and sodium hydride” so it will dissolve into “sodium hydride”… one wonders if it will also dissolve into “Aluminum Hydride” and maybe even “Nickle Hydride”…
Yes, I’ve glossed over a whole lot of things. What happens to the Laves structure as Li enters into it? Is the “space” changed in size? Or does the Li not get inducted into the crystal and instead fills the spaces with the H? Does the Li break up the Laves structure? (I think not, as there are many Laves metal alloys used for H2 storage that have 3 or 4 metals in the mix, so most likely IMHO it either enters the space or makes a Laves structure of it’s own, but with smaller size).
What IS clear, though, is that Li, LiH, and H2 are ALL very small species that can fit in the space in the Laves crystal structure when not too excited, but where with excitation they can fail to still fit and “something’s gotta give” at that point. Cyclical stimulation being more likely the best way to get “fully packed” and then “nowhere to go” and reactions.
In short, I think in the case of LANR (LENR) we need to recognize that “size matters” and the “targets” must be small enough to get into the lattice (so looking at things like absorption rates for H2 and solutions made with Li ought to matter) while at the same time they must be subject to some kind of “get too big too fast” process when subjected to heat, electricity, magnetic fields, light, whatever.
IFF this approach has merit, it opens a large field of exploration for other materials that ought to manifest the same LANR / LENR excess heat. Those 3 and 4 metal hydrogen storage metals, for example, and similar “salts’ using O or S or P as part of the lattice. Simliarly, Be is all of 1.11 Å radius for the atom and 0.31 Å radius for the ion. Smaller than Lithium and with an ion about the size of H atoms. One would expect BeH to “go” in lattice structures with smaller lattice constants (say about 6.6 to 7.0 Å or maybe even a bit tighter) while Mg at 1.6 Å radius atoms and 0.65 Å radius ions would “want” a lattice constant about 0.16 Å larger than Li (so might even “go” in a Rossi NiAl Laves structure… one wonders if MgAlH3 alloy exists…)
Says that a MgLiAlH3 exists…
United States Patent 3,849,542 LITHIUM MAGNESIUM ALUMINUM HYDRIDE John A. Snover, Midland, Mich., Joseph H. Waibel, Lake Jackson, Tex., and Arthur L. Daniels, Coleman, Mich., assignors to The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Mich. No Drawing. Filed May 9, 1966, Ser. No. 549,430
Int. Cl. C01b 6/24 US. Cl. 423-644 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The present invention is to the novel compound lithium magnesium aluminum hydride and a process for its preparation. The disclosed process comprises reacting magnesium chloride with lithium aluminum hydride in an ether solution under substantially anhydrous conditions, separating the resulting ethereal lithium magnesium aluminum hydride product solution from solid lithium chloride by-product and recovering the lithium magnesium aluminum hydride.
This invention relates to light metal hydrides and more particularly is concerned with a novel lithium magnesium aluminum hydride product corresponding to the empirical formula LiMg(AlH 3 and to a process for its preparation.
So I think you can see where I’m going with this. Size a lattice where a “small” light metal ion and some H ions easily fit the space. Then cause some of the metal ions to momentarily become atoms via applied (electricity, magnetism, light, whatever) and at the same time constrain the space (via things like heat and vibrations) and if ‘the size is right’ some of those H ions and atoms have “no place to go”. Their wave function must merge with a neighbor excited atom.
IFF that idea has any merit, the implication is that with proper selection of light metal and H isotopes and atoms (those that don’t change the crystal structure at the relevant temperatures too much and preferentially ‘fill the void’) one might be able to find other combinations than just LiH to make excess heat. Measuring the sizes of ions and atoms, and the lattice constant, ought to be a useful guide to those combinations more likely to work; and measuring solubility in / recovery from, a crystal lattice a decent guide to what goes into the spaces vs what disrupts the lattice.
Yes, a lot of space to explore, and likely only a few things that are not chemically incompatible (so, for example, F has a very small ion, but IS going to attack the metal lattice…) and of the right sizes. However, this opens the door to a fairly directed search of the potential space of candidate systems and even to the potential for using non-metallic lattice structures in some cases.
Size of Lattice Constant. Size of entrapped species. Eliminate chemically reactive (with lattice) trapped species from consideration. Examine size of entrapped species on excitation. If it’s a bit “not going to fit” when excited, but can be stored / recovered when not so excited; you have a candidate system to try.
I just note in passing that the wiki on LiH mentions the melting point as about 688 C and the boiling point (decomposes) as about 900-1000 C. So it flows well at 688 (and one presumes makes solutions into other metals well then…) and it starts to “come apart” into atoms at just about the point where the E-Cat shows positive gains… Just sayin’…
Sidebar On Metal Sources
There’s an interesting point that NiMH batteries store Hydrogen in metal (thus the Metal Hydride name) and those metals are readily available and likely not fully tested as LANR materials.
For example extols some of their wares available.
Hydrogen storage alloys are metallic materials that have a unique ability to reversibly absorb and release significant amounts of hydrogen from the gas phase or electrochemically (see image below). This unique property of hydrogen storage alloys is used in numerous applications1 such as:
hydrogen storage systems for fuel cells
Among the broad variety of hydrogen storage alloys that have been studied to date,1,2 two groups of materials, AB5 and AB2 type alloys, have the most advantageous combination of high hydrogen storage capacities and operations parameters.
AB5 alloys combine a hydride forming metal A, usually a rare earth metal (La, Ce, Nd, Pr, Y or their mixture known as Mischmetal), with a non-hydride forming element – nickel. The latter can be doped with other metals, such as Co, Sn or Al, to improve materials stability or to adjust equilibrium hydrogen pressure and temperature required for its charging discharging with hydrogen.2
AB2 alloys, also known as Laves phases, represent a large group of alloys containing titanium, zirconium or hafnium at the A-site and a transition metal(s) at a B-site (Mn, Ni, Cr, V and others). Reversible hydrogen storage capacities of this group of materials are comparable with those of AB5-type alloys. However, AB2 alloys are capable of storing additional amounts of hydrogen at high hydrogen pressures and have higher capacities at high discharge rates when used as negative electrodes in batteries.
The astute reader will note that those Mm Mischmetal elements are listed in the table of ‘things that work’ in the patent referenced above.
This implies, rather strongly I’d assert, that a DIY Hot-Cat style of LANR “cold fusion” device might be as simple as getting such electrode metal from an old NiMH battery, cleaning it up (degassing, dehydrating, etc.) and then putting it with some LiH source materials into a hot tube (ala Rossi with GOOD heat control / feedback to the heater!)
IF the thesis about Laves structures and that patent are correct, there’s a whole lot of suitable material knocking about in batteries and hydrogen storage systems already with lots of info about their lattice constants and such known. Then, IF my speculation about LiH and atomic sizes is correct, it ought to be fairly easy to get one to “go” via putting the (preferably powdered…) metal in a hot-tube with LiH and a control system to avoid overheating.
Oh, and as a ‘curious aside’: One wonders if such Li with Hydride and other metals kicking about systems might explain part of the tendency for Lithium batteries to go into thermal runaway and suddenly burst into flames “for no apparent reason”. Yes, I know about the thesis of ‘needle growth’ and internal shorting… but that really ought to just discharge the battery… yet they get to a certain degree of heat and all hell breaks loose. One wonders…
At any rate, my usual request applies: If you make a $Billion out of any of these ideas, I would appreciate a small crumb of a $Million or two tossed my way. Thanks! ;-) If not, well, have fun with it anyway ;-)