Cold fusion as the potential source of limitless and cheap green energy

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Cold fusion is a type of nuclear reaction that occurs when two or more atomic nuclei fused together at or close to room temperature. This process is in contrast to hot fusion that requires above 100 million degree Celsius. It is sometimes called the low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR), even though cold fusion also considered as part of the LENR. Krivit and Ratvinski (2016) for example, distinguish the term LENR and cold fusion. However, many researchers in the field like Dr. Storms (2007, 2014) use the two words synonymously.

Fusion is the most efficient clean energy source

Cold fusion is the best option

Unlike nuclear fission with its associated radioactive waste, cold fusion is a better alternative due to it’s clean with zero harmful radiation emission. Another advantage, cold fusion uses seawater (deuterium) as the source of fuel, thus, abundance and almost free.

 

Comparing to the hot fusion that massive and tremendously expensive to build (about US$15 billions), cold fusion is only a small fraction of the cost with a tabletop size. If new technologies based on cold fusion successful, it would be a tremendously cheap source of sustainable green energy of the future. These technologies can be very small and mobile to provide electricity for laptops and mobile devices, homes, offices, and vehicles like cars and lorries. They can also be adequately large to generate electricity for buildings and cities, and powering infrastructures, ships and airplanes. It seems that these technologies can provide clean power and energy for almost anything, which would significantly change the way we live.

Expensive huge ITER hot fusion laboratory requires tower cranes to construct. Image source: pinterest.com
Cold fusion - tabletop experimental apparatus
Cold fusion – a typical experimental apparatus. Image: Nikkei Asian Journal

When did it begin?

Cold fusion credited to two electrochemists Martin Fleishmann of Southampton University,

Pons and Fleishmann with their reactor cell in 1989

U.K. and Stanley Pons at the Utah University, U.S. The former was a well-known and highly respected electrochemist in the world. In 1989, they reported publicly that their experiments had produced anomalous excess heat. This excess heat was so large that the usual chemical reaction could not cause it. Thus, they attributed the phenomenon to the nucleus reaction instead, which called fusion. In their view, it has to be a new nuclear process still unknown to the scientists. Since then, many ideas put forward to explain the excess heat phenomenon. Since this reaction occurs at room temperature, it’s subsequently called cold fusion, to differentiate it from hot fusion.

Heavy criticism of cold fusion

The difficulty and inability to replicate the results by other well-known universities including Caltech and MIT had given rise to a heavy criticism of the two scientists. The cold fusion was quickly debunked and labeled by some physicists as pathological science. This eventually led to the banning of all research funding by the public institutions and universities.

Major media heavily criticised cold fusion few months after it was announced

According to McKubre (2015), several authors have shown that what is now known as Fleischmann-Pons Heat Effect (FPHE) not observed in the Pd (paladium) wire cathodes until the D/Pd loading ratio reached 0.85 or higher. This primary requisite was unknown until 1992, three years after the cold fusion first announced. None of the Caltech and MIT reports indicated that this value had been achieved, the main reason they could not replicate the result of excess heat. In addition, the Caltech work completed, and conclusions made public within 40 days of Fleischmann and Pons public announcement. Whereas, according to both of them, a minimum observation time of 3 months is required before an experiment regarded as “failed.”

Cold fusion defies skepticism

The general scientific consensus is that cold fusion does not work because it cannot replicate successfully. But that has not stopped a minority of scientists from pursuing and researching the subject. For them, the end product is too good to let it lay rest and die. The experimental results clearly indicate it is possible. Unfortunately, there is no existing nuclear physics theory could explain the observed phenomenon accurately. Thus, the experimental process continuing based mostly on trial and error.

Since 1989, a number of scientists and researchers globally have reported successful tests at some international conferences, from which the selected ones collected as an online database and made available to the public. This initiative is to encourage and create awareness among the public about the real advantages and status of cold fusion research and development. Nonetheless, the mainstream scientists have not taken the results seriously, even after the full support of cold fusion by two Nobel laureates in physics, Julian Schwinger (1965) and Brian Josephson (1973).

There were other main factors contributed to such decision. First, there is no theory to explain the phenomenon explicitly. Secondly, at that particular time, the massive investment of hot fusion prototype research has just commenced. Thus, the nuclear physicists tried to protect their credibility on the practicality of the invaluable project. If cold fusion real and fruitful, the hot fusion would be a history.

No theory explicitly describes cold fusion

Fusion: Two deuterium D fused together to produce helium 3 and neutron N, and energy E in the form of heat

According to Krivit (2017), between 2001 and 2017, a number of models to explain cold fusion developed. By 2017, there are over 25 models, each with strengths and weaknesses. But none of these are well accepted by mainstream science. However, the recent reports mostly assert that the abnormal heat generation is now entirely reproducible. The LENRs have even reliably produced heat 25 times greater than the electrical input.

 

Three deuterium fusion reactions
Identified three typical types of fusion reaction
                     

Widom-Larsen theory

Nonetheless, there is a theory put forward by Widom and Larsen (2006) that consistent with the

A typical cold fusion apparatus – during electrolysis, hydrogen H2 or D2 move to cathode, oxygen O2 to anode, and anomalous heat effect (AHE) produced, accompanied by increased cell voltage (Azizi et al. 2015).

existing physics to describe excess heat and transmutation in LENR. This theory proposed the weak interaction that causes the accumulation of mass by electrons through Coulomb interactions with electrons and ions in highly excited coupled plasmon and optical phonon modes. Weak interaction catalysis occurs when proton capture ‘heavy’ electrons to form a neutron. The model asserts further that the electrons experience a mass enhancement in the metal hydride, rather than in free space. Surface electron masses shifted upwards by localised condensed matter electromagnetic fields. The produced neutrons have an ultra low momentum due to the size of the coherence domain of the oscillating protons. This domain estimated to vary from about one to ten microns in length. The production of ultra low momentum neutrons can induce chains of nuclear reactions in neighbouring condensed matter.

What is weak interaction?

The metal hydride is often a palladium-based cathode – surface morphologies associated with excess heat events. H2 gas corresponds to two human hands (Jaafar 2017a) tearing the metal surface apart

Weak interactions are part of the Standard Model, which unifies electromagnetic force with weak and strong nuclear forces. However, low-energy applications of weak interactions in condensed matter devices are novel and unfamiliar (Srivastana et al. 2010). All the existing condensed matter devices are essentially of electromagnetic origin. Charged particles (electrons or ions) often possess low kinetic energy (a few eV or less), but they can trigger strong electromagnetic processes, which one can harness usefully. Conversely, higher energy of MeV range needed for an electron to undergo weak interaction with a proton to produce a neutron. Neutron is 1.3MeV greater than proton; therefore, an energy threshold must be overcome.

Response to Widom-Larsen theory

Some scientists who still believed in the idea of room-temperature fusion rejected the Widom-Larsen theory. For example, Hagelstein (2013) said it has nothing to do with fusion. Nonetheless, it is well received by many scientists. Presently, this model considered by many as the most successful theoretical models so far. It has accumulated an enormous number of supporters both within and outside of the condensed matter nuclear science community; even served as theoretical justification for a program at NASA.

Cold fusion hot again                                                 

After the public demonstration of E-Cat (energy catalyzer) by Andrea Rossi in 2011, the cold

fusion suddenly becomes alive and hot news again. Many media including popular TV channels provide exclusive reports on the history of cold fusion and its exciting prospect as a cheap, clean and sustainable energy source of the future. The presented documentary videos about cold fusion become popular and attracted hundreds thousands of viewers. The CBS Interactive Inc. in its 60 minutes program in 2009 investigated scientifically the progress of cold fusion by interviewing a few key persons involved in the research including Martin Fleischmann himself.

The “New Fire”

This term is coined by a group of researchers called The Martin Fleischmann Memorial Project who dedicate themselves to researching LENR while sharing all procedure, data, and results openly online. If validated, LENR has the potential to replace most of the combustion energy sources in our world today. The “new fire” provides clean energy without any pollution problems.

Technologies overview

In 2011, an engineer named Andrea Rossi and Sergio Focardi, a professor at University Bologna,

1MW E-Cat plant consisting of four modules. Image source: e-catworld.com

introduced their “energy catalyzer” (E-Cat) in Bologna, Italy. This new technology generates heat using basically powdered nickel and hydrogen, including lithium. The nanopowder has a large surface area for a better absorption of the hydrogen. The E-Cat for home version is quite small, approximately the size of a 2-liter bottle. It claimed to produce 10kWatt of energy at 100 degree Celsius with coefficient of performance COP (energy output/energy input) of 6. Tests of “ash” produced by E-Cat indicate the evidence of nuclear reactions. Experts believe that LENR could use 1% of mined nickel to produce energy at a cost four times cheaper than coal (Seshavatharam & Lakshminarayana 2015).

In Japan, cold fusion research is now openly performed at major carmaker companies such as Mitsubishi and Toyota. Some universities also involved with the research work. For example, at Tohoku University in the northeastern city of Sendai, the goal of cold fusion research is to develop a small, simple device for turning radioactive waste into safer substances and generating heat (Kurokawa 2015). This ambitious project looks promising considering the possibility of transmutation process (Iwamura et al. 2012) during which one chemical element changes into another with a different number of protons in the nucleus. This phenomenon could be used to detoxify nuclear waste that would otherwise remain radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years.

Commercialized technologies based on cold fusion

Scientists with experience in LENR from various organizations work together to advance the development of commercial reactor technologies. But the progress is significantly slow. Even the Rossi’s E-Cat reactor first introduced in 2011 is still not yet commercialized probably due to the legal dispute with another party, which is still ongoing. We are still waiting for reasonably cheap cold fusion technologies that have a combination of reproducibility, controllability, continuity of operation, integrity of the materials involved, and a consistent net energy output. Hopefully, they are available to the mass market in a very short future. For now, we furnish below some of the technologies that are expected readily available soon.

E-Cat products

E-Cat home: 3D rendering hypothetical image. Source: ecat.com

E-Cat technological products associated with the inventor Andrea Rossi and his company Leonardo Corporation based in Miami, Florida. There are four versions of LENR reported in the company website, but only 1MW plant commercially available since 2015. However, no information on its sales officially furnished. Meanwhile, E-Cat home of 10kW domestic version is still waiting for the certification approval. The third version is E-Cat heat energy. This plant owned and operated by Leonardo Corporation while installing at the customer’s facility. It delivers steam at 100-120 Celsius, which is extracted through the customer’s local heat exchangers. The return temperatures can be in any range between 5-95 Celsius. Finally, the fourth is E-cat HT ‘Hot Cat’, which still in the prototype version. This version operates at the temperature range of 350 to 1050 Celsius.

Brillouin boiler technology

Brillouin Energy Corporation is a clean-energy company located in Berkeley California, which is

Brillouin’s HHT power plant with COP of 4, can generate electricity between 5 to 10 MW

developing ultra-clean, low-cost, renewable energy technologies capable of producing commercially useful amounts of thermal energy. It’s technologies based on the LENR, which it generates on a controlled basis in its uniquely designed reactors. In 2016, the company has begun to license its wet Brillouin Boilertechnology to industrial companies interested in the conventional boiler markets, and beyond.  With its green energy solution, this boiler providing homes, buildings, and small businesses with lower grade process heat up to 1500C. Meanwhile, the industry HHT (hydrogen hot tube) type can operate at high temperature of 500 to 700 Celsius. According to Robert George of Brillouin Energy, they have received a positive response regarding the licensing from some countries including South Korea and Canada, except the U.S.A. where they needed it most. This indicates the possible existence of a political suppression concerning the LENR or cold fusion technologies in that country.

SunCell power

SunCell system. Source: brilliantlightpower.com

The SunCell invented and engineered by Brilliant Light Power, Inc. to harness clean energy source from the reaction of the hydrogen atoms of water molecules to form a non-polluting product, lower energy state hydrogen called ‘Hydrino’. A low-voltage, very high current ignites a reaction to form hydrinos and causes a burst of brilliant light-emitting plasma power of millions of watts. This plasma directly converted to electricity using proven light to electric power concentrator photovoltaic conversion technology. The system is currently still not available for the markets.

Islamic science perspective

In Islam, science is viewed as a systematic process to study in details how God creates the nature. To accomplish this aim successfully, the Qur’an as the ultimate sacred guidance referred. The Qur’an proven to contain some fundamental scientific knowledge particularly related to the creations. As briefly mentioned earlier in our article concerning the origin of water, the Qur’an provides some valuable information on how water played a significant role in the creation of the universe.

Seawater contains immense energy

The immense amount of energy contained in the water molecules is undeniable. All living things depending on water to survive while the powerful action of water is shaping the earth landscape. In the cold fusion phenomenon, water once again exhibits its uniqueness. This time, its capability to allow transmutation process of one element to another, i.e. hydrogen to helium, even at room temperature. During this process, a substantial amount of energy in the form of heat is released. In some experiments, light and sound also significantly detected.

Based on Islamic science, there are three types of primary energy relating to an atom (Jaafar 2017c): light relates to the electron, heat refers to the proton, and sound relates to the neutron. Thus, the immense heat energy released during cold fusion attributed to the protons. This is the reason for the number of the observed protons much higher than the neutron. An unusual fragmentation ratio of neutrons to protons or tritium is Pn/Pp or Pn/P= ~10-7 (Meulenberg 2015). Since the 1:1 ratio of DD (deuterium-deuterium) ‘hot’ fusion results and models not observed, it therefore did not occur. If cold fusion is not the known DD fusion reaction, what kind of nuclear reaction is it?

Another sub-topic of DD reaction products was the high amount of 4He measured in many experiments. This amount is

Image of palladium Pd. Source: wikipedia

against the present understanding of nuclear physics, which provides the probability of forming 4He from DD fusion is less than one per million fusions. This ratio is almost as low as the percentage of neutrons that were ‘missing’ in the cold fusion experiments. These phenomena show that hot and cold fusions behave in opposite ways, the criteria for the two in a pair; thus, complying with the Islamic science pairing concept. The fusion requires principally two items act as a pair: heavy water (liquid) and solid metal (e.g. palladium as cathode). Also, input energy in the form of electrical current to trigger the system for the reaction to take place.

Cold fusion needs new theory

Where does this heat energy come from? According to Einstein’s equation E=mc2, this energy relates to the binding energy of the atomic nuclei. In our view, there is another fundamental reason that allows this phenomenon to take place. Based on the Ikhwan’s theory of creation, which we have discussed and elaborated in quite details in our thesis (Jaafar 2017c), there are other foundational processes before the creation of an atom.

Referring to our proposed model, each neutron consists of positive and negative electrical unit charges forming a spherical shell, which results in a neutral. During cold fusion, the neutron is dominant and splits into electron and proton. This process results in a less number of neutron but increasing proton and electron, as observed in the experiments. At the very high temperature of hot fusion, the proton and electron are dominant instead.

Additionally, the neutron, proton, and electron also react with the surrounding energy, especially the zero point energy (ZPE) that believed to exist everywhere, even in a vacuum. Since this potential energy is prominent at low temperature, one should consider its effects during cold fusion process. Unfortunately, the ZPE or quantum fluctuation energy is still a mystery. Nonetheless, the gathered knowledge based on the observed phenomena concerning both the ZPE and cold fusion experiments should synthesise and analysed together.

What exactly underlies the atoms, thus, the water molecules, could provide useful information to explain precisely the cold fusion process. Indeed, this requires a new knowledge of fundamental physics. The existing nuclear physics is incomplete and inadequate to accomplish the task. Islamic science with its metaphysical approach could play a significant role to provide the necessary assistance.

 

YouTube link:

A brief introduction to cold fusion:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjvL4zNLOGw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6d2q-YxVvk

CBS 60 minutes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTvaX3vRtRA

 

References

Azizi, O. et al. (2015). Progress towards understanding anomalous heat effect in metal deuterides, Current Science, 108(4): 565-573

Hagelstein P.L. (2013). Electron mass enhancement and the Widom-Larson Model, J. Condensed Matter Nucl. Sci. 12(2013): 18-40

Iwamura, Y., T. Itoh, Y. Terada and T. Ishikawa (2012). Transmutation reactions induced by deuterium permeation through nano-structured Pd multilayer thin film, Trans. of American Nucl. Soc. 107:422-425

Jaafar, A.N. (2017a). Al-Qur’an & science: Have you observed the water that you drink? Kindle eBook, https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071P6TR2T

Jaafar, A.N. (2017c). The Exposition of Quantum World in the Light of Islamic Science, Kindle eBook, https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0728LCTCQ

Krivit, S.B. (2017). Power generation via LENRs, http://news.newenergytimes.net/ extracted on June 8, 2017

Krivit, S.B. and M.J. Ratvinsky (2016). It’s not cold fusion… But it is something, Scientific American, https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/its-not-cold-fusion-but-its-something/

Kurukawa, T. (2015). Cold fusion: A solution for radioactive waste? Nikkei Asian Journal

McKubre, M.C.H. (2015). Cold fusion: comments on the state of scientific proof, Current Science, 108(4): 495-498

Meulenberg, A. (2015). Extensions to physics: what cold fusion teaches, Current Science, 108(4): 499-506

Seshavatharam, U.V.S. and S. Lakshminarayana (2015). Nickel – the ultimate substitute of coal, oil and uranium, Inter. Jour. of Sustainable and Green Energy, 4(4-1): 1-6

Storms, E. (2007). The Science of low energy nuclear reactions, World Scientific, New Jersey

Storms, E. (2014). The explanation of low energy nuclear reaction, Infinite Energy Press, New Hampshire

Srivastana, Y.N., A. Widom and L. Larsen (2010). A primer for electroweak induced low-energy nuclear reactions, Indian Academy of Sciences, 75(4): 617-637

Widom, A. and L. Larsen (2006). Ultra low momentum neutron catalyzed nuclear reactions on metallic hydride surfaces, The European Phys. Jour. C, s2006-02479-8

 

Author background

The author, Dr. Ab Nasir Jaafar is a practicing civil engineer who graduated with Ph.D. in Islamic science from ISTAC, International Islamic University Malaysia, and at present actively involved in the research of green energy and technologies. He has also recently published three books covering a wide field of knowledge including the Islamic science, quantum theory, water, and green environment.

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