Canadian researcher, Dr. Dimiter Alexandrov, Lakehead University, in his semiconductor research laboratory, performed successful replicable LENR (Low Energy Nuclear Reaction) experiments considering interactions of both deuterium and hydrogen gases with certain metals in a vacuum chamber. The products of these LENR experiments were helium (both stable isotopes He-3 and He-4) and heat. No radiation above the normal background was detected during the experiments. He also developed a theory explaining the observed experimental outcomes. Based on this early work he has prepared the following proposal to develop a LENR reactor which is being submitted for the next stage of his R&D.
Art Hunter, PhD.
Proposal for the development of an LENR reactor
Prof. Dr. Dimiter Alexandrov
Replicable experiments of low energy nuclear reactions (LENRs) producing helium in several hydrogen loaded metals (palladium, stainless steel, iridium and molybdenum) were successfully performed. A new theory providing explanation of the observed results was developed. The experiments were performed in a vacuum chamber seeking a low probability of unknown contributing factors while using relatively low concentrations of the interacting gases used to generate helium and energy (heat).
It has been found that the chamber gas environment of D2 and H/H2 interacted with the metal samples through their surfaces generating 3He and 4He and that these interactions are based on solid properties. Further observations found:
- Mass analysis showed a relatively high amount of 3He;
- Mass analysis showed a relatively high amount of 4He/D2 and a relatively significant amount of 4HeH confirming a correspondingly high amount of 4He;
- DC plasma spectroscopy showed peaks typical for both 3He and 4He.
The experiments were carried out in two modes – without plasma and with a plasma containing both D and H ions. In the second mode the kinetic energies of both D and H ions were determined and it was found that the amounts of both 3He and 4He increased with increase of these energies.
Also it was found that the pressures of both 3He and 4He increased with an increase of D2 pressure. Without additional external heat the temperature of the sample holder was measured during the experiments and cyclic variation over time was observed. Also it was found that this cyclic variation correlated well with changes in the amounts of both 3He and 4He over time.
In some experiments, external heating of the sample holder was performed in the 1000C to 7000C range which showed that an increase in temperature caused an increase of the amounts of both 3He and 4He. Radiation (including gamma rays and neutrons) measurements but no experiment resulted in an increase of radiation above the normal local background.
This could be due to:
- The low amounts of gases used in all experiments emitting only a weak neutron emission, which was so very small to be below the sensitivity of the sensor. This is especially likely when the emitted neutrons have low momenta as predicted by the theory;
- There was no gamma rays due to the low kinetic energies of the interacting D and H nuclei in solids; and
- The theory predicted that there are no necessary neutron and gamma rays emissions in cold fusion synthesis of helium.
The released heat is determined by a temperature increase of 30C during a certain time interval resulted in a net energy released in the sample holder of 384.15229776 J based on the weight of the inflated D2 is 1.444*10-12 kg and its corresponding volume is 8.022*10-12 m3.
The experimental results provided above are explained with new developed quantum mechanical theory based on interaction of both D and H nuclei with heavy electrons that are localized in solids. The theoretical outcomes are consistent with the above experimental results and they provide proof that two nuclear fusion schemes in solids could occur:
- D+H→3He+energy; and
Also, the theory explains the increase of the amounts of both 3He and 4He with an increase of the temperature of the sample along with an increase of the kinetic energies of both D and H nuclei. The theory is valid for all solids that fulfill certain properties for this reaction.
Further, the theory predicts that such LENRs generate low momentum neutrons (n) and electron neutrinos (νe) which occur in these reactions: D+e → 2n + νe and H+e → n + νe, where e is heavy localized electron. These neutrons may not be detected by the externally placed radiation detector, but they can further participate in other LENRs under some conditions.
Proposed LENR reactor
The design of the LENR reactor will be based on the apparatus (set up) used to date to obtain the results reported above. In particular:
- The reactor will be designed base on the experimental scheme (apparatus) already used for this research;
- The operational procedures of the reactor will be based on those developed to date.
The LENR reactor will be made of several units connected in a way to provide constant output power. Each LENR unit contains an anode and a cathode, in the chamber. The cathode can be made by either metals or metal alloys as indicated previously, or by other solids satisfying the requirements for effective LENR. These are:
- Coating layer on the cathode satisfying some special requirements;
- Electrical heater for the cathode providing initial temperature for more effective LENR;
- System that recovers the heat released during LENR. It must be noted that the released heat can be extracted by using a heat exchanging liquid, which can subsequently be used for generating electricity.
However, there are other means to extract LENR unit energy such as:
- heat to electricity via thermal electrical generators (TEGs)
- emitted light inside LENR unit using photovoltaics (PVs).
The components of the LENR unit will be placed in a stainless steel chamber. Pumps connected to the LENR chamber will ensure maintaining the chamber pressure (P in Torr) in the range ~10-7 < P > 760. This is a wide pressure range from a near vacuum to over one atmosphere. The electrical heater will ensure maintaining the cathode temperature in a range up to 7000C. A DC voltage source will provide an anode-cathode voltage in a range up to 1500 V which is necessary for the low temperature plasma in the space between the anode and the cathode. The operational pressure, temperature and DC voltage will be determined during the development stage of the reactor in order for an optimal output power to be achieved. Gas mixture deuterium-hydrogen will fill the LENR unit. However, adding of other gases to this mixture (such as nitrogen) may contribute to finding optimal operation of the LENR unit. The LENR reactor will consist of a few to many LENR units depending on the target output power desired.
The expected LENR energy release is based on the following observed experimental results:
- In terms of released nuclear fusion energy per 1 kg of molecular deuterium: 2.65*1014J/kg or 7.35*107 kWh/kg;
- In terms of released nuclear fusion energy per volume 1 cubic meter of molecular deuterium at STP: 4.76*1013J/m3 or 1.32*107 kWh/m3.
Based on the observed experimental results and on the developed theory, it seems reasonable to assume that no radioactive waste is expected to result as a by-product from this LENR reactor.
The expected cost of the LENR reactor will depend mainly on the used materials. The research showed that a variety of metals and metal alloys can be used as material for a LENR reaction. This offers the opportunity to find trade-offs in term of cost and efficiency of the LENR reactor sandwich structure cathode-coating. The number of LENR cells (according to the required output power) will have a corresponding impact on the cost of the entire reactor. The consumables will include mainly D2/H2 gas mixtures which are available at reasonable cost.
Developing this LENR reactor offers the opportunity of training highly qualified personnel in a graduate program.