Jan 012012

Could LENRs provide a cheap way to purify ocean water?

Apr 022015
Boiling LENR Cells

Boiling LENR Cells

April 2, 2015 – By Steven B. Krivit –

Could low-energy nuclear reactions (LENRs) be a solution to the California drought?

For the first time, Californians will face mandatory water restrictions as a result of historically low levels of water. Both groundwater and snowpack levels are severely depleted.

LENRs are a new field of science that, if developed into commercially viable technology, could power desalination plants to purify ocean water more cost-effectively.

LENR scientists have struggled for 26 years to understand this elusive scientific discovery. It was disputed when it was first announced by its discoverers, Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons, particularly because they said that it was a “cold fusion” reaction. It’s not, but the science behind the new phenomena is solid.

The research shows a variety of phenomena, of which some are highly reproducible. The heating effect has been the most challenging effect to reproduce. Nevertheless, several scientists have reported spectacular instances of boiling water with very little energy input.

In 1992, Fleischmann and Pons had learned enough about the science so that they could trigger LENR experiments to boil water on demand. The excess-heat phenomenon has been repeated many times; however, no other researchers have gained the control that the two pioneers had. On April 11, 1992, Fleischmann and Pons set up four cells that boiled dry and, in doing so, produced 144 Watts of excess heat. [1,2]

Later in the 1990s, Japanese researcher Tadahiko Mizuno, at Hokkaido University, in Sapporo, tried to stop an electrolytic experiment that he was running. He couldn’t. He turned off the current, but it kept heating the water in the surrounding bath. He had to keep replacing the water around the cell to keep the cell from disintegrating. Over a period of eight days — with zero input power — his experiment boiled more than 15 liters of water and produced 80 megajoules of energy. [3]

LENR research is undoubtedly challenging science. No viable LENR technologies are on the market today, despite the claims of a few hucksters and their followers. But with hard work, scientists may someday unlock these secrets of nature.

1. Published Journal Paper
2. Related Papers
3. Related Book

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Jan 292015

Lockheed Fusion Reactor Lacks Data and Money
Jan. 29, 2015 – By Steven B. Krivit –

Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works group created widespread publicity in October 2014 with its claim that it would be delivering a working prototype of a fusion reactor within five years. It also created a wave of enthusiasm and excitement among science and technology enthusiasts.

For 60 years, scientists have been attempting to harness controlled nuclear fusion on the Earth. Despite the expenditure of tens of billions of dollars and the dedication of massive international science and engineering efforts, no one has succeeded.

Among the dozens of experimental fusion reactors that have been built since the 1950s, not one has produced a single milliwatt of excess heat. Lockheed’s claims therefore, are surprising and call for careful analysis.

However, despite the public relations campaign, Lockheed Martin has no public data, no published paper and no prototype to share. On Dec. 23, 2014, New Energy Times sent the following questions to Geneva Greene and Heather Kelso in Lockheed Martin media relations.

1. Are your future projections (as promoted/described on your Web site) for the practical applications of the Compact Fusion Reactor based on experimental evidence, theoretical evidence, or both?
2. In your most successful experiment so far, what was the highest heat output in watts?
3. Was that heat value directly measured, or was it calculated based on measured neutron emission?
3. During that peak output, what was the total system (electrical or otherwise) power input in watts?
4. What was the duration of this peak heat output?

Kelso responded to New Energy Times the same day.

“Unfortunately our compact fusion spokesperson/subject matter expert is out the office until Jan. 5,” Kelso wrote. “The compact fusion team has proven they could design, build and test a reactor in one year because of its small size, and they project needing 10 iterations to become operational. Though, this is contingent on many factors, including continued financial support. Right now they’re in the midst of an experimental campaign and will be publishing results likely later in 2015.”

New Energy Times responded, on Dec. 23, 2014, with another question to Kelso and Greene. “What papers have been either published or accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals?” On Jan. 14, 2015, Kelso responded.

“We have not released our quantitative data and do not have public releasable data to provide at this time,” Kelso wrote.

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Jan 162015
Jean-François Geneste

Jean-François Geneste

Jan. 16, 2015 – By Steven B. Krivit –

Jean-François Geneste, a staff member of Airbus Group Innovations, is optimistic about the future of low-energy nuclear reactions (LENRs), he told an audience on Saturday in England.

“If LENRs really work,” Geneste wrote in his slide presentation, “the world will change dramatically. … We want Airbus to be a major actor in tomorrow’s world.”

He spoke at an invitation-only meeting organized by Michel Vandenberghe, president of small Swiss-based company LENR-Cities, founded in August 2014. The meeting was held at Magdalen College, part of Oxford University, although there is no indication that the meeting was an official college or university event. The college advertises that it routinely rents conference facilities for commercial events.

Geneste’s presentation contained nothing scientific about LENRs. It offered his philosophical perspective on physics and science.

Geneste, trained as an aeronautical engineer, has a penchant for new physics, theory and mathematics. He is the author of several books, including Physique: de L’esprit des Lois (Physics: The Spirit of Laws).

On Vandenberghe’s LinkedIn Web page, he describes Geneste as the “Airbus Chief Scientist.” This caused a lot of excitement among LENR enthusiasts because of the endorsement of LENRs from someone with such apparently high stature as the top scientist for the entire Airbus corporation.

A quick search of the Internet turned up no official reference to any Airbus Chief Scientist. According to Marie Caujolle, a media relations manager with whom New Energy Times spoke on Wednesday, Airbus has no such position.

Geneste responded to an e-mail from New Energy Times and wrote that his affiliation is not with Airbus but with Airbus Group Innovations. According to Geneste’s LinkedIn profile, his title is “Vice-President Chief Scientist at Airbus Group.” However, the Airbus Group Web page, which lists many chiefs, does not list anybody with the title of “Chief Scientist.”

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Nov 212014

LENR Conference at Magdalen College in January
Nov. 21, 2014 – By Steven B. Krivit –

New Energy Times has learned that low-energy nuclear reactions (LENRs) will be featured in a conference at Magdalen College in the United Kingdom on Jan. 10-11, 2015.

The conference is being organized by Angelo Ovidi and Michel Vandenberghe. Ovidi is the chief executive officer of Kressen Ltd., based in the United Kingdom. Vandenberghe is the president of LENR-Cities, a small Swiss startup.

Ovidi contacted New Energy Times yesterday, but he does not have a tentative agenda or list of speakers yet.


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Nov 142014
Bill Gates Looks at LENRs

Bill Gates Looks at LENRs

Nov. 14, 2014 – By Steven B. Krivit –

Bill Gates, pioneer in the digital world, is exploring low-energy nuclear reactions (LENRs), the frontier of energy research.

On Wednesday, he visited a small laboratory on the sprawling campus of a government lab in Frascati, just outside of Rome, Italy. The lab is one of several large ones under the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and the Environment.

While at ENEA-Frascati, Gates listened to a lecture by ENEA scientist Vittorio Violante and observed LENR experiments in his lab. Gates was there with Lowell Wood, a physicist who once worked with Edward Teller at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Wood is now a professor of physics at the University of Houston.

ENEA-Frascati has been working on thermonuclear fusion research for many years. Gates, too, has had an interest in energy research and has been funding Terrapower, a commercial effort to make a practical traveling-wave nuclear fission reactor.

New Energy Times visited the Frascati LENR laboratory in 2007. Click here for our feature story on their research.

New Energy Times describes LENRs as “laboratory experiments which have the potential to produce nuclear-scale energy and nuclear products but without the harmful effects of conventional nuclear energy. LENRs are weak interactions and neutron-capture processes that occur in nanometer-to-micron-scale regions on surfaces in condensed matter at room temperature. Although nuclear, LENRs are not based on fission or any kind of fusion, both of which primarily involve the strong interaction.”

Aldo Pizzuto (ENEA Director of Fusion Technical Unit), Federico Testa (ENEA Commissioner), Lowell Wood, Bill Gates and Vittorio Violante (seated)

Aldo Pizzuto (ENEA Director of Fusion Technical Unit), Federico Testa (ENEA Commissioner), Lowell Wood, Bill Gates and Vittorio Violante (seated)

Bill Gates discussing LENRs.

Bill Gates discussing LENRs.

Short video of Bill Gates visiting ENEA-Frascati laboratory

ENEA Press Release

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