Jan 012012

Could LENRs provide a cheap way to purify ocean water?

Nov 242015

Japan's Leadership in LENRs Continues
Nov. 24, 2015 – By Steven B. Krivit –

One more Japanese auto company, Nissan, is researching low-energy nuclear reactions (LENRs), New Energy Times has learned.

The information comes from an e-mail sent today by LENR researcher Akito Takahashi to other LENR researchers. Takahashi is a former professor at Osaka University and is affiliated with Technova, a member of the Toyota Motor Corp. family of businesses.

Takahashi’s e-mail confirms that the Japanese government’s initiative to fund LENR research — for the first time in two decades — has moved forward. The LENR research is sponsored through the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), a national research and development agency. New Energy Times first reported the NEDO story on Aug. 24, 2015.

“The nano-metal hydrogen energy project (NEDO-MHE),” Takahashi wrote, “has been adopted, conditionally, by NEDO for one of leading projects of eco-energy innovation. The NEDO-MHE project started on Oct. 26, 2015, officially.

“The joint research team (Nano-METS) comprises six institutions: two companies, Technova and Nissan; and four universities, Tohoku, Kyushu, Nagoya and Kobe.”

The experimental program will involve four areas, according to Takahashi: a) development of a new calorimetry system at Tohoku University with the assistance of Technova; b) joint experiments to analyze for excess heat using nano-metal composite samples with gas-loading experiments at Kobe University and other laboratories; c) materials science research at Nagoya University and Kyushu University; and d) evaluation and survey studies by Technova and Nissan.

Takahashi is the chairman of the group. Other members are Yasuhiro Iwamura (vice chairman), Jirohta Kasagi (Tohoku University), Koh Takahashi (Technova), Masanori Nakamura (Nissan), Masahiro Kishida (Kyushu University), Tatsumi Hioki (Nagoya University), Akira Kitamura (Technova and Kobe University), and other researchers.

Half a dozen Japanese universities have been active in LENR research in the past decade. Japanese industries conducting LENR research include Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Toyota.

LENRs are a diverse set of new scientific phenomena that suggest a strong potential for a new source of clean energy. New Energy Times is not aware of any active LENR projects in any large industrial laboratory in the U.S. The only experimental LENR research in U.S. universities takes place at the University of Illinois, led by George Miley, a retired professor, and at the University of Missouri, led by Graham K. Hubler.

LENRs originated from what was once thought by some researchers to be “cold fusion.” The stigma of bad science still clings to the field in the U.S.

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Nov 202015

LENR Patents Open Doors to New Investment and New Conflict
Nov. 20, 2015 – By Steven B. Krivit –

Certain low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR) researchers are now obtaining patents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Recently issued patents in this field may stimulate private-sector investment in LENR research. At the same time, competition among scientists is intensifying.

Recent decisions by the USPTO indicate increased recognition of patentability in the field. For the last 25 years, venture capitalists have been reluctant to fund such research, in part because their chances of obtaining U.S. patent protection were slim to none. Although applicants who were issued recent LENR patents omitted the term LENR in their applications, they use the same materials, general processes and general concepts as other researchers in the LENR field have used.

New Energy Times has learned that, on Nov. 10, the USPTO issued patent US 9,182,365 B2 for a LENR method that produces excess heat to David Allan Kidwell, a chemist with the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). Kidwell’s second LENR patent, US 9,192,918, will issue on Nov. 24. Although some patents for LENR excess-heat-related inventions were issued in the 26-year history of this field, they have been rare events. Continue reading »

Aug 242015

Japanese Government Will Fund LENR Research Again
Aug. 24, 2015 – By Steven B. Krivit –

For the first time in two decades, the Japanese government has issued a request for proposals for low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR) research, according to information recently obtained by New Energy Times.

The request for proposals was published by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), a national research and development agency.

The request for proposals, "Energy and the Environment New Leading Technology Program," was released in July. The line item for the LENR research is on PDF Page 16, item D4. The item translates to "Metal which becomes new energy source and analysis and control of the technology of heat reactions between metals and hydrogen."

New Energy Times spoke with Aya Iwasuji, at the Silicon Valley office of NEDO, and exchanged several e-mails with her about the program, which is also funding 10 other areas of new-energy research.

"The budget for this program this year is ¥3,410,000,000 [$27 million]," Iwasuji wrote.

In response to a request for more details about item D4, Iwasuji referred New Energy Times to NEDO’s Japan headquarters. A NEDO representative responded on Aug. 13.

"Unfortunately," the representative wrote, "we can’t give you any information about item D4 other than the title that you see at the Web site. We decided the title based on information from another organization which has agreed to non-disclosure. We appreciate your understanding."

The request for proposals had been at the Japanese NEDO site at this location. Between the time we made our inquiry and the time we published this article, the file was removed. New Energy Times preserved a copy here.

In a response to an e-mail from New Energy Times, long-time LENR researcher Tadahiko Mizuno confirmed that item D4 is for LENRs. Some Japanese LENR researchers, according to Mizuno, are filing a joint application to NEDO, with the assistance of Akito Takahashi, a former professor at Osaka University.

Takahashi has also been affiliated with Technova, a member of the Toyota Motor Corp. family of businesses. Takahashi did not respond to an e-mail from New Energy Times.

In June 2014, according to the application guidelines, the Japanese government announced the program objectives in "Japan Revitalization Strategy — Japan’s Challenge for the Future." Since the tsunami that caused the failures at the Fukushima Daiichi reactors in 2011, the Japanese government has been under pressure to provide its citizens with alternative energy sources.

NEDO is part of the Japanese National Research and Development Agency. NEDO’s objectives are to "solve energy problems through integrated management of technology development from the discovery of technology seeds to the promotion of mid- to long-term projects and support for practical application."

Major Japanese corporations, including Toyota Central Research Labs and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, have been active in LENR research for more than a decade. In 1994, the Japanese government, through the Ministry of Trade and Industry, sponsored an earlier research program called the New Hydrogen Energy Agency. It ran for several years at a cost of several million dollars. It terminated after researchers reported lackluster results.

In 2013, Toyota published a confirmation of Mitsubishi’s LENR transmutation results in the peer-reviewed Japanese Journal of Applied Physics.

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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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