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Francesco PIANTELLI

Nickel-Hydrogen LENR








Patents

WO2010058288
METHOD FOR PRODUCING ENERGY AND APPARATUS THEREFOR
Inventor:  PIANTELLI SILVIA ; PIANTELLI FRANCESCO
EC:   G21B3/00; Y02E30/18
IPC:   G21B3/00

Abstract -- A method and a generator to produce energy from nuclear reactions between hydrogen and a metal, comprising the steps of a) production of a determined quantity of micro/nanometric clusters of a transition metal, b) bringing hydrogen into contact with said clusters and controlling its pressure and speed, preferably after applying vacuum cycles of at least 10-9 bar between 35 DEG and 500 DEG C for degassing the clusters; c) creating an active core for the reactions by heating the clusters up to a temperature that is higher than the Debye temperature TD of the metal, preferably a temperature close to a temperature at which a sliding of reticular planes occurs, in order to adsorb in the clusters the hydrogen as H- ions; d) triggering the reactions by a mechanical, thermal, ultrasonic, electric or magnetic impulse on the active core, causing the atoms of the metal to capture the hydrogen ions, with liberation of heat, preferably in the presence of a gradient of temperature on the active core; e)removing the heat maintaining the temperature above TD, preferably in the presence of a magnetic and/or electric field of predetermined intensity. The active core can comprise a sintered material of micro/nanometric clusters, or a clusters powder collected in a container, or a deposit of clusters onto a substrate of predetermined volume and shape, with at least 109 clusters per square centimetre of surface, obtainable by means of methods such as sputtering, spraying evaporation and condensation of metal, epitaxial deposition, by heating up to approaching the melting point and then slow cooling, such methods followed by quick cooling for freezing the cluster structure.

WO 9520816
ENERGY GENERATION AND GENERATOR BY MEANS OF ANHARMONIC STIMULATED FUSION
EC:   G21B3/00; Y02E30/18
IPC:   G21B1/00; G21B3/00; G21B1/00; (+2)

Abstract - A process of energy generation and an energy generator by means of anharmonic stimulate fusion of hydrogen isotopes absorbed on metal comprising a charging step on a metallic core (1) of a quantity of hydrogen isotopes H and D; a heating step in which said core (1) is heated (9) to reach a temperature higher than Debye's temperature of the material composing the core; a startup step wherein a vibrational stress is produced with a rise time less than 0.1 seconds which activates a nuclear fusion of said hydrogen isotopes; a stationary step during which it is exchanged (3,5) the heat produced by the H+D nuclear fusion reaction which occurs in the core (1) because of a steady keeping of a coherent multimodal system of stationary oscillations.

IT1266073
Thermo-optomagnetopiezo-electrode: Device for priming and controlling the process of energy production by excitation of vibrations in the crystal lattice of a material containing D
IPC:   G21C; (IPC1-7)

Abstract -- The process for production of thermal energy is based on the fusion of nuclei of deuterium, entrapped in the crystal lattice of a deuterisable material, used as material sensitive to the type of excitation selected. The thermo-optomagnetopiezo-electr*ode constitutes the lattice activation system for the trapping of D and H and for priming the fusion, and it represents the basic element of the process: the operation consists in the production of a sonic wave train, with frequency depending on the dimensions and the physical characteristics of the system, by thermal or thermoelectric or magnetomechanical or piezoelectric or presso-optical or presso-mechanical excitation, or generated by the shock wave of molecular or particle beams, ions, protons, deuterons, neutrons, electrons, etc.



WO 2010058288
METHOD FOR PRODUCING ENERGY AND APPARATUS THEREFOR
   
PIANTELLI FRANCESCO     
Applicant: BERGOMI LUIGI  // GHIDINI TIZIANO (+1)     
2010-05-25     

Cited documents:     
WO9520816 (A1)       DE4024515 (A1)       WO9635215 (A1)       View all  

Abstract -- A method and a generator to produce energy from nuclear reactions between hydrogen and a metal, comprising the steps of a) production of a determined quantity of micro/nanometric clusters of a transition metal, b) bringing hydrogen into contact with said clusters and controlling its pressure and speed, preferably after applying vacuum cycles of at least 10-9 bar between 35 DEG and 500 DEG C for degassing the clusters; c) creating an active core for the reactions by heating the clusters up to a temperature that is higher than the Debye temperature TD of the metal, preferably a temperature close to a temperature at which a sliding of reticular planes occurs, in order to adsorb in the clusters the hydrogen as H- ions; d) triggering the reactions by a mechanical, thermal, ultrasonic, electric or magnetic impulse on the active core, causing the atoms of the metal to capture the hydrogen ions, with liberation of heat, preferably in the presence of a gradient of temperature on the active core; e)removing the heat maintaining the temperature above TD, preferably in the presence of a magnetic and/or electric field of predetermined intensity.; The active core can comprise a sintered material of micro/nanometric clusters, or a clusters powder collected in a container, or a deposit of clusters onto a substrate of predetermined volume and shape, with at least 109 clusters per square centimetre of surface, obtainable by means of methods such as sputtering, spraying evaporation and condensation of metal, epitaxial deposition, by heating up to approaching the melting point and then slow cooling, such methods followed by quick cooling for freezing the cluster structure.

DESCRIPTION

Field of the invention The present invention relates to a process for producing energy by nuclear reactions between a metal and hydrogen that is adsorbed on the crystalline structure of the metal. Furthermore, the invention relates to an energy generator that carries out such reactions.

Description of the prior art

A method for producing heat by nuclear reactions caused by hydrogen that is adsorbed on a Nickel active core has been described in WO95/20316, in the name of Piantelli et. al.. Improvements of the process are described in Focardi, Gabbani, Montalbano, Piantelli, Veronesi, "Large excess heat production in Ni-H systems", in Il Nuovo Cimento, vol. IHA, N.11 , november 1998, and bibliography therein.

A problem that was observed during the experiments was the preparation of the cores on which hydrogen had to be adsorbed and the reactions had to be carried out; such cores were made of Nickel and had the shape of small bars.

One of the various critical aspects of the process was the choice of a suitable method for adsorbing hydrogen and the quality of the hydrogen matter, as well as the repeatability of the triggering conditions of the process.

Other critical aspects were how to clean the small bar before the adsorption of the hydrogen, as well as how to optimize the optimal bar surface conditions and the method for triggering and shutting down the reactions. Due to such problems, the set up of the process and its industrial exploitation turned out to be somewhat difficult.

A further critical aspect is the core sizing and design to attain a desired power.

In DE4024515 a process is described for obtaining energy from the nuclear fusion of hydrogen isotopes, in which the atoms are brought into contact with clusters that contains from three to one hundred thousand atoms of a transition metal, and in which the clusters are obtained by cooling finely subdivided metal particles.

Summary of the invention

It is therefore a feature of the present invention to provide a method for producing energy by nuclear reactions of hydrogen that is adsorbed in a crystalline structure of a metal, which ensures repeatability of the triggering conditions of the reactions.

It is, furthermore, a feature of the present invention to provide such a method for industrially making the precursors of the active cores, and for industrially adsorbing hydrogen in them.

It is another feature of the present invention to provide an energy generator that effects the above described nuclear reactions, whose production rate and size are also such that an industrial production is allowed.

It is similarly a feature of the present invention to provide such a generator, which allows easily adjusting the output power.

It is a further feature of the present invention to provide such a generator, which can be easily shut down.

These and other features are accomplished by a method for producing energy by nuclear reactions between hydrogen and a metal, said method providing the steps of:

- prearranging a determined quantity of crystals of a transition metal, said crystals arranged as micro/nanometric clusters that have a predetermined crystalline structure, each of said clusters having a number of atoms of said transition metal which is less than a predetermined number of atoms; - bringing hydrogen into contact with said clusters;

- heating said determined quantity of clusters up to an adsorption temperature larger than a predetermined critical temperature, that is adapted to cause an adsorption into said clusters of said hydrogen as H- ions, said hydrogen as H- ions remaining available for said nuclear reactions within said active core after said heating step; triggering said nuclear reactions between said hydrogen as H- ions and said metal within said clusters by an impulsive action exerted on said active core that causes said H- ions to be captured into respective atoms of said clusters, said succession of reactions causing a production of heat; removing said heat from said active core maintaining the temperature of said active core above said critical temperature, said step of removing said heat carried out according to a predetermined power.

Advantageously, said step of prearranging is carried out in such a way that said determined quantity of crystals of said transition metal in the form of micro/nanometric clusters is proportional to said power.

The number of atoms that form each cluster is the variable through which the predetermined power can be obtained from an active core that comprises a predetermined amount of metal. In fact, each cluster is a site where a reaction takes place, therefore the power that can be obtained is substantially independent from the clusters size, i.e. from the number of atoms that form the cluster. In particular, the number of atoms of the clusters is selected from a group of numbers that are known for giving rise to structures that are more stable than other aggregates that comprise a different number of atoms. Such stability is a condition to attain a high reactivity of the clusters with respect to hydrogen to give H- ions. For instance, a stability function has been identified for Nickel, which depends upon the number of atoms that form the clusters, obtaining specific stability peaks that correspond to that particular numbers.

The hydrogen that is used in the method can be natural hydrogen, i.e., in particular, hydrogen that contains deuterium with an isotopic abundance substantially equal to 0,015%. Alternatively, such hydrogen can be hydrogen with a deuterium content which is distinct from that above indicated, and/or hydrogen with a significant tritium content.

Preferably, the hydrogen in use is molecular hydrogen H2; alternatively, the hydrogen is preliminarily ionized as H", or it can be a mixture that contains H- and H2. The transition metal can be selected from the group comprised of: Sc, Ti,
V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Zn, Y, Zr, Nb, Pd, Mo, Tc, Ru, Rh, Ag, Cd, Lu, Hf1 Ta1 W1 Re1 Os1 Ir1 Pt, Au, lanthanoids, actinoids. Such metals belong to one of the four transition groups , i.e.: metals that have a partially filled 3d-shell, e.g. Nickel; - metals that have a partially filled 4d-shell, e.g. Rhodium;
- metals that have a partially filled 5d-shell, i.e. the "rare earths" or lanthanoids, e.g. Cerium; metals that have a partially filled 5d-shell, i.e. the actinonoids, e.g. Thorium.

The metal in use can also be an alloy of two or more than two of the above listed metals.

Among the listed transition metals, or their alloys, the ones are preferred those that crystallize with a crystalline structure selected from the group comprised of:

- face-centred cubic crystalline structure;

- body-centred cubic crystalline structure;

- compact hexagonal structure.

Advantageously, metals are used that have a crystalline open face structure, in order to assist the H- ions adsorption into the clusters.

Preferably, said transition metal is Nickel. In particular, said Nickel is selected from the group comprised of: natural Nickel, i.e. a mixture of isotopes like Nickel 58, Nickel 60, Nickel 61 , Nickel 62, Nickel 64; - a Nickel that contains only one isotope, said isotope selected from the group comprised of:

Nickel 58;
Nickel 60
Nickel 61 ; - Nickel 62;
Nickel 64;

- a formulation comprising at least two of such isotopes at a desired proportion.

The H- ions can be obtained by treating, under particular operative conditions, hydrogen H2 molecules that have been previously adsorbed on said transition metal surface, where the semi-free valence electrons form a plasma. In particular, a heating is needed to cause lattice vibrations, i.e. phonons, whose energy is higher than a first activation energy threshold, through non-linear and anharmonic phenomena. In such conditions, the following events can occur: a dissociation of the hydrogen molecules that is adsorbed on the surface; an interaction with valence electrons of the metal, and formation of H- ions;

- an adsorption of the H- ions into the clusters, in particular the clusters that form the two or three crystal layers that are most close to the surface. The H- ions can just physically interact with the metal, or can chemically bond with it, in which case hydrides can be formed.

The H- ions can also be adsorbed into the lattice interstices, but

- adsorption at the grain edges, by trapping the ions into the lattice defects; replacement of an atom of the metal of a clusters may also occur.

After such adsorption step, the H- ions interact with the atoms of the clusters, provided that a second activation threshold is exceeded, which is higher than the first threshold. By exceeding this second threshold, in accordance with the Pauli exclusion principle and with the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, the conditions are created for replacing electrons of metal atoms with H- ions, and, accordingly, for forming metal-hydrogen complex atoms. This event can take place due to the fermion nature of H- ion; however, since H- ions have a mass 1838 times larger than an electron mass, they tend towards deeper layers, and cause an emission of Auger electrons and of X rays. Subsequently, since the H- ion Bohr radius is comparable with the metal core radius, the H- ions can be captured by the metal core, causing a structural reorganization and freeing energy by mass defect; the H- ions can now be expelled as protons, and can generate nuclear reactions with the neighbouring cores. More in detail, the complex atom that has formed by the metal atom capturing the H- ion, in the full respect of the energy conservation principle, of the Pauli exclusion principle, and of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, is forced towards an excited status, therefore it reorganizes itself by the migration of the H- ion towards deeper orbitals or levels, i.e. towards a minimum energy state, thus emitting Auger electrons and X rays during the level changes. The H- ion falls into a potential hole and concentrates the energy which was previously distributed upon a volume whose radius is about 10<'12> m into a smaller volume whose radius is about 5x10 <15> m. At the end of the process, the H- ion is at a distance from the core that is comparable with the nuclear radius; in fact in the fundamental status of the complex atom that is formed by adding the H- ion, due to its mass that is far greater the mass of the electron, the H- ion is forced to stay at such deep level at a distance from the core that is comparable with the nuclear radius, in accordance with Bohr radius calculation. As above stated, owing to the short distance from the core, a process is triggered in which the H- ion is captured by the core, with a structural reorganization and energy release by mass defect, similarly to what happens in the case of electron capture with structural reorganization and energy release by mass defect or in case of loss of two electrons, due to their intrinsic instability, during the fall process towards the lowest layers, and eventually an expulsion of the the H- ion takes place as a proton, as experimentally detected in the cloud chamber, and nuclear reactions can occur with other neighbouring cores, said reactions detected as transmutations on the active core after the production of energy.

According to the above, the actual process cannot be considered as a fusion process of hydrogen atoms, in particular of particular hydrogen isotopes atoms; instead, the process has to be understood as an interaction of a transition metal and hydrogen in general, in its particular form of H- ion.

Advantageously, said predetermined number of said transition metal atoms of said clusters is such that a portion of material of said transition metal in the form of clusters or without clusters shows a transition of a physical property of said metal, said property selected from the group comprised of:
- thermal conductivity;
- electric conductivity;
- refraction index. The micro/nanometric clusters structure is a requirement for producing H- ions and for the above cited orbital and nuclear capture processes. For each transition metal, a critical number of atoms can be identified below which a level discrete structure (electronic density, functional of the electronic density and Kohn-Sham effective potential) and Pauli antisymmetry, tend to prevail over a band structure according to Thomas-Fermi approach. The discrete levels structure is at the origin of the main properties of the clusters, some of which have been cited above. Such features can be advantageously used for aqnalysing the nature of the surface, i.e. for establishing whether clusters are present or not. In particular said step of preparing a determined quantity of micro/nanometric clusters comprises a step of depositing a predetermined amount of said transition metal in the form of micro/nanometric clusters on a surface of a substrate, i.e. a solid body that has a predetermined volume and a predetermined shape, wherein said substrate surface contains at least 10<9> clusters per square centimetre.

The step of prearranging a determined quantity of clusters can also provide a step of sintering said determined quantity of micro/nanometric clusters, said sintering preserving the crystalline structure and preserving substantially the size of said clusters.

The step of preparing the determined quantity of clusters can provide collecting a powder of clusters into a container, i.e. collecting a determined quantity of clusters or aggregation of loose clusters.

Preferably, said substrate contains in its surface at least 10<10> clusters per square centimetre, in particular at least 10<11> clusters per square centimetre, more in particular at least 10<12> clusters per square centimetre.

Preferably, said clusters form on said substrate a thin layer of said metal, whose thickness is lower than 1 micron; in particular such thickness is of the same magnitude of the lattice of the crystalline structure of the transition metal. In fact, the core activation by adsorption of the H- ions into the clusters concerns only a few surface crystal layers.

In particular said step of depositing said transition metal is effected by a process of physical deposition of vapours of said metal.

Said process of depositing can be a process of sputtering, in which the substrate receives under vacuum a determined amount of the metal in the form of atoms that are emitted by a body that is bombarded by a beam of particles.

Alternatively, the process of depositing can comprise an evaporation step or a thermal sublimation step and a subsequent condensation step in which the metal condensates onto said substrate. Alternatively, the process of depositing can be performed by means of an epitaxial deposition, in which the deposit attains a crystalline structure that is similar to the structure of the substrate, thus allowing the control of such parameters.

The transition metal can be deposited also by a process of spraying. Alternatively, the step of depositing the transition metal can provide a step of heating the metal up to a temperature that is close to the melting point of the metal, followed by a step of slow cooling. Preferably, the slow cooling proceeds up to an average core temperature of about 600<0>C. The step of depositing the metal is followed by a step of quickly cooling the substrate and the transition metal as deposited, in order to cause a "freezing" of the metal in the form of clusters that have a predetermined crystalline structure. In particular said quickly cooling occurs by causing a current of hydrogen to flow in a vicinity of said transition metal as deposited on said substrate, said current having a predetermined temperature that is lower than the temperature of said substrate.

Advantageously, said step of bringing hydrogen into contact with said clusters is preceded by a step of cleaning said substrate. In particular, said step of cleaning is made by applying a vacuum of at least 10<'9> bar at a temperature set between 350<0>C and 500<0>C for a predetermined time.

Advantageously, said vacuum is applied according to a predetermined number, preferably not less than 10, of vacuum cycles and subsequent restoration of a substantially atmospheric pressure of hydrogen. This way, it is possible to quantitatively remove the gas adsorbed within the metal, in particular the gas which is adsorbed in the metal of the active core. In fact, such gas drastically reduces the interaction between the plasma of valence electrons and the hydrogen ions, and can limit or avoid the adsorption of the hydrogen in the clusters, even if an initial adsorption has occurred on the metal surface. If the substrate and the deposited metal are exposed to a temperature that is significantly above 500<0>C, the cluster structure can be irremediably damaged.

Advantageously, during said step of bringing hydrogen into contact with said clusters, said hydrogen has a partial pressure set between 0,001 millibar and 10 bar, in particular set between 1 millibar and 2 bar, in order to ensure an optimal number of hits between the surface of said clusters and the hydrogen molecules: in fact, an excessive pressure increases the frequency of the hits, such that it can cause surface desorption, as well as other parasitic phenomena.

Advantageously, during said step of bringing hydrogen into contact with said clusters, the hydrogen flows with a speed less than 3 m/s. Said hydrogen flows preferably according to a direction that is substantially parallel to the surface of said clusters. In such condition, the hits between the hydrogen molecules and the metal substrate occur according to small impact angles, which assist the adsorption on the surface of the clusters and prevents re- emission phenomena in the subsequent steps of H- ions formation. Advantageously, said step of creating an active core by hydrogen adsorption into said clusters is carried out at a temperature that is close to a temperature at which a sliding of the reticular planes of the transition metal, said temperature at which a sliding occurs is set between the respective temperatures that correspond to the absorption peaks [alpha] and [beta]. Advantageously, the concentration of H- ions with respect to the transition metal atoms of said clusters is larger than 0,01 , to improve the efficiency of the energy production process. In particular, this concentration is larger than 0,08.

Advantageously, after said step of creating an active core by adsorbing hydrogen into said clusters a step is provided of cooling said active core down to the room temperature, and said step of triggering a succession of nuclear reactions provides a quick rise of the temperature of said active core from said room temperature to said temperature which is higher than said predetermined critical temperature. In particular, said quick temperature rise takes place in a time that is shorter than five minutes. The critical temperature is normally set between 100 and 450<0>C, more often between 200 and 450<0>C. More in detail, the critical temperature is larger than the Debye temperature of said metal.

In particular, said step of triggering said nuclear reactions provides an impulsive triggering action selected from the group comprised of: - a thermal shock, in particular caused by a flow of a gas, in particular of hydrogen, which has a predetermined temperature that is lower than the active core temperature; a mechanical impulse, in particular a mechanical impulse whose duration is less than 1/10 of second; - an ultrasonic impulse, in particular an ultrasonic impulse whose frequency is set between 20 and 40 kHz; a laser ray that is impulsively cast onto said active core; an impulsive application of a package of electromagnetic fields, in particular said fields selected from the group comprised of: a radiofrequency pulse whose frequency is larger than 1 kHz; X rays; v rays; an electrostriction impulse that is generated by an impulsive electric current that flows through an electrostrictive portion of said active core; an impulsive application of a beam of elementary particles; in particular, such elementary particles selected from the group comprised of electrons, protons and neutrons;

- an impulsive application of a beam of ions of elements, in particular of ions of one or more transition metals, said elements selected from a group that excludes O; Ar; Ne; Kr; Rn; N; Xe.
- an electric voltage impulse that is applied between two points of a piezoelectric portion of said active core; an impulsive magnetostriction that is generated by a magnetic field pulse along said active core which has a magnetostrictive portion.

Such impulsive triggering action generates lattice vibrations, i.e. phonons, whose amplitude is such that the H- ions can exceed the second activation threshold thus creating the conditions that are required for replacing electrons of atoms of the metal, to form temporary metal-hydrogen complex ions. Preferably, said step of triggering said nuclear reactions is associated with a step of creating a gradient, i.e. a temperature difference, between two points of said active core. This gradient is preferably set between 100<0>C and 300<0>C.

This enhances the conditions for anharmonic lattice motions, which is at the basis of the mechanism by which H- ions are produced. Advantageously, a step is provided of modulating said energy that is delivered by said nuclear reactions.

In particular, said step of modulating comprises removing and/or adding active cores or active core portions from/to a generation chamber which contains one or more active cores during said step of removing said heat. Said step of modulating comprises a step of approaching/spacing apart sheets of said transition metal which form said active core in the presence of an hydrogen flow.

The step of modulating can furthermore be actuated by absorption protons and alpha particles in lamina-shaped absorbers that are arranged between sheets of said transition metal which form said active core. The density of such emissions is an essential feature for adjusting said power.

Advantageously, a step is provided of shutting down said nuclear reactions in the active core, that comprises an action selected from the group comprised of:

- a further mechanical impulse;
- cooling said active core below a predetermined temperature, in particular below said predetermined critical temperature;
- a gas flow, in particular an Argon flow, on said active core. In particular, said step of shutting down said nuclear reactions can comprise lowering the heat exchange fluid inlet temperature below said critical temperature.

Advantageously, said succession of reactions with production of heat is carried out in the presence of a predetermined sector selected from the group comprised of:

- a magnetic induction field whose intensity is set between 1 Gauss and 70000 Gauss; an electric field whose intensity is set between 1 V/m and 300000 V/m. The objects of the invention are also achieved by an energy generator that is obtained from a succession of nuclear reactions between hydrogen and a metal, wherein said metal is a transition metal, said generator comprising:

- an active core that comprises a predetermined amount of said transition metal;

- a generation chamber that in use contains said active core; - a means for heating said active core within said generation chamber up to a temperature that is higher than a predetermined critical temperature; a means for triggering said nuclear reaction between said transition metal and said hydrogen; a means for removing from said generation chamber the heat that is developed during said reaction in said active core according to a determined power; the main feature of said generator is that:

- said active core comprises a determined quantity of crystals of said transition metal, said crystals being micro/nanometric clusters that have a predetermined crystalline structure according to said transition metal, each of said clusters having a number of atoms of said transition metal that is less than a predetermined number of atoms.

Advantageously, said determined quantity of crystals of said transition metal in the form of micro/nanometric clusters is proportional to said power.

Advantageously, said clusters contain hydrogen that is adsorbed as H- ions.

Preferably, said means for heating said active core comprises an electric resistance in which, in use an electric current flows. In particular, said active core comprises a substrate, i.e. a solid body that has a predetermined volume and a predetermined shape, on whose surface said determined quantity of micro/nanometric clusters of said transition metal is deposited, for at least 10<9> clusters per square centimetre, preferably at least 10<10> clusters per square centimetre, in particular at least 10<11> clusters per square centimetre, more in particular at least 10<12> clusters per square centimetre.

Advantageously, said active core has an extended surface, i.e. a surface whose area is larger than the area of a convex envelope of said active core, in particular an area A and a volume V occupied by said active core with respect to a condition selected from the group comprised of: - A/V > 12/L, in particular A/V > 100/L;

A/V > 500 m<2>/m<3>, where L is a size of encumbrance of said active core, said extended surface in particular obtained using as substrate a body that is permeable to said hydrogen, said body preferably selected from the group comprised of: - a package of sheets of said transition metal, each sheet having at least one face available for adsorbing said hydrogen, in particular a face that comprises an extended surface;

- an aggregate obtained by sintering particles of whichever shape, in particular balls, cylinders, prisms, bars, laminas, normally said particles having nano- or micrometric granulometry, said particles defining porosities of said active core; an aggregate obtained by sintering micro/nanometric clusters of said transition metal; - a powder of clusters collected within a container, said convex envelope limited by a container of said powder, for example a container made of ceramic.

Preferably, said transition metal is selected from the group comprised of:

Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Mn1 Fe, Co, Ni, Zn, Y, Zr, Nb, Pd, Mo, Tc, Ru, Rh, Ag, Cd, Lu, Hf, Ta, W, Re, Os, Ir, Pt, Au, lanthanoids, actinoids, an alloy of two or more than two of the above listed metals; in particular said

Nickel is selected from the group comprised of:

- natural Nickel, i.e. a mixture of isotopes like Nickel 58, Nickel 60, Nickel 61 , Nickel 62, Nickel 64; - a Nickel that contains only one isotope, said isotope selected from the group comprised of:
Nickel 58;
Nickel 60
Nickel 61 ; - Nickel 62;
Nickel 64; a formulation comprising at least two of such isotopes at a desired proportion.

Said means for triggering can be: - a means for creating a thermal shock in said active core, in particular by means of a flow of hydrogen that is kept at a predetermined temperature lower than the temperature of the active core; a means for creating a mechanical impulse, in particular an impulse that lasts less than 1/10 of second; - a means for creating an ultrasonic impulse;

- a means for casting a laser ray impulse onto said active core;

- a means for impulsively applying a package of electromagnetic fields, in particular said fields selected from the group comprised of: a radiofrequency pulse whose frequency is larger than 1 kHz; X rays; Y rays; - a means for creating an impulsive electric current through an electrostrictive portion of said active core, a means for applying an electric voltage impulse between two points of a piezoelectric portion of said active core; a means for impulsively applying a beam of elementary particles in particular said particles selected among: electrons; protons; neutrons;

- a means for impulsively applying a beam of ions of elements, in particular of ions of one or more transition metals, said elements selected from a group that excludes O; Ar; Ne; Kr; Rn; N; Xe.

- a means for applying a magnetic field impulse along said active core that has a magnetostrictive portion.

Preferably, a means is associated with said means for triggering that is adapted to create a gradient, i.e. a temperature difference between two points of said active core, in particular said temperature difference set between 100<0>C and 300<0>C.

Preferably, said active core is arranged in use at a distance less than 2 mm from an inner wall of said generation chamber. This way, the production of H- ions is enhanced, since this distance is comparable with the mean free path of the hydrogen molecules at the working temperature and the working pressure.

Advantageously, said generator comprises a means for modulating said energy that is released by said nuclear reactions.

Said means for modulating can comprise a means for removing/adding active cores or active core portions from/into said generation chamber.

In particular, said active core comprises a set of thin sheets, preferably said thin sheets having a thickness that is less than one micron, that are arranged facing one another and said means for modulating comprises a structure that is adapted to approach and/or to space apart said sheets while a hydrogen flow is modulated that flows in a vicinity of said core.

Still in the case of an active core which comprises sheets that are arranged adjacent to one another, said means for modulating can comprise lamina- shaped absorbers that are arranged between the sheets of said transition metal which form said active core, said absorbers adapted to absorb protons and alpha particles that are emitted by the active core during the reactions.

Advantageously, said generator comprises furthermore a means for shutting down said reaction in the active core.

In particular, said means for shutting down are selected from the group comprised of: - a means for creating a further mechanical impulse;

- a means for cooling said core below a predetermined temperature value, in particular below said predetermined critical temperature; a means for conveying a gas, in particular Argon, on said active core. In particular, said active core comprises a set of thin sheets, preferably said sheets having a thickness that is less than one micron, said sheets arranged facing one another and said means for modulating provided by said structure and by said absorbers.

Advantageously, said generator comprises a means for creating a predetermined field at said active core, said field selected from the group comprised of: a magnetic induction field whose intensity is set between 1 Gauss and 70000 Gauss;

- an electric field whose intensity is set between 1 V/m and 300000 V/m. Advantageously, said generator comprises a section for producing a determined quantity of clusters on a solid substrate, said section comprising:

- a clusters preparation chamber; a means for loading said substrate in said clusters preparation chamber;

- a means for creating and maintaining vacuum conditions about said substrate within said clusters preparation chamber, in particular a means for creating and maintaining a residual pressure equal or less than 10<'9> bar; a means for heating and keeping said substrate at a high temperature in said clusters preparation chamber, in particular a means for bringing and keeping said substrate at a temperature set between 350<0>C and 500<0>C when the residual pressure is equal or less than 10<'9> bar;

- a means for depositing said transition metal on said substrate, preferably by a technique selected from the group comprised of:

- a sputtering technique;

- a spraying technique; - a technique comprising evaporation and then condensation of said predetermined amount of said metal on said substrate; an epitaxial deposition technique; a technique comprising heating the metal up to a temperature that is close to the melting point of the metal, said heating followed by a slow cooling;

- a means for quickly cooling said substrate and said transition metal, such that said transition metal is frozen as clusters that have said crystalline structure.

Advantageously, said section for producing a determined quantity of clusters comprises a means for detecting a transition of a physical property during said step of depositing, in particular of a physical property selected from the group comprised of:

- thermal conductivity;

- electric conductivity;

- refraction index. said transition occurring when said predetermined number of atoms of said transition metal in a growing cluster is exceeded.

Advantageously, said section for producing a determined quantity of clusters comprises a means for detecting a clusters surface density, i.e. a mean number of clusters in one square centimetre of said surface during said step of depositing. Preferably, said section for producing a determined quantity of clusters comprises a concentration control means for controlling the H- ions concentration with respect to the transition metal atoms of said clusters.

Preferably, said section for producing a determined quantity of clusters comprises a thickness control means for controlling the thickness of a layer of said clusters, in order to ensure that said thickness is set between 1 nanometre and 1 micron.

Advantageously, said generator comprises a section for producing an active core, said section for producing an active core comprising: a hydrogen treatment chamber that is distinct from said generation chamber; a means for loading said determined quantity of clusters in said treatment chamber; - a means for heating said determined quantity of clusters in said hydrogen treatment chamber up to a temperature that is higher than a predetermined critical temperature; a means for causing said hydrogen to flow within said hydrogen treatment chamber, said hydrogen having a predetermined partial pressure, in particular a partial pressure set between 0,001 millibar and 10 bar, more in particular between 1 millibar and 2 bar;

- means for transferring said active core from said hydrogen treatment chamber into said generation chamber. Preferably, said means for causing said hydrogen to flow are such that said hydrogen flows according to a direction that is substantially parallel to an exposed surface of said substrate, In particular, said hydrogen having a speed that is less than 3 m/s.

Advantageously, said section for producing an active core comprises a means for cooling down to room temperature said prepared active core, and said means for heating said active core within said generation chamber are adapted to heat said active core up to said predetermined temperature which is set between 100 and 450<0>C in a time less than five minutes.

In particular, said quickly cooling in said clusters preparation chamber and/or said cooling down to room temperature in said hydrogen treatment chamber is/are obtained by means of said hydrogen flow on said active core, said flow having a predetermined temperature that is lower than the temperature of said active core.

The objects of the invention are also achieved by an apparatus for producing energy that comprises: a means for generating a substance in the vapour or gas state at a first predetermined pressure, said means for generating associated with a heat source;

- a means for expanding said substance from said first pressure to a second predetermined pressure producing useful work; a means for cooling said substance down to a predetermined temperature, in particular said predetermined temperature is less than the evaporation temperature of said substance in the vapour state; - a means for compressing said cooled substance back to said first pressure; wherein said means are crossed in turn by a substantially fixed amount of said substance, said means for compressing feeding said means for generating; the main feature of this apparatus is that said heat source comprises an energy generator according to the invention as defined means above.

In particular, the above apparatus uses a closed Rankine cycle; advantageously, the thermodynamic fluid is an organic fluid that has a critical temperature and a critical pressure that are at least high as in the case of toluene, or of an ORC fluid, in particular of a fluid that is based on 1 ,1 ,1 ,3,3 pentafluoropropane, also known as HFC 245fa or simply as 245fa.

Brief description of the drawings

The invention will be made clearer with the following description of an exemplary embodiment thereof, exemplifying but not limitative, with reference to the attached drawings in which:

figure 1 is a block diagram of an embodiment of the method according to the invention;


figure 2 is a diagrammatical view of a crystal layer that is formed by clusters deposited on the surface of a substrate; -


figure 3 is a diagrammatical view of the interactions between hydrogen and the clusters in a local enlarged view of Fig. 2;

figure 4 indicates the transition metals that are most adapted to be used in the method according to the invention;

figure 5 diagrammatically represents the orbital capture of a negative hydrogen ion by a transition metal atom;




figures 6, 7, 8 are diagrammatical representations of a face-centred cubic crystalline structure;

figure 9 diagrammatically represents a body-centred cubic crystalline structure;

figure 10 diagrammatically represents a crystalline compact hexagonal structure;


figure 11 is a diagrammatical view of the distribution of hydrogen atoms in such a crystalline structure;

figure 12 is a block diagram of the parts of the step of prearranging clusters of Fig. 1 , to obtain a clusters surface structure;

figure 13 shows a typical temperature profile of what is shown in Fig. 12;

figure 14 is a block diagram of the parts of the step of prearranging clusters and of the step of hydrogen treatment of said clusters to obtain an active core; 4



figure 15 shows a typical thermal profile of a process that comprises the steps shown in Fig. 14;

figure 16 shows a reactor that is adapted to produce energy, according to the present invention, by an impulsively triggered nuclear reaction of hydrogen adsorbed on a transition metal;

figure 17 diagrammatically shows a device for preparing an active core according to the invention;



figure 18 diagrammatically shows a generator that comprises the reactor of Fig. 16 and the device of Fig. 17;

figures 19 to 23 show alternate exemplary embodiments of the active core according to the invention;

figure 24 shows a temperature gradient through an active core.



Description of preferred exemplary embodiments.

With reference to Figs. 1 , 2 and 3, an exemplary embodiment 100 of the method according to the invention is described, for producing energy by a succession of nuclear reactions between hydrogen 31 and a transition metal 19. According to this exemplary embodiment, the method provides a step 110 of prearranging clusters 21 , for example a layer of clusters 20 on a substrate 22, this layer 20 defined by a surface 23. A crystal layer 20 of thickness d4 preferably set between 1 nanometre and 1 micron is diagrammatically shown. The metal is deposited with a process adapted to ensure that the crystals as deposited have normally a number of atoms of the transition metal less than a predetermined critical number, beyond which the crystal matter looses the character of clusters. In the case of prearranging the clusters on a substrate, the process of depositing is adapted to ensure that 1 square centimetre of surface 23 defines on average at least 10<9> clusters 21. The method provides then a treatment step 120 of the clusters with hydrogen 31 , in which hydrogen 31 is brought into contact with surface 23 of the clusters 21 , in order to obtain a population of molecules 33 of hydrogen that is adsorbed on surface 23, as shown in Fig. 3. The bonds between the atoms of the hydrogen molecules are weakened, up to having a homolytic or heterolytic scission of the molecules 33, obtaining, respectively, a couple of hydrogen atoms 34 or a couple consisting of a hydrogen negative H" ion 35 and a hydrogen positive H<+> ion 36, from each diatomic molecule 33 of hydrogen. A contribution to this process of weakening the bond and of making, in particular H- ions 35, is given by a heating step 130 of surface 23 of the clusters up to a temperature Ti larger than a predetermined critical temperature TD, as shown in Fig. 15; this heating causes furthermore, an adsorption of the hydrogen in the form of H- ions 37 into clusters 21 (Fig. 3).

The clusters 21 with the adsorbed hydrogen 37 in this form represent an active core that is available for nuclear reactions, which can be started place by a triggering step 140; such step consists of supplying an impulse of energy 26 that causes the capture 150 by an atom 38 of the clusters of the H- ions 37 adsorbed within the clusters, with a consequent exchange of an electron 42, as diagrammatically shown in Fig. 5, such that the succession of reactions causes a release of energy 43 to which a step 160 of production of heat 27 is associated, which requires a step of removal 170 of this heat towards an use, not shown.

During the step 110 of prearranging clusters 21 , the predetermined number of atoms of the transition metal of the clusters is controlled by observing a physical property of the transition metal, chosen for example between thermal conductivity, electric conductivity, refraction index. These physical quantities have a net transition, when the number of atoms of a crystal aggregate exceeds a critical number above which the aggregate looses the properties of a cluster. For each transition metal, in fact is a number of atoms detectable below which a discrete level structure according to Kohn-Sham tends to prevail over a band structure according to Thomas-Fermi, which is responsible of the main features that define the many features of the clusters, some of which properties are used for determining the nature of surface 23 during the step 110 of prearranging the clusters. In Fig. 4 in the periodic table of the chemical elements the position is indicated of the transition metals that are adapted for the process. They are in detail, Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Zn, Y, Zr, Nb, Pd, Mo, Tc, Ru, Rh, Ag, Cd, Lu, Hf, Ta, W, Re, Os, Ir1 Pt, Au, lanthanoids, actinoids, an alloy of two or more than two of the above listed metals. They belong to one of the four transition metals groups, i.e.: metals that have a partially filled 3d-shell, e.g. Nickel; metals that have a partially filled 4d-shell, e.g. Rhodium; metals that have a partially filled 5d-shell, i.e. the "rare earths" or lanthanoids, e.g. Cerium; metals that have a partially filled 5d-shell, i.e. the actinonoids, e.g.Thorium. The particular electronic conformation of the transition metals allows in fact that the conditions of anharmonicity are created such that the wave vectors sum with each other of the phonons, which interfere at the surface of the metal that is also a surface of discontinuity, and a reticular fluctuation is generated that is both in spatial phase and in time phase within the clusters, and such that an energy "gap" is exceeded that is necessary to start a chain of processes whose final act is the orbital capture of the H- ion 37, as diagrammatically shown in Fig. 5. In order to achieve a result that is industrially acceptable, it is necessary to reach a temperature higher than the Debye temperature T0, for example the temperature Ti as shown in fig. 15, which shows a typical temperature trend from heating step 130 to heat removal step 170, during which a balance value is obtained of the temperature Teq at the active core 1. The triggering step is assisted by the presence of a thermal gradient [Delta]T along the metal surface of the active core 1 , as shown for example in Fig. 24.

The clusters 21 (Figs. 2 and 3) have a crystalline structure 19 that is typical of the chosen transition metals or alloy of transition metals. In Figs, from 6 to 10 crystal reticules with open faces are shown, which assist the process for adsorption of the hydrogen, in the form of H- ion 37 (Fig. 3), into a cluster 21 , characterised by such structural arrangement. They comprise: face-centred cubic crystalline structure, fee (110) (Figs. 6, 7 and 8);
- body-centred cubic crystalline structure, bcc (111) (Fig. 9);
- compact hexagonal structure, hep (1010) (Fig. 10). For example, the Nickel can crystallize according to the face-centred cubic structure shown in the perspective view of Fig. 6, where six atoms 2 are shown arranged according to a diagonal plane.

In Fig. 7 a top plan view is shown of a three-dimensional model comprising a plurality of atoms arranged according to the structure of Fig. 6, whereas Fig. 8 is a further perspective view of a model that shows, between the atoms of the upper level, six atoms 2 that are arranged on two different rows separate from a space 60. As shown in Fig. 11 , in this space 60 the hydrogen atoms 37 are arranged in the form of adsorbed H- ions in the above described crystalline structure. This occurs also for transition metals that crystallize in a body-centred cubic crystalline structure, as shown in the perspective view of Fig. 9, where the five atoms 2 are shown arranged at the vertices and at the centre of a diagonal plane of a cube, and also for metals that crystallize in the structure of Fig. 10.

The step of prearranging clusters 110, in case of an active core that is obtained by depositing a predetermined amount of said transition metal in the form of micro/nanometric clusters on a surface of a substrate, is shown with higher detail in the block diagram of Fig. 12 and in the temperature profile of Fig. 13. In particular, after a step 111 of loading a substrate in a preparation chamber, a step 113 is provided of depositing the transition metal on the substrate preferably by means of sputtering, or spraying, or epitaxial deposition; the deposited metal is then heated further up to a temperature close to the melting temperature Tf (Fig. 13), in order to bring it to an incipient fusion, and then follows a slow cooling, step 118, in particular up to an average core temperature of about 600<0>C, after which a quick cooling 119 is operated up to room temperature. This has the object of "freezing" the cluster structure that had been obtained at high temperature, which would otherwise evolve towards balance, without stopping at a cluster size, if the slow cooling 118 would be continued.

In Fig. 14 a block diagram is shown an alternative step of prearranging clusters 110, in which the depositing step 113 is followed by a step 114 of cleaning the substrate, which is carried out preferably by means of repeatedly creating and removing a vacuum of at least 10<~9> bar at a temperature of at least 350<0>C. Such operative conditions, in particular the ultra high vacuum, have the object for quantitatively removing any gas that is adsorbed on or adsorbed in the substrate, which would reduce drastically the interactions between the valence electron plasma of surface 23 and the hydrogen ions H", avoiding the adsorption of the hydrogen 31 in the clusters 21 even if a physical surface adsorption has been achieved. Then a treatment step 120 follows of the clusters 21 with a flow of cold hydrogen, which causes also the quick cooling step 119. As shown in the diagram of Fig. 15, in a period of the cooling step 119 the temperature of the active core is higher than the critical temperature TD, which allows an adsorption of the hydrogen negative ions 37 in the clusters 21 (Fig. 3), such that at the end of step 110, after the quick cooling step 119, an active core is obtained that is adapted to be triggered, without that a specific treatment with hydrogen and a specific heating step 130 are necessary (v. Fig. 1 ).

In any case, the step 120 of feeding hydrogen is carried out in order to provide a relative pressure between 0,001 millibar and 10 bar, preferably between 1 millibar and 2 bar, to ensure an optimal number of hits of the hydrogen molecules 31 against surface 23, avoiding in particular surface desorption and other undesired phenomena caused by excessive pressure; furthermore, the speed 32 of the hydrogen molecules 31 (Fig. 3) is less than 3 m/s, and has a direction substantially parallel to surface 23, in order to obtain small angles of impact 39 that assist the adsorption and avoid back emission phenomena.

In Fig. 15, furthermore, the temperature is shown beyond which the planes reticular start sliding, which is set between the temperatures corresponding to the absorption peaks [alpha] and [beta], above which the adsorption of the H- ions 37 in the clusters 21 is most likely. Figure 15 refers also to the case in which, after the step of adsorption of hydrogen, that is effected at a temperature that is higher than critical temperature TD, a cooling step 119 is carried out at room temperature of the active core. The step of triggering 140 follows then a specific heating step 130 starting from the room temperature up to the predetermined temperature Ti that is larger than the Debye temperature of the metal TD, in a time t<*> that is as short as possible, preferably less than 5 minutes, in order not to affect the structure of the clusters and/or to cause desorbing phenomena before triggering step 140.

The critical temperature T0 is normally set between 100 and 450<0>C, more preferably between 200 and 45O<0>C; hereafter the Debye temperature is indicated for some of the metals above indicated: Al 426K; Cd 186K; Cr 610K; Cu 344.5K; Au 165K; [alpha]-Fe 464K; Pb 96K; [alpha]-Mn 476K; Pt 240K; Si 640K; Ag 225K; Ta 240K; Sn 195K; Ti 420K; W 405K; Zn 300K.

Such impulsive triggering action generates lattice vibrations, or phonons, having an amplitude such that the H- ions can pass the second activation threshold and achieve the conditions necessary for replacing electrons of atoms of the metal, creating metal-hydrogen complex ions (Fig. 5).

The orbital capture of the H- ions 37 is assisted by a gradient of temperature between two points of the active core, in particular set between 100<0>C and 300<0>C, which has a trend like the example shown in Fig. 24.

In Fig. 16 an energy generator 50 is shown according to the invention, comprising an active core 1 housed in a generation chamber 53. The active core can be heated by an electric winding 56 that can be connected to a source of electromotive force, not shown. A cylindrical wall 55 separates generation chamber 53 from an annular chamber 54, which is defined by a cylindrical external wall 51 and have an inlet 64 and an outlet 65 for a heat exchange fluid, which is used for removing the heat that is developed during the nuclear reactions. The ends of central portion 51 are closed in a releasable way respectively by a portion 52 and a portion 59, which are adapted also for supporting the ends in an operative position.

Generator 50, furthermore, comprises a means 61 , 62, 67 for triggering the nuclear reaction, consisting of: a means for producing an impulsive electric current through an electrostrictive portion of the active core; - a means for casting a laser impulse on the active core.

In Figs, from 19 to 23 three different embodiments are shown of an active core having an extended surface, using as substrate a body that is permeable to hydrogen, for example a package 81 of sheets 82 of the transition metal, wherein a surface 83 can be in turn a porous surface; alternatively, the active core can also be a plurality of particles of whichever shape, preferably with nano- or micro- granulometry, in particular micro/nanometric clusters. Such particles can be sintered as shown in Fig. 20 to form a body 85 having a desired geometry, or they can be loose, enclosed in a container 84, preferably of ceramic. Another possibility, shown in Fig. 22, consists of a tube bundle 86 where tubes 87 act as substrate for a layer 88 of transition metal that is deposited in the form of clusters at least on a surface portion of each tube 87.

The device of Fig. 17 has an elongated casing 10, which is associated with a means for making and maintaining vacuum conditions inside, not shown. In particular the residual pressure during the step of cleaning the substrate is kept identical or less than 10<~9> absolute bar, for removing impurities, in particular gas that is not hydrogen. Furthermore, a means is provided, not shown in the figures, for moving substrate 3 within casing 10, in turn on at least three stations 11 , 12 and 13. Station 11 is a chamber for preparation of the clusters where the surface of the substrate 3 is coated with a layer of a transition metal in the form of clusters by a process of sputtering. In chamber 11 a means is provided, not depicted, for bringing and maintaining the substrate at a temperature identical or higher than 350<0>C. In station 12 a cooling step 119 is carried out (Figs. 14 and 15) of the deposited metal on the substrate, by feeding cold hydrogen and at a pressure preferably set between 1 millibar and 2 relative bar, so that they can be adsorbed on the metal. In station 13 instead a controlling step is carried out of the crystalline structure, for example by computing a physical property, such as thermal conductivity, electric conductivity, or refraction index, in order to establish the nature of clusters of the crystals deposited on the substrate 3; preferably, furthermore, a thickness control is carried out of the crystal layer and of the cluster surface density.

Figure 18 represents diagrammatically a device 80 that comprises a single closed casing 90, in which a section for preparing an active core 1 of the type shown in Fig. 17 and a reactor 50 are enclosed, thus preserving the core from contamination, in particular from gas that is distinct from hydrogen during the time between the step of depositing the clusters and the step of triggering the reactions.

The foregoing description of a specific embodiment will so fully reveal the invention according to the conceptual point of view, so that others, by applying current knowledge, will be able to modify and/or adapt for various applications such an embodiment without further research and without parting from the invention, and it is therefore to be understood that such adaptations and modifications will have to be considered as equivalent to the specific embodiment. The means and the materials to realise the different functions described herein could have a different nature without, for this reason, departing from the field of the invention. It is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.



WO 9520816
ENERGY GENERATION AND GENERATOR BY MEANS OF ANHARMONIC STIMULATED FUSION

Publication date:     1997-09-30
Inventor(s):     PIANTELLI FRANCESCO [IT] + (PIANTELLI, FRANCESCO)
Applicant(s):     UNI [IT] + (UNIVERSITA, DEGLI STUDI DI SIENA)
Classification: - international:     G21B1/00; G21B3/00; (IPC1-7): G21B1/00 - European:     G21B3/00; Y02E30/18
Also published as:     WO 9520816 // SK 97896 // RU 2155392 // PL 315654 // PL 176912  // BG 100797

Abstract -- A process of energy generation and an energy generator by means of anharmonic stimulate fusion of hydrogen isotores absorbed on metal comprising a charging step on a metallic core (1) of a quantity of hydrogen isotopes H and D; a heating step in which said core (1) is heated (9) to reach a temperature higher than Debue,s temperature of the material composing the core; a startup step wherein a vibrational stress is produced with a rise time less than 0.1 seconds which activates a nuclear fusion of said hydrogen isotopes; a stationary step during which it is exhanged (3,5) the heat produced by the H+D nuclear fusion reaction which occurs in the core (1) because of a steady keeping of a coherent multimodal system of stationary oscillations.

DESCRIPTION
 
Field of the invention

The present invention relates to the field of energy production by means of nuclear fusion and, more precisely, it relates to a process for generation of energy by means of anharmonic stimulated fusion of hydrogen isotopes adsorbed on a crystal lattice.

Furthermore, the invention relates to an energy generator which carries out said process.

Description of the prior art

The problem of procurement of energy has driven industry and research laboratories more and more to study new sources of energy. Among these, a particularly interesting source is the nuclear fusion.

During the studies on nuclear fusion, one applicant has, to that end, realised a "Device for the startup and control of the process of energy production obtained by means of excitation of vibrations of the crystal lattice of a material containing deuterium," described in Italian patent application no. SI/92/A/000002.

The process upon which the functioning of said device is based comprises a step for the preparation of an electrode composed of a metallic material formed either by a single metal or by an alloy of metallic components capable of receiving deuterium, and having a precise crystalline structure, e.g. isometric. Said step of preparation of the electrode comprises first an operation of degassing the electrode in order to clean its crystalline structure. Subsequently, a certain quantity of deuterium (D) is let into the crystal lattice of the electrode at a pre-established temperature and pressure.

Then, when the ratio of the number of deuterium atoms to the metallic atoms (D/Me) exceeds the threshold limit of 0.7, a fusion reaction D+D is activated among the deuterium atoms adsorbed in the crystal lattice following the application of a disturbance which sets the consecutive lattice planes into push-pull vibration.

Systems for removal of the thermic energy generated by the fusion are provided for.

The device and process illustrated above, however, present considerable difficulties when it comes to actually putting them into practice. First of all, the use of deuterium is expensive in the case of industrial application of the device. Furthermore, the startup step of the reaction is scarcely controllable or repeatable.

In fact, in many cases, the amount of energy obtained has been different than that expected on the basis of the energetic values attributable to a D+D reaction and, in any case, has been not constant in identical initial conditions of preparation and startup.

Summary of the invention

An object of the present invention is, instead, to provide a process for the generation of energy which is able to accomplish a fusion of hydrogen isotopes adsorbed on metal and which can be inexpensively reproduced at an industrial level as well as easily activated and shutdown.

A further object of the present invention is to provide an energy generator which activates the abovementioned process.

These and other objects are accomplished by the present invention wherein the generation process is characterised by the fact that it comprises:

- a charging step in a metallic core of a quantity of hydrogen isotopes H and D which are adsorbed in the crystal lattice of said core;
- a heating step in which said core charged with hydrogen isotopes is heated to reach a temperature higher than the threshold temperature corresponding to Debye's constant temperature of the material composing said core;
- a startup step of said core wherein a vibrational stress is produced which activates a nuclear fusion reaction of said hydrogen isotopes;
- a stationary step during which it is possible to exchange the heat produced by the H+D nuclear fusion reaction which occurs in the core because of a steady continuation of a coherent multimodal system of stationary oscillations.

A step is also provided for the shutdown of the fusion reaction, in case it is necessary to interrupt it, by means of production of a further vibrational stress which disorganises said coherent multimodal system of stationary oscillations.

The threshold temperature which must, necessarily, be surpassed in said heating step is Debye's constant and which, for many of the metals utilizable, is set out in table I. To have a greater probability of success of the reaction, said threshold temperature must be exceeded by at least a AT comprised between several degrees and several tens of degrees, according to the type of material in which the active core is formed. Debye's constant can, in any case, be calculated analytically, since it is equal to h/K*vcr, with h being Planck's constant, K being
Boltzmann's constant and vcr being a typical frequency of each material (for further details, see Charles Kittel, Introduction to Solid State Physics, John Willey & Sons,
New York).

The type of hydrogen to be adsorbed in said core is preferably natural hydrogen or, in other words, having a ratio between isotopes D and H of about 1/6000. It is however possible to obtain the reaction also with natural hydrogen depleted of or enriched with deuterium, with a ratio of isotopes D to H in any case higher than 1/80000 and preferably comprised between 1/10000 and 1/1000.

The novel characteristic of the generator is that it is provided with a reactor comprising: - an active core, on which natural hydrogen possibly enriched with deuterium is adsorbed; - a generation chamber containing said active core; - a prechamber for heating of a thermal carrier fluid; - a dome for the collection of said thermal carrier fluid; - a plurality of tubes wherein said fluid flows from said prechamber to said collection dome crossing said generation chamber.

Brief description of the drawings

Further characteristics and advantages of the process and the generator according to the present invention will become apparent in the description which follows of some of its possible embodiments, given as examples and not limitative, with reference to the attached drawings in which: - figure 1 shows a longitudinal sectional view of a first embodiment of the generator according to the invention; - figure 2 is a longitudinal sectional view of a second embodiment of the generator according to the present invention; - table I sets out the Debye's constant for several metals and alloys.

Description of the preferred embodiments

 


With reference to figure 1, a generator for actuating the process according to the invention comprises a generation chamber 2 crossed by a tube nest 5 in copper which extends between two flanges 10 welded to a support shell 11 which externally defines chamber 2. Tubes 5 cross flanges 10 and communicate with prechamber 3 comprising an annular jacket 3a delimited by a cylindrical shell 13 with inlets 3b. Furthermore, tubes 5 communicate with a collection dome 4 communicating through flanged nozzles 14 with means for heat exchange and a circulation pump which are not shown.

Chamber 2 communicates, through axial ducts 6 which cross dome 10 on one side and prechamber 3 on the other side, with a gas tank and an air pump not shown by means of connections of a known type placed externally of shell 13. Ducts 6 are suited to feed hydrogen or other gases into chamber 2.

On tubes 3, a metallic active core 1 of a thickness of several millimetres is electroplated. Around support shell 11, an electric coil 9, for example immersed in a ceramic matrix 9a, is wrapped.

The fluid, coming from inlets 3b and crossing tube nest 5, preheats itself in the jacket 3a, and removes the heat generated in core 1 during an anharmonic fusion reaction of the isotopes of hydrogen, the startup of which will be described further on.

With reference to figure 2, another embodiment of the generator according to the invention comprises an active core 1 having the form of a cylindrical bar inserted in chamber 2 contained in a heating cylinder 20 in which an electric winding 9 is immersed.

A jacket 15 formed by a support shell 11 and a cylindrical shell 13 allows for the passage of a thermal carrier fluid which enters through an inlet 22 and exits from an outlet 23 after having axially lapped shell 11.

The gas present in chamber 2 is controlled through chamber 24 communicating with a gas tank and with an air pump not shown by means of connections of a known type. Core 1 is in contact with an electrode 25 suited to transmit to it an impulse of a piezoelectric type to activate the anharmonic fusion reaction of the hydrogen isotopes as will now be described.

In both the generators of figures 1 and 2, windings 9 have a multiple function since, besides generating a magnetic field necessary for the adsorption of the hydrogen by the core, they also have the function of heating the chamber of the thermal carrier fluid as well as the function of startup of the reaction, for example by means of an electrical impulse with a magnetostrictive effect.

Core 1, in the first case shown (fig. 1), is a metal layer, for example a multiple layer of Nickel and Chromium alternated, while in the second case (fig. 2), it is a cylindrical metallic bar, for example of Nickel-Chromium steel. Core 1 preferably has a homogeneous surface without, in so far as possible, any nicks or defects. In the crystal lattice of core 1, by means of known techniques, natural hydrogen, having a ratio of D isotopes to H isotopes of about 1/6000, is made to adsorb. The percentage of deuterium D with respect to the hydrogen H can also be greater than that indicated even though, with
D/H ratio greater than 1/1000, there may not be an economic advantage in the exploitation of the reaction, due to the current costs of deuterium, as well as the difficulty of interrupting the reaction with a normal shutdown operation as will be described further on.

1) Charging step

Among the known techniques for charging hydrogen in the active core so that the hydrogen isotopes become chemically adsorbed in the crystal lattice, there are the following: - electrolytic adsorption - immersion of the core in a gaseous environment containing hydrogen at a pre-established temperature and pressure; - immersion of the core in solutions of HC1, HNO3, H2SO4; - immersion of the core in galvanic baths containing, for example, NH3 when the metal constituting the core is deposited on a support composed of a material such as Cu or ceramic.

Some materials require the application of a magnetic field having an intensity greater than the saturation field, generally greater than 0.1 Tesla. In the two cases of the generators described above, the magnetic field is produced by winding 9.

The absolute pressure of the hydrogen inside the generation chamber must be maintained at values preferably comprised between 1 and 1000 millibar and, in any case, lower than 4 bar, beyond which adsorption no longer takes place unless at extremely high pressures ( > 50 bar).

The chemical adsorption of the hydrogen isotopes in the metal of the core causes the disassociation of the H2 and D2 molecules and the creation inside the crystalline structure of the core of covalent bonds (hydrides) between the H and D atoms with the metal. The electrostatic repulsion among the hydrogen atoms is screened by the excess of negative charge created by the free electrons of the metal. Therefore, the decrease of the electrostatic repulsion due to these bonds allows for the bonded atoms to approach one another more closely than is normally possible with free atoms in identical conditions.

When the crowding of the H and D isotopes adsorbed on the metal in the proportion stated above is sufficiently high, for example with a numeric ratio of hydrogen isotopes to metal atoms greater than 0.3, a strong reticular vibration, however created, can make the two systems Me+H and D+Me approach one another, so that atoms H and D come to be at a distance lesser than that in which the nuclear force enters into play.

2) Heating step

According to the invention, only when the temperature of the active core 1 is raised to a value higher than Debye's constant of the material composing the core, of which the values of many metals are listed in table 1, is it possible to successfully carry out the startup of the fusion reaction. In fact, only above said temperature do the number of anharmonic oscillations of the crystal lattice, in which the hydrogen is adsorbed, become greater than the number of oscillations of harmonic type with following increase of the probability that the vibrational wave vectors add up one another.It is, however, necessary that, in order to successfully activate the reaction, Debye's constant be exceeded by several degrees to several tens of degrees according to the metal used for the core, so as to allow the "population" of anharmonic oscillations to sufficiently exceed that of the harmonic oscillations.

The heating step can be carried out by means of any known system, for example thermoelectric heating, oxidation of combustibles or other exoenergetic chemical reactions, recombination of ions into polyatomic molecules, laser impulses and immersion in hot fluids.

3) Startup step

At the points of the core on which the hydrogen has been adsorbed or, in other words, in proximity to the external surface of the core, a push-pull oscillation of the lattice can successfully cause two hydrogen isotopes, respectively hydrogen H and deuterium D, to approach one another more closely than the critical distance at which, as described above, the nuclear forces enter into play.

According to the invention, it is possible, in the conditions described above and only in those conditions, to activate the localised nuclear reaction described above, producing a stress in the active core capable of producing the coherent addition of a great number of wave vectors thus obtaining a local gigantic vibrational impulse capable of sufficiently exciting the crystal lattice where the hydrogen isotopes are adsorbed. Local volume variations due to expansion of the active core surface have been measured which are 20 times greater than those measured in the non active portion of the core.

Each H+D fusion produces He, freeing 5,5 MeV, which is sufficient energy to completely vaporise the area surrounding the point in which the reaction has occurred.

In this case, the complete H+D reaction would be H+D = 3He + 7 of 5,5 MeV. However, in this case, no 7 photons or other particles are freed from the core, since the duration of covalent hydrogen-metal bonds is on the order of leo~15 - 10-16 seconds, whereas the nuclear interaction time is on the order of 10 18 - leo 21 seconds. Therefore, the energy freed from the fusion can dissipate through the lattice without emission of particles or 7 photons. (See Max Born, Atomic Physics, ed. Blacky and Son, Glasgow; A.F.Davydov, Teoria del nucleo atomico, ed Zanichelli, Bologna; G.K. Werthaim, Mössbauer Effect)

In more detail, after having exceeded the Debye's constant, the probability that the H+D reaction is activated is grater when the anharmonic terms of the interatomic displacement become important, and this can happen only when the temperature is sufficiently higher than Debye's constant, at a characteristic temperature for each material. Under these conditions, following the production of a sufficiently strong stimulus by means of an external action, the quanta of vibrational energy crossing the crystal lattice, instead of oscillating in a disorganised manner, coherently interact with following addition of the wave vectors tangentially to the surface of the active core and with consequent creation of amplified energy peaks in particular points (loci).The wave trains which move on the active material of the core, besides creating localised fusions, form a coherent multimodal system of stationary oscillations inside portions of the active material of the core, thus causing a negative change of entropy and consequent discharge of heat, which can be exploited by the generator according to the invention.

Subsequently, the stationary wave continues to maintain itself by means of the pump effect produced by the H+D reactions. In fact, because the configuration of the lattice is altered by the localised vaporisations caused by the individual H+D fusions displaced in said loci, the wave vectors add up again in other loci, close to the previous ones but where the lattice is still intact, and activate further H+D reactions. With repetition of the fusions, the core comes to have a surface with a plurality of substantially equidistant cavities separated by tracts of still intact lattice, and the mass of the active core becomes progressively smaller as a result of the successive localised vaporisations.

A further, significant contribution to the maintenance of the stationary wave is provided by the interaction of the electrons with the lattice, especially in the presence of a variable electromagnetic field. In fact, every transition from one Fermi's state to another involves the emission of a particle of a given frequency and wave vector.(See Charles Kittel, Introduction to Solid
State Physics, John Willey & Sons, New York)

The startup step can be carried out by means of various known types of impulses, as long as the rise time is less than 10~1 seconds.

In cases in which the active core is composed of pure metals or their compounds with other elements or substances, steels, stainless steels, alloys or metallic systems of single or multiple layer, the startup step can be carried out according to one of the following methods.

- Thermic stress method obtained through pressure gradients: polyatomic gas such as H2, D HD, as 2' 2' D, HT, C2H4, 0, NH3, N2 , O2, etc., is inserted in the generation chamber with negative enthalpic difference of physical adsorption (AH) and a corresponding pressure gradient comprised between 1 millibar and 4 bar. As already known, the gas introduced generates thermic stress on the surface of the active core, due to a transitory dissociation of the gas molecules and further sudden exoenergetic reaction forming again the molecules and catalysed by the surface of the core itself. Such thermic stress causes the formation of wave trains of reaction and quick startup of the process of energy production through nuclear fusion between H and D, as described above.The embodiment of figure 1 is designed for exactly this type of startup in which the polyatomic gas is introduced through ducts 6 shown in figure 1. During the reaction, by means of the passage of current through winding 9 placed along the entire length of the core 1, a constant magnetic field comprised between 0.2 and 1.5 Tesla is maintained.

- Method with mechanic impulse: a mechanical impulse of torsion, traction or compression is applied to the ends of the active core with an intensity and rise time, for example 10 seconds, sufficient to provoke a structural deformation which then activates the fusion process.

- Method with electric striction: an electrical current impulse is applied to the ends of the active core with suitable peak values and rise times, for example 1000
Ampere for 30 nanoseconds, to provoke a structural deformation which then activates the fusion process. The embodiment of figure 2 is designed also for this type of startup, wherein the alternate voltage impulse is produced by an electrode 25 connected to active core 1 and fed by means of cables 8.

- Optoelectronic method: A laser beam impulse of high potency, for example 1MW, is engraved on the core and provokes a shock wave and temperature stress which, in turn, cause a sudden structural deformation which then activates the fusion process.

- Radio-frequency method: An impulse of radiofrequency is applied to the active core having a frequency which corresponds either to the resonance frequency of the spins of the hydrogen isotopes or to the plasma frequency of the free electrons of the crystal lattice.

- Ultrasonic vibration method: The active core is contained in a resonant cavity. An energy impulse of ultrasonic vibrations is applied to the active core, having an intensity and duration (for example 10-1 seconds) sufficient to provoke the reaction of fusion.

In cases in which the material forming the active core is a type, such as a crystal, which subject to the piezoelectric effect, the startup step can be activated by means of a method with inverse piezoelectric effect, sending to the ends of the metallic core alternate voltage impulses with a frequency equal to that of the mechanic resonance of the core with peak values (for example greater than 5kV) sufficient to provoke a structural deformation which then activates the process of fusion.

The embodiment of figure 2 is also designed for this type of startup, in which the alternate voltage impulse is produced by electrode 25 connected to active core 1 and fed through cables 8.

If, finally, the material forming the active core is of a ferromagnetic type, the startup step can be activated by means of a magnetostrictive method which consists in the production, along the metallic core, of a magnetic field with peak values higher than the intensity of magnetic saturation and a rise time lower than 10~1 seconds. This type of startup can be carried out both with the generator of figure 1 and that of figure 2 by applying an electromagnetic impulse through winding 9.

4) Heat exchange step

Subsequent to the startup, the reaction is maintained in stationary conditions by exchanging heat by means of a thermal carrier fluid made to circulate in the tube nest 5 crossing the generation chamber of figure 1 or through jacket 15 of figure 2. The removal of heat must not exceed a level where it makes the temperature of the active core fall below Debye's constant, in which case a slow shutdown of the reaction would occur.

With regard to the thermal power which can be obtained, the dimensions and form of the active core play an important ro. The active core can have the form of a rod, a lamina, separate and/or tangled wires, free or pressed powder, with or without binder. For example, in generation chamber 2 of figure 1, the active core can be composed, rather than of metal deposited on tubes 5, of a plurality of bars placed in various points of the chamber itself. Alternatively, chamber 2 can be filled with metallic powder.

Clearly, the temperature of core 1 which houses the reaction must remain well under the temperature of transition, above which the lattice looses its crystalline properties and passes to an amorphous state comparable to the vitreous state, and this happens at temperatures which are lower than the melting temperature of each metal. In said conditions, in fact, the core would have a response to the oscillations completely different from the behaviour which occurs when the state is crystalline, because the preferential direction on which the wave vectors add up would disappear, with absolutely no possibility of having the above-described reaction.

It is also necessary that the steady functioning temperature to which the core is brought does not approach particular critical temperatures, which are well known for every metal and identifiable from experimentally obtained adsorption diagrams, at which the phenomenon of progressive expulsion of hydrogen from the lattice occurs.

5) Shutdown step

The reaction can be interrupted by arresting the coherent multimodal system of stationary oscillations by simply producing a further vibrational stress which disorganises the system through a positive local production of entropy.

This can, for example, be accomplished by creating a forced vacuum in the generation chamber (absolute pressure less than 0.1 millibar) and introducing a jet of gas with positive AH of dissociation, for example H2. Because of the impact with the active surface, the molecules dissociate, and a rapid removal of the lattice's energy occurs, with consequent negative temperature stress. The sudden temperature decrease provokes the disorganisation of the active loci and the shutdown of the nuclear reaction among the hydrogen isotopes.

Alternatively, even leaving the pressure of the gas inside the generation chamber unaltered, it is sufficient to exchange heat cooling the active core up to the point where the temperature of the core itself is brought below Debye's constant. The exchange of heat can, for example, be accomplished by making a fluid at a temperature well under Debye's constant circulate in the tube nest crossing the generation chamber.

In order to provide an even more detailed description of the process according to the present invention, in the following, several practical examples will be set out relative to the application of the abovementioned steps to a metallic active core whose crystal lattice has adsorbed a certain quantity of natural hydrogen.

Example

On a 90 mm long bar with a diameter of 5 mm, made of a metallic material (Clunil) formed by isometric crystals having Nickel and Chromium atoms in equal number and alternated, natural hydrogen (D/H = 1/6000) was made to adsorb following the introduction of H2 at a pressure of 500 mbar and temperature of 2200C with contemporaneous immersion in a magnetic field of 1 Tesla obtained by means of coil 9 wound around the core itself. The generator utilised was the one illustrated in figure 1, with tube nest 5 not coated with metallic layer.

The chamber containing the bar was then gradually brought to a temperature of 200 above Debye's constant, which for Clunil is 1920C.

The startup occurred with the thermoelectric method (by a thermic impulse produced by a current impulse passing through winding 9), with the core inserted at all times in the above-mentioned magnetic field and immersed in natural hydrogen at a pressure of 500 millibar. More precisely, the startup was obtained with an impulse intensity of 1000A and a rise time of 30 nanoseconds.

During the course of the reaction, a total net average heat of 1.29 MJ was removed per day, for 58 days, after which the reaction was stopped with a shutdown accomplished by the introduction of H2, after having temporarily provoked a vacuum (0.1 mbar).

While stopping the reaction, it was observed that during the course of the transient, radioactive isotopes were detected, that it is believed are due to the impact against the neighbouring nuclei of the nuclei of H, D, 3He which are accelerated by the energy of 7 photons (5,5 MeV) produced by the last reactions H+D and not given to the lattice for activating further reactions.

Example 2

On a 200 mm long Nickel bar with a diameter of 3 mm, natural hydrogen (D/H = 1/6000) was made to adsorb with the method of immersion in gaseous environment at the critical temperature of 1980C and contemporaneous application of a magnetic field of 1 Tesla obtained by means of coil 9 wound around the core. The generator used was the one illustrated in figure 2.

The chamber containing the bar was then brought to a temperature of 200 above Debye's constant, which, for Nickel, is 1670C.

The startup occurred with the electric striction method, or, in other words, by applying to the core an electrode through which an impulse of piezoelectric nature was transmitted. More precisely, the startup was obtained with an impulse of at least 10kV and a rise time of 0.1 seconds.

During the reaction, a net total average heat of 4.74 MJ was removed per day, for a period of 31 days, after which, the reaction was stopped with a slow shutdown.

Example 3

On a 90 mm long bar with a diameter of 5 mm, made of AISI 316 steel which has been tempered at 4000C to eliminate internal stresses, natural hydrogen (D/H = about 1/6000) was made to adsorb with the method of immersion into acid solution and then both immersion in gaseous environment at the absolute pressure of 600 mbar and application of a magnetic field of 1 Tesla obtained by means of coil 9 wound around the core.

The chamber containing the bar was then brought to a above Debye's constant and precisely at 3140C.

The startup was accomplished both with the thermo electric method and by the thermal stress method due to gaseous recombination.

During the reaction, a net total average heat of 2.64 MJ was removed per day, for a period of 34 days, after which the reaction was stopped with a slow shutdown obtained with cooling below the critical temperature.

Example 4

In a generator like the one illustrated in figure 1, comprising a generation chamber crossed by a tube nest made of copper, on each tube a layer of 2mm of pure Nickel was electroplated, in which natural hydrogen (D/H = about 1/6000) was made to adsorb with the method of immersion in gaseous environment at the absolute pressure of 600 mbar and contemporaneous application of a magnetic field of 1

Tesla obtained by means of a coil wound around the core and immersed in a ceramic matrix.

The chamber containing the strip of tubes was then brought to a temperature of 2100C, 570 above Debye's constant.

The startup was accomplished with the magnetostrictive method, or, in other words, by applying an electromagnetic impulse to the core through winding 9.

More precisely, the startup was obtained with an impulse of 0.8 Tesla and rise time of 0.1 seconds.

During the reaction, by means of thermal carrier fluid crossing the strip of tubes, an net total average heat of 4.9 MJ was exchanged per day, for a period of 6 days, after which, the reaction was stopped with a slow shutdown obtained with cooling below the critical temperature.

The industrial applicability of the generation process and of the generator which actuates said process is, therefore, evident, given that they allow for the production of energy in the form of heat by means of nuclear fusion at limited temperatures, without emission of radioactive or otherwise dangerous particles and for long periods. The materials used both for the active core and for the rest of the generator are inexpensive, thus providing considerable possibilities for economic exploitation.

In cases in which the active core is formed in a material having a higher Debye's constant, such as Silicon (6400K), the temperature at which heat exchange takes place is higher than in the examples described above.

Therefore, it is possible to directly exploit the energy acquired by the thermal carrier fluid which crosses the generator, for example to move turbine blades or for similar applications.

The creation of 3He, as a product of the reaction, is, furthermore, also industrially exploitable given the present high cost of this gas.



ITSI920002
Thermo-optomagnetopiezo-electrode: Device for priming and controlling the process of energy production by excitation of vibrations in the crystal lattice of a material containing D


Abstract -- The process for production of thermal energy is based on the fusion of nuclei of deuterium, entrapped in the crystal lattice of a deuterisable material, used as material sensitive to the type of excitation selected. The thermo-optomagnetopiezo-electrode constitutes the lattice activation system for the trapping of D and H and for priming the fusion, and it represents the basic element of the process: the operation consists in the production of a sonic wave train, with frequency depending on the dimensions and the physical characteristics of the system, by thermal or thermoelectric or magnetomechanical or piezoelectric or presso-optical or presso-mechanical excitation, or generated by the shock wave of molecular or particle beams, ions, protons, deuterons, neutrons, electrons, etc.







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