Professor George Miley of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and director of its Fusion Studies Lab, reported on progress toward a cold fusion battery—a small power unit that uses a low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) (i.e., “cold fusion”) to process an energy release from an electrolytic cell operating at low temperature and that could be competitive with a Li-ion battery or a fuel cell
The process is created by purposely creating defects in the metal electrode of the cell. Deuterium atoms diffuse into the electrode material from the heavy water used in the electrolyte. The deuterium atoms “pile up” in the defect region and form a very dense state that in turn undergoes nuclear reactions—in this case like the original “cold fusion” reactions originally disclosed by Pons and Fleischmann.
The cell generates more energy due to these energy releasing reactions than it consumes in the electrolysis process. Once further optimized and energy conversion elements, such as thermoelectric converters, are added, the cell could produce electricity. This would in effect represent a small “battery” that, due to its nuclear input power processes, could have much longer lifetimes than conventional batteries, Miley said.
Miley’s research is focusing on nano-manufactured structures to achieve a high volumetric density of the trap sites
There are several other large claims at the conference –
Tadahiko Mizuno (Hokkaido University, Japan) claims to have developed an unconventional cold fusion device that uses phenanthrene, a substance found in coal and oil, as a reactant. He reports on excess heat production and gamma radiation production from the device. Overall heat production is claimed to be over one hundred times more than any conceivable chemical reaction.
Vladimir Vysotskii (Kiev National Shevchenko University, Ukraine) will present experimental evidence that bacteria can undergo a type of cold fusion process and could be used to dispose of nuclear waste. He will describe studies of nuclear transmutation of stable and radioactive isotopes in biological systems.
George Miley Goal is to Produce Power
We are aimed at a power-producing unit. We do this by creating nano voids within the metal lattice where we create deuterium clusters—a sub-lattice of tightly packed deuterium. To do that, we have to do nano manufacturing of material to create the places for it to react, and then we have to create the engineering necessary to control, get the heat out, and convert that to electrical output.
One thing that frustrates me to no end, is that I don’t know how to convert this energy directly. It looks like it will have to be a thermal conversion—that makes it not quite as easy as if I could get a direct conversion to electricity. If I produce heat and then convert, I’ll have to do some really clever elements to be competitive.
Our low energy nuclear reaction research (LENR) has embedded ultra high density deuterium “clusters” (D cluster) in Palladium (Pd) thin films. These clusters approach metallic conditions, exhibiting super conducting properties.  They represent “nuclear reactive sites” needed for LENR. The resulting reactions are vigorous, giving the potential for a high power density cell. Clusters are achieved through electrochemically loading-unloading deuterium into a thin metal palladium film creating local defects which form a strong potential trap where deuterium condenses into “clusters” of ~100 atoms. Research now focuses on nano-manufactured structures to achieve a high volumetric density of these trap sites. Alternately condensed deuterium inverted Rydberg 2.3-pm deuteron spacing is being studied.  To initiate reactions in these ultra high density deuterium clusters, efficient ways are needed to excite the deuterium via a momentum pulse. One is through pulsed electrolysis to achieve high fluxes of deuterons hitting the clusters.  Another method uses ion bombardment from a pulsed plasma glow discharge.  Electron beam and laser irradiation represent other approaches to be explored
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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