Oct 19, 2014

E-Cat長期試験報告 014

8. Fuel analysis

8. 燃料分析

The result from the heat measurement is remarkable by giving such a large amount of heat from the very small quantity of fuel powder used confined in the small volume of the reactor.


This large amount of heat is, as pointed out above, way beyond what can be expected from chemical burning, which only involves rearrangements of the fuel material at the atomic scale, i.e. by transforming atomic binding energies to kinetic energy.


Very large energy transformations can only take place when binding energies at the nuclear level are exploited, as in fusion reactions for light elements and fission reactions for heavy elements.


However fusion reactions between free charged particles are extremely unlikely at low energies due to the Coulomb barrier.


The conditions for fusion reactions between particles imbedded in a specific metal compound are not expected to be very much different from those of free particles, but this is not known in all details.


It is therefore not possible to categorically reject the occurrence of fusion reactions in a metal compound having specific properties, by referring to our knowledge of the fusion process between free particles.


In fact, as an example, the d(d,p)t fusion reaction cross sections have been observed [14] to depend on the temperature in deuterated metals at sub-Coulomb energies.

実際には、一例として、d(d,p)t 核融合反応断面が観察されている [14] 、サブクーロンエネルギーで重水素化金属中の温度に依存しているのだ。

This is an effect of screening from the electron cloud surrounding the interacting nuclei.


In Astrophysics it is also well known that low energy cross sections are higher than expected [see e.g. 14,15].

天体物理学でもよく次のことが知られている、低エネルギー断面は、予想よりも高い[see e.g. 14,15].

Whether fusion reactions can be induced at a large scale in a metal compound under specific conditions is an open question.


(訳注 27ページの終わり)

In order to get information on wheter any rearrangement at the nuclear level takes place in the fuel during the burning process in the E-Cat, we studied the isotopic composition of the fuel before and after the burning.


Any change in the isotopic composition of the fuel in E-Cat is expected to have its origin in a nuclear reaction.


The element analyses were performed by three different external groups, each specialized in the different techniques employed.


The work begun with an electron microscopy (SEM) scan to study the surface morphology of the fuel powder.


The analyzing methods employed were X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS), Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) and chemical analysis from Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) as well as atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES).


The full report from these analyses is presented in detail in the Appendices 3 and 4.


The XPS gives information on which elements are present in the fuel, while the SIMS and ICP-MS analyzing methods also give the isotopic composition of the nuclear species.


The ICP-AES analysis also gives the masses percentage of the found elements.


Both XPS and SIMS give information on which elements are present at the surface of a sample granule down to a depth of a few nanometers.


The ICP-MS is an integrating method giving the average isotopic composition of the whole fuel/ash sample being analyzed.


The ICP-AES also gives the mass values in the whole sample.


It is thus quite plausible that the four methods give rather different results depending on the sample granule chosen as well as in the case where the whole sample is used, provided that the burning process in the fuel is not even but varies locally as observed.

したがって、次のことがかなりもっともらしいことになります、4つの方法は、選択されたサンプル顆粒に応じてかなり異なる結果をもたらすということです、同様に、試料全体を使用した場合のように、提供されることは、燃料中の燃焼するプロセスが、イーブンでなく観察されたように局所的に変化しているということです。(訳注 この文の後半は意味がとれていません)

However, qualitatively the methods should yield the same results.


It should also be noted that our total sample was about 10 mg, i.e. only a small part of the total fuel weight of 1 g used in the reactor.

また、留意すべきであることは、私達の総サンプルは約10 mg であった​​、すなわち反応装置で使用される1グラムの総燃料重量のほんの一部であった​​(訳注 1%)

The sample was taken by us at random from the fuel and ash, observing utmost care to avoid any contamination.


An arbitrary sample of different granules is chosen for the analysis, but the same samples are used for both EDS and SIMS.


The fuel contains natural nickel powder with a grain size of a few microns.


The existence of natural Nickel content is confirmed by all four analyzing methods being used.


In addition the fuel is found to be mixed with a component containing hydrogen, i.e. probably a chemical hydride.


From all combined analysis methods of the fuel we find that there are significant quantities of Li, Al, Fe and H in addition to Ni.


Moreover from the EDS and XPS analysis one finds large amounts of C and O.


It should be stressed, that the quantities of most elements differ substantially depending on which granule is analyzed.


In addition to these elements there are small quantities of several other elements, but these can probably be considered as impurities.


It is plausible that the fuel is mixed with the standard Lithium Aluminum Hydride, LiAlH4.

推測できることは、燃料は、標準的な水素化アルミニウム・リチウム、LiAlH 4と混合されている。

Further evidence of that is obtained from the ICP-AES analysis which shows that the mass ratio between Li and Al is compatible with a LiAlH4 molecule.

このことのさらなる証拠は、ICP-AES分析から得られる、それから判ることは、LiとAlとの質量比は、分子のLiAlH 4に対応していることです。

This compound can be used to produce free hydrogen by heating.

(訳注 この指摘は LENR技術において、ニッケルにどのように水素を吸収させるかという技法として重要になると思われる)

We remark in particular that hydrogen but no deuterium was seen by SIMS.


The other methods are insensitive to both hydrogen and deuterium.


The ash has a different texture than the powder-like fuel by having grains of different sizes, probably developed from the heat.


The grains differ in element composition, and we would certainly have liked to analyze several more grains with SIMS, but the limited amount of ash being available to us didn’t make that possible.


The main result from our sample is nevertheless clear, that the isotopic composition deviates dramatically from the natural composition for both Li and Ni.


The Lithium content in the fuel is found to have the natural composition, i.e. 6Li 7 % and 7Li 93 %.

燃料中のリチウムの含有量は、天然の組成を有することが見出されている、すなわち6Liを7%と7Liを93%。(訳注 6Li は、原子量6リチウム、 7Liは原子量7のリチウム、本来数字は上付き)

However at the end of the run a depletion of 7Li in the ash was revealed by both the SIMS and the ICP-MS methods.


In the SIMS analysis the 7Li content was only 7.9% and in the ICP-MS analysis it was 42.5 %.


This result is remarkable since it shows that the burning process in E-Cat indeed changes the fuel at the nuclear level, i.e. nuclear reactions have taken place.


It is notable, but maybe only a coincidence, that also in Astrophysics a 7Li depletion is observed [see e.g. 17].

また注目に値することは、しかし、偶然の一致かもしれないのだが、天体物理学でもまた、7Liの枯渇が観察されるのだ文献17 参考]。

(訳注 28ページの終わり)

One can speculate about the nature of such reactions.


Considering Li and disregarding for a moment from the problem with the Coulomb barrier the depletion of 7Li might be due to the reaction p + 7Li  -> 8Be -> 4He + 4He.

リチウム Li を考慮し、クーロン障壁の問題点から一瞬間無視することで、7Liの枯渇は、次の反応が原因である可能性があります p + 7Li  -> 8Be -> 4He + 4He (訳注 pは中性子、7Li は、原子量7リチウム、 8Beは原子量8のベリリウム、4Heは原子量4のヘリウム、本来数字は上付き)

The momentum mismatch in the first step before 8Be decays can be picked up by any other particle in the vicinity.


In this case the large kinetic energy of the 4He (distributed between 7 and 10 MeV ) is transferred to heat in the reactor via multiple Coulomb scattering in the usual stopping process.


One can then estimate how much this reaction contributes to the total heat being produced in our test run.


From the ICP-AES analysis we find that there is about 0.011 gram of 7Li in the 1 gram fuel.


If each 7Li nucleus releases about 17 MeV we find then that the total energy available becomes 0.72 MWh.

もし仮にそれぞれの7Li核が約17 MeVのを解放した場合、私たちに利用可能な全エネルギーは0.72メガワットになることを次に見つける。

This is less than the 1.5 MWh actually produced in our 32 days run, so more energy has to come from other reactions, judging from this very rough and speculative estimate.


Another remarkable change in the ash as compared to the unused fuel is the identified change in the isotope composition of Ni.


The unused fuel shows the natural isotope composition from both SIMS and ICP-MS, i.e. 58Ni (68.1%), 60Ni (26.2%), 61Ni (1.1%), 62Ni (3.6%), and 64Ni (0.9%), whereas the ash composition from SIMS is: 58Ni (0.8.%), 60Ni (0.5%), 61Ni (0%), 62Ni (98.7%), 64Ni (0%), and from ICP-MS: 58Ni (0.8%), 60Ni (0.3%), 61Ni (0%), 62Ni (99.3%), 64Ni (0%).

未使用の燃料は、SIMSとICP-MSの両方からの天然同位体組成を示す、すなわち、58Ni (68.1%), 60Ni (26.2%), 61Ni (1.1%), 62Ni (3.6%), and 64Ni (0.9%), さらに、対して、SIMSからの灰組成物は: 58Ni (0.8.%), 60Ni (0.5%), 61Ni (0%), 62Ni (98.7%), 64Ni (0%), さらに、ICP-MSから:58Ni (0.8%), 60Ni (0.3%), 61Ni (0%), 62Ni (99.3%), 64Ni (0%)。

We note that the SIMS and ICP-MS give the same values within the estimated 3% error in the given percentages.


Evidently, there is also an isotope shift in Nickel.


There is a depletion of the 58Ni and 60Ni isotopes and a buildup of the 62Ni isotopes in the burning process.


We note that 62Ni is the nucleus with the largest binding energy per nucleon.


The origin of this shift cannot be understood from single nuclear reactions involving protons.


With alpha particles colliding with Ni one can in principle raise the atomic mass number by 4 via exciting 58Ni to 62Zn,

Niと衝突するアルファ粒子について考えてみると、人は、原理的には、励起している58Niを経由して62Znになるように、4だけ質量数を上げることができます。(訳注 アルファ粒子の陽子数2中性子2、58Ni ニッケルの陽子数28中性子数30、62Zn 亜鉛の陽子数は30中性子数32)

which then via positron emission decays back to 62Cu and 62Ni,

ここでそれから、陽電子放射を経由して、62Cuと62Niに戻る崩壊がおきる(訳注 62Cu 銅の陽子数は29中性子数33、62Ni ニッケルの陽子数28、中性子数34)

but that is hardly believable to occur due to an enormous Coulomb barrier to merge 4He and Ni.

しかし、4HeとNiを融合する巨大なクーロン障壁に逆らって発生するということを信じることは困難です。(訳注 アルファ粒子は、4He ヘリウム核である)

Besides, with this reaction one can also go to stable Zn isotopes, which are not found in the ash.

一方で、この反応によって、人は、安定した亜鉛同位体にたどり着くことができるのですが、これは、灰には見られないのです。(訳注 この論文は、アルファ粒子は、4He ヘリウム核が吸収されるアイデア可能性が低いとほのめかしている)

It should be pointed out that the fusion towards heavier isotopes of Nickel releases energy.


For example the reaction p + 58Ni -> 59Cu + γ and 59Cu decaying back to 59Ni via β+ emission releases 3.4 MeV.

例えば、反応 p + 58Ni  -> 59Cu + γ 及び 59Cu は 59Ni に崩壊して戻る、 β+ 放出で 3.4 MeV を放つ。

Even if that particular reaction is excluded, since no gammas are observed,


we can tentatively use this number for each step towards 62Ni,


and the information from ICP-AES that there is about 0.55 gram Ni in the fuel.


We find then that there is about 2.2MWh available from the Nickel transformations.


Accordingly, from Nickel and Lithium together there is about 3 MWh available,

したがって、ニッケル及びリチウムから一緒に、約 3 MWh が利用可能です、

which is twice the amount given away in the test run.


Consequently we can conclude that the amount of fuel is probably compatible with the energy release being measured, although a quantitative statement requires detailed knowledge of the prevailing reactions.


However, as discussed above, it is of course very hard to comprehend how these fusion processes can take place in the fuel compound at low energies.


Presently we should therefore restrict ourselves to merely state that an isotope shift has occurred in Lithium and Nickel.


We refrain from speculations in any dynamic scenario making this reaction possible at low energies.


The reaction speculation above should only be considered as an example of reasoning and not a serious conjecture.


If nuclear transitions are prevalent in the burning process it is expected that radiation is emitted.


It is remarkable that neither neutrons, charged particles nor gammas are observed from the E-cat reactor.


Furthermore, the spent fuel was found inactive right after the E-Cat run was stopped.


All imaginable nuclear reactions in the reactor should be followed by some radiation, and at least some of that radiation should penetrate the reactor wall and be possible to detect.


Even in the case discussed above with two rather high energy helium nuclei in the final state,


which all stop in the reactor, one can expect that some helium nuclei during the stopping process undergo some nuclear reaction,


e.g. inelastic scattering of 4He on Li, Al or Ni which then subsequently decays to their ground state respectively via gamma emission.

例えば、Li リチウム、Al アルミニウムまたはNiニッケルの上の4Heの非弾性散乱です、それは、次いで徐々にガンマ線放射をそれぞれ経由して、自分の基底状態に崩壊していくはずです。

To get free neutron is however not kinematically possible with the 10 MeV alpha available.

しかしながら、自由な中性子を得るには、10 MeVのアルファ粒子が利用できないと、運動量的に可能ではありません。

The absence of any nuclear radiation from the burning process is presently an open question, and has to be understood.


(訳注 29ページの終わり)