Friday, August 07, 2009

NaH and the hydrino controversy

There has been so much discussion this past week about the use of NaH as an oxidant that I was surprised to see the very same material involved in another chemical controversy. (from Meryn Stol's FriendFeed post).

In this case, BlackLight Power claims to be able to generate energy by dropping the electronic energy of a hydrogen atom to below its ground state, creating hydrinos. One method relies on heating NaH in contact with Raney nickel. In this report, Mills and co-authors appear to provide enough experimental conditions and spectroscopic characterization data to allow others reproduce what they have done.

If you are not a chemist it is difficult to appreciate just how outlandish these claims are. They fly in the face of some extremely well tested theories that form the foundation of what we call chemistry today.

There is an abundance of wacky ideas out there. What makes this case particularly interesting is that that BlackLight Power has $60M in venture capital, intellectual property protection and licensing deals. The company and the standard chemistry model are on a collision course that will play out very soon. Either the company does not deliver or there will be some explaining to do by mainstream academics.

Reading the discussion forum on the technology, it seems like the current situation is in a kind of stalemate. Both detractors and supporters are waiting for others to repeat the experiments. Apparently Mills is remaining secretive until they build their power plant. It does not look like they are sharing the hydrino products they claim to have created.

I think that this is actually a perfect opportunity for Open Science - especially Open Notebook Science. The experiments are more difficult than those that claimed NaH to be an oxidant (which we and Totally Synthetic have investigated). I'm not sure that our lab has the required equipment to maintain the temperatures and conditions but certainly most materials science departments should have it.

And once the putative hydrino products are created they should be stable for sharing with others to analyze. The Mills report cited above even has NMR data for both dihydrino gas and the hydride form (-4.5 ppm). I don't know enough about the NMR of hydrides to know how meaningful that is but certainly it could be investigated further. It sounds like a project that could be tackled for a senior design assignment provided that students had access to the necessary equipment.

The main focus from a commercial angle is the energy generation. But the difficulty there is that failure or success of such experiments can be downplayed by both sides because it is so difficult to reproduce exactly the same conditions. But if only one person makes this new form of matter and is willing to share it, any chemist with access to standard instruments like NMR, IR, etc. will be able to confirm that it exists without ambiguity.

Doing these experiments openly and discussing them can only lead to a resolution. Even if it turns out that the characterization data can be interpreted with our standard model of chemistry that would be satisfying.

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At 8:10 AM, Blogger froarty said...

A math paper in 2005 by Jan Nauds contends that the sub zero state argument overlooks relativistic effect inside Casimir cavities.
Ron Bourgoins' math paper in 2007also conclude that the 137 fractional states claimed by Mills do exist. This confirms Mills claim of creating hydrinos inside the Casimir cavities of his skeletal catalyst Rayney nickel confirms these Casimir cavities create a boundary similar to a gravity well (actually a gravity hill) to create relative equivalence - The same phenomena accepted to produce time dialation and Lorentz contractions in an event horizon (think twin paradox where speed of light is accomplished by approaching an event horizon through equivalence).
This means the fractional states are accomplished because the Bohr radius is partially converted to temporal units from our perspective. The distance from orbital to nucleus never changes from the perspective of hydrinos inside the cavity - Like the twin paradox this is time dilation and Lorentz contraction from our perspective outside the cavity.

At 8:57 AM, Blogger Jean-Claude Bradley said...

Froarty - I am not in a position to respond to theoretical arguments but I think much of the controversy could be resolved if scientists could independently characterize the putative dihydrino gas - do you know if any samples are available for analysis?

At 1:38 AM, Blogger dobermanmacleod said...

Check out above link to a 2 and a half minute youtube video of a CNN report. What are the odds that the independent testimony below is fraudulent (not bloody likely unless you are a paranoid conspiracy theorist)? Here is a silver bullet technology: clean cheap and abundant energy.

In a joint statement, Dr. K.V. Ramanujachary, Rowan University Meritorious Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Dr. Amos Mugweru, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, and Dr. Peter Jansson P.E., Associate Professor of Engineering said, "In independent tests conducted over the past three months involving 10 solid fuels made by us from commercially-available chemicals, our team of engineering and chemistry professors, staff, and students at Rowan University has independently and consistently generated energy in excesses ranging from 1.2 times to 6.5 times the maximum theoretical heat available through known chemical reactions."

Also, check out this article:

Brad Arnold
St Louis Park, MN, USA

At 8:03 AM, Blogger Jean-Claude Bradley said...

Independent testimony of that type doesn't help that much. What would convince the scientific community is making available the putative hydrino products for anyone to analyze.

At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Joe Shea said...

Obviously, with the patent now obtained, BlackLight has posted the composition of the solid fuel reactant on its website ( It would not have done so until the product that is the basis for their Process is protected.

At 2:30 PM, Blogger Jean-Claude Bradley said...

Joe - it certainly is an interesting story. The more details are given the easier it will be for chemists to repeat and attempt to explain the characterization data from conventional theory.

At 12:36 PM, Blogger broc said...

Blacklight using Peter Jansson as his independent witness is the ultimate irony. The company is clearly corrupt.


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