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296) About the origin of Mizuno-type excess heat

Ludwik Kowalski; 4/25/2006
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ, 07043

My personal participation in high voltage electrolysis experiments (Mizuno type) has been described in several units, most recently in the unit #271. The goal of the Colorado-2 experiment was to check the excess heat claim made by Fauvarque et al. Reality of excess heat, as defined in Paris-1 experiments (COP>1), has been confirmed in our Colorado2 experiments. But what is the origin of that heat? Is it true that it cannot possibly be attributed to well known chemical reactions? Most people believe that chemical origin of excess heat, in Mizuno-type experiments has been ruled out by chemists. But I have not seen this issue being discussed. That is why I want to review earlier publications dealing with plasma electrolysis.

A brief description of the Mizuno type experiment was made by Eugene Mallove (1). I suppose that Jean Louis Naudin, who replicated many Mizuno-type experiments (2), was inspired by (1). Mallove would certainly refer to Naudin’s experiments if they were performed earlier. I am not a chemist but I would not be surprised to learn that a large number of chemical reactions takes place during plasma electrolysis in a Mizuno-type cell. Some of these reactions are likely to be exothermic. What kind of evidence do we have that the unaccounted-for heat is not due to these reactions?

That possibility is not even mentioned in (1) and in (2). By naming his cells “cold fusion reactors (CFR),” Naudin implies that the unaccounted heat had nuclear origin. Mallove also made that assumption. Referring to (3) he writes: “Ohmori and Mizuno found major evidence for transmutation of elements and volcanic ejection of metals from the tungsten surface -- these SEM photos were reproduced in their article. They find Hg, Os, Kr, Zn, Cu, Ni, Fe, Cr, Si, and Mg -- with anomalous isotopic content.” Yes, that was a good indication that some nuclear processes take place during plasma electrolysis. A detailed description can also be found in Mizuno’s book (4).

But, as far as I know, neither Mizuno, nor anyone else, demonstrated a quantitative relation between the excess heat generated and number of nuclear reactions taking place in the cell. Suppose the excess heat is generated at the rate of 50 W. This translates into 3.12*1014 MeV per second. Assuming that, on the average, a nuclear reaction generates 10 MeV of energy one would expect 3.12*1013 reactions per second. A typical Mizuno-type experiment lasts about 600 seconds. During that time the number of reactions would be close to 2*1016. (or more if less than 10 MeV per reaction is released). I suppose that detecting such amounts of reaction products, even if they were stable, would be an easy task for a good analytical chemist. No comparable amounts of reaction products were reported by those who experimented with Mizuno-type cells.

The list of references in (3) points to a paper of R.M. Shaubach and N.J. Gernert (5). The authors of that paper reported very high coefficient of performance (COP=8). Their excess heat was generated at the rate of 41 W. But the number of nuclear reaction products was found to be negligible. On that basis the authors rejected the idea of nuclear origin of excess heat. They believed that new kinds of chemical reactions -- involving hydrinos -- are responsible for excess heat. The experiment described in (5) did not involve electrolysis. I am mentioning it because it was mentioning in (2). The paper attempted to explain excess heat without nuclear reactions. But reality of hydrinos is even more controversial than reality of cold nuclear transmutation.

Another reference in (3) is the paper of P.M. Kanarev and T. Mizuno (6). The plasmaelectrolysis experiment of Kanarev was performed at 220 V and the current was between 0.5 and 2 A. The experimentally measured COPs, up to 1.5, were said to be “less than the results of the calculations originating from the existing cold fusion theories [6].” The author of the theory, by the way, is Kanarev himself. That theory is far from being clear to me, probably due to my insufficient background. The experimental setup in the Figure 1 is also very confusing; I would prefer a simple drawing focusing on the principle of operation and not a patent illustration with unexplained labels.

The authors claim that excess heat, generated at the rates of tens of watts, was due to cold fusion. My first impression was that Tables 3 and 4 will show how excess heat is correlated with the number of reactions products. But that turned out to be an illusion. The percentages shown in the tables (for example, 1.1% for Al) refer to surfaces; what is needed is the total number of atoms produced in the cell. The total number of atoms of the surface of the cathode is not specified and this prevents one from turning percentages into numbers of atoms.

Added on 4/28/06:
Unable to find what I wanted (justification of nuclear origin of excess heat in Mizuno-type experiments) I turned to (3); Mallove and Naudin were presumably inspired by that paper. In the introduction Ohmori and Mizuno wrote: “To our surprise, we observed the strong excess energy evolution to such an extent that the electrode became incandescent . . . “ The COP, in this seminal experiment, was reported as 2.6 while excess energy was generated at the rate of 183 W. Tungsten was chosen as a cathode because “in order to withdraw greater nuclear energy” one needs a material whose binding energy per nucleon is low. Seven existing cold-nuclear-transmutation reports were listed as motivation for the first Mizuno-type experiment. Two electrolytes were used -- Na2SO4 (0.5M) and K2CO3 (also 0.5M).

Referring to high amount of excess energy, and to products of nuclear transmutation -- such as Pb, Fe, N, Cr, and C -- the authors conclude that nuclear reactions taking place in tungsten are likely to be responsible for its incandescent temperatures. But this is not very convincing. A claim “nuclear reactions occurred during plasma electrolysis” should not be confused with a stronger claim “excess heat in plasma electrolysis is due to nuclear reactions.” The tentative conclusion of Ohmori and Mizuno would be much more convincing if the amount of nuclear reaction products were shown to be consistent, at least within one or two orders of magnitude, with the amount of excess heat.

Added on 4/29/06:
Trying to find more convincing evidence I turned to another paper of Mizuno et al. (7). In that paper the authors confirm production of new elements and generation of excess heat. The issue of non-nuclear origin of excess heat is addressed but a conclusion is reached that chemical reactions cannot possibly be responsible for the measured amount of excess heat. Here is the main line of reasoning:

1) It is well known that 380 kJ of heat is released when one mole (183.85 grams) of W is consumed to produce H2WO 4.

2) In reality only 0.1 grams of tungsten was lost during a test in which excess heat was measured. That, could produce 0.207 kJ of heat. The amount of excess heat measured, 54.4 kJ, was found to be considerably larger. Thus no more that 0.4% of excess heat measured could be due to chemical consumption of tungsten.

3) This 0.4% fraction is actually an exaggeration because the 0.1 grams of tungsten lost from the cathode was found at the bottom of the cell in the form of pure metallic powder. In other words, tungsten did not react with oxygen, it was simply removed “by hydrogen corrosion as well as heat damage.”

4) Another chemical reaction taking place in the cell, during plasma electrolysis, is “the decomposition of the carbonate in a water solution.” That reaction is said to be endothermic; it removes 274 kJ of heat per mole of K2CO3.

I do not understand the last comment. The 0.2M of K2CO3 is dissolved in water when the electrolyte is prepared, usually hours or days before the experiment. At the time of an experiment the potassium exists in the form of ions, not in the form of K2CO3. How can decomposition of K2CO3 take place during the experiment? But the argument against the “tungsten is a chemical fuel” idea makes sense to me. What is missing, however, is a statement that no other exothermic reactions can take place during an experiment. Should I assume that formation of H2 WO4 from W is this the only possible exothermic reaction?

It is important to keep in mind excess heat per si was not the main part of the CMNS controversy when Fleicshmann and Pont published their findings. What was violently opposed was the hypothesis that excess heat has nuclear origin. I recall reading that, according to F&P, and others who investigated the phenomenon, the chemical origin of excess heat was ruled out. That was accomplished by considering all exothermic reactions that were possible in the cell. The combined heat released by these reactions was shown to be negligible in comparison with the excess heat measures.
That is how the idea of nuclear origin was justified. A similar statement is needed about plasma electrolysis. What is true for the F&P effect is not necessarily true for the M&O effect.

Personally, I do not exclude a possibility that excess heat we measured might be due to chemical processes. But that is a matter of attitude, not the matter of conviction based on knowledge of chemistry. Hopefully, recognized authorities in the field of electrochemistry will reassured people like me that the Mizuno type excess heat cannot be attributed to known chemical reactions. That will be a very significant step forward, with respect to what was stated in (7). But the issue will not be resolved until excess heat is shown to be compatible with the number of reaction products, at least to within two orders of magnitude. Such compatibility has been demonstrated for the F&P effect (accumulation of excess heat at the rate close to 23 MeV per 4He atom). Will it also be demonstrated for the F&O effect? I hope so.

Appended on 5/1/2006
X wrote:

 The link to Shauback and Gernett in references should be
taken from <>
The home page is <>  which is the hydrino study group (Mills). The reports page contains some reproductions of Mills done by others.

[You wrote: "But reality of hydrinos is even more controversial than reality of cold nuclear transmutation." If by 'hydrino' you mean "hydrogen with tighter orbitals", the statement is correct. However, the empirical 'odd / new hydrogen' is available for viewing in many of Mills RoD ionic vapor experiments anytime you care to run one for yourself.

1) Eugene Mallove at <>
2) Jean Lois Naudin, at <>
3) Ohmori and Mizuno "Strong Excess Energy Evolution, New Element Production, and Electromagnetic Wave And/Or Neutron Emission in the Light Water Electrolysis with a Tungsten Cathode." presented at ICCF7,1997.
4) T. Mizuno; “Nuclear Transmutations: The Reality of Cold Fusion;” Infinite Energy Press, 1998.
5) R. M. Shaubach and N.J. Gernert “Anomalous Heat from Atomic Hydrogen in contact with potassium carbonate.” <http://Anomalous-Heat-from-Atomic-Hydrogen-1.pdf>. At the end of the paper the authors announce that they the next set of experiments will be performed under a contract with the US government. “Results will be available in the spring of 1994.” It is interesting that a link to this paper appears, at the website of R. Mills: <>. The same website indicates that the experiment was performed by NASA. But the link to the NASA paper is broken. That is puzzling.
6) P.M. Kanarev, “Cold fusion by plasma electrolysis of water.” The date of this downloadable paper can only be inferred from references; the most recent are from 2002. <>. The paragraph next to Table 1 implies that Mizuno name was added because chemical analysis of cathodes was performed by him.
7) T. Mizuno, T. Ohmori, K. Azumi, T. Akimoto and A. Takahashi; “Confirmation of heat generation and anomalous element caused by plasma electrolysis in the liquid;” Conference Proceedings Vol. 70, ìICCF8î Società Italiana Di Fisica, Bologna, 2000, p. 75

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