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Infinite Energy Device Update
Progress in Les Case's Catalytic
Published in IE Volume 4, Issue #23
by Gene Mallove
Well the situation basically is this. This
is the vessel. It's a modified oxygen tank and in it is a thermo-well,
this is a gas inlet and outlet, and this is simply a port for putting
solids in or out. Now in the bottom of this vessel, which is heated
in this jacket, there are about 40-50 grams of standard chemical catalyst.
It's been contacted now with deuterium gas for six or seven weeks
and, using hydrogen in this vessel under exactly these conditions,
I got a steady state temperature of 181.5°C. Now, when I switched
to deuterium it started off about 180°C, slowly rose over the
space of two or three days, and finally levelled out at about 220°C,
maybe a little bit more than 220°C. Right now it's about 215°C,
almost 35°C hotter with deuterium inside than it was with hydrogen.
This is excess heat, which is apparently occurring due to deuterium
fusing to helium-4.
So, inside this vessel now for six or seven weeks,
we have had deuterium fusing to helium-4 and giving this excess
temperature of about 35°C, which is big a really big effect
compared to previous effects of practically unmeasurable temperature
increases. This one is now continuing and maybe will continue for
some weeks or months still. The idea is to test the reliability
of the catalyst. The catalyst must work for some months or it's
not a viable commercial process. You have to be able to load up
your reactor and have it generate the heat for months without having
to re-do the catalyst, because it's expensive and too much of a
problem. So this is rather encouraging. It looks like it may be
totally stable, or at worst, over the space of many months drop
10, 20, 30% in activity, which is acceptable.
Now, when this experiment is concluded for one
reason or another, a gas sample is going to be taken off through
here and analyzed for helium-4. With any luck, it may even read
over 100 ppm of helium-4, maybe 200 or 150 parts per million. It
won't be going up to a thousand parts but it's going to 50 or 100
or more. This is very very significant, because the helium-4 content
of air is 5.2 ppm. So anytime you get above 5.2 ppm you're making
it. So this vessel is sitting here making, as we watch, helium-4
at a temperature of 215°C. Now this is a very novel concept:
that you can have nuclear fusion occur at 215°C and one atmosphere
pressure. Those are very, very mild conditions compared to what
they're doing in plasma fusion and the H-bomb.
I had run this experiment several times before and
obtained samples which I had analyzed at the OakRidge National Laboratory
by the kind people at Lockheed Martin. I had some trouble with leakage
and sent some bad samples and one or two fairly decent samples.
One sample was contaminated after I adjusted the leakage and measured
something like 100 ppm of helium-4. But they were able to analyze
a good sample at something like 91 ppm of helium-4. Now the equipment
is not ideal, because it's a big magnetic sector instrument and
it separates out helium-4 from deuterium, which also has a mass
of 4 by a very small difference in mass something like 1%. That's
the only way they do it, they don't trap out the deuterium. Because
the helium is at a very low concentration, they see the helium-4
peak as just a bump on the side of the deuterium peak. So it's very
Now, some of the people at Vancouver [ICCF-7], at
least, saw this as not particularly reliable, but certainly interesting.
They began to try to reproduce this rather quickly in May. Certainly
by June other people were trying to reproduce this result. One of
the people who tried to reproduce it was a man named Russ George
who has an association with SRI International in Menlo Park, California.
He set up their equipment, apparently with permission of the group,
and tried to reproduce this. The way he originally set it up, it
didn't work. He got no [excess] heat and, of course, no helium.
We had a brief consultation about it and I explained to him that
you can't run the apparatus that way. I made a couple of suggested
changes and it immediately took off with heat generation. Then he
used their mass spectrometer instrument to analyze for the helium
produced after 24 or 28 days, and he got a helium content up to
about 11 ppm, which is far above anything that can be explained
from leakage in from the air. And, because it had started at zero
and went up to 11 parts per million in a monotonic way, that is,
always a rising function, it clearly was coming from inside the
vessel and not from contamination.
Now, those data aren't considered by the people at
SRI to be definitive enough to be published. They are very, very
strongly indicative that there is helium-4 generation by this fusion
under these conditions. Now that result is going to be re-confirmed
by SRI in a much more careful and definitive fashion. When the data
are finally very very firm and unassailable, "bullet-proof," they
call it, that will be published in a definitive paper saying this
is now proof that we are getting helium-4 generated and we get a
correlation between the helium-4 generation and the heat output.
This clearly is a catalytic fusion, it really is working and, in
fact, it is a new branch of physics.
My objective always has been not to play around
scientifically, because I'm not really a physicist, but to head
towards commercialization. I really want to go to a 100-megawatt
reactor within two to three years, which is really compressing the
time scale, but it may be possible. So the idea is to scale it up.
Now I wanted to scale it up, but other people want me to have it
so it can sit there and, for instance, unplug this electric heater
and it stays hot self-sustaining heat or, as Gene Mallove says,
"Life [sic] after death" [heat after death]. It will stay hot without
any heat input from the outside.
Well, I'm trying to achieve both a scale-up and self-sustaining
heating by bringing it up to a larger scale. This one has 40 grams
of catalyst in it. This is a much larger vessel, this happens to
be a modified stainless steel dewar, which is an insulating vessel.
In this I will have one kilogram of catalyst, which is 25 times
as much as in here. But the heat loss is not 25 times as much as
the bigger vessel. The heat loss is maybe three or four times what
the smaller vessel has. So if I had three or four times this heat
loss and 25 times the heat generation, then presumably this one
Maybe I'll get 250, approximately 250 watts of heat
output from the catalyst inside this larger vessel. So this is a
model scale up of the same reaction in this flask. The stainless
dewar is as it came from a cryogenics apparatus. This is the cover
and these are steam tubes. This is a heating device. The heat comes
into this immersion heater, which is transferred to this aluminum
fillet, which is transferred through this inner tube. I call this
a "hot finger," the heat is being transferred into the hot finger
and then it goes into the deuterium gas. If necessary, I will take
some heat out using the steam tubes. There's a pressure gauge here
and a gas inlet and outlet. I have two thermo-wells. I can use a
thermocouple and stick it into either of these two thermo-wells.
One of the thermo-wells is dipping into the catalyst layer, the
other is out in the gas phase. However, it isn't that easily constructed.
Inside there are some tricks to the way it's been defined and the
way it's going to run. But the hope is that this, which will be
run within a few days I finally got it ready to go, work in progress,
you know. Within a few days it may reach self-sustaining heating.
And then, of course, the idea is: OK, so this is 250 watts, now
let's go to 5 kilowatts. Once I go to 5 kW then I'm going to ask
someone for some money to design 5 megawatts, or something of the
It is critical the way you have the gas in contact
with the catalyst, that's clear. That's been shown by the previous
experimenters. With careful scale-up and changing the way the thing
is done there's no reason why it can't go to 25 megawatts and 100
and then maybe 1,000 megawatts. I'm going to stop there. A thousand
megawatts that's big enough.
There are very many implications of this for
society. One of them is that there's enough deuterium in the oceans
to satisfy all the world's energy needs for a hundred million years.
So there's more potential energy in the deuterium in the oceans
than there is in all the fossil fuels combined by a factor of, what,
a million or something, maybe ten million. But that isn't all. It
isn't just that there's an unlimited supply of future energy. This
is very cheap energy, because deuterium from the oceans compared
to the amount of energy it produces is very, very cheap. The fuel
cost is very much lower than fossil fuel. Deuterium as a fuel is
surprisingly much cheaper than coal, and this is a big shock to
people to contemplate an energy source much, much cheaper than coal.
As a matter of fact, it may be more than two orders-of-magnitude
cheaper than coal.
That isn't the end of it. The byproduct or, rather
the product, of this reaction is helium-4, that's pretty clear.
Helium-4 is totally inactive and benign. If you want to you can
vent it to the atmosphere. It doesn't make a bit of difference.
So this has the promise of getting rid of the greenhouse effect
[threat]. When you substitute deuterium fusion for fossil fuel combustion,
you start cutting down to the extent that you do that substitution.
You cut down on air pollution, you cut down on the greenhouse effect,
you cut down global warming. So, ultimately, in ten years or so,
we will have totally defeated the greenhouse effect and global warming
and air pollution all at the same time. The public needs to really
understand that. It's critical to develop this as quickly as possible
to cut down on these horrendous problems of global warming, the
greenhouse effect, and air pollution.
Dispersed Power Generation
It is going to be possible, I believe, to design
a passive non-moving source to maybe 5 kilowatts or 10 kilowatts,
using the technology represented by this, assuming that it works.
But it's not going to be possible to scale up to megawatts. It's
going to be possible to go to a few kilowatts. Now a few kilowatts
is sufficient for a house, and it would make steam and electricity
at the same time using a small co-generation unit, or it could be
made slightly larger for an apartment or for a location such as
a mountain top villa or something of that order. But I cannot conceive
of scaling this up, this type of technology, to megawatts. So there
will have to be a fundamental redesign of the reactor. I have some
strong ideas on how that should be done. Also, you are going to
have to change the catalyst. This depends on palladium or platinum
metal. There is a very definite limitation on the amount of palladium
and platinum metal that's available for the world. If you were to
use palladium catalysts of the type that's now in sight to built
a 100 megawatt plant as a small commercial-sized power plant, you
need something like 5% of the world's palladium supply in one power
plant. You can't build very many power plants a year without severely
impacting the palladium market. So there will have to be a change
of the catalyst.
I have some far-distant ideas on that. So there will
have to be a way to use titanium or nickel or some other metal a
non-platinum group metal as the catalyst as one scales up and goes
commercial. That may take some years, but that clearly is the way
for the future.
This is the key to the whole thing. I discovered that
using certain standard commercial catalysts, one could get this
fusion to occur under reproducible, mild conditions. This is the
catalyst that I've set upon as being about the most effective that
I currently have available. This is a standard palladium on activated
carbon catalyst. One-half percent by weight of palladium loaded
on this activated carbon this is the key. You change this just
a little bit and it doesn't work at all! But if you stay within
the approved ranges, it works basically all the time. This is my
contribution to find that that specific catalyst, within a certain
limited range, operates under these standard conditions.
(End of Les Case's account.)
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