Peanut Butter and Energy Shots

Since the founding of this blog several intrepid souls have run public experiments. May I say: Bravo. And Bravo again. Well done gentlemen.

I have a candidate for a public experiment here at nicomlicom.

5 thermocouples 2 tubes 2 heat sources

During an experiment we measure things. We like to think we know what a given trend in a measurement means. Sometimes we are wrong. The image above will help explain an experiment that may clarify what we see inspecting temperatures measured by thermocouples in our reactor explorations.

The image is a cross-section, a schematic, of a testbed. A capped tube is suspended inside a second capped tube. Inside the innermost tube, the smaller diameter tube, lies four things:

1. Air
2. A thermocouple in the air
3. A thermcouple on the inner surface of the tube
4. A heat source

The heat source is not depicted – it will be a incandescent light bulb. Perhaps a halogen bulb.

Inside the outermost tube, the larger diameter tube, lies five things:

1. The smaller diameter tube
2. Air
3. A thermocouple on the outer surface of the smaller diameter tube
4. A thermocouple on the inner surface of the larger diameter tube
5. A heat source – again not depicted.

Outside the outermost tube, the larger diameter tube, lies two things:

1. Air
2. A thermocouple on the outer surface of the tube

Whew. That took a while to make unambiguous. So why do it? To model reactor behavior at low cost, in relative safety, quickly.

We imagine that when a LENR reactor, like Alexander Parkhomov’s Thermogenerator, begins to operate that the core begins to produce heat. The innermost tube in the image above represents that core. When we turn on the light bulb inside the tube we simulate what we hope will happen in our reactors.

The five thermocouples allow us to clearly see what the trends of temperature are when excess heat is present in the innermost tube. The second light bulb, inside the outer tube, simulates the heating wire in our real reactors.

Instead of spending hard-earned cash on destroying alumina, quartz, or stainless steel tubes we use PVC pipe and caps. Keep in mind that we do not want to go to high temperatures with this plastic analog of a reactor. That could case fumes we do not want to inhale. Instead we focus on the trends of temperature seen when the heat sources turn on and off.

No more guessing what excess heat in a core will do to temperatures read from various positions using thermocouples. We have an easily managed real-world example that we can manipulate. To
simulate the real reactor experiment we begin by turning on the light bulb which lies in the space between tubes. We can use a dimmer. No need for a PID controller. Then we can turn on the light bulb between the inner and outer tubes. The trends in temperature we measure should be similar to a real reactor.

For those motivated to make an even better version: Use oversize glass or ceramic tubes – large enough to easily locate the innermost light bulb. Wind heating wire around the outer tube.

Reactor analogs like the PVC model described have no time consuming coatings and no gas leakage issues. They simplify the study of the heat flux we hope to explore when we build real reactors. They contain no reactants.

If any reader cannot afford real reactor parts, cannot locate reactants, or cannot tolerate the high heat or other dangers of a real reactor, then they can still do experiments useful to the community by building a plastic reactor and carefully observing and recording the five sensors. An even more low cost experiment could be done using temperature sensors other then thermocouples. You could buy ten thermistors here for $1.60 USD delivery included. For the outer capped tube you could use a 16 ounce soda bottle or a peanut butter container.

Peanut Butter and Energy Shot

For the inner capped tube: a 2 ounce energy shot bottle. You can find both discarded at gasoline stations. Instead of five sensors you could opt for fewer. Say one inside the small tube and one on the outer surface of the large tube.

The absolute minimum? With only one sensor, two light automobile turn signal bulbs (or domelight bulbs), two potentiometers, two discarded plastic containers, and an Arduino you could also simulate Alexander Parkhomov’s first publicized experiment.

Many variations on the ideas above can be constructed and used in instructive experiments of your own design. Use glass bottles if you prefer. If you need help with the Arduino see here.

Be neither a skeptic, nor a believer. Be an experimenter.

One Lowbuck Setup

A wattlow heated thermogenerator.

At the link above an amateur describes his Parkhomov-like reactor and some preliminary results. Like Alexander Parkhomov he has controlled his expenses and still is capable of doing interesting investigations.

This is just one example of how you can do your own testing – in relative safety.

Note the use of a Wattlow off-the-shelf heater.

Be neither a believer, nor a skeptic, be an experimenter.

Counting Atoms and Crowd Knowledge

Al-Li Phase Diagram
After making a spreadsheet to calculate the number of atoms in an AGP-like reactor I needed to error check the numbers. I decided to post to to get outside disinterested people to make a calculation. The results matched up well with my sheet.

Why count the atoms? To compare compounds which might substitute as “reactants/catalysts”.

Finding alternatives could make assembly safer or reduce cost.

Nickel Foam or Nickel Scrubbies

In researching sintering I came upon this snippet:

“Sintering temperatures between 850 and 1050 C are commonly used to produce porous nickel products. The reducing conditions required for sintering are obtained easily with nitrogen-hydrogen gas mixtures…” links page 212 of

Nickel, Cobalt, and Their Alloys edited by Joseph R. Davis
ASM International, Jan 1, 2000

Since ASM stands for the American Society for Metals, I think we can trust the quote’s accuracy.

If the reactor is filled without purging, then plenty of nitrogen would be available inside after sealing. In conjunction with freed hydrogen perhaps porous nickel results during startup. A careful schedule of startup.

Nicomlicom — Be neither believer nor skeptic, be an experimenter.

Kings Chemistry

Kings Chemistry Survival Guide

At the link above you can learn how to make reduced pure metal powders. *See page 122*. The most motivated and least wealthy among you may choose to use this knowledge to determine if an LENR reactor can be fueled with lithium hydroxide, and three powders: aluminum, iron, and nickel.

Such a fuel mix has a number of advantages. Among these advantages are low cost and easier material handling and safer material handling.

The pdf also explains how to produce aluminum oxide which the cash strapped might need for homemade alumina tubes.

Liquid Glass

A.G. Parkhomov shared his method of sealing his alumina reactor.

I quote Alexander below:

“It is very important to provide reliable tightness. For this purpose I used the ceramic traffic jams 2.5 cm long which are strongly pasted in a corundum tube. Composition of glue: 1 mass part of ZnO, 3 parts of Al2O3. To mix with liquid glass (Na2SiO3 solution) to a consistency of liquid sour cream. Na2SiO3 reacts with ZnO, forming the heat-resistant ZnSiO3 fastening the Al2O3 grains. Process of hardening: 4-5 hours at the room temperature, 2-3 hours at 100°C, and then 2-3 hours at 800°C.

All external surfaces become covered with the same cement, and for receiving rather thick layer it is necessary to plate some layers.

Ni powder + LiAlH4 should fill about a half of volume of the internal cavity. After pouring and obstruction it is necessary to arrange a tube horizontally and by vibration to distribute it evenly along an internal cavity.

It is clear that after pouring of powder and gluing in of the second stopper it is impossible to heat the device more than to 120°C, otherwise decomposition of LiAlH4 will begin. Therefore it is necessary to be limited with the temperature of 100°C. This cement gains full strength during temperature growth already during experiment.

It is important to note that temperature rise has to be very slow (at least 5 hours).”

Alexander refers to three materials:

ZnO – zinc oxide powder
Al2O3 – alumina powder
Na2SiO3 – liquid glass

Both of the powders are widely available and so easily purchased.

Luckily a frequent poster to YouTube, NurdRage, shared the video below which demonstrates how to quickly and inexpensively make liquid glass.

More can be read about the efforts of MFMP to seal reactor tubes here. AGP also comments on the challenges of getting good sealing.

Ni Al Alloy Behavior

Aluminum Nickel Phase Diagram

The link above provides a phase diagram for Al and Ni seen below.


The investigators were researching what happens when NiAl alloys strike sand at high speed.

Note the different liquidus temperatures associated with different ratios of the two metals. Metallurgy research doubtless could prove a treasure-load for DIY CMNS/LENR.

How Much Is There?

Elements in Earth's Crust
Elements in Earth’s Crust

It may prove interesting to ponder that the elements involved in making an AGP-like reactor are very, very common on Earth. As you can see from the graphic above.

If the conjectures of Axil Axil, poster to the Vortex-L mailing list, are correct, then the availability of material for reactors rises since nickel *might not* be needed. As yet, this is an unanswered question.

For more information see this site which discusses quartz, another interesting reactor body candidate.

Heating Wire Calculations

At this link you can calculate a number of useful numbers associated with heating wire. You can even use it for wire of “unknown origin” by testing the wire’s resistance and adjusting the slider in the calculator until the resistance per length matches your test number.

In the image below you see the result for some ribbon wire I scrounged from a very old toaster. 76 inches had 50.4 ohms of resistance. The calculator shows that about 90 volts will heat the wire to over 1,300 degrees centigrade.

nichrome wire application calculator

It would be wise to compare real-world results with the predictions/calculations of the online tool.

The screen capture image is a mistake on my part. If I trim the toaster wire to about 56 inches and drive it with about 140 volts (the upper limit of my variac) then the wire will reach about 1,300 centigrade. I will add a corrected image soon.