The following is a further posting in a series of articles by David French, a patent attorney with 35 years experience, which will review patents of interest touching on the field of Cold Fusion.

This will be a two-part outline of a recently published patent application originating from Francesco Piantelli. The first part will address the content of the disclosure of the application. The second part to follow shortly will address the scope of patent coverage apparently being sought.

The two prior Piantelli PCT applications

A third International Patent Application has been published naming Francisco Piantelli as an inventor. The first occurred in 1995 as International Application PCT/IT95/00008 entitled: Energy Generation and Generator by Means of Anharmonic Stimulated Fusion, filed August 3, 1995. This application was assigned to Francesco Piantelli, Sergio Focardi and Roberto Habel. The application addressed the fusion of hydrogen and deuterium absorbed on a metallic core that has been heated to above the Debye temperature for the core. The reaction in this disclosure is initiated by vibration and maintained by “a coherent multimodal system of stationary oscillations.” The 1995 International Application was eventually abandoned without issuing to a patent.

Notwithstanding the abandonment of this filing, these three individuals, or at least Piantelli and Focardi, should probably be credited with having pioneered research into nickel-hydrogen systems as a source of LENR effects.

A second application appeared in the Patent Cooperation Treaty system – PCT in 2010. This second application was addressed in an earlier posting of ColdFusionNow. The corresponding Canadian national entry filing to this PCT filing is available here.

The present, third, Piantelli PCT application

This present ColdFusionNow posting addresses the third International Application PCT/IB2012/052100 naming Piantelli as the sole inventor and published under the PCT on November 1, 2012 PCT. Key data on this filing obtained from the World Intellectual Property Organization – WIPO PCT website is as follows:

International Application No.: PCT/IB2012/052100
Inventor: Francesco PIANTELLI
Assignees: Silvia PIANTELLI, Alessandro MEIARINI, Leonardo CIAMPOLI, and Fabio CHELLINI, all of Italy.
Title: Method and apparatus for generating energy by nuclear reactions of hydrogen adsorbed by orbital capture on a nanocrystalline structure of a metal
PCT filing date: April 26, 2012
Original Italian priority filing date: April 26, 2011
International classification : G21B3 – physics, nuclear physics/nuclear engineering, fusion reactors, low-temperature nuclear fusion reactors, e.g. alleged cold fusion reactors

Summary of the disclosure: Power is generated by contacting hydrogen with the surface of cluster-nanostructures, e.g. crystals, of a transition metal, at a determined process temperature, by which the following process occurs. An orbital capture reaction of negative hydrogen ions, H- ions, is effected by the clusters followed by a nuclear capture reaction by the atoms of the cluster which is triggered by impulsively acting on the primary material to generate heat (Q1). A secondary material such as Lithium and/or Boron and/or a transition metal such as 232Th, 236U, 239U, 239Pu is positioned within a predetermined distance from the clusters of the primary material facing the primary material. This secondary material interacts with energetic protons that are emitted by/from the primary material and release secondary reaction heat (Q2). This secondary heat is in addition to the primary reaction heat. The heat produced is regulated by adjusting the separation of secondary material from the primary material. (This summary is a paraphrasing of the Abstract accompanying the application.)

The drawings as published in association with this application may be found at the PCT website . While the text of the words of the patent disclosure are available through a hyperlink on the top of the primary PCT page through the link labeled “Description”, in order to see the drawings it is necessary to first link to “Documents” and then link to “Initial Publication with ISR” in order to view all of the Figures. It may be necessary to choose the “download” version in order to view the PDF document.

The actual process occurring by which heat is generated is described more fully in the disclosure accompanying the application and referenced as “Description”. It involves:

– on average there must be at least 109 clusters/crystals per square centimeter of surface
– hydrogen, interstitially adsorbed at the grain boundaries and microfractures of the clusters, are of no importance for the purposes of orbital capture of negative hydrogen ions
– in the course of hydrogen capture, the negative hydrogen ions are transformed into protons
– nucleus capture of a proton causes transmutation, e.g. nickel transmutes into copper
– protons which fail to be captured are expelled with an energy of 6.7 million electron volts, verified by cloud chamber experiments
– subsequent atomically re-emitted protons can react with the adjacent secondary material, e.g. lithium, to produce nuclear transformations, e.g. converting lithium into beryllium and/or releasing helium as alpha particles having energies on the order of 4 – 17 million electron volts
– re-emitted protons can also react with boron to produce beryllium, carbon and/or helium, releasing energy on the order of 1-16 million electron volts
– alpha particles may react with boron to produce nitrogen and 19 million electron volts of energy
– alpha particles may react with nickel to be transmuted into the zinc, releasing 3-5 million electron volts of energy
– the secondary nuclear reactions arising from re-emitted protons can generally double the amount of heat being produced over that arising from the initial proton capture
– the amount of energy arising from the secondary nuclear reaction can be varied/controlled by adjusting the separation gap between the primary and secondary materials

This Description is well worth reading.

It is to be appreciated that these are assertions that have been made by the applicants in this application and do not necessarily reflect what is actually able to occur in the host material. If the assertions of utility are untrue or the procedures for generating energy are insufficiently described, then no valid patent can issue from this application.

For example, the setup as described does not appear to be critically dependent on the degree of hydrogen loading in the primary transition metal. The closest reference appears to be: “The primary reactions, both internal and external, globally occur generating a primary reaction heat, which is the heat that can be obtained according to the method described in WO2010058288,” This is a reference to the second PCT application published in 2010. The procedures of that application are adopted by reference, which is permitted. That application addresses the hydrogen loading ratio in the following terms: “Advantageously, the concentration of H- ions with respect to the transition metal atoms of said clusters is larger than 0,01 , to improve the efficiency of the energy production process. In particular, this concentration is larger than 0,08.” Accordingly, neither of these two references teach the use of a metal substrate which has a substantial hydrogen loading ratio, e.g. on the order of 0.7:1 or higher, as an essential condition for an LENR event to occur.

Additionally, there is no discussion of the effect of the conduction band within the transition metal which forms the clusters. There are a number of clear questions of physics to consider when reviewing this disclosure.

This concludes Part I. Part II will address the scope of patent coverage that this application aspires to achieve.

David French is a retired patent attorney and the principal and CEO of Second Counsel Services. Second Counsel provides guidance for companies that wish to improve their management of Intellectual Property. For more information visit: www.SecondCounsel.com.

David French is prepared to address questions included as commentaries to any of his postings or by direct email. In particular, he would like to learn what people need to know in order to better understand patents.