Roy Virgilio on Piantelli, plus the 2008 Piantelli hypothesis

After a vacation of several weeks, Roy Virgilio has returned to the EnergeticAmbiente Forum to answer some more questions on the work of Francesco Piantelli’s group. The following is a summary of his answers, translated from Italian with much help from Google Translate and Yahoo! Babel Fish:

  • The old cells were self-sustaining for some time, maybe a few days, and they were eventually made to stop, or the reaction would have gone on.
  • The new joint-stock company will be a subsidiary of Nichenergy.
  • The expected increase in the energy gain factor from 2 or 3 to 200 will be achieved primarily by the exploitation of theoretical insights Piantelli has had recently, leading to the most efficient preparation of the nickel, as well as different and more suitable materials and configurations used in the construction of the cell. The actual amount of excess energy produced by the new cells is not known, but will be determined soon with the new tests.
  • Nearly all the materials used in the older patents have changed. For example, the newer cells use high-tech ceramics.
  • The present stage of development involves prototypes in a variety of configurations undergoing various tests. Those configurations that give the best results will go on to the pre-industrialization stage.
  • Piantelli says the reaction that occurs in his cell is not nuclear fusion, but is exclusively a protonic reaction, so to speak, that involves nuclear transmutation and a series of primary and secondary decays, and which is exothermic.
  • There will be several other patents filed.
  • Piantelli and Focardi share the same basic knowledge of the hydrogen-nickel technology, but at the time Focardi left Piantelli to follow after Rossi, his knowledge was not as extensive or as up-to-date as Piantelli’s.

Unless Andrea Rossi is bluffing, it appears the Piantelli group is still playing catch-up with regard to the industrialization of their device. Whether their professed superior knowledge of the hydrogen-nickel reaction will allow them to surpass Rossi in the energy output and/or reliability of their reactors remains to be seen.

In their favor, however, the Piantelli group has proposed a rather elegant hypothesis in their 2008 patent application that might just explain what is going on in the hydrogen-nickel reaction. The details may not be quite the same as those of the paper that is due to be released by the University of Siena, but the essential idea has probably not changed, going by the title of the group’s patent application of April of this year: “Method and Apparatus for Generating Energy through Nuclear Reactions of Hydrogen Adsorbed by Orbital Capture to a Metal Crystalline Nanostructure”. The Piantelli hypothesis is highly reminiscent of the known nuclear processes of electron capture and muon-catalyzed fusion. Piantelli insists it is not nuclear fusion. If it is to be regarded as a completely new type of nuclear reaction, perhaps it might be called “anion capture”, although a cursory Internet search reveals that the phrase is already in use to refer to extra-nuclear processes.

The process involves molecular hydrogen (H2) being adsorbed onto the surface of a crystalline transition metal that has a partially-filled electron shell. Under the right conditions the H2 molecules dissociate and pick up valence electrons from the metal, becoming hydrogen anions (H), also known as hydrides. The H ion consists of a proton with two electrons. As protons and electrons have equal and opposite charges, the H ion has a net negative charge.

According to Piantelli’s hypothesis, under the right conditions a H ion can replace an electron of a transition metal atom, just as a muon replaces an electron in muon-catalyzed fusion. Due to its relatively large mass, the H ion continually falls to lower electron levels, causing the emission of X-rays and Auger electrons. As it has a net negative charge, there is no Coulomb repulsion to hinder its progress toward the transition metal nucleus. At the lowest level the H ion is close enough to be captured by the nucleus. After capturing the H ion, the unstable nucleus releases energy and eventually expels the anion in the form of a proton.

As expounded in the 2008 patent application, the hypothesis lacks a number of details, hard data, and experimental evidence, although the protons expelled from the nuclei are said to have been experimentally detected in a cloud chamber. It would also be interesting to see if the hypothesis could be extended to explain deuterium-palladium reactions. Still, it is a good overview, which is perhaps the most that can be expected from a patent application. Hopefully the paper to be released by the University of Siena will go into much more detail on this new kind of nuclear reaction.


Just a note: in calling the above hypothesis the “2008 Piantelli hypothesis”, I only mean that it is the hypothesis included in the patent application filed in Italy in 2008. I am not certain exactly when the idea first came to Piantelli, or when he first mentioned it publicly.

On a related note, I would be remiss if I did not link to Peter Gluck’s recent post detailing Piantelli’s academic papers and patents over the years.

Peter Gluck also reports that Piantelli and Virgilio are collaborating on a book titled Galileo e il metodo scientifico attraverso i secoli, or Galileo and the scientific method during the ages.

As an addendum to my summary of Piantelli’s hypothesis above, perhaps I should also add that the expelled protons apparently have sufficient energy to engage in more conventional proton-metal reactions with nearby metal nuclei, resulting in nuclear transmutations.

Finally, just because it’s too cool not to include, I made a link to a YouTube video of a cloud chamber in my post above. Check it out.

Related posts:

Viareggio Cold Fusion conference: science, politics, and an Italian competitor — Ivy Matt July 23, 2011

Roy Virgilio releases more details on Piantelli’s research — Ivy Matt July 25, 2011

19 Replies to “Roy Virgilio on Piantelli, plus the 2008 Piantelli hypothesis”

  1. I have proposed a pion decay mechanism in a blog sent to the Journal of Nuclear Physics.The pions decay to an energetic muon which takes a negative electron charge with it when it exits the nucleus and transforms a neutron to a proton creating the copper found in the residue of Rossi’s device.When the energetic muon reacts EM wise with the lattice electrons,it creates heat.When the muon reaches a specific energy level,it can capture an ionized hydrogen nucleus which because of the much larger mass of the muon creates an atom which looks more like a neutron and can penetrate the nickel nucleus.
    It can sustain the pion decay and create a modified chain reaction.

  2. The pions are already present in the nuclei. They are the carriers of the gluons that compromise the strong force that keep the nuclear protons from repelling themselves because of their positive charges.Rossi uses a combination of external forces including lattice interactions, addition of thermal energy and electron movement in the nickel atom to trigger the initial pion decay and the process then continues until he removes enough hydrogen positive ions to stop the reaction.

  3. The only important thing is ” DOES IT GET HOT ENOUGH TO BE USEFUL”. Anything more is just parlour talk and dribble.
    Show me one that will heat my home and make steam for a turbine.

    1. No, the important thing is whether there is any truth to this idea of hydride capture. If so what are the reaction products. Are any of them hard radiation or highly energetic gamma or other things your spouse or local fire commissioner might want to talk to you about.

      I’m no physicist but how could a relatively heavy particle like H- masquerade as an electron. And if it masquerades so well how would it overcome Heisenberg and Pauli principles that keep an electron from falling into a nucleus.

      1. An electron keeps from falling into the nucleus because of its angular momentum.Just like a space capsule stays in orbit until its momentum is decreased by retro rockets.Think of the H- ion as a charged neutron not an electron. We know that a neutron has no problem entering a nucleus if it has the right energy(velocity)component, and the extra negative charge just enhances its capability to react with the nucleus.

        1. Sorry, no! One of the origins of quantum mechanics was the fact that the angular momentum argument failed. Electrons do not behave like space capsules, whose orbits indeed decay. I understand the quasiclassical explanation fell to pieces because it incorrectly predicts that electrons eventually radiate away their energy.

          The idea that hydrides are ever captured in orbitals kinda sounds like new physics, not standard model. Whereas neutron capture is, I believe, established science eg neutron transmutation doping. Hopefully a physicist will comment on this thread.

          1. I am guilty of an oversimplification.I did not mean that an electron acts like a space capsule. The analagy was meant to illustrate how angular momentum exhibits itself.We all know that the reason the electron orbit does not decay into the nucleus is because of quantum considerations,mainly due to unallowed energy levels.Calculations of electron angular momentum is a highly complex problem involving the coupling between electrons of the atom not only of their angular momentum but also their spin angular momentum.However it does play a part in the overall accepted configuration analogy.If you want answers,I would suggest that you be a little less combative even if you disagree.

    2. Even though the end product is important the most important consideration is the communication of ideas to people who then can use them to devise the end products such as over unity devices.think of the internet as a huge brain with millions of idea imputs which are shared with humanity.Rossi got his ideas from his associates such as Focardi and developed them.He is still using many ideas presented to him by the many blogers to his journal.

  4. “According to Piantelli’s hypothesis, under the right conditions a H− ion can replace an electron of a transition metal atom…” Can other transition metals be transformed?

    Here is a list of elements that are considered to be transition metals or transition elements.


  5. Maybe this is’s secret sauce :~)
    I think the Brillouin Energy hypothesis covers it and the h-Ni systems transmute the Ni because the higher operating temperature causes neutron thermalization up in energy faster than they can accumulate on to other H migrating in the system. This causes the neutrons to accumulate in the metallic lattice nuclei resulting in beta decay.

  6. Eernie could we model the hydride interaction process numerically by introducing an “extremely heavy electron” to the Ni lattice?

    1. By numerical,I think you mean mathematically.We can of course but first we need to choose a process from which to start.The introduction of a form of hydrogen into a metal lattice is well known and is the basis of most of the starting points of LENR(cold fusion),whether it is the hydride(called anion by chemists)or H+(cation)or Deuterium.Since we can permeate the lattice,if we assume the hydrogen is in the form of its anion, all we need is lattice defects in the form of positive holes to allow the anion to replace the missing electron.If we consider the anion to cause a change in the lattice energy levels as a heavy electron would, the mathematical treatment would be a highly complex problem of multibody interaction.If you consider the muon as a heavy electron interacting with the lattice electrons as well as the lattice defects as it enters the system,a completely different treatment is required.Both approaches would make a good thesis subject for an ambitious graduate student.

      1. If you have the resources to do that modeling, would you be willing to work with BEC on modeling our process? For the BEC process I would recommend you would start with an exploding wire model. place H ions in the lattice and run the simulation only to the point where the energy of the H ion reaches 782KeV. You can run a similar model for H-Ni only the latice excitation is driven by an external heat source instead of current. I think you will find the confinement energy allowing neutron formation is achieved between 400 and 500C.

        1. I have followed the BEC theory for some time with interest.In fact the requirement for a heavy electron led me to my theory of pion decay with the subsequent formation of muons exiting the nickel nucleus.My model depends upon the QM and QED requirement that all nuclei are unstable and all possess a half life no matter how stable they may appear.Given enough time,all matter will decay into its primal form and be absorbed into the vacuum space.At least the probability functions of the waveform equations hint at this with the tunneling effect as an example.This then becomes a problem of how to produce an acceleration of the decay process in the nickel nuclei with the subsequent additionally formed energy carried and distributed into the nickel lattice.Along with this it is obvious to me that there must be a chain reaction mechanism which is formed if the process is to be self sustained.Rossi’s device and his description of intermittent bursts of uncontroled high energy outputs are clues that such a process is part of the reaction.What exits the nucleus must in turn excite a form which can further the decay process adding to the chain.He can remove one of the elements of the chain by decompressing the hydrogen pressure or by allowing temperature increases to alter the form of his nickel.Both very tricky.

          1. I forgot to add: have you tried adding a boron reflector to your containment vessel to reflect your quasi neutrons into the reaction zones, or carbon modulators to shape the energy spectrum of the neutrons to enhance the reaction?

  7. There are actually large experiments looking for proton decay. They started in the 80’s and have not produced results yet.
    If the Ni was undergoing fission (decay) you would not end up with Cu as they claim. The decay is actually a beta decay as neutrons accumulate.
    IE 65Ni
    Half life: 2.5172 h
    Mode of decay: Beta to Cu-65

    Decay energy: 2.137 MeV

    Reducing the pressure reduces the number of H ions in the lattice able to form additional neutrons (endothermic) and accumulate the formed neutrons (exothermic). HgasNi reactors have a delay between heat production and detection of the increased activity. As T goes up so does P assuming n stays constant in PV=nRT. That is what leads to the run away reaction and meltdown.

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