ADDITIONAL LENT-1 PRELIMINARY EXPERIMENTAL DATA
By Hal Fox
ADDITIONAL LENT-1 PRELIMINARY EXPERIMENTAL DATA
By Hal Fox
The LENT-1 reactor was used with a variable power supply in efforts to replicate the experimental results of the transmutation of thorium as published by the Cincinnati Group. The basic experimental equipment used was our own power supply which allows for the selection of either a.c. or d.c. power from ten to five hundred volts. In these particular experiments, we used the LENT-1 reactor obtained from the Cincinnati Group, the power supply, and a computer-acquisition system for counting and storing data from a Geiger Counter. The entire equipment used for these experiments cost less than $5,000 including $3,000 attributed to the cost of the LENT-1 Kit. Therefore, even small companies can participate in the development of this new technology.
The LENT-1 reactor consists of a cylindrical electrode with a disk shaped inner electrode so that the electrical current flows between the disk and the inside of the cylindrical electrode through the electrolyte. The plane of the circular-disk electrode is perpendicular to the axis of the cylindrical electrode. The reactor is operated with the axis of the cylindrical electrode parallel to the laboratory bench top. The reactor is filled about half full with a mixture of thorium nitrate and distilled water. About 0.1 gram of thorium is processed in each experiment.
The resistance of this special electrolytic cell is a function of the amount of thorium nitrate, the spacing between the disk electrode and the cylindrical electrode, the temperature of the electrolyte, and the chemical changes that are caused to occur in the electrolyte during processing. The resistance of the cell changes dramatically, as computed by the voltage divided by the current, during the processing time.
At the initiation of the processing of the thorium solution about 100 watts of power is introduced into the reactor. This power input causes a gradual rise in temperature of the reactor as measured by a digital thermometer with a surface sensor affixed to the outside of the cylindrical electrode of the reactor. Following the prescribed protocols provided with the LENT-1 Kit, the voltage is increased by ten- volt steps as the internal resistance of the electrolyte increases. Therefore, the experiment is operated using an approximately constant power input. Typically, after about fifteen minutes of operation the temperature of the electrolyte stabilizes at about 350 F +/- 50¡F. It is believed that if nuclear reactions occur, it is during this time period that the major portion of such nuclear reactions take place. This preliminary belief (hypothesis) must be explored by techniques that extract samples of the electrolyte at various time intervals during the reactor process.
From about fifteen to thirty minutes of the processing time, the resistance of the electrolyte strongly increases. This experimental measurement suggests that the thorium is being removed from solution faster than other chemical ions are added to the solution. As inferred by the temperature of the reactor, the internal pressure of the cell ranges from atmospheric pressure at the start to as high as more than twenty atmospheres (about 15 to 400 psig). If proper assembly and operation of the cell has taken place, the steam produced in the cell is contained within the cell. Note: due to the possibility of the generation of very high pressures, this experimental apparatus should be placed behind a barrier in the case of any fracture of the reactor! THIS IS NOT A TOY AND SHOULD BE USED ONLY BY EXPERIMENTERS WELL TRAINED IN SAFETY PROCEDURES! However, the LENT-1 is designed for at least 1,000 psig operation.
BEFORE & AFTER RESULTS
The electrolyte, the disk electrode, and the inner surface of the cylindrical electrode were measured for radioactive emanations by using a Geiger counter. More sophisticated instrumentation should, of course, be used. The before-processing measurements of the electrodes were essentially at background. The thorium solution showed counts considerably above background. The after-processing Geiger counter measurements showed a reduction of radioactivity of the electrolyte and a dramatic increase of the radioactivity on the surface of the electrodes.
Any skeptic of the possible transmutation of elements using low-energy would immediately proclaim that this is clear evidence that the thorium had been electroplated from the electrolyte onto the surfaces of the electrodes. This is clearly a possible explanation. However, by placing the disk electrode near the sensor of the Geiger counter, we have found that the radioactivity of the electrode is dramatically reduced with time, on a near-exponential basis, from about three times background to about one-third above background over a period of less than 100 hours.
Dr. John O'M. Bockris was asked about the plating out of thorium by the use of alternating current. He stated that the expected results of plating by the use of a.c. is old and obscure. One of the explanations can be that an experimental setup may be using a partial d.c. current, such as 99% a.c. and 1% d.c. An alternative explanation might be that a particular element plates out more rapidly than it dissolves back into the electrolyte. It is important to emphasize that there must be considerable analytical work performed on the electrodes as well as the before-processing and after-processing samples to ensure that the thorium has been transmuted. The experimental evidence is that the thorium is removed from the electrolyte and that the electrodes become radioactive. The radioactivity of the electrodes suggests that elements are present with relatively short half-lives and that the radioactivity of the electrode decays exponentially with time. Thorium has a very long half life but some of the thorium daughter products (from natural radioactive decay) have much shorter half lives. One could surmise that somehow the thorium daughter products were plated out onto the electrodes which resulted in the observed radioactive reduction after processing. The electrodes must be submitted for more extensive analysis to determine the type of materials that are on the electrode. The simplest explanation, at present, is that most of the thorium has been transmuted into other elements and that some of those elements have short half-lives.
A careful inspection of a Chart of Nuclides will show that any reasonably expected fissioning of a heavy element will result in smaller elements. However, the elements produced can be expected to be among those hundreds of short-lived elements that are "radioactive", usually with short-half lives where the newly-produced elements may be transformed into other element by beta-emission. The elemental transformation by beta emission is explained by a process in which a neutron emits an electron (a beta particle) and thereby become a proton. (See the article "Aneutronic Nuclear Reactions" in the September, 1997, issue of New Energy News, pages 13-15, which discusses the way Nature can support nuclear reactions without the emission of neutrons.) Many of these first-produced elements may be unstable and transmute to stable elements by beta emission.
The before-processing and after-processing samples were submitted for ICP mass spec analysis. The most notable change in the 12 elements selected for analysis was the dramatic decrease (by over 95%) in the amount of thorium in the electrolyte. Due to the relative high costs of analytical services, a complete elemental analysis has not as yet been accomplished. A commensurate number of newly-produced elements has not, as yet, been determined. Copper and silicon were noticeably increased in the solution. It must be recognized that many of the elements that could have been produced could combine with electrolysis by-products, notably H and O to produce compounds that are not soluble in the aqueous electrolyte. Of course, this is evident by the dramatic increase in the resistance of the electrolyte.
Fig. 1 is a plot of the resistance of the electrolyte during the processing time as measured by dividing the measured potential by the measured current. This change in resistance of the electrolyte does not take into account a change of resistance in the electrolyte caused by a change in temperature of the electrolyte, which is deemed to be less effective in changing resistance than the amount of thorium ions. As can be seen in Fig. 1, the minimum resistance is observed after about 8 to 10 minutes of processing time. At this time the temperature of the outside of the cylindrical electrode is about 300 F. After about ten minutes of processing time the resistance of the electrolyte increases rapidly and the temperature of the cylinder increases at a slower rate with a maximum temperature of about 360 F after about 16 to 18 minutes of processing time. From about fifteen to twenty-five minutes of processing, the resistance increases rapidly and then increases more rapidly to the end of the thirty-minute processing time. This data is not inconsistent with the idea of plating out the thorium onto the electrodes, however, similar experiments have been reported by the Cincinnati group with no evidence of thorium being plated onto the electrodes. The data shown in Fig. 1 is consistent with the concept that the thorium is being processed on the surface of the electrodes and transmuted into other elements. With the presence of both hydrogen and oxygen ions on the electrode surface, it would be expected that some of the new elements could be chemically changed into oxides or hydrides and precipitate out of solution. The rate at which the resistance of the electrolyte changes in the 15 to 20 minutes after processing would suggest that the bulk of the transmutation is taking place during this time period.
This preliminary report is made possible by permission of Trenergy, Inc., the Utah corporation that funded the experimental investigation. Trenergy is expected to have a stock offering in the near future and intends to use some of the capital raised to purchase sophisticated equipment to augment this experimental work.
NEN expects to receive further experimental data from Trenergy. In addition NEN expects to report on the month-to-month changes in share prices for this and any other New-Energy Companies. Perhaps, we can define and provide a New-Energy Index reflecting the changes in the share value of several new-energy companies. Editor.
Return to the INE Main Page
Oct. 29, 1997.