Remote scenario for explaining the Edison device?
Date: Saturday, January 11, 2003 @ 02:22:52 GMT
(Posted by James Beene on the slashdot.org site)
"...When Mark Twain said, "truth is stranger than fiction," he could have been referring to another home-grown improbability that sprang up out of the potato fields near Boise Idaho - Micron Technology.
The company started in the basement of a dentist's office in 1978, grew to become one the world's largest suppliers of computer memory chips thanks to a simple spud farmer, named err... Simplot.. Herb Caen would have loved it ("names that work")... or is the main reason that the announcement came from Boise...no, it just couldn't be. Things just don't happen this way in the real world, at least as I understand it.
Even so, there is one remote scenario, as improbable as it will also sound, that fits the circumstances so well that - if true, it would explain almost everything. I don't yet believe in this explanation either, but it is worth throwing out there, given the enormity of the claims that have been publicly made, and the paradigm shift that would follow if the claims panned out.
The scenario that follows involves the Mills' hydrino (below ground-state hydrogen), the SOFC fuel cell (just coming into commercial production), wealthy investors in Idaho, slick promoters in New Joysee, overseas scientists, an attempt to dodge intellectual property issues for as long as possible, and perhaps somewhere near the end, a small commitment to help lesser developed economies. This scenario does NOT fit very well, however, with the sparse details provided by the Genesis company. But those may be deliberately muddled.
The explanation, and sequence of coincidence, goes something like this.
1) R. Mills of Blacklight Power (http://www.blacklightpower.com/) claims that when hydrinos are formed, significant amounts of UV radiation are given off, and
2) hydrinos are claimed to form easily when water vapor with some entrained hydrogen at low pressure is irradiated in a 2.45 Ghz microwave field or in certain other ways involving particular catalysts and "energy holes."
3) A number of other researchers have shown that water vapor can be split efficiently when exposed to UV radiation (the same spectrum that BLP claims is produced in their hydrino process). This is the first coincidence.
4) UV works best for splitting water in the presence of certain semiconductor catalysts, such as oxides of zirconium and titanium. .
5) The solid oxide fuel cell uses a high temperature ceramic electrode that is also a semiconductor. It turns out that many of these same catalysts used in photo-electrolysis (esp containing ZrO and TiO) are also used as oxygen -permeable membranes in the solid oxide fuel cell SOFC. This is the second coincidence.
6) There is nothing inherently prohibitive about a single multi-stage fuel cell that allows the splitting of water vapor in one space and then the separation and migration of split-off O2 and H2 through porous ceramic membranes to recombine in adjacent spaces, providing current.
Of course, it would only work if Mills is correct, and hydrogen will shrink below ground state, releasing several hundred times the energy of combustion. Many scientists are skeptical of Mills, but many others also realize Dr Mills to be a genius of the highest order. The only question is... is Mills a self-deluded genius. IMHO he is not self-deluded - rather he on to something BIG but has delayed the commercial product in favor of the underlying science (and possible trip to Stockholm) long enough for others (Genesis?) to get a foothold in the marketplace.
Of course, these disparate factors which occur in seemingly unrelated processes, the UV and the ceramics, could all be coincidental.
If not, it is a complicated but serendipitous coincidence that could change the world. One would have to imagine that a particular kind of fuel cell could be fed with low pressure water vapor (and perhaps a little hydrogen mixed in) and irradiated with microwaves at the common freq of 2.45 Ghz, producing hydrinos along with copious UV radiation, (the original excess energy) and that the radiation which is produced in situ would split enough unreacted water vapor to provide lots of H2 (which becomes the converted "free-energy" ). Immediately the hydrogen would pass though one wall (proton conductor) while oxygen migrates through the solid oxide wall, and a net current flow across a number of stacked plates would thereby arise which would be sufficient to power the whole cell, with some left over. There are many variations in the details that are possible, so more specificity, at this stage won't help.
It turns out the promoters of this project are from New Jersey - not too far from Mills and BLP. Perhaps they did not want to be associated with him and haven't disclosed the scientific details because of his prior art - and perhaps the promoters staged the whole show for Idaho because of certain investors, but also to try to dodge Mills intellectual property protection as long as possible. Had the announcement happened in Jersey, the legal response would have been immediate, or if overseas, where they have contacts, it would be harder to attract investment. I can find no US patents owned by Genesis or the Shaws, so the legal status of their device is not clear. Perhaps they decided to do an end-run around the patent system, and that would not be surprising as most of this technology is not that new and was developed by others. OTOH the several technologies have never been combined this way - and a unique combination of patented technologies is also patentable by someone else - if it is *Non-obvious*, so maybe Genesis does have applications on file either here or abroad.
NREL has some accessible material on solar photochemical water splitting
Photochemical water splitting - using narrow UV radiation, as opposed to broad spectrum solar, is far more efficient, in terms of heat value of evolved H2 compared to the heating value of the UV photon flux, but not as well studied -simply because there are few high intensity "free" sources of UV on earth (but plenty of them in space). Our atmosphere is a UV absorber. UV is pretty worthless except for its heat value, unless you can use it where it is formed,
If Dr. Mills can be believed, his hydrino plasma spectroscopy seems to show extremely high levels of UV at frequencies which would be useful for water splitting. It is somewhat surprising that he hasn't focused on this conversion method himself (or maybe he has, but isn't telling, or maybe he will after reading this, even if Genesis is not for real).
As mentioned, many of the catalysts used in photo-electrolysis (esp ZrO and TiO) are also used as oxygen permeable membranes in the solid oxide fuel cell SOFC but these are not necessarily Mills' catalysts. Water vapor itself, or protons alone, will serve to catalyze hydrino formation, according to Mills. The band gap of the photo-active materials like TiO matches closely the binding energy of hydrogen to a hydroxyl radical. It is not totally coincidental that these materials are also permeable to oxygen ions, and are therefore used in solid oxide fuel cells, which are the most efficient variety of fuel cells, but having a downside that they must operate at high temperature.
If the Genesis gCell exists in reality, and operates at high temperature, then it is probably a solid oxide cell (aka SOFC). If that much were independently proven, then all of this speculation might be going somewhere, with or without the involvement of the hydrino. I doubt it however but according to several who have contacted the company "they aren't looking for money. If they were they would have contacted us. I told the lady at the mouth piece firm that some of our associates had invested in Tilley Foundation. If that had been Dennis Lee or Stan Meyer, they would have been all over us like stink on you know what."
That is a good sign. But the stink may just be taking a little longer than normal. Time will tell. Perhaps they - or their investors really have approached this from the perspective of "save the world" rather than "make a quick buck"... but right now it is way to early to jump to that conclusion. But I still can't believe that people who were smart enough to discover such a technology ( the 400 visionaries !!) would be stupid enough to handle its commercial introduction in this way. It just doesn't add up unless they were overseas scientist and unless there were some intellectual property issues..
It's all very intriguing on the one hand, but alas, many of us that follow free-energy and ZPE research and experiment ourselves have been down this road too many times. It might be easier just to use some of the hot air from the promoters, rather than their actual device."