Particle generation is often performed with palladium dissolved into heavy water, where hydrogen is replaced with deuterium in order to generate more energy during fusion reactions. After decomposing heavy water into oxygen and deuterium, the deuterium molecules fuse, releasing energy and colliding with surrounding molecules. These collisions cause a transfer of heat energy to the dissolved palladium. Such systems are often inefficient and irreproducible. Improving upon methods of particle generation and low-energy nuclear reactions will help create an idealized system.
This invention is a reproducible method of generating particles through the electrolysis of palladium in heavy water. The invention consists of an electrochemical cell composing an anode, a cathode, and magnets within an electrolyte solution of palladium dissolved in heavy water. To initiate the particle generating process, a power source supplies a constant current to the cell body through the partially immersed cathode and anode for a specified period of time. The current causes the deposition of palladium particles onto the cathode element due to the evolving deuterium gas during electrolysis. These periods of current may be repeated for a variety of different values, and for different period lengths dependent on the needs of the materials. This process can be customized based on the most productive cycles for each specific reaction. In some reactions, magnetic fields prove useful in expediting the particle formation. The cell’s magnets are placed opposing each other, creating a magnetic field through the electrolytic solution between the anode and cathode. This magnetic interaction within the cell can be induced during the first round of current supply or with a new current after palladium deposition. Full deposition occurs when the electrolyte solution changes in color from its original red-brown color to clear, which may require between 3 to 7 days of reaction time. The invention can also include a particle detector such as CR-39, a commercially available material that is chemically resistant to electrolyte and electromagnetic noise. The invention can produce a variety of particles including alphas, protons, soft X-rays, neutrons, tritium, gammas, and betas. An example use of the invention is the decontamination of radionuclides from groundwater by stabilizing the radioactive particles.
- Controlled, reproducible low-energy nuclear reactions
- Operates at conditions of ambient temperature and standard atmospheric pressure
- Eliminates long charging times needed to achieve high deuterium formation on a metal cathode
- US patent 8,419,919 available for license
- Potential for collaboration with Navy researchers