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You are here: > News > March 12, 2014

H-Cat calorimetry proposals

Alan Smith recommends having the entire catalytic converter submerged in water (with air-tight inflow and exit of HHO piping), running the system only long enough for a 20 ΊC change in temperature. Jamie Sibley recommends a bag on the exit with high-voltage ignition to remove any unburned HHO, to collect He, if present, as evidence of LENR.

By Sterling D. Allan

Given the exciting new discovery by Justin Church of what he calls the H-Cat, which takes HHO gas (highly energized H) and runs it across the nano-platinum and nano-palladium contained in off-the-shelf catalytic converters (yes, the same found in most automobiles for the last decade or so), resulting in copious amounts of heat -- likely because of an LENR (aka cold fusion) process; I wanted to do my part to get some good validation of the technology.

So on Monday, I left a lengthy voice message and sent an email to both Hal Puthoff of EarthTech, which specializes in overunity calorimetry; as well as to Michael McKubre of SRI International, who is also famous worldwide for their calorimetry and support of LENR, in particular. I wanted to make sure they are aware of the effect, and I also wanted to see if they would be willing to do some calorimetry to determine whether it is indeed overunity, and by how much; and whether it is nuclear, and if not, what it is?

I've not heard back from Dr. Puthoff yet, but Dr. McKubre responded that he is away for an extended time, but that his associate, Francis Tanzella, Ph.D., might be able to do something, though it would be limited because they are not a non-profit but usually require payment for their services.

Here is what I wrote in reply:

Hi Michael and Fran,

Frank Acland over at E-CatWorld ran a fundraiser for some calorimetric testing of the H-Cat. They met their fundraising goal and have designated Alan Smith of the U.K. to do the testing.

At this point, we're not looking for super-accurate quantification, but rather a ball-park estimation of the input:output ratio.

1) is it overunity? 
2) by about how much?

I'm guessing that if we can get an institution such as yours vindicating this, even roughly, that it wouldn't be hard to raise the funds to support additional testing, characterization, improvement, optimization, etc; which you are well-equipped to do.

More importantly, it could really help inspire more people to get involved experimenting with and designing functional systems using this principle.

So I guess what I'm saying is that we would all be deeply appreciative if you could pull together some kind of preliminary assessment about the input:output ratio.

For example, as I brainstorm quickly on this, what comes to mind is:

Take a catalytic converter and create a water tank to wrap around the main portion, while keeping the two openings above and below exposed to air. The top will be for the HHO input (heavier than air, so it will drop), and the bottom for H2O dripping and air exit. The water bath could be used for rough calorimetric measurements, before and after a run of maybe 3 hours.

There may be data from the catalytic converter industry that can estimate the amount of energy emerging from the body, after insulation is taken into consideration. So the amount of heating of the water could be multiplied by that fraction to estimate the total heat produced inside the catalytic converter.

The HHO input energy would be easy to measure, straight Volts x Amps required to operate the electrolysis system.

Since Justin Church is the key player here, open sourcing his discovery, I think it would make sense to use his apparatus, at his recommended rate of gas flow: ~1 L/minute, (~200 Watts).

I would think that this could give us at least within a 20% accuracy rate, and if the input:output is far in excess of overunity, this will be obvious.

Since we're postulating that this is an LENR reaction, that should be the case.

If not, Justin thinks that at a minimum it will be more efficient than any other heater technology presently available.

Let me know if you might be able to do at least something like this without a sponsorship.

If not, let me know what it might cost to run such a test, and we could think about raising the money for it.



I included a few people in the correspondence.

Alan Smith responded:

Hi Gentlemen. 

I applaud the idea, but think I should point out what seem to me to be a few gaps in the basically sound procedure suggested. so, apologies but here are my thoughts.

First and most important, 'rough' is not good enough for such a controversial subject. To stand your ground you need to be sure of it. Rough will only bring about mockery, sadly.

Re the water bath/ cat system. The cat should be completely surrounded by water -and not open anywhere to the atmosphere. Partial immersion means partial heat recovery, and also leaving the top and bottom open allows air to convect rapidly through the inside of the cat losing lots of heat. And water dripping from the bottom as 'hottish condensate' also loses energy that belongs in the water bath.

The 'closed' cat will need a spring-loaded explosion valve or two btw. Not hard to make... a whole sealed-up cat full of unburnt ( for whatever reason) gas that suddenly decided to ignite would make a very big and dangerous bang. A friend of mine blew up a very large and beautiful model submarine that filled with HHO as a result of overcharging the lead-acid batteries. Made a real mess of his workshop, lucky he was not killed.

A 3 hour run is way too long. Once the water bath calorimeter gets really hot its losses will be high- despite insulation etc. The trick is to measure the Delta T over a timed period between 2 points - say 40C and 50C. This minimizes 'wander' from the electrolyzer too, which would need constant vigilance to balance the gas flow and also a data-logger on the power supply.

The electrolyzer will also get warm as it runs- this is another part of the system energy balance and must be added to the total heat output.

There are other things, but I am sure that Mr. McKubre and co are way ahead of me.

Good luck, I appreciate being in the loop very much, Alan Smith 

Then I got this email from Jamie Sibley:

Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 5:34 PM [Mountain]
Subject: H-Cat LENR Experiment Proposal

H-Cat LENR Experiment.

Here is a experiment I am publicly proposing to prove that the H-Cat is in fact a device that performs non-chemical reactions.


Conventional chemistry will tell us that if we produce HHO gas, and then feed this into a sealed catalytic converter, that the converter will generate heat and water vapor. If we collect and cool this water vapor, we will have only pure water collected. In this situation, there will be the perfect ratio of HHO produced, as is needed for the combustion and there should be zero molecules of residual gas left over. However, if this reaction had any nuclear component, then the formation of new atomically heavier elements would cause an imbalance in the hydrogen/oxygen ratio and then excess gas would be collectible after combustion. For example, if He was formed from Hydrogen, then there would be He and O left over after condensation. Other examples: H->D, excess oxygen. O->F, excess hydrogen and Florine gas. O-> Ne, excess H and Ne gasses.

I propose that someone should build an apparatus that produces HHO, feed this into a catalytic converter, collects the water vapor and condenses it and is able to collect any excess gas bubbles that may form. There is the possibility that the excess gas is unburnt hydrogen and oxygen. The apparatus should provide an arc to ignite any collected bubbles, giving them a change to combust and turn into water vapor. Also, this arc would give us the ability to see the spectral lines of the collected gas, if any is found. We need to use caution to not ignite a large quantity of the gas due to explosion risks.

Attached is a quick sketch of the experimental setup.

Combining this information, I came up with the following proposed experimental set-up for doing calorimetry on the H-Cat.

Feel free to chime in with other suggestions in the comments section below.

SRI Unable to Help at this Time

I received a response from Fran, and he said that SRI would not be able to help at this time. In allowing me to post his response, he wanted to make sure that people realize this represents his personal opinion and is not an official statement of SRI.

From: Fran Tanzella 
To: Sterling Allan 
Cc: Michael Mc Kubre ; Alan Smith 
Sent: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 7:02 PM
Subject: Re: SRI to do calorimetry on H-Cat?

Hi Sterling,

I agree with Alan's caveats. 

Our normal replication protocol, if you remember, is:
1. Have the experimenter reproduce their experiment in our lab their way;
2. We reproduce their experiment in our lab their way;
3. We make modifications to attempt to optimize the effect.

This requires that the experimenter (or original inventor) be a consultant (paid or unpaid) on the effort. Ideally, the "successful" experimenter will spend enough time at SRI to complete steps 1 and 2.

Also as Mike mentioned, we have occasionally convinced our government program monitors that these efforts are within the scope of their SRI project studying LENR. We presently have no such projects and SRI is not funding such an effort at this time. Also, this would not be a trivial effort.

As such, I feel that we must reluctantly decline to attempt such effort at this time. There is a possibility that can change in the future. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news.


Francis L. Tanzella, Ph. D.
Senior Chemist
SRI International
333 Ravenswood Ave.
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Insulate Catalytic Converter Opening to Prevent Flashback

I should remind anyone experimenting with this to put some ceramic insulation padding in the opening of the catalytic converter to both diffuse the gas so that by the time it reaches the substrate it is spread evenly across the surface rather than focused; and to insulate the heat generated on that surface from the incoming, more concentrated gas.

As long as you are not overwhelming the input, you should be able to prevent flashback.

Just says that flashback (into the bubbler) is a common occurrence for people experimenting with this. But he's found that by having the ceramic insulation in the opening that the instance of flashback has gone to nearly zero.

He recently ran his set-up at around 1 liter/minute for 6-7 hours and did not get any flashback, with insulation in place. The temperature on the outside of the catalytic converter was around 300 F. 

Justin said that because of the catalytic process taking HHO to water, the output gas flow is very little, maybe 100-1000x less than the input. "When I've captured the outgoing gas to measure the rate of flow, it's hard to even get one bubble." Nevertheless, he thinks that is important to not restrict the outflow. I would think that the above scenario would be adequate.

Nevertheless, if you want to measure any rates, you're probably going to need to have a small diameter in your exit tubing so that the question of the beginning/ending volume in the tubing doesn't become a significant factor.

"Yes, HHO can be dangerous, but for those who are experienced with HHO, who have played with a lot of different scenarios, we see this set-up as one of the safest experiments we've ever done."

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Page posted by Sterling D. Allan Jan. 29, 2011
Last updated April 05, 2014




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