by Joe Shea
American Reporter Correspondent
January 27, 2010
BLACKLIGHT POWER'S 'HYDRINO' DISCOVERY WINS EUROPEAN CONTRACT FOR 750-MEGAWATT REACTOR
BRADENTON, Fla., March 25, 2010 -- There's a new word in this world; it's "hydrino," and it will change us forever.
In scientific papers of such complexity that few will understand the theory, a team of American, Indian and Chinese scientists at BlackLight Power, inc., in Cranbury, N.J., have published proof of a new state of the hydrogen atom called the "hydrino" that may soon fuel everything from batteries to interplanetary travel and non-polluting, low-cost power generation plants.
The company announced March 19 that it has won a seventh contract from an Italian company, Geoenergie SpA, a subsidary of Geogreen and the RadiciGroup, for a hydrino reactor that will produce 750 megawatts of power, and $10 million in new investment to add to $61 million already raised with its prototype 50- and 75-kilowatt reactors.
What's at stake for consumers? The engineering presentation released March 19 with the Geoenergie announcement outlined a concept car using the BlackLight Process that would travel 1,500 miles on a single liter of water and cost less than $10,000 to build. A California company is also contemplating a hydrino-driven electric motor and hopes to have a working prototype in 18 months.
More than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles (84 published) have supported the science behind hydrinos, including 14 supporting the theory. Among the scientists who have independently validated the hydrino claims of BlackLight are Dr. Randy Booker, who chairs the University of North Carolina-Asheville's physics department, and Wisconsin University plasma expert, Berkeley-educated Prof. John Scharer, Ph.D.
So far, the company has won 51 patents around the world in major energy markets, including two in the United States; 100 more are pending. Six utilities using conventional fuel to serve up 7.6 megawatts of power to their 1 million customers have ordered hydrino reactors - in deals worth up to $500 million - to generate 8 megawatts at about one cent per kilowatt. The company has assembled a formidable board of directors that include a former head of Westinghouse, a top federal nuclear energy official, prominent venture capitalists and a former USAF chief of staff, Gen. Merrill McPeak, who once commanded America's Pacific Air Forces and the famed "Thunderbirds" aerial team.
Now, a stunning technical presentation on their hydrino process is getting worldwide attention.
Fundamentally, the discovery moves power generation past the era of fossil fuels such as coal and even nuclear power. BlackLight Power officials estimate that a scaled-up hydrino power plant can replace a $6 billion nuclear power plant for about $500 million. And the utility doesn't need to buy fuel, as the BlackLight Process is self-regenerating.
The discovery still has critical skeptics, even after proving itself incontrovertibly in the toughest tests America's official national laboratories and top industrial and university science labs could devise. The skeptics are led by a 77-year-old University of Maryland professor, Dr. Robert Park, a former spokesman for the American Physical Society with outspoken views on many things.
In his column for the Society's peer-reviewed journal, for instance, he has called Jesus Christ an "itinerant healer," said that acupuncture flatly "doesn't work," and the day before it was launched said the new North Korean long-range missile didn't exist. Park calls all the validation and Mills' working models "a scam." Thousands of Internet-based members of various skeptic groups have echoed his line.
More significantly, Dr. Steven Chu, whom Presdent Barack Obama named as head of the Department of Energy last year, was one detractor back in 1999, when he told the Dow Jones Wire Service, "it's extremely unlikely that this is real, and I feel sorry for the funders, the people who are backing this." Feeling sorry for Westinghouse? If, as validations of the theory and replication of his real-world results pile up, is Chu likely to reverse himself, or push hydrino processes forward? Or was Chu appointed to make sure the vast economic changes Mills' technology would bring about never happen? In politics, you can never know, and when politics touches science, you never want to. You wonder instead whether it will be China or another of our economic foes who bring hydrino applications to the world.
Here's a sample of other criticism BlackLight Power's leading theoretician, founder and CEO, Dr. Randell L. Mills, has faced, from a Wired magazine articlein June 2002:
By 2008, however, when Fortune magazine searched out skeptics to debunk Mills, Park was apparently the only one left:
Park has been an unbending critic of Mills since 1991, when he was busy attacking cold fusion claims. According to the Village Voice, Park may have blocked an important patent Mills was applying for in February 2000 at the very last minute:
Mills's fiercest critic, Dr. Robert Park, an APS spokesman and avid debunker based in Washington, D.C. Park mocked the patent decision in the press and in his What's New column at aps.org. The column comes with a disclaimer that states, "Opinions are the author's and are not necessarily shared by the APS, but they should be."
Two years later, in 2002, the Voice caught Park in an outright lie about Mills that was published in Forbes Magazine:
The debate over Mills's work has long since left the realm of pure science. Mills has won patents only to have them stripped away after public and private objections from people like Robert Park. Park even went so far as to falsely charge in Forbes magazine that Mills was claiming a cancer cure from hydrinos. In 1988, Mills published a paper on cancer therapy in the journal Nature that relied on conventional physics- he hadn't conceived of the hydrino yet.
Obviously, there's a growing body of evidence that one man, for motive unknown, undertook to disparage Mills personally and professionally, and to deny the world any potential benefit from his discoveries.
The hydrino, thankfully, has not cooperated with Mills' critics. In test after test, and now with operating reactors and contracts - albeit one in which no money changes hands until the technology is delivered, according to one utility spokesman - for much larger ones, Mills has left them gaping. In fact, Mills has won at least seven important science prizes*, according to his rèsumé, and is often described as a future Nobel laureate. One skeptic who has often paired up with Dr. Park in attacks on new ideas is Eric Krieg, who recently appeared on the NBC News show "Dateline" with Park to denounce oxyhydrogen devices, another technology with great promise. Now, though, Krieg grudgingly admits, "Mills may be legitimate."
But it was a long time coming. BlackLight CEO Dr. Randell Mills, 52, first theorized that excess heat would arise in hydrogen interactions early in 1991, even as the cold fusion experiments of Pons and Fleischmann were being overwhelmed by unfounded academic mockery. Having built a cell to demonstrate his ideas, starting in 1993, leading labs like those at Penn State, the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, M.I.T.'s Lincoln Laboratory, NASA, the Brookhaven National Laboratory and Westinghouse, scientists tested his potassium carbonate electrolysis cells with every conceivable precaution, only to find - like a high-level team at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in 1993 - anomalous excess energy in the form of heat that was 38% greater than the energy input. It was exactly the result Mills' theory predicted. The Mills findings were "extremely exciting," a team of top physicists at Penn State cheered.
Mills, a native Pennsylvanian born Sept. 3, 1957, graduated summa cum laude from Franklin & Marshall College in 1982, went to Harvard Medical School and afterwards studied biotechnology and engineering at M.I.T. (leading to several important medical device discoveries). He was part of the wave of scientists who took the cold fusion theories of the late B. Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann seriously, but offered a different explanation for their results. He later elaborated his full theory in a book, The Grand Unified Theory of Classical Quantum Mechanics (Science Press, 1996) that has become a fundamental text in the ongoing war between the quantum and classical physics communities.
Rather than violating the second law of thermodynamics, which states that no energy can be created or destroyed, Mills argued that classical physics support a complex theory that shows how the hydrogen atom can be reduced beyond its known "ground state" to the hydrino, a word that at the time had never been spoken. Heat created by the process was the result, he said, of this replicable process. And time and again, it was replicated, although not explained, by the nation's best scientists.
Back then, in thrall to the theorems of quantum mechanics, the academic community clashed fiercely with Mills over heady issues in the battle between quantum and classical physics, which Mills embodies. NASA's scientists found, in a study validating Mills' work, that reports on cold fusion by CalTech and M.I.T. had been done "in haste and under great public scrutiny," leading to major errors that ignored many replications of the Pons-Fleischmann effect and unfairly cost the two their reputations - even as their science was being widely replicated. Russian scientists unequivocally backed Mills' discovery of excess heat. In 1999, Mills clashed with critics in a videotaped presentation to the American Chemical Society, silencing some of them (momentarily) with questions about quantum issues they could not answer.
Today, a tall, rail-thin, energetic man in his early 50's with a full head of hair, Randell Mills has not yet emerged as a public figure, despite a boost in the widely-read VentureBeat blog in the New York Times, but he has already triumphed. And now, with Mills' computations available on the Internet, many critics have fallen silent. Just the same, if you search its site it would appear the word "hydrino" has never appeared in the New York Times, or even the term BlackLight Power, even though they have. Just as it took a "60 Minutes" documentary last fall to reveal to Americans that cold fusion was the real thing, this may be the first major article aimed at the general public about the incipent Hydrino Revolution.
They may seem like ancient history, but laboratory reports and other documents reviewed by The American Reporter show that scientists and the government repeatedly ignored the potential of work by Mills, Pons and Fleischmann to save taxpayers several trillion dollars in energy costs. Money that might have built a truly new world instead became a prize for the loudest voices in a tedious, decades-long scientific debate. Even now, however, Mills' hydrino reactors may help rescue America's battered economy when, according to the New York Times America has fallen behind China in clean technology. Hydrinos can help us recover our nation's leading role in the fight against destructive climate change associated with burning fossil fuels.
Clearly, too, when Arab oil-producing nations contemplate a future of oil- and gas-free power plants, they grow nervous. Last year, OPEC officials warned the world that a shift to alternative technology could be catastrophic for all of us, and especially those who depend on their oil wells. American politicians are faced with a choice of favoring oil from Arab countries over innovation from the United States when they shape the direction of America's energy future. So far, they are favoring the Arabs, who are valued allies in the War on Terror now raging throughout the Middle East.
When recession-devastated American families have a chance to weigh the issues, however, given that Arab nations are home to most of the world's Islamic terrorists and the site of two wars where American soldiers are still losing their lives, they may feel quite strongly that cutting their bills by a few hundred dollars a month for home heating, air conditioning, electricity and propane or natural gas may be a more just and higher priority than strengthening Arab royal families and their powerful regimes.
If our future has arrived, Washington has studiously ignored it. While major utilities are already poring over engineering plans to build the plants they've ordered from BlackLight Power, energy officials and the President are promoting the construction of hundreds of new, unneeded and extremely expensive nuclear plants. Coal-fired plants are being promoted as clean and green. Solar and wind power science has long been stagnant, Mills says, eating up as much false hope as they do money. Mills, of Yardley, Pa., in Amish country, however, does not stand still.
Working more or less "under the radar of big science and academia," as he said recently, he ultimately built such a strong foundation in the physics journals that he's become the unsung father of a new science that promises a billion watts of energy from a single liter of water. Yes, exactly that - no ifs, ands, or buts. His BlackLight Process, already well-established in roughly 20 test-bed prototype 50- and 75-kilowatt reactors, promises power plants that will produce unlimited power but cost only as much as a gas-fired plant to build, about $1,500 a kilowatt, and then will have no further cost for fuel. None. Zero. Zip. Not a penny for solar, wind, plutonium, uranium, gas, coal or oil or any other fuel.
One potential drawback to the hydrino technology, according to one of the few competitors in this rarefied world (who wanted to speak off the record), is that the hydrino power may be limited in any future deployment as small reactors to power homes, cars and other applications because - and this has not been proved - it may generate harmful radiation. Otherwise, the argument goes, in addition to the large-scale power generation plants the utilities have contracted for, BlackLight's grand design might have incorporated units that would allow homes and businesses to go off the grid and power themselves. No evidence of such radiation has been presented, however, and even Mills' start-up competitor, who hopes to deploy a similar but different form of fractional hydrogen technology. admits he doesn't know whether it exists. The many patents and journal articles all describe "non-radiative" atomic interactions, and the company says flatly, that "the process does not give rise to pollution, green-house gases, or radiation as conventional systems do."
At another level, the discovery of the hydrino is perhaps a validation of oxyhydrogen researchers who have long claimed the presence of a heretofore inexplicable energy source in hydrogen catalysis that produces increased energy during or after electrolysis, when oxyhydrogen is burned in internal combustion engines. That energy has been the foundation for a little-known and much-abused industry surrounding oxyhydrogen, or HHO, where hydrogen is produced on demand in small, engine-mounted kits called HHO generators (or, incorrectly, fuel cells) and used as a fuel supplement to increase power and gas mileage and eliminate emissions from cars and trucks. Metals and chemicals that also form a part of the BlackLight catalyst is applied as a coating to titanium HHO plates to isolate a supposedly purer form of hydrogen. The presence of a previously unknown form of energy was frequently inferred by HHO researchers from the amazing scalability of oxyhydrogen welding torches. Those can be scaled from a few hundred degrees to whatever temperature melts a given metal, without any further adjustments by the welder. Where does that ability to scale from 300 degrees to 10,000 degrees come from?
BlackLight's studies may explain the energy increase as an incidental formation of hydrinos in the presence of common salts and nickel in microscopic quantities. Such salts and minerals are present in common metals and in modern automotive engines, but few researchers would have had any clue that interactions with hydrogen may have been responsible for the improved performance of welding torches, HHO-powered cars and diesel trucks that sometimes occurs.
In fact, The American Reporter has learned that a hydrino-driven HHO cell is in development, and a hydrino-fueled automotive engine - known as SPICE - that optimally would self-regenerate (thus needing no fueling station) is in the works, according to a Sebastopol, Calif.-based BlackLight competitor called Chava Energy, which contacted us to comment on this article. Chava says the HHO-hydrino device, would cost $5 million to develop and be available in less than 18 months. The SPICE engine prototype, costing about $200 million, would be finished in three years, the company said.
As BlackLight's name suggests, many referred to the energy source as "dark matter" or "zero point energy," in the language of quantum physics. Mills' BlackLight Process, however, posits dense but strictly conventional explanations in the language of classical physics for the hydrino, and Mills dismisses the exotic ideas of quantum physics to explain their discovery. No laws of physics are broken, he insists, in the creation of hydrinos.
Because it infinitely scalable and inexpensive to create, the hydrino process can quickly revolutionize the world's energy paradigm. It is no longer just an idea that may take years to produce concrete applications. It is a real product backed by a much-published team of scientists, led by Mills, who are the backbone of BlackLight Power. At Mills' small but impressive research institute, headquartered in Cranbury, N.J., just 30 people are employed today, but the company will expand its workforce to 500, Mills has said, as new contracts are signed and planning for the six new power plants ramps up. When that happens, the hydrino may become the most "disruptive" technology ever.
"In this study," the BlackLight team reported in a recent paper, "we advanced the potential of the hydrino power source to replace conventional sources based on superior cost, supply and environmental considerations." The scientists say the excess heat that has been consistently achieved by forming hydrinos directly demonstrates a new field of hydrogen chemistry, and that hydrino energy has the capability "of being scaled to any level based on the quantity of reactants used, with performance levels projecting superiority over other energy sources such as fossil-fuel and nuclear energy sources.
"Moreover, the process is non-polluting, since the identified H-(1/p) byproduct is stable and lighter than air, it cannot accumulate in Earth's environment. And it is present in the environment such as in common ingested salts as reported previously," the BlackLight team says.
In their work, after electrolysis of water with a potassium carbonate electrolyte to separate the two hydrogen and one oxygen atoms in the water molecule, a microwave-heated filament breaks the H2 molecule into four individual hydrogen atoms, each then becoming H1/2 atoms, which then resonate with the company's proprietary sodium hydride-enriched nickel powder reaction catalyst. That interaction, or resonance, absorbs a photon from the outer shell of each of the hydrogen atoms and yields an inner shell that is the lower-energy hydrino.
As the photon is stripped from each hydrogen atom to create the hydrino, an enormous quantity of heat is released. In Mills' cell designs, that heat powers a steam turbine to produce electricity. Other byproducts are light and still lower-energy hydrogen atom remnants, which through a process called "disassociation" help strip additional hydrogen atoms and are recycled to regenerate Mills' proprietary solid fuel reaction catalyst.
Rowan University, based in nearby Glastonbury, N.J., where the BlackLight reactor work was first validated, is a PhD-granting university with 10,000 students, and while it is little-known it has a highly regarded chemical engineering faculty. Their scientists say in desalination plants, the hydrino process produces 200 times more energy than it uses.
Indeed, after long pages of chemistry and physics equations (most have been independently verified), the dense mathematics of the journal article yields to fairly plain footnotes and page after page of suggested commercial applications (see pages 24-35) that have no theoretical end.
For instance, Rowan scientists said their tests showed that one hydrogen-generated power process producing 6 kilowatts of electricity was "easily" scaled up to 30 kilowatts when hydrino interactions were introduced. The team's existing hydrino cells can scale up the output from other forms of energy by 5 to 30 times, they said.
That means, for instance, that to meet power demands, utilities might construct a power plant at current costs and then pay from one-fifth to one-thirtieth of their current fuel expense with the BlackLight catalyst. Whether the political establishment will now reconsider the current plan to pay for hundreds of nuclear power plants is an unknown. Most are heavily in political debt to conventional energy companies who have contributed to their election campaigns, and thus have no motive except public spirit to foster new competition from hydrino-driven power plants.
* Dr. Mills has won the Willig Pentathlon Prize in Chemistry, Michael A. Lewis Memorial Prize in Physics, Isaac E. Roberts Biology Award, Rawnsley Science Award, Morgan D. Person Prize in Chemistry, Fredrick C. Schiffman Award in Chemistry and Theodore Alexander Saulnier Award in Chemistry.
Joe Shea, editor of The American Reporter, is a proponent of hydrogen and oxyhydrogen applications. The American Reporter sponsors the HHO Games & Exposition and the Hydrogen Builders Conference.