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Storing atomic hydrogen propellant at high temperature.
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Pooh Bear
science forum addict

Joined: 17 Apr 2005
Posts: 76

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:14 am    Post subject: Re: Storing atomic hydrogen propellant at high temperature. Reply with quote

Robert Clark wrote:

This thread discussed creating atomic hydrogen fuel, i.e., monoatomic
hydrogen, using arcjets powered by electrical cables from the ground:

You're thinking of spaceships ? You're a loony.

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Robert Clark
science forum Guru Wannabe

Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 129

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:44 am    Post subject: Storing atomic hydrogen propellant at high temperature. Reply with quote

This thread discussed creating atomic hydrogen fuel, i.e., monoatomic
hydrogen, using arcjets powered by electrical cables from the ground:

From: Robert Clark
Date: Tues, Mar 21 2006 12:23 am
Email: "Robert Clark" <rgregorycl...@yahoo.com>
Groups: sci.astro, sci.space.policy, sci.physics
Subject: Long cables to power arcjet rockets to orbit?

Atomic hydrogen would provide a marked increase in ISP. However, the
problem is storing it, which is why I suggested creating it
continuously using arcjets from regular H2 stored on board. However,
this would require very high electrical power that could not be
supplied by a compact, lightweight electricity source.
Some proposals for storing the atomic hydrogen itself include storing
it at very cold temperatures near absolute zero. However, it is known
that very high temperatures could also dissociate H2. Could we store
the atomic hydrogen by keeping it in a container at thousands of
degrees K?
This page contains a graph showing the proportion of H2 that will be
dissociated to atomic hydrogen according to temperature:

The Moller's Atomic Hydrogen Generator tests by JL Naudin.

The particular graph is from the work of Nobelist Irving Langmuir. It
shows 98% dissociation at 6000 K and 99.99% at 8000 K. The percent
dissociation though is dependent on the total pressure of the hydrogen.
The question is could we store the atomic hydrogen at these high
temperatures? Even 6000 K is far above the melting point of tungsten at
about 3700 K.
A couple of possibilities: one would be to use regenerative cooling of
the container holding the atomic hydrogen from melting at the high
temperatures. Then you would need a separate tank of cryogenic liquid
hydrogen. This might actually be beneficial. You would not have to
store the entire amount of hydrogen at the high temperature requiring a
strong, thick tungsten tank to hold the entire mass of propellant.
The cryogenic hydrogen would then have to be raised to the high
temperature for propulsion either by mixing with the hot atomic
hydrogen or by using a heat exchanger.
A second method for keeping the atomic hydrogen tank from melting
would be by using the same magnetic field techniques used to keep the
hot plasma from touching the walls in fusion research. This would
require a large source of electrical power however for a sizable tank.
With this method also you might want to have a separate cyrogenic tank
of H2 to hold the majority of propellant and only mix this with the
atomic hydrogen for propulsion.
A key question is how much atomic hydrogen in relation to the
cryogenic H2 would have to be carried to be able to heat the H2 to
dissociation temperature, i.e., so that a large proportion of the H2
would dissociate according to the Langmuir data.
Another key question is how long could we keep the atomic hydrogen at
the high temperature without it cooling off. My guess is that since
rocket trips to orbit last only a few minutes this should be doable.

About the web page showing the Langmuir graph, I cited it because it
contained the Langmuir data. However, this site is directed to arguing
that atomic hydrogen is a means of providing "free" energy. The authors
observed greater power out than the power going in.
However, the explanation of their observations might be given in this
response to a web article reporting on these experiments:

From: Steven Amendola <email >
Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2005 11:55 PM
Subject: Re: Novel H2 generation sys. ?

First of all he is totally incorrect stating that efficiency is Power
Out / Power In.

Efficiency is Energy Out / Energy In.

By his definition even a capacitor can achieve 1000's% efficiency since
they can discharge much faster than they charge. (Even a released
spring can do that)

This is all he is seeing. He makes atomic H at some rate and it
decomposes at a faster rate because its unstable.

He may be storing energy in the form of atomic hydrogen. (Just H
instead of H2) While this could store a fair amount of energy per unit
weight, it is known that atomic hydrogen is very unstable and readily
recombines in a couple of seconds. He has done nothing to mitigate this
instability, thus I can't see it as a storage method either.


J.L. Naudin Claims to Extract Free Energy Using Moller's Atomic
Hydrogen Generator (MAHG)

Considering the high amount of power output in relation to the power
input this may indeed be the correct explanation. Their experiments
also only go up to 3000 K which according to the Langmuir data only
provides a low rate of dissociation.

Bob Clark
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