It's either one of the greatest discoveries of all time or an elaborate error.
Either way, controversial startup Blacklight Power has posted the most recent papers on hydrinos to let the world judge.
A Hydrino is a purported low-energy form of hydrogen that researchers at the company claimed to have discovered. When ordinary hydrogen is mixed with a chemical catalyst at a relatively cool 50 degrees Celsius, hydrogen molecules turn into hydrinos, according to Blacklight. The hydrogen-to-hydrino reaction releases 200 times more energy than the amount of energy that gets released when hydrogen is burned.
"They hydrogen releases an extremely large amount of energy. There is unequivocally energy being produced" said CEO Randell Mills. The energy is released as ultraviolet light and can be converted into thermal energy.
The electron shell of the atom in going form hydrogen to hydrino actually gets smaller, according to Mills.
When the reaction occurs in the presence of other chemicals, those chemicals can be transformed into other materials and then transferred back into their earlier state without much energy, and be used for a subsequent experiment, effectively creating energy storage, he said.
In its latest round of experiments, researchers at Rowan University, which co-authored an earlier paper with Blacklight, tested how various accelerants react in the presence of hydrinos and its catalyst. Approximately 1.2 to 6 times more energy was noted at the end of these reactions than the laws of chemistry would ordinarily allow. The difference, Blacklight claims, can be explained by hydrinos. The Rowan team also characterized hydrinos. Papers on these experiments were posted to the company's site.
The only material that gets lots in these reactions is the hydrogen, which can be obtained by electrolyzing water. So, in theory, the company can generate massive amounts of heat (like 1,000 kilojoules per mole of chemical accelerant) with water, a little bit if electricity, a marginal amount of heat and some chemical accelerants and catalysts that will never wear out or be consumed.
"This is the third time in human history that a primary energy source has been created," he said. The first two were combustion and nuclear power.
Hydrinos could also explain the existence of dark matter, he added. The situation is analogous to carbon nanotubes and fullerenes. Scientists in the 1980s stated that pure carbon only existed in a few forms like diamond or graphite. Nanotubes, which are zero dimensional objects, didn't fit into any theory but were discovered nonetheless.
"This is just an undiscovered form of hydrogen," he said.
Skeptics naturally abound. "Standard quantum mechanics cannot encompass hydrino states, with the properties currently attributed to them. Hence there remains no theoretical support of the hydrino hypothesis. This strongly suggests that the experimental evidence put forward in favour of the existence of hydrinos should be reconsidered for interpretation in terms of conventional physics," wrote Andreas Rathke of the European Space Agency in 2005 in a often read paper.
Mills also admitted that the experiments haven't been validated and hydrinos haven't been produced by people outside of Blacklight and Rowan. The next stage thus will revolve around third-party experiments.
If anything, Blacklight should be around for a while. It has raised over $60 million.