National Commentary

The Peak Oil Crisis: The SunCell

Last week Randell Mills, the CEO of BlackLight Power, gave his second public demonstration and briefing in a month on the progress his organization is making in developing a new source of energy. This new source is based on converting the hydrogen in water into a lower energy form of hydrogen which Mills calls a hydrino.

The conversion takes place when a tiny quantity of water inside a metallic powder is zapped with a jolt of high amperage electricity and a small detonation takes place as the hydrogen in the water is turned into hydrinos accompanied by the release of large amounts of energy mostly in the form of light. As the metallic powder which acts as a catalyst for the reaction is not changed during the detonation, it can be reused indefinitely after the addition of more water. A rough analogy to Mill’s device might be an internal combustion engine which initiates thousands of small explosions per minute to produce pressure which turns a crankshaft. In Mill’s device the thousands of tiny detonations produce mostly light which can be turned into electricity by photovoltaic cells.

The claims that Mill’s makes in his latest presentation are quite extraordinary and would bring about major changes in the manner the world produces its energy once the claims are fully verified and reliable production devices developed. Mills says that after 20-some years of R&D his discoveries are now ready to be turned into commercially useful devices which will produce electricity using water as the consumable fuel, without any form of pollution or hazardous waste, and at a cost of less than 1 cent per kilowatt hour.

If this science/technology proves out, it would take the world’s electric power, transportation, and many other industries about a nanosecond to adopt cheap, non-polluting devices that run on water rather than fossil fuels. Obviously the implications of such a technology would be without precedent for it could completely eliminate harmful emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels, allow inexpensive desalination of water, provide increasing food production, and ameliorate many other global problems. This disruption of the existing order would also be massive for coal, gas, and oil would no longer be needed except as petrochemical feed stocks; the electric grid could disappear or change radically; and buildings could become self-contained with gas, water, electricity, and sewage service no longer needed.
The key question which we should all be asking is whether Mills and his new source of energy is — a scam? Totally nuts? A case of inventor over-optimism? And finally can we really expect to see this technology come into widespread use in our lifetimes or at least in time to stop global warming and compensate for declining fossil fuel production?

There are several issues to be considered in answering this question. If we are really about to see a completely new source of energy emerge from so many years of R&D, why has this received close-to-zero coverage in the media? Is the underlying science of Mill’s technology, a new form of hydrogen, for real or, as many say, a misinterpretation of data or wishful thinking?

To understand the reluctance of the media to engage with this story it is important to understand that Mills’ assertion that another form of hydrogen exists undercuts some teachings of mainstream physics, especially quantum mechanics, and of chemistry. Call nearly any credentialed scientist, and he or she will tell you that hydrinos can’t possibly exist. The Wikipedia entry on Mills and his hydrino recounts a litany of various distinguished scientists denouncing the theory as rubbish from the day Mills first proposed it back in 1991. Some went so far as persuade the Patent Office to cancel Mills’ patent on the grounds that a lower energy form of hydrogen could not possibly exist.

Another aspect to all this was the cold fusion furor of 25 years ago which still makes mainstream media editors shy of grappling with controversial issues that are too technical for most to understand. The bottom line is that there is no evidence proving that Mills’ hydrinos do not exist, there are simply people saying that based on what they have heard or what other scientists are saying, it contradicts current scientific understanding about the nature of the atom.

There is really no need for any of us to accept or reject Mills’ assertions or those of his detractors at this point. The definitive validation of this technology will come only when Mills can demonstrate a device that takes in small amounts of water and sends out commercial amounts of electricity. As with the Wright Brothers flying machine or the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, all arguments as to the validity of the technology will cease.

When will we see a working device? Actually, Mills already has one — the BlackLight Power website contains numerous videos of laboratory prototypes zapping water to flash electric lights. To some these demonstrations are a proof of the concept, if you believe that Mills is telling the truth about what he has developed. If you don’t, then demonstrations and videos of them are meaningless as they are easily faked. Arguing about this gets us nowhere.

On July 21, Mills announced that the system engineering for a complete electric generator design has been completed and that his engineering contractor estimates that it will take another 16-18 weeks to build a small 100 kW generator using his technology. We all know that R&D inevitably takes longer than initial estimates so that if a working electric generator emerges for public demonstration, it could be 18 months or more rather than 18 weeks. Mills however claims that every engineer who has looked at the design for a working prototype, which will largely be built from off-shelf-technology, foresees no particular technical difficulties. This says that if Mills and his hydrinos are for real, then we should be seeing the proof, which would validate the technology beyond question, in weeks or months rather than years or decades.
Until we can see a working prototype that can be subjected to independent tests, it is best to keep an open mind on this and other exotic sources of energy. At the same time it is important to remember that just what is at stake could have a major impact on human civilization. If Mills’ hydrinos or similar exotic technologies turn out to be valid, the world will start to change rapidly – hopefully for the better.




  1. Wikipedia is controlled by zealous Skeptics, who are no different in their objectives to religious bigots. They simply assume that they are right, without genuinely considering valid points that question their scientific conservatism.

    Any scientist who did not consider the arguments that Randell Mills has for the existence of the hydrino or who simply dismisses the evidence as a possible hoax or who ignores the validation reports by reputable scientists does not deserve the title of “scientist” but should be relegated to the Skeptical religious class. I have been following Blacklight Power for six years now, and and at times I have been disappointed by their rate of progress. However, I am convinced that BLP has scientifically demonstrated a breakthrough in chemistry and physics which allows for vast amounts of cheap energy to be produced from water vapour, and which, it seems, observing the Generation 3 Sun Cell and in consideration that there are no impediments to the engineering of a 100kW prototype generator within a few months, will change the World dramatically in the near future. The basis for my belief is scientific evidence, argument and demonstration.

    Although I am not qualified to understand the mathematical equations that Randell Mills uses in his book and to which he refers, the scientific arguments make a lot more sense than the knee jerk reactions of the Skeptics, who I believe will be shown to be completely wrong in their irrational defence of the status quo.

  2. Mark Underwood

    Good article and also fine comments by Jane. Now, Mr. Whipple says that water and sewage services to homes would not be necessary but I can’t see how they wouldn’t be. Anyway, to more cosmic matters. The low energy waste product of the Suncell is called hydrino, which is essentially a hydrogen atom with its electron closer to the nucleus than is deemed admissible by quantum theory. Long story short, this low energy, very stable, non reactive type of hydrogen does not absorb or emit light. If this sounds like ‘dark matter’, that is exactly what Mills says it is. Detecting hydrino in the lab is difficult, but if I recall correctly at least 3 three types of detection techniques have verified it’s existence.

    Thus in one stroke Mills solves both the world’s energy problem and cosmology’s major problem. Oh yes, he has invented software called Millsian, based on his theory of electron atomic behaviour. This software accurately renders the shape and bond energy of molecules. It should be noted here that existing quantum theory is stunningly bad at this.

    Kudos to Falls Church News and Mr Whipple for being among the first to report.

  3. I also would like to commend Tom for being courageous enough to report on BLP.

  4. I wonder how much further along we’d be in weaning ourselves from fossible fuels if all the energy spend on this nonsense were spent moving credible alternative energy technologies.

    Do people really think that zapping water in the presence of a metalic catalyst should do anything other than create a flash of light? Electricity decomposes water into Hydrogen and Oxygen. The catalyst enables its recombination into water, yielding light. I did this as a kid. Seriously. I also learned what I was doing and pursued a degree in Physics and a career in engineering. Accusing those who refuse to accept less than rigorous demonstrations to be unworthy seems a bit on the reckless side. Believe me, I’d love for there to be a free lunch in terms of energy. But all claims to the contrary aside, there seems not to be one.
    I wish Mr. Mills well, but have no expectation that they will prove what they are hoping to prove. The real question is, will they accept their defeat or find a new reason why they are just months away from success?

    • optiongeek

      My understanding is the dis-association of hydrogen and oxygen you are describing only occurs at around 4,000V, at least two orders of magnitude higher than what we’re seeing in Mills’ demo. The voltage Mills is using is so low someone could stick their tongue between the electrodes and only feel a mild buzz. And why does the energetic reaction only occur when the metal hydrate is charged with water? Take away any one of the metal, metal hydrate and water combination and all you get is fused metal, but no pop. I understand your skepticism, but there’s really no way to explain Mills’ demos using conventional physics.

      • You aren’t serious, right? It is called elecrolysis and when I was a kid it was standard high school chem lab stuff. I was a nerd, so I did it quite a bit earlier. I repurposed my slot car/electric train power supply, so if I recall correctly it worked at 12VDC.
        I have no idea what the rest of your post is about. My point is that putting electricity into water and getting light as a result seems like nothing more than a somewhat less efficient means of generating light than with a high efficiency LED. And any demonstration that does not demonstrate large self sustaining power output for an indefinite period of time (such as doing real, significant, measureble work) while being completely disconnected from external energy sources should be regarded as snake oil. Let me know when that happens.
        Mills’ demos can be explained via physics – I just doubt the explanation will be the one people are looking for. (See above.)

        • optiongeek

          I’ve taken a pretty skeptical eye to this, but, no, I can’t see conventional physics explaining this away. First, the process gives off continuum radiation in the soft X-ray spectrum. No known chemistry can do that. And this continuum radiation has been validated by independent experts – see Nick Glumac at UIUC for one. Radiation is usually generated in specific “spikes” at characteristic frequencies, which are tied to discrete energy transitions. Generating continuum radiation – radiation that extends across multiple frequencies – requires entirely new physics to explain. It’s the kind of stuff you see in astronomy when looking at incredibly energetic bodies. So if you can provide a convincing explanation for the presence of continuum radiation we can continue to talk. However, I’ll just come back and ask you about the Raman spectography, the bomb calorimetry over-unity evidence, and the curious ability of Mills models to generate mathematical results that out-perform corresponding QM-based models.

        • KeithC137

          Hello nsfbr,

          You have greatly oversimplified what is happening in Dr.Mills device — it is not simple electrolysis. I have no doubt of your good intentions and respect healthy skeptism, but many people, including professional scientists and engineers haven’t taken the slightest bit of time to examine what Dr. Mills is really saying, and instead jump right to criticizing him with incomplete facts.

          Dr. Mills has characterized a reaction that has 200 times the energy given off by burning hydrogen and oxygen (which of course is the same as 200 times the amount of energy used to separate hydrogen and oxygen using elctrolysis).

          These two articles published in *peer-reviewed scientific journals* detail the reaction he is describing. The articles refer to a reproduction of Mills’ experiement performed at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) by an independent scientist under contract:

          The European Physical Journal D

          Journal of Plasma Physics

          As optiongeek stated, spectroscopic data collected during the experiment shows continium raditaion with extreme ultaviolet (EUV) and soft x-ray wavelengths. It is impossible for electrolysis or simple burning reactions to give off raditaion with these high energies.

          These same EUV/soft x-ray emissions are also seen when Dr. Mills runs demo denoations in a vaccum. When he runs them in an atmosphere of air or argon, a bright plasma is observed with a blackbody spectrum. The plasma has an optical intensity that is 50,000 higher than sunlight at the Earth’s surface.

          BTW, for Blacklight Power’s next public demo, they intend to show a prototype device powering itself.


          • Actually, it is electrolysis. That is how this supposed thing starts as that is how Mills gets the Hydrogen. Then, according to this non-science, a catalyst allows the Hydrogen atom’s electron to move into a lower state. The problem is, that makes NO SENSE. The Hydrogen atom is just about the most well understood entity in the known universe. It is THE thing that even undergraduate physics student study because it is simple enough so that we can gain a facility in learning the governing equations and principles. And yet, this idea is that Hydrogen, unlike ALL other elements, has previously unknown electron states which are lower in energy than its ground state.

            It does this, according to Mills (keep in mind that as of earlier today I knew nothing about this nonsense) by colliding with an atom that has an available electron state the same energy difference as the Hydrogen atom does between its ground state and one of these “Hydrino” levels. Then, the energy is released by that other atom by the electron returning to a lower energy state. However, for some unknown reason, the Hydrino, nee Hydrogen, is trapped in this new lower state, or at least (I’m still unclear on this latter part) it can only go to additionally lower Hydrino levels.

            A couple of notes here – First and foremost, the Universe and Hydrogen have been around a very long time. Second, if there were processes by which Hydrogen could buy a one way ticket to a lower energy state than its ground state, we would all be in quite a bit of trouble. Why? Because by now, darn near all the Hydrogen would be in one of those Hydrino levels. Electrons go from one level to another all the time. That’s how they exchange energy. However, that is not the case, it would seem, for Hydrinos. So, all of a sudden you have atoms which are unable to do anything other than bounce around elastically. And that leads to the final problem I’ve come up with in the span of some minutes. Mills claims you can make chemical compositions with these things. Really. And the special properties of Hydrinos transfer to these new compounds. Really. But Hydrogen reacts by giving up its one electron, hence H+. As in H2O, where two Hydrogen atoms each give their electron to Oxygen, which happens to love taking them on. It again is nonsensical to think that a Hydrino, which is unable to absorb and release energy any more the way all other atoms do (by having its electron(s) transit states, is still able to yield its electron and moreover, for the special properties of having been a Hydrino survive the process.

            And for what it’s worth, renting test equipment from Harvard and hiring someone to run a test doesn’t actually mean anything.

            And a device powering itself it proof of nothing. It is generally simple to provide a small energy source to make up for whatever losses in one of these over unity devices. There is no practical reason for his demo to not demonstrate this by doing what it purports to do – generate significant quantities of continuous power to do work, and do so over an arbitrarily long term period.

          • Hello nsfbr,

            I truly commend you for taking the time to learn this much of Dr. Mills theory. I know it is not an easy read and it is HUGE.

            Yes you are right, it does *start* with electrolysis. But that is hardly the whole story. A few things that might be of interest to you…

            > darn near all the Hydrogen would be in one of those Hydrino levels.

            If you read further about the hydrino states of hydrogen you will see they do not absorb or radiate electromagnetic radiation. In order words they don’t interact with light and hence are “dark”.

            I’m sure you know that many unrelated astronomical observations point to there being much more mass in the Universe than can be seen in stars, gas, etc. This missing mass is observed only by its gravitational effects on visible matter. Astronomers estimate that this “dark matter” accounts for 75% of the Universe’s matter (with ordinary atoms making up the other 25%). Many theories have been put forth about the identity of this dark matter (such as WIMPs, Weak Interacting Massive Particles). Billions of dollars have been spent to detect the various hypothesized forms of dark matter, but none have turned up anything.

            As you know hydrogen is by far the most abundant element in the universe. Wouldn’t it make sense if dark matter were just a more stable form of hydrogen that doesn’t interact with light? You said it yourself: “darn near all the hydrogen would be in one of those hydrino levels”. Doesn’t that make more sense than 75% of the Universe’s matter being some unknown particle we have never detected? In fact there are even more astronomical observations that support the hydrino view…



            The light in question consists of highly energetic ultraviolet photons that are able to convert electrically neutral hydrogen atoms into electrically charged ions…

            “The most exciting possibility is that the missing photons are coming from some exotic new source, not galaxies or quasars at all,” said Neal Katz a co-author from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

            For example, the mysterious dark matter, which holds galaxies together but has never been seen directly, could itself decay and ultimately be responsible for this extra light.

            “You know it’s a crisis when you start seriously talking about decaying dark matter!” Katz remarked.

            “The great thing about a 400% discrepancy is that you know something is really wrong,” commented co-author David Weinberg of The Ohio State University. “We still don’t know for sure what it is, but at least one thing we thought we knew about the present day universe isn’t true.”

            :End Quote

            He almost got it exactly right. Dark matter (hydrinos) aren’t emitting ultraviolet light (informally known as “black-light”) upon decay, but rather when hydrinos are formed from ordinary hydrogen. According to Dr. Mills theory, hydrogen atoms in space can catalyze each other into becoming hydrinos over billions of years.

            > And for what it’s worth, renting test equipment from Harvard and hiring someone to run a test doesn’t actually mean anything.

            Don’t you think this characterization is a bit unfair for an experiment that passed the peer-review process of two scientific journals? If we are going to say published peer-reviewed scientific experiments don’t “mean anything”, then we as human might as well give up the scientific method. I would argue such experimental results demand further investigations by more independent experimental scientists. It is their duty if they are to follow the scientific method, and either reproduce the results or falsify them.

            Scientists are not free to simply disregard the experimental results that are inconvenient for their world view.

            > And the special properties of Hydrinos transfer to these new compounds. Really. But Hydrogen reacts by giving up its one electron, hence H+.

            You don’t have this part right. It looks like you are talking about the hydrino hydride ion compounds. I can go into more detail about this if you like?

            > There is no practical reason for his demo to not demonstrate this by doing what it purports to do – generate significant quantities of continuous power to do work, and do so over an arbitrarily long term period.

            This of course is his ultimate goal. You being an engineer, you must know that engineering takes time and problem solving. Having experimental evidence for a theory is not the same thing as having a market-ready product. Each one of his public demos has shown more and more progress from concept to usable product.

            I know it can be difficult to give up long held ideas. We as humans like to think we have it all figured out. We hate to acknowledge how much we really don’t know. But just look at these age old mysteries in science that still aren’t explained:

            * We presently need two mutually contradictory theories of nature: Quantum Field Theory to explain the very small. General Relativity to explain the very large. These theories can’t be reconciled for cases where gravity is important at sub-atomic scales such as inside black holes.

            * The Coronal Heating Problem. Why is the Sun’s atmosphere (the corona at 1 million Kevin) so much hotter than the Sun’s surface (the photosphere at only 6000K to 8000K). Nuclear fusion only happens in the Sun’s core. No satisfactory mainstream theory has explained how all this extra energy gets up to the corona without heating the photosphere, in apparent violation of thermodynamic laws.

            * Dark Matter. Already covered.

            * Dark Energy. The observed accelerating expansion of the Universe is contrary to what is predicted by General Relativity, requiring the Universe to contain a huge amount of unobserved (i.e. dark) energy to drive the accelerated expansion. This means the matter/energy budget of the Universe would be about 68% dark energy, 27% dark matter, and only 5% (!) ordinary atoms we can observe.

            We already know that current mainstream theories are wrong in some way(s). The above problems make this plain to see. If reproducible scientific experiments performed by scientists trained in the field are telling us there is something new to know about the hydrogen atom, then what is so hard to believe about that? ESPECIALLY when that new knowledge explains two of those age-old scientific mysteries above (hydrinos explain Dark Matter and the Coronal Heating Problem).

            Astronomical observations of hydrinos being formed in the Sun’s corona: (discovered a year ago and listed as unexplained/requiring more study)


            I really do appreciate you looking into Dr. Mills theory this far. I hope you continue. It really is based on a simple logical premise: classical physics (such as Newton’s Laws, Maxwell’s Electrodynamics equations, and Einstein’s Special Relativity) can explain the stability of the atom (without resorting to the Schrödinger equation) once augmented with the general case for the classical non-radiation condition (published by Dr. Hermann A. Haus of MIT in 1986).


            When Dr. Mills was a student of Dr. Haus at MIT, Haus published this paper on the classical non-radiation condition:

            It gives the general case for when any distribution of charge would have to radiate electromagnetic radiation. Before this only certain cases were well understood, such as a point charge or an infinite sheet of charge. Mills was able to use this and Maxwell’s equations to solve a shape for the electron that would be stable to radiation in the ground state, exhibits h-bar/2 angular momentum for spin, explains absorption and emission of photons for the excited states, and all the other experimentally observed phenomena we expect from an electron. That was in 1991. Everything else followed from there.

            One more thing. I’m sure you have heard for years that “quantum phenomena” can’t be explained in any classical way for years. I ask you to take a look at this… (mainstream physicists admitting otherwise)


            Thanks for listening,


          • The excess energy production and hydrino states have been carefully validated by several analytical methods including spectroscopy, calorimetry and nMRI techniques; not only have they been validated, but they have also been predicted using equations with fundamental constants only. Several independent labs run by independent Ph.Ds from schools such as Cal Tech have validated the science. Sorry nsfbr, but you are the one who needs to be educated.

          • The Schrodinger equation is a joke, it predicts SOME parameters of a single hydrogen atom but is USELESS for predicting even a two-electron system. Good luck with your alive/dead cats, non-existent moon sans observation and all the other delusional contradictory nonsense quantum theorists believe.

    • Peter Wolstenholme

      The basis for the theories of Randy Mills is quite simple: Maxwell’s equations apply at all levels. We can see in storage rings that electrons radiate energy under acceleration, so there must be some way in which this is avoided for electrons bound to a nucleus, in an atom. Mills postulates a shape, to satisfy these conditions, and all the rest follows. Even the way in which the expansion of the universe is currently accelerating, which won observers a Nobell prize.
      Anyway, I agree that we need to wait to see whether, this time, a plausible demonstration at a useful power level is achieved.

  5. Peter Thomas

    If you think we do not have to worry about world oil reserves watch this. “Crude Awakening” on YouTube. Note the people being interviewed and who they are!

    “Crude Awakening”

    • A frightening scenario! And this documentary was made in 2006 – we are now 8 years closer to the end of oil. The exploitation of Canadian tar sands that use more energy in natural gas to extract and process than there is in the oil they contain is surely a sign of desperation in exploration in these days of declining oil reserves. The future would indeed be very bleak if it weren’t for this scientific breakthrough from Blacklight Power.

      Still, overpopulation and exploitation of the Earth’s natural resources and loss of habitats for species other than our own will still continue, I fear. Will BLP greatly reduce palm oil plantations and help to save orangutans, tigers, elephants and rhinoceroses in Indonesia, or will human expansion into fragile environments worsen still more? Not to mention the impending loss of all the other threatened species in this on-going 6th mass-extinction of planet Earth – the only mass-extinction caused by a single species!

  6. Tim Cooper

    Anybody who buys into this ABSOLUTE horses@#t deserves what they get. This kind of crackpot nonsense only get attention because we have failed to educate our population in BASIC SCIENCE. Read all the details at:

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