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A method for producing excess enthalpy by impregnating metallic precursors on an oxide support that reduces sintering and particle growth; drying the impregnated support at a temperature where the particle growth is minimal; reducing the metallic precursors at a second temperature where the particle growth results in supported metallic particles 2 nm or less in size; and pressurizing the supported metallic particles in the presence of deuterium. The metal particles may comprise palladium, platinum, mixtures thereof, or mixtures of palladium and/or platinum with other elements. Also disclosed is a method for measuring excess enthalpy by placing a test material in a pressure vessel; heating the pressure vessel; evacuating the pressure vessel; introducing deuterium, hydrogen, or both into the pressure vessel; measuring the enthalpy generated during pressurization; again evacuating the pressure vessel; and measuring the enthalpy used during depressurization.