Friday and Saturday, January 14th and 15th of 2011 seem to be a threshold for energy production.  Sergio Focardi and Andrea Rossi at the University of Bologna demonstrated and conducted a news conference about their “cold fusion”, or Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) or as they suggest it be called, a “catalyst reaction” energy uprating device.  Time will tell to whom goes the technology domain, be it physics or chemistry or even a new field drawing on both.  (The link to the Journal Of Nuclear Physics Blog has three videos of the press conference – everyone speaking Italian – if English translations appear please advise.)

Focardi and Rossi with their device in Dec. of 2010. Click image for the largest view.

Perhaps the greatest significance is the team has started the patent process and have licensee agreements completed in both the EU and USA.  This seems to be fully real.  Moreover, the expectations of the team are to have commercial designs due out within a year with device production for sale or use in 2 to 3 years.

The device relies on the ability of nickel to absorb hydrogen that while doing so releases heat, significant amounts in fact, the power needed to run the device is rating at 400 watt hours per hour to produce 15,000 watt hours per hour – from a lab bench experimental device.    In lay terms the drive is about 4 one hundred watt lamps for 150 one hundred watt lamps of production – a 37.5 fold gain – quite a fine rate of return.

Brian Wang at Nextbigfuture.com figures the cost for electricity and heat, after the heat is converted to mechanical energy and on to electrical energy, to be “below 1 cent/kWh, in case of electric power made by means of a Carnot cycle, and below 1 cent/4,000 M J in case of thermal power production for heating purposes.” Even if Mr. Wang widely misses the mark, this is stunningly cheap energy.

The device starts with a tripping of a switch and shuts down just as simply.  The product other than power is a weak burst of gamma radiation when powered off.  The consumables are the nickel and hydrogen and the device has an additive package for the fueling or reaction that is proprietary, which should be available when the patent is granted.

The simple explanation from an earlier technical paper (pdf link) is the hydrogen atom of one proton and electron enter the nickel where the electron leaves the hydrogen to join the nickel’s electron array.  The hydrogen proton then is freed to join the nickel where it converts the nickel up one element to copper, a fusion that releases heat, in an unstable isotope because a corresponding neutron is missing.  The proof comes with the team’s examination of the nickel material after use – the copper is plainly there – found using an atomic microscope at the University of Bologna.

It seems the amount of raw materials; hydrogen and nickel go quite along way in the uprating of energy.  In the analysis to measure the difference of mass the team has to use the charge for months, because what’s consumed in a day is in the order of picograms.

The estimate now for material to production is to make 10 kWh/h from about 0.1 g of Ni and 0.01 g of H.   A little hydrogen goes a very long way.

Other interesting facts, the device has operated continuously for as long as two years.  The team is working on megawatt rated designs.  The cause of the weak gamma burst on a shutdown is not understood.  The team offers a request for others to ponder that matter and contribute to the technology.

Cold fusion or catalytic energy uprating is certainly coming to a peak of interest.  Steam was explored by the Greeks centuries ago with tabletop spinning devices while the physics took centuries to catch up with observations and the application of steam engines.  These kinds of things are the amazing facts that press irresistibly on science to explore, test, understand and explain.  There is no natural law that states functions of nature must first be explained before being utilized.

Questions remain, the foremost being the used nickel laced with the copper isotope.  How stabile is the nickel-copper compound and what use can be made of it?  It will be some time before enough material is available for experimentation.  Nickel with a copper alloy might be quite desirable or problematic.

Another question is the energy cost to produce the feed fuel, producing nickel, hydrogen and the additive package.  A 37+ to one return allows for a lot of investment and waste disposal, but getting to the numbers will need to be completed.

Italy must be very proud of their team.  Whether the technology proves to be “cold fusion” or a “catalyst reaction” isn’t so important as the steady, repeatable demonstration is now at hand.  For researchers worldwide the tribulations of cold fusion are evaporating like freon on a hot plate.  Its also simple enough now that mass media could explain it without completely confusing the matter.

The Italians have also started setting a benchmark on new technology costs.  Whether other ideas on catalyst reactions, cold fusion, or hot fusion, the price to sell energy will have a benchmark and a very low one just to start.  This has to unnerve investors and producers across the board on electrical power generation.

One last matter to consider – a question asked about the scale for home sized units.  While wholly speculative, the early estimate is about furnace sized.  Note that heat would be direct for warm air and water use with only a conversion step for electrical generation.  Price, and it looks to be at this moment little other than greed to make the price very high for only heat, should be quite low.

There is also the matter of if or how the Italian effort crosses with the BlackLight effort.  Let’s hope that if they do, no legal proceeding will hold the competitors at a stop.  But does it work outside of the inventor’s province?  Time will tell.

The University of Bologna and all of Italy must be intensely glad of the native technology if the media can grasp the significance and amplify the spread of the news.  It’s also could be a huge embarrassment for those denigrating the early efforts such as those of Fleschmann and Pons.

This writer suspects that a widely dispersed major exploratory effort will spring up for finding every possible element or chemical saturation that could release energy.  It’s not over yet; it’s just getting started.


Comments

46 Comments so far

  1. Underwood on January 17, 2011 2:02 AM

    I’ll see it when I believe it.

  2. World Spinner on January 17, 2011 5:35 AM

    Cold Fusion From Italy Nearly Commercial Ready | New Energy and Fuel…

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

  3. Al Fin on January 17, 2011 6:00 AM

    Nice coverage.

    If this proves true, it will be lamented by the faux environmental dieoff movement and celebrated by real people.

  4. jp straley on January 17, 2011 6:26 AM

    Wonder if their patents will clash with Blacklight’s invention.

    Let’s go to market, there’s the test.

    JP Straley

  5. Neil Taylor on January 17, 2011 12:36 PM

    Keep up the research and development on this. The Wright brothers, at Kittyhawk, were initially ignored by the mainstream media and now look where we are with aviation…..

  6. BFast on January 18, 2011 1:36 PM

    I am always a bit skeptical of these “we’ve got it working but won’t let you look under the covers” energy announcements. However, I have been following LENR for years, and have become convinced that there’s something to it. If this thing really works, it will revolutionize everything in a decade or two. Electric or hydrogen cars will take over. The price of oil will plummet. Oil export bound countries like Saudi Arabia will be in the poor house. The CO2 crisis will be over. Heating homes with electricity will be “the way to go”, unless we have our own reactor in our furnaces, and use the waste heat to heat our homes. In any case everything will be very different.

    As to JP Straylee’s wonder about Blacklight’s technology, well, LENR and Blacklight are two very different cups of tea. Blacklight will have to get a move on if it is going to be taken seriously once a working LENR reactor becomes public.

  7. JPK on January 18, 2011 8:38 PM

    At least a futurist could know exactly what would look like in the future mainly through the technology behind the cold fusion sort of reactor in the electrical power sector, in theory no doubt.

    But will it come in reality? How do they work, really? And is it really appropriate for particular countries around the world to provide electrical power to both urban and rural areas?

    It is time to take a look around, and ther is no turning back from reality in solving the real issues that affect the energy sector.

    I personally take no favors from ideologues who oppose or advocate free markets because they fail to understand the current situation that affects the international energy sector in, general, and the electrical power sector, in particular.

    So please, don’t loose focus during discussions about various energy issues, heaven forbid. Why did they waste time on trying to talk about promote such free market ideas favored by Libertarian/Libertarian-Marxist ideologues? These are really biased!

    I demand to know the truth please, thank you.

  8. Neil Taylor on January 18, 2011 11:52 PM

    If this is a true Genie now let out of the bottle, it will indeed change the entire world and the way we perceive and use energy. Producers, manufacturers, and markets will have to adjust to these new technologies or go the way of the Dodo bird just like the changes made in society at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution…..

  9. World Spinner on January 19, 2011 6:46 AM

    Cold Fusion From Italy Nearly Commercial Ready…

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

  10. Jon on January 19, 2011 11:46 PM

    Rossi has a “degree” from Kensington University. Google it with autocomplete. Before you even finish typing, Google will tell you all you need to know about this institution of higher learning. Anyone with a degree from a diploma mill is suspect in my book.

  11. Jon on January 20, 2011 12:10 PM

    STRIKE TWO!

    “In the last year or so, Andrea Rossi created a Web site with a deceptive name, Journal of Nuclear Physics. In fact, the Web site appears to be exclusively about his work. He also told me the editor was a “team of scientists,’ but he acts on behalf of this team.”

    http://blog.newenergytimes.com/2011/01/19/rossi-and-focardi-lenr-device-probably-real-with-credit-to-piantelli/

    Rossi, this is not the way real scientists operate.

  12. BFast on January 20, 2011 4:59 PM

    Jon, “Rossi has a “degree” from Kensington University.” How do you know that Rossi’s degree is from Kensignton? Its not stated in this article. The article you site from newenergytimes says that his degree is from the University of Milan.

  13. jon on January 20, 2011 8:42 PM
  14. JohnPz on January 21, 2011 9:24 PM

    Why are these guys in winter coats in a room with a heater on the far wall? If their device could generate heat, yes it is a small unit, then why the winter apparal?

  15. jon on January 21, 2011 9:37 PM

    C’mon man. Get with the program. This is COLD fusion!

  16. Underwood on January 21, 2011 9:55 PM

    lol

  17. Randy on January 22, 2011 9:05 PM

    Sure whould be great if true. What a world changer. Nothing this big has happened in my lifetime. Dwarfs the space program and going to the moon. If it’s true, its going to ruin the reputation of MIT. They disgraced Pons and set the research back 15 years.

  18. Neil Taylor on January 22, 2011 9:57 PM

    I agree, a whole new world is before us if this proceeds and works as they have disclosed.

    Most world changing inventions have been made by those who can and do think out of the box……

  19. Curious One on January 23, 2011 5:19 AM

    Though I remain skeptical, I think we should bear in mind that we are still far from having a complete understanding of particle physics and nuclear reactions. Our theories are still “just” theories. Of course, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    Barring the possibility that their purported time-frames are not complete bogus, we at least won’t have to wait for long until this whole thing is exposed as a grievous misinterpretation or misrepresentation. If this turns out to be a downright hoax, I reckon it is beyond the ken of any sane and decent person just what the heck they expect to gain from it. Then again some people appear to esteem infamy and renown as equally desirable, as long as they are “immortalized”.

    For those interested, English-captioned videos from the press conference are now available courtesy of a “Batman30157”

    http://www.youtube.com/user/batman40157

  20. Tweets that mention Cold Fusion From Italy Nearly Commercial Ready | New Energy and Fuel -- Topsy.com on January 23, 2011 11:06 AM

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  21. georgehants on January 24, 2011 4:32 AM

    Now all the flat earthers are out of quantum computing and quantum biology, that of course are impossible, they move to cold fusion, where next I wonder.

  22. Brian H on January 25, 2011 3:26 PM

    Here’s the (somewhat clumsy) Closed Caption translation of the videos:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/batman40157#p/a/u/2/Jr0ysNSN9Ng

    For a recent (Dec. 21, ’10) seminar by a competing group using VERY HOT mini-fusion, http://focusfusion.org/index.php/site/article/focus_fusion_solstice_seminar_now_available_online/

    The LP Physics (LPPhysics.com) group is a complete contrast: everything is open, they have a theoretical base, the fusion is conventional p-B11 HOT fusion, etc. Their process also bypasses the Carnot steam cycle, generating current directly (alpha beam).

  23. Tweets that mention Cold Fusion From Italy Nearly Commercial Ready | New Energy and Fuel -- Topsy.com on January 27, 2011 8:44 AM

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Niclas Ihrén, Joshua Foss. Joshua Foss said: Cold Fusion From Italy Nearly Commercial Ready | New Energy and Fuel http://bit.ly/g2jgWU […]

  24. Cold fusion experiment reproduced? Now what? « Serendipity on January 27, 2011 9:51 AM

    […] Cold Fusion From Italy Nearly Commercial Ready(newenergyandfuel.com) […]

  25. Thomas on February 6, 2011 3:10 AM

    Confirmation of Energy Catalyzer on Greek National TV

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysV6joTCcSk&feature=feedlik

  26. Finally: Cold Fusion Today! Cheap Energy 4 All! on February 6, 2011 6:20 AM

    […] have done similar tests and obtained 400 times more out than in, but it produced explosions. Cold Fusion From Italy Nearly Commercial Ready | New Energy and Fuel Those who pretend they know everything, irritate us who do know. […]

  27. Eólicas no mar « portugalpride on February 21, 2011 8:01 PM

    […] cientifica para destruir todos os esforços dados no desenvolvimento desta industria. Por exemplo, basta que a descoberta anunciada por cientistas italianos, que dizem ter descoberto a chamada &#8220…, seja comprovada, e todo este dinheiro canalizado para as eólicas será perdido. O risco é mesmo […]

  28. Andrea Rossi’s and Sergio Focardi’s Cold Fusion Reactor Status update « sourceofrealnews on March 9, 2011 1:33 PM

    […] Rossi with Sergio Focardi consulting made news in January with a demonstration of the Rossi design of a nickel hydrogen fueled low energy… The past month has been pretty quiet in much of the world where the noose of established science […]

  29. Renewable Energy Revisited – Salem | Alternative Energy – Solar PV – Heat Pumps – Renewables on March 15, 2011 1:07 AM
  30. Bruce Finkelson on April 13, 2011 1:19 PM

    I hope he has body guards, The oil people are vary rich!

  31. Tom Prebis on April 25, 2011 9:02 PM

    BFast, Neil; The only possible hitch I see standing in the way of full implementation of this technology in America is that Obama’s two chief science wonks, a duo of BP expatriates named Dr. Steven Chu & Dr. Steve Koonin; have been relentlessly crusading against government funding this research in America ever since “Cold Fusion” was first discovered at the U of Utah in 1989; although I wonder how they’re going to square their past denials of this technology’s efficacy when Obama asks them about the evidence of the Bologna reactor…I DO WONDER!!! Should be Interesting, to say the least…What I wouldn’t give to be a fly on the Oval Office wall for THAT discussion!!!! and Mr. Finkelson, the oil people may be Very Rich, but what good would it do to go after these scientists at this point? The cat will already have been let out of the bag, so to speak…Tom

  32. dumbass on May 9, 2011 10:04 AM

    FAKE FAKE FAKE!! No arguments why.

  33. Media Ignores Energy Breakthrough: Worry-Free Nuclear Power | The 2012 Scenario on May 17, 2011 5:02 AM

    […] January 14, 2011, Rossi and his colleague Sergio Focardi demonstrated a small working version of the Energy Catalyzer at the University of Bologna, Italy, that produced […]

  34. Craig Binns on May 18, 2011 9:48 AM

    Media ignores, etc:

    Why have you chosen such a boring humdrum item from that exciting 2012 Scenario site?

    Here’s something MUCH more exciting (and there’s LOTS more stuff there just like this):

    “The Second Death: The Process of Ascension from 4D to 5D on the Spirit Planes. This article is a companion to “The First Death: Transitioning from 3D to 4D,” located at
    http://stevebeckow.com/2011/03/death-transitioning-3d-4d/

    “In the literature on the afterlife, the “first death” is regarded as the death of the physical body while the “second death” is regarded as the dissolution of the astral body. (1) The first death moves us from the Physical Plane (3D) to the Astral Plane (4D) and the second death from the Astral Plane (4D) to the Mental Plane (5D).

    “The second death on the inner planes of life is the nearest equivalent I can think of to what we call ‘Ascension.'”

    Alas, the bad old media ignore that too. An Obama plot, no doubt.

  35. ¿Cuánto tardarán los medios en condenar el el Reactor Nuclear de Baja Energía? | REVISTA JUPITER on May 23, 2011 4:14 PM

    […] 14 de enero de 2011 Rossi y su colega Sergio Foccardi demostraron una versión reducida en funcionamiento del Catalizador de Energía en la Universidad de Bologna, […]

  36. E-Cat: Suitcase Cold Fusion Nuclear Reactor ? | In Pursuit of Happiness on June 2, 2011 6:44 AM

    […] January 14, 2011, Rossi and his colleague Sergio Focardi demonstrated a small working version of the Energy Catalyzer at the University of Bologna, Italy, that produced […]

  37. Cambridge on June 13, 2011 9:13 PM

    And the hydrogen comes from where? And what is the energy required to produce the hydrogen? Do the overall energy balance and the concept (even assuming it to be real) doesn’t look so good any more.

  38. Wtf on June 26, 2011 12:32 AM

    So wtf happened? Where is the product?

  39. Neil Taylor on June 26, 2011 1:26 AM

    Cambridge and Wtf,

    This link should help answer some of your questions and concerns:
    http://www.defkalion-energy.com/

  40. Craig Binns on June 26, 2011 2:14 AM

    Wtf

    There is NO product. In all probability there never will be any product. See http://www.defkalion-energy.com/White%20Paper_DGT.pdf (page 7) Defkalion’s own announcement.

    They are going to sell the right to manufacture components – not the components themselves (have we not seen this sort of marketing before, in the “free energy” field?) which will be bolted on to the e-cat “kernel” to be manufactured in as yet unbuilt factories, by as yet unrecruited workers.

    It will also sell “transfer of knowledge” whatever that may be. And once customers have “bought” all this, Defkalion will deign to “supply” the e-cat on a plug and play basis to these lucky folks. Maybe some lawyer can tell us all why the other stuff is to be “sold”, while the only interesting part of the deal – the magic box – is to be “supplied”. Suspicious – moi??

    Be it noted that Edison sold phonographs, and Ford sold cars. Defkalion sells licenses to make things that’ll be useless without the magic box, and I’m pretty sure we’ll still be waiting for that some time from now.

    Wtf, your answer is: the product is flimflam. I hope your check’s not in the mail just yet!

  41. Energy Catalyzer Test in Italy is a Success! - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum on October 6, 2011 6:13 PM

    […] change our world in so many ways. The machine is being patented and preped for commercial use: Cold Fusion From Italy Nearly Commercial Ready | New Energy and Fuel Nuclear reaction Confirmed by Swedish physicists last May: Swedish Researchers confirm Rossi and […]

  42. I.M. Pissed on September 9, 2012 11:20 AM

    The world is gonna end because of energy-wars long before the patent-rubbish is over with.. 😉

    Just realease the tech already.
    Every child on earth will sing their prayers for a thousand years if they do.

    Can’t they simply take THAT as payment instead of the billions of dollars and a “what an asshole”-memory in the history books that they’ll get by saving the world and trying to make money on it at the same time? 😉

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