More than another week has passed since we had a look at the Rossi/Foldari cold fusion or more accurately – low energy nuclear reaction (LENR).  At that time most of the news was centered on the results offered by the professors at Bologna University who over saw the demonstration. Meanwhile others have offered that perhaps the reactor itself was packed with batteries, but the demonstration reactor doesn’t seem to be supported in a way to carry a large weight.

Rossi Focardi Apparatus Closeup. Click image for the largest view.

However one views the Rossi device, Rossi presses on to the commercial adoption and the patent process.

That brings us to the patent.  One can see what is available publicly at this link taking you to the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Rossi Focardi LENR Device Patent Diagram. Click image for the largest view. Items are viewable in the patent. Click on the patent link.

The prime point, or item up for debate, or more importantly if commercial use becomes practical is in a quote from the application:

(Reactions) “are achieved by a method and apparatus for carrying out a highly efficient exothermal reaction between nickel atoms and hydrogen atoms, in a tube, preferably, though not exclusively made of a metal, filled by a nickel powder and heated to a high temperature preferably, though not necessarily, from 150 to 5000 C, by injecting hydrogen into said metal tube said nickel powder being pressurized, preferably, though not necessarily, to a pressure from 2 to 20 bars.

In applicant exothermal reaction the hydrogen nuclei, due to a high absorbing capability of nickel therefor, are compressed about the metal atom nuclei, while said high temperature generates internuclear percussions which are made stronger by the catalytic action of optional elements, thereby triggering a capture of a proton by the nickel powder, with a consequent transformation of nickel to copper and a beta+ decay of the latter to a nickel nucleus having a mass which is by an unit larger than that of the starting nickel.

The present inventor believes that in this reaction is possibly involved a capture of a proton by a nickel nucleus which is transformed into a copper nucleus with a consequent beta decay of the formed unstable copper (Cu 59 – 64) since the produced thermal energy is larger, as it will be thereinafter demonstrated, than the energy introduced by the electric resistance.

It is believed that the nickel nuclei are transformed to copper since the mass (energy) of the final status (copper isotope) is less than the overall mass (energy) of the starting status (nickel isotope + proton).”

The patent is a rich read to say the very least.

Now just to raise the stakes the application discloses that at the time of presentment the inventive apparatus, installed on October 16, 2007, is “at present perfectly operating 24 hours per day, and provides an amount of heat sufficient to heat the factory of the Company EON of via Carlo Ragazzi 18, at Bondeno Province of Ferrara, Italy.”

Against that the examiner opinion reels off a list of application exceptions that need repaired for approval (A pdf download). It would seem to the average reader that would be possible, and in fact the public demonstration and the results offered by the Bologna people may well be just the point for the demonstration in answering some patent objections.  Without knowing the patent process protocol, the status of the patent seems in limbo awaiting some response from the Rossi attorney.

Rossi hasn’t been waiting around.  As it sits reports are saying that one customer – a newly formed consortium of energy distributors – should exist in Greece, and two others in the United States. These customers will sell energy catalysts in Europe and the USA.  It seems the Greek media knows the Rossi catalyser is going to affect their country.

Andrea Rossi, founder and chief technology officer at Leonardo Corporation, gets a royalty on sales. Sergio Focardi is being taken care of with a commercial agreement with Rossi.

At the core of this is a metal tube of 1-2 liters containing as yet unknown catalysts, to which approximately one gram of 99.999 percent pure nickel powder is introduced. It’s then pressurized with hydrogen to between 2 and 20 bar.

The contents are heated by an electrical resistance source at a power of about 1 kW, which is then lowered to about 700 W.

The reaction starts producing 10-12 kW of power, which in Bologna was used to heat water to 101º C. During the demonstration, 13 liters of water were vaporized in approximately one hour.

The reaction forms copper – according to Rossi, higher levels of copper than nickel have been detected after the reaction.

The observers, who could freely choose their measuring instruments, stated that:
– they attached the hydrogen to the reactor themselves
– less than one gram of hydrogen was consumed
– no hidden connections were detected

The other noteworthy point is the reactors can be connected in series to gradually raise the temperature to about 500º C, which produces vapor at the pressure of 55 bar, for turbine operation. Or they can be connected in parallel for greater energy production.

One saving grace, both for the patent application and for the commercial prospects is the secret lies primarily in materials acting as some kind of catalyst.  Nickel’s reaction with hydrogen is not any kind of news, its something known and done for years.  Perhaps what Rossi needs is a process application in addition to the apparatus as an invention.

What matters is Rossi seems to have the design and catalysts worked out.  Lets hope so.  Go Rossi, go!


21 Comments so far

  1. Musson on February 8, 2011 11:25 AM

    I read a report from someone in the audience that several attendees brought instruments to try and measure any radiation the apparatus was giving off. But, Rossi made them put the instruments away.

    Clearly Fleischmann and Pons did not know exactly what was going on within their own device. But, there have been confirmed reports of these devices melting down – so it’s not just a hiccup in the monitoring instruments.

  2. jp straley on February 10, 2011 9:07 AM

    500C (932F) is not hot enough for good Carnot efficiency, so as a heat engine it’s only fair. But workable.

    Terrific retro apps, a chuff-chuff loco or a Stanley!

    But think of the excellent home applications: hot-water and space-heating. Releases nat gas for other uses, knocks fuel oil into the weeds! Rossi’s unit appears compact enough to fit into a furnace-sized space and the emissions apparently aren’t a factor.

    Factory heat interesting also, let’s go melt some tar sands or mine shale oil with this bad boy.

    Hmmmmm, what’s in that mysterous catalyst?

  3. Marcelo Pacheco on February 13, 2011 2:07 PM

    Assuming its serious stuff.
    Rossi himself said, this is model T.
    Once this technology gets in the hands of a large corporation like GE, they will quickly figure out a way to increase efficiency 3 or 4 fold in less than a year.
    And above all, this will take cold fusion research firmly out of taboo science, once serious money comes into this, other means of achieving cold fusion or LENR will be found, perhaps more powerful ones.

  4. Almerico on February 15, 2011 4:08 PM

    Assuming it is genuine, what about the net output of the greater ‘system?’ It’s value as an alternative energy source must factor in the energy needed to prepare the fuel and catalyst and the efficiency of conversion to a useful form. Otherwise it is little more than a new chemical energy storage device.

    This reminds me of the hype surrounding the ‘hydrogen economy.’ Most hydrogen today is produced from decomposition of methane from fossil fuel deposits and must be compressed at a high energy cost and then transported by trucks burning fossil fuel.

    Not very green on a global scale.

  5. Jon Truskier on February 19, 2011 12:19 PM

    This is BS. The nickel is more stable. The transformation from a nickel nucleus to a copper nucleus is endothermic, and therefore must require more energy in than it can put out. You also have to be skeptical of science conducted by press release rather than the normal peer review process.

  6. georgehants on February 25, 2011 3:51 AM

    The number of flat earthers who belive nothing, no matter how much evidence, seems to be declining in cold fusion, just as in quantum computers etc. is there hope that these backward, dogmatic, mentalities are on the decline.
    When main line science climbs out of the self dug hole maintained by most “scientists”, administrators, funding bodies, etc. to dismiss and belittle anything not agreeing with their “religious” beliefs of reductionism and arrogant granddad knows best attitudes, young students can move on with reality, at last.

  7. Harry on March 7, 2011 10:21 PM

    A 18h test…
    Read the article

    “In the morning of February 10, the inventor and engineer Andrea Rossi initiated a new controlled experiment in Bologna, Italy, with the heat producing ‘energy catalyzer'”

  8. jnt on March 8, 2011 7:44 AM

    “The transformation from a nickel nucleus to a copper nucleus is endothermic”

    This is not correct. The reaction as described by Rossi would be exothermic. See here for some physicists discussing this:

    And for a back of the envelope calc, try this:

    62Ni : 61.9283451
    1H : 1.00782503207
    Total : 62.9361701

    63Cu : 62.92959474

    :: 62Ni + 1H > 63Cu Exothermic by E=mc2 QED

    All atomic mass numbers from Wolfram Alpha, eg

    Both 62Ni and 63Cu are stable, Rossi et al do describe other isotope reactions such as 61Ni -> 62Cu which has a decay chain back to 62Ni through positron capture, with a lifetime of 13.96 minutes and also exothermic. This isotropic decay is concordant with his description that there is no radiation detected “just minutes after turning off”.

    The surprise to physics here is the breach of the coloumb barrier and the lack of gamma, not the energy source per se.

  9. Hamish on March 30, 2011 10:49 PM

    The optimal hydride forming temperature of nickel has been known for a long time so heating the nickel is kind of obvious for loading the lattice with protons. But Rossi seems to be the first to use dry hydrogen under pressure and nickel nanoparticles to maximize surface area – vs say water or heavy water. This effectively removes one chemical process. Both these things seem logical in hindsight but congrats to Rossi on putting it all together.

    I can’t for the life of me think of any catalyst that would help to load protons into the lattice, unless its something that effects charge.


  10. Hamish on March 31, 2011 7:49 PM

    Adjusting hydrogen pressure on the fly to control total heat is also very cool.

  11. Jarek on April 6, 2011 1:57 PM

    There was recently succeeding test – with two Swedish professors (one from Swedish Skeptic Society) and their comments are positive:

    If it’s really true, we need to understand how electrons can localize between proton and nucleus to screen coulomb repulsion. The answer could lie in electron’s magnetic moment, which leads to kind of magnetic bouncing from nucleus because of Lorentz force (in opposite to pure coulomb potential) – it could make that electron jumps between proton and nucleus as required.
    Such explanation of the author of this classical approximation was published by Nature a month after the F&P announcement

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  13. Rockyspoon on July 19, 2011 3:06 PM

    Science progresses one funeral at a time. This is particularly applicable in the field of cold fusion/LENR.

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  19. Veikko Karimaki on October 14, 2011 2:28 AM

    It is probably a fraude.

    Bologna has a neutron generator which can activate natural nickel to the isotope 65-Ni which has a half life of about 2.5 hours decaying by beta-emission to 65-Co releasing radiation energy.

    The nickel powder probably comes from the generator.
    In the tests the “inventor” is reluctant to operate the “E-cat” for more than a couple of hours, because the 65-Ni isotope dies away during longer tests.

  20. The Energy Catalyzer! « SALVATION! on October 15, 2011 2:52 AM

    […] examination of the patent may be found […]

  21. Jim Zimmerman on October 22, 2011 1:37 PM

    I was a scientist at a LENR (cold fusion) review project several years ago, funded by a venture capitalist who was curious about the field. We used the best equipment available to study 4 prior cold fusion processes similar to Rossi’s. We really worked to “do it right.”

    In 3 of the 4 cases, we found that the claimed results were based on basic experimental errors. When the errors were corrected, the results dropped to zero (no energy produced, which is what one would expect.)

    In the 4th case, it was simply fraud.

    Needless to say, I don’t waste much time on Cold Fusion any more. The Cold Fusion field is populated by very nice people like Brian Josephson who unfortunately don’t know what the heck they are doing when it comes to calorimetric systems.

    Pons and Fleishmann’s original system, and the work done at SRI, still might be valid, but the outlying cold fusion studies with nickel/hydrogen, catalysts, and ultrasonics are all pretty much junk.

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