A steady stream of email arrives asking for an update on Cold Fusion or more appropriately LENR (Low Energy Nuclear Reaction).  Lets start by noticing the relative silence from the academic community who has had a light dose of re-ignited enthusiasm on cold fusion work like a tide across the Internet.  One can easily see most detractors are as deep into conclusions as the enthusiasts.

For the folks in the middle the news has been factually quiet since the uproar in the early spring when Andrea Rossi and Sergio Focardi had their demonstration.  The Rossi E-Cat, as its becoming known, is in progress with a plant of some kind in Greece to be powered by the E-Cat.  More interesting is Rossi is conversing with a few noteworthy Americans whose few comments are encouraging – but solid news of an event is yet to arrive.

Most everyone tends to overlook the hard facts.  The phenomenon of LENR or Cold fusion has been observed since 1958 beginning with the work of Yoshiaki Arata with deuterium in the gas phase.

As the field sits now there are three lines of LENR.  What we commonly think of as the original, the Flieschmann and Pons work with Palladium-Deuterium, the now popular Rossi and three main line researchers Piantelli, Focardi and Habel working with Nickel-Hydrogen.  The third is further back in the proving, it’s called Muon Catalyzed.  As Brian Wang at NextBigFuture has found, Muon Catalyzed is in active private research in Australia and on the way to a full new laboratory called the Muon Science Facility (MUSE) now under construction at J-PARC in Tokai, Japan.  Muon Catalyzed is very new, promising and the least repeated technology.  We may have a deeper look into this soon.

The trigger for an update is the entry into commerce with another Italian research group.  The group is sourcing its intellectual property from Francesco Piantelli.  Piantelli and Focardi have worked together in the past.  Where Piantelli differs from Rossi is there is no catalyst, only a special preparation of the nickel.

A conference titled “Has Cold Fusion Become a Reality?” was held Saturday July 23, 2011  at Villa Borbone in Viareggio, Italy. The Italian solar energy company Delta Energie hosted the conference. Among the participants were Andrea Rossi via Skype; his research partner, retired University of Bologna physicist Sergio Focardi, via a pre-recorded presentation; Instituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare physicist and cold fusion researcher Francesco Celani; astrophysicist and futurologist Mario Menichella; renewable energy researcher and author Roy Virgilio; and author and blogger Daniele Passerini, who is also a long-time friend of University of Bologna physicist Giuseppe Levi. Roy Virgilio is the author of a small Italian paperback book on cold fusion and an acquaintance of Francesco Piantelli, an early researcher in nickel-hydrogen reactions.

The bombshell came from Roy Virgilio. He let it be known that Piantelli’s research is going well. A new company called ‘NickEnergia’ was formed 5 months ago and is already licensing Piantelli’s know how to other industries to produce reactors of different sizes.

Piantelli is said to be not willing to participate in any type of publicity. He plans to arrive on the market with a commercial product and let the market decide if the technology is real or not.  Piantelli’s technology does not use catalyzers, just nickel and hydrogen.

Where Piantelli sands out is he has a complete mathematical theory of the system that does not require exotic reactions, but which can be explained by mathematics and current laws.  A semi-complete theory has been provided to the University of Siena and will be published shortly. The complete theory will probably be disclosed after the first commercial units have been sold.

It looks like 2011 might be the year LENR or Cold Fusion attempts to make it on the commercial stage, and with at least two Italian competitors.  Rossi and the Greek firm Defkalion claim to operate at a 6× to 30× energy gain.  Piantelli on the other hand professes to have a comprehensive theory of the hydrogen-nickel reaction, which may speed up his group’s research.  More useful is the theory makes predictions that can be tested experimentally, making it worthy for notice by detractors of cold fusion research.

However the technology progresses there is sure to be some kind of LENR or Cold Fusion get to market.  The palladium path is reproducible, but so challenging it’s hard to imagine commercial scale.  Interest and money is pouring into the nickel path from folks whose resources command a better set of proofs than any of us in the public domain are going to see for months or years.  The Muon Catalyst path is so untested and yet to develop, it’s not on the ‘map’ – but the potential is huge – and sharp minds are willing to invest in it.

For those with a yearning to look deeper try this link to Cold Fusion Now on Piantelli’s research.  Cold Fusion Now also is hosting an English translation of the minute notes of the conference in Italy last week. Pure Energy Systems News offers a more excited tone and more complete review of the conference as well.

The breakout of Piantelli’s technology is worthwhile news.  There’s lots of confidence in Piantelli’s work.  Piantelli also has filed patents that went nowhere as well.

The important question to come may not be the technology. Rather it will be the business model that starts and grows.  That’s the phase looking the weakest right now.


10 Comments so far

  1. Craig Binns on July 29, 2011 6:02 AM

    “The bombshell came from Roy Virgilio. He let it be known that Piantelli’s research is going well. A new company called ‘NickEnergia’ was formed 5 months ago and is already licensing Piantelli’s know how to other industries to produce reactors of different sizes.”

    Dear God, not again! Licenses, franchises, patent applications. Film-flam.

    What about the fact that at the conference it was announced that there would be a “delay” in the production of the small ecats? So, a scam.

    How many more “companies” do you need? How many more “delays”?

    Rossi gets a magic catalyst, and wow gets +31. Piantelli gets +200 without the catalyst!

    Where does this insane credulity come from? Wanna buy the Brooklyn Bridge, bud?

  2. MattMusson on July 29, 2011 7:00 AM

    Unfortunately, Rossi has a history of making promises and not delivering. But, we can still hope that this time he will actually come through.

    Meanwhile – I will be using my handy dandy table top linear accelerator to bombard mercury for my own little cold fusion experiment. The result is not energy. It’s gold.

  3. lebirchan on July 29, 2011 11:53 AM

    The phenomenon of LENR or Cold fusion has been observed since 1958 beginning with the work of Yoshiaki Arata with deuterium in the gas phase.
    This actually goes further back. I if you read “Irving Langmuir and Atomic Hydrogen” by Nicholas Moller you will read that even though the catalyst used was Tungsten the result was similar to that of BLP and Rossi. I believe all the reports and there are many referring to the unexplained increase of heat when a specific reaction is taking place un similar condition. This is caused by the surface structure of the catalyst which is very similar when seen under an electronic microscope at nano level even though they may completely different elements.

  4. Benjamin Cole on July 29, 2011 8:51 PM

    investor beware. If the scam–sorry, story–was not tantalizing, then it would not work.

    However, I would like to buy MattMusson’s gold-making equipment. At current prices….

  5. Craig Binns on July 30, 2011 10:39 PM


    “Unfortunately, Rossi has a history of making promises and not delivering. But, we can still hope that this time he will actually come through.”

    Rossi has a history of being banged up in the slammer for smuggling precious metals, pulling a fraud “I can turn toxic waste into motor fuel” scam that cost the Italian people millions to clean up, and then removing himself to the US.

    He has about as much chance of coming through as you have of transubstantiating dog turds into gold, or whatever it is your handy dandy accelerator has been programmed to do. Maybe you should get it to find the Higgs particle, and save these CERN guys the trouble.

  6. Maury Markowitz on August 3, 2011 10:51 AM

    Is the Muon Catalyzed fusion discussed within the same or different than the Muon Catalyzed fusion discussed in the 1980s? Having done a tiny amount of work on the latter, has anything changed in the meantime to improve on it’s impossible-to-use-in-practice capture rates?

  7. Craig Binns on August 3, 2011 3:02 PM


    No of course not, except somebody’s probably trying to sell “franchises” and “licences” to set up magic muon catalysed power stations, based on some patent application or other.

    That’s how things work in the alternative energy field.

  8. MURIITHI ANTONY on August 13, 2011 12:15 AM

    It is strange that you guys are so negative towards LENR.

  9. OAbrey on August 20, 2011 12:13 PM

    Remember the old maxim: to have tried and failed is better than not trying at all? Rossi’s history certainly places a black mark on him. Having looked at his old work, he at least over-reached himself. He didn’t have the capital to scale the concept. In addition to the question of technological viability. We have the technology today to turn waste into crude via engineered microbes. Obviously it isn’t scalable at current market prices.

    I wonder how many people have personally or corporately gone through a bankruptcy? Not only the humiliation to be unable to repay your creditors, but losing your credibility for at least 7 years, and probably for life.

    A while ago, I discovered that Abraham Lincoln had gone bankrupt seven times before being elected president. Mark Twain fled from America to Europe to hide from his creditors. In fact many people who have changed the world changed it against these same brutalizing experiences. That they came through it at all is amazing, but then to go on to change the world is the mark of greatness.

    Rossi’s LENR could sputter out in abject failure. Yes it could be a scam. But if we negate his credibility, and look at those who have surrounded and validated the phenomena, that is where the strength of claim lies.

  10. Sue on August 25, 2011 8:13 PM

    Mark Twain did not flee his creditors- he went to Europe to make a killing on the lecture circuit and repay them. His high-tech investments in automatic typesetting had brought him no return though eventually such products would succeed.

    There are American’s making good progress on Ni-H fusion, who are open and honest about their theories and getting decent 2x results. (heat out over electric in). BrillouinEnergy.com

    I like the “Controlled electron capture reaction” theory because it is just neutron decay backwards. A giant endothermic step explains why LENR is so hard to replicate if you have no clue what you’re doing. But the theory suggests a machine that could localize enough energy, and BrillouinEnergy seems to have built it.

    I haven’t heard anyone in the LENR-denial movement explain where all the tritium is coming from in all these experiments over 22 years. I would think that’s a pretty clear isotopic signature of a nuclear reaction.

    But if you have your eye on proton-electron capture it is obvious how you could see how to make deuterium, tritium and maybe even 4H and Helium out of hydrogen, without needing gathering the Coloumb-barrier energies required to create positive particle reactions.

    The interesting theory work is going to be explaining lack of Gamma radiation. Somebody could get a Nobel for that. Of course the deniers use that missing gamma radiation as an excuse to wish away the calorimetry and the isotopic signatures. That works just until these things make money and that may be immanent.

    Nice thing about BrillouinEnergy is that their reactor is enclosed- nothing goes in but electricity. Nothing comes out but heat AND the sample of reactants you need to really understand the reaction. Open chamber experiments like Rossi’s won’t solve the scientific questions. And I would not want to be selling energy producing machines with no clue about the underlying physics.

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