“This is capable of, by itself, completely changing geo-economics, geo-politics, and solving climate and energy”.
-Dennis M. Bushnell, NASA Chief Scientist, Langley Research Center
In January 2011 Andrea Rossi demonstrated a device that purported to develop 10 kW of power from a nuclear reaction. Quotes From Nyteknik:
The energy catalyzer was demonstrated publicly for first time on the 14th January 2011. According to its inventor Andrea Rossi it has a closed reactor of steel that is loaded with nickel powder plus secret catalysts and pressurized with hydrogen. It’s ‘ignited’ by heating from two electrical resistances. In a copper tube around the reactor, water heated by the reactor is flowing. The heat is generated from an unknown reaction, according to Rossi himself, and according to Professor Sven Kullander and Associate Professor Hanno Essén probably a nuclear reaction.
The concept of cold fusion has been mentioned and would refer to a nuclear reaction between hydrogen and nickel, producing copper. Another term is LENR – Low Energy Nuclear Reaction. Many physicists are very skeptical. Partly because fusion of nuclei, which with their positive charges repel each other (the Coulomb barrier), requires hundreds of millions of degrees according to current knowledge, and partly because fusion should produce very high levels of gamma radiation.
The debate has gained new momentum after Professor Sven Kullander and Associate Professor Hanno Essén participated in a test on 29 March and found that the measured values can only be explained by a nuclear reaction, while an isotopic analysis of the used nickel powder raised questions. An intense debate is also being held on the Wikipedia discussion pagerelated to the article ‘Energy catalyzer’, and in many other forums.
However, to date no one have been able to explain the measured values that Ny Teknik now has been able to confirm.
Sven Kullander and Hanno Essén visited Bologna and were interviewed about their experiences:
NyT: What is the difference between such a phenomenon that you don’t believe in, and Rossi’s invention?
Essén: Well, I know of no independent reports of energy production, such as the study Levi did, and I don’t know that he sells any devices. That’s the difference.
Kullander: Hydrino sounds like a very unlikely process and conflicts with quantum theory. Proton capture in nickel nucleus, however, I accept, but at a low level of probability. It’s kinematically possible, but dynamically hopeless.
The first criterion, that it can occur kinematically — meaning that it’s an exothermic reaction (which produce energy), and not endothermic (requiring energy) — is in any case satisfied.
NyT: Would you see any natural environment where this process could occur?
Kullander: Yes, the universe. What is interesting is that all elements in the universe initially were built up by fusion. There was only hydrogen and helium from the beginning. And then there were successive fusions, hydrogen became helium, helium became bohr, and a sequence of fusion processes with formation of carbon, magnesium, silicon, sulfur and so on up to iron.
But when the elements arrived to form iron, there could not be more fusion (between roughly equal-sized nuclei) because the elements around iron (and nickel) are the most heavily bound of all elements. To form heavier elements a new mechanism took place of neutron capture and successive beta decay. And in that way all the heavy elements in the universe up to uranium were created.
So the reaction of the Bologna researchers ought to be called a cosmic reaction. For they start with the most heavily bound of all elements. They cannot reach higher elements with conventional fusion, instead proton capture with subsequent beta decay is involved – it’s proton capture and not neutron capture as when heavy elements are formed in stars.
And something that I found thought-provoking in an earlier publication of Rossi and Focardi from 2008 was their hypothesis about what might happen in the nickel-hydrogen case, the nickel-58 isotope captures a proton, becoming copper-59, transferred to a nickel-59 through beta decay, then the chain continues on to nickel-60, nickel-61 to nickel-64.
Thus nickel is not consumed; according to Focardi and Rossi it passes on during the processes to heavier isotopes. Nickel produces energy with hydrogen, but only binding energy is used.
This explanation shocked me as completely unreasonable, but it also gave me a vibe. It is a process that happened (and happens) during element formation in stars, but then neutrons were captured in a chain that led to creation of all elements heavier than iron, up to uranium. And at very different temperatures than in Bologna!
The most important companies directly related to the manufacturing and commercialization of the E-cat are:
- Leonardo Corp, whose president is Andrea Rossi, the inventor of this device
- Hydro Fusion - a UK based company founded in 2011, specializing in a number of areas related to energy production, including marketing and sales of ECAT-powered products.
The entire Energy Catalyzer revolves around its core. The device works by producing heat from a Nickel – Hydrogen reaction that transmute into Copper in the process. The science behind ECat, and more specifically, behind exotermic nuclear reactions and origins of nuclear energy are covered in detail here.
The process is generically categorized either as cold fusion at room temperature or as LENR (low energy nuclear reaction) – concept explained by Hank Mills with an additional commentary byAllan Sterling here .
One of the most interesting theories on the Energy Catalyzer comes from the Swedish Physicist who also attended some of the ECat tests earlier in 2011, Sven Kullander. He recently held a lecture on fusion energy that covered Rossi’s invention. His lecture is publicly downloadable at Ny Teknik (pdf in Swedish).
III. Product Range
At the moment there are only two types of E-cats.
- 1MW Plant
- 10kW Ecat unit.
IV. Product Status
- The ECAT 1 MW plants are already available on the market, commercialized for the price of $2M (with a 4 months delivery plan)
- The ECAT 10kW home units will be available in 2012/2013, but waiting lists have already been opened by Rossi and his Northern Europe licensee, Hydro Fusion. To get on the list, check out ecat.com .
V. Technical Specs (1MW E-cat)
|Thermal Output Power||1 MW|
|Electrical Input Power Peak||200 kW|
|Electrical input Power Average||167 kW|
|Power Ranges||20 kW-1 MW|
|Power per Module||20kW|
|Water Pump brand||Various|
|Water Pump Pressure||4 Bar|
|Water Pump Capacity||1500 kg/hr|
|Water Pump Ranges||30-1500 kg/hr|
|Water Input Temperature||4-85 C|
|Water Output Temperature||85-120 C|
|Control Box Brand||National Instruments|
|Controlling Software||National Instruments|
|Operation and Maintenance Cost||$1/MWhr|
|Recharge Cost||Included in O&M|
|Estimated Lifespan||30 years|
As ECat is a developing technology, some of data above may change unexpectedly. We will, however, try to keep it up to date at all times.
VI. Patents and Licensing
The Italian Patent Office, Ufficio Italiano Brevetti e Marchi, granted a patent for the energy catalyzer on April 6, 2011, valid until April 9, 2028.
After having received a negative initial assessment in an International Search Report and a negative International Preliminary Report on Patentability from PCT in October 2010, an international patent is still pending.
VII. Manufacturing and Factories
- Leonardo Corporation is the sole manufacturer of the E-Cat reactors. Until now these reactors have been made by hand, but Rossi said this process will be automated.
- For other necessary components, Andrea Rossi will use outsourcing.
- 10% of pre-tax profits are to be spent on research and development.
- Leonardo Corporation will have employees who will recharge the units on site, and spent reactors will be returned to treatment units which will be located strategically for regeneration.
- Leonardo Corporation could eventually become a public company. About this, Ross has said “Probably we will sell shares to allow everybody to participate to this enterprise. But before this, we have to consolidate our manufacturing and commercial system.”
- While production of the 1 MW plants is already underway, it appears that Rossi’s priorities are to produce home heating units and electrical generators — both of which he estimates will take two years to achieve.
VIII. Public Acceptance
Despite the fact that many skeptics are out there, it seems to be a 50/50 mix of believers versus non-believers. Many forums around that originally started out as skeptics, seem to have been shifting more and more towards the believers team. Please express your own opinion about Andrea Rossi’s Energy Catalyzer in the comment section below.