Energy Update: Is Cold Fusion Even Possible?

When something is given the acronym LENR and your name is Len Rosen, it is hard for me not to sit up and take notice. LENR stands for low energy nuclear reactor which is also known as cold fusion. Cold fusion is nuclear fusion occurring at ambient (room) temperatures. When Drs. Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann at the University of Utah first announced their discovery in March 1989 it was met with speculation by the fusion science community. Fusion without a plasma containment field, without extreme pressures, without extreme temperatures, without a tokamak or pulse lasers? Unheard of, preposterous. Since then and even before 1989 cold fusion experiments had been carried out with lots of people trying to demonstrate the technology in laboratory settings. None has proven to stand the test of scientific orthodoxy.

Enter Andrea Rossi, an Italian inventor of E-Cat, the energy catalyzer. In a headline dated July 16, 2012, a new Australian company, E-Cat Australia announced that it was taking orders for a 10-Kilowatt home unit and 1-Megawatt industrial unit with delivery promised by mid-2013.

The Domestic E-Cat Low Energy Nuclear Reactor as it appears on the E-Cat Australia website. According to its inventors it can generate 10 Kilowatts of power for continuous home use. Source: E-Cat Australia

On the website the cost of the home unit is estimated between $2,000 and $2,500 Australian dollars as posted. Refill cartridges of which you will need one every 6 months, are priced at $150.  The lifetime operational estimate for each unit is 20 years. The website promises an 80% saving on electricity and gas bills. Homeowners can sign up to be on a wait list.

The E-Cat Industrial Unit as seen on the E-Cat Australia website. This version of the cold fusion reactors is described as capable of generating 1 Megawatt of power from the thermal reactions generated in each sub-unit. Source: E-Cat Australia

The E-Cat industrial unit is priced starting at $1.5 million U.S. with a promise of delivery in 3 to 4 months. Buyers are asked to place a down payment of $500,000 on the 1 Megawatt unit and more on higher output units. The company offers a 100% money-back guarantee should the unit not perform as specified.

Is this flimflammery? Are the people running E-Cat Australia bag men? The general scientific community are total skeptics about the claims Rossi makes about E-Cat technology. So how does it work and why are scientists in general calling this a load of hooey?

E-Cat uses powdered nickel and hydrogen to generate an exothermic reaction, namely heat. The heat is then used to produce energy. The device infuses the heated hydrogen into the nickel powder causing transmutation of the nickel to copper with the byproduct as much as 100 times the energy input in the form of heat.

When Rossi applied for an international patent it was rejected by the issuers as offending the generally accepted laws of physics. Although demonstrated to academics, Rossi’s E-Cat has never been independently tested and the only papers on the subject appear on his own blog site which he has given the very official name, Journal of Nuclear Physics.

At this site you can find a journal-styled article complete with mathematical formulae and posted in March 2010 called “A new energy source from nuclear fusion.” The article provides experimental results from what is referenced as “a process and apparatus not described here in detail and protected by patent in 90 countries.” It goes on to state the the process produces heat output up to 100 times the energy input through the interaction of the nickel and heated hydrogen.

When I first heard the word transmutation in documents on the E-Cat site my thoughts went back to my boy scientist days reading about alchemists who always tried to turn base metals like lead into gold.

Transmutation can happen. There is no doubt about that. You can turn lead into gold but you need an enormous amount of energy to do it and the energy you use would cost more than the value of gold that would result. Today we transmute elements all the time using particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider.

So I leave this question with you, is Dr. Rossi a bag man out to swindle a whole bunch of Aussie home and business owners not to say the rest of the world with his promise of cheap and clean energy? What do you think?

Dr. Andrea Rossi is seen here with a laboratory version of the E-Cat. Dr. Rossi claimed in April 2011 that he had 97 E-Cats operating continuously in 4 different locations. Not one of these operates in an independent laboratory where it can be fully tested. Source: FreeEnergyTruth.blogspot.ca

 

 

 


Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery. More...

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  • http://www.Libertynewspost.com Joel

    Well, I guess you can just wait till you can buy one to find out. You can’t just put out a new apparatus like that without all of the proper certifications. Also, its not just Andrea Rossi who is about to release this technology on the world. Here is your “LENR” primer:

    Cold Fusion (LENR) Primer Powerpoint

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/99464146/Final-Lenr-Market-Development-Ilents12-Ppt03-By-Jim-Dunn

    Short History:

    http://nucat-energy.com/low-energy-nuclear-reactions/short-history/

    Background Info:

    http://lenr-canr.org/

    Companies that plan to release a “Cold Fusion Product:

    http://ecat.com/

    http://www.defkalion-energy.com/

    http://www.brillouinenergy.com/

    http://world.std.com/~mica/jet.html

    News Sites:

    http://www.e-catworld.com/

    http://pesn.com/2012/05/31/9602101_LENR-to-Market_Weekly_May31/

    http://coldfusionnow.org/

    • lenrosen4

      Thanks for the links. I hope our readers get a chance to check them out. I agree with you that compliance with regulatory and licensing authorities will expose any subterfuge on the part of the inventors. But the laws of physics still apply even to cold fusion.

      • http://www.Libertynewspost.com Joel

        The Laws of Physics may still apply but that doesn’t mean we know all of them. Calling it “Cold Fusion” may not be an accurate term – just one that is convenient. Bottom line we are getting excess heat that we can use as an energy source. The physics of it will sort itself out… just like electricity did. People get caught up on the words and are missing the point. Which is a clean abundant energy supply.

  • Javier

    Bagman … At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology a tokamak, called “Alcator,” attained a confinement parameter of 30 trillion. But the temperature fell far short, only about 10 million degrees. In a later test at Princeton, their Large Torus (“bulge”) reached a temperature of 75 million degrees, high enough, for the first time, to kindle the deuterium-tritium reaction. But here the confinement parameter did not exceed one trillion. So the fusion flame again flickered and went out before it was really lit.
    There was another one done with laser confinement, the above one is magnetic. A problem that blights both methods of fusion is the radioactive pollution. Looking at the table of fusion reactions, we see that the reactions in the sun are “clean.” They do not involve any radioactivity. But the only other reaction of which this is true is the one (No. 6) between deuterium and helium-3. Unfortunately, these clean reactions all require a very high ignition temperature.
    There is another interesting article as well on this although the above information is suffix…http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2011-11-30/no-miracles-science-story-energy-catalyzer

    • lenrosen4

      Hi Javier, I have written about nuclear fusion in a previous blog and welcome your input in terms of questions and comments. Thank you for the data on recent tokamaks. Check out the article http://www.21stcentech.com/energy-update-fusion-reaction-progress-report/

    • http://www.Libertynewspost.com Joel

      Len,

      At M.I.T. they have had a “Cold Fusion” reaction running for months and haven’t spent .001% as they have on the “Hot Fusion” Tokamak program. Truth be told it’s the very program that helped hinder research into “Cold Fusion” over the past 23 years. Look into it… its a sad and infuriating history.

      https://plus.google.com/104599302434969897198/posts/9ogHF9WkEYt

      http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-backroom/2776421/posts

      • lenrosen4

        When you go to the MIT site or try to find information directly about cold fusion experiments at MIT, you get a lot of sites that seem to find conspiracy behind MIT’s work in this area. I’ll investigate further.

        • http://www.Libertynewspost.com Joel

          The M.I.T Research is here:

          http://world.std.com/~mica/jetrefs.html

        • Stefan

          There is no conspiracy, people just try to safe their investments (career, money, etc… ). The interested group of people to suppress LENR do not need the center to plan the conspiracy-plot they act more or less coherently because the source of danger is well defined and clearly understood so, even every one protects independently its own investments it appears as they act in unison… Even some “serious scientists” who dismisses the experimental “facts” on the basis that it is not “fact” at all but fake/scam/delusion these people still protect their investments doing it unconscionably in some cases or some smart-asses do it consciously; the motives are irrelevant the result appears the same…

          • lenrosen4

            Hi Stefan and Joel, Thank you for your comments. I took a look at the piece that “60 Minutes” did on cold fusion in 2009 and have posted the link here for other readers to view. I’m intrigued by the level of controversy surrounding what should be good basic scientific research and validation. The video can be watched at http://vimeo.com/4263614

  • http://www.Libertynewspost.com Joel

    Watch Tonight on 60 Minutes on CNBC!

    SCIENTIFIC BREAKTHROUGHS – Tuesday, July 17th 9p | 12a ETCold Fusion Is Hot Again
    A report on cold fusion – nuclear energy like that which powers the sun, but made at room temperatures on a tabletop, which in 1989, was presented as a revolutionary new source of energy that promised to be cheap, limitless and clean but was quickly dismissed as junk science. Today, scientists believe that cold fusion, now most often called low temperature fusion or a nuclear effect, could lead to monumental breakthroughs in energy production.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/40795923/

    • lenrosen4

      I’ll check out this report but in looking at the reference to the MIT research you provided, I have tried to track down the authors of the journal articles, so far, to no avail. If cold fusion is commercially viable it will be interesting to find out why the technology would be suppressed by academics knowing that the cost of hot fusion technology has so far been stratospheric.

  • jetmech

    Ok best answer. Who cares about the “science” behind any of these claims.
    Can anyone deliver the goods?
    Has anyone ever ever delivered on the promise of cold fusion LENR on real cost effective basis? In other words MONEY out is greater than MONEY in?
    Rossi and his Ecat so far HAS NOT delivered the goods.
    No real customer has ever gotten their hands on one.
    What is to make of that?
    That is the question. Is it a scam?
    I think that the answer to that will be for each person to judge. How many years are you going to wait before a Rossi Ecat is sold not only to a “real customer” but to more than one “real” customers?
    So far no goods have been delivered.
    My guess is some people will call it a scam 6 months from now, some a year, some two years etc.
    Who cares about MIT, National Instruments etc. Where is the working, produced and sold Ecat?
    That is why I say my “best answer” IS NOT TO LISTEN TO PROMISES BUT WAIT FOR THE REAL DEAL!
    As long as the Rossi Ecat remains an unfulfilled promise speculation as to its relevance, effectivity and conspiracy theories will thrive.
    Deliver the goods Mr Rossi!

    • cassus

      It’s going to be rather hard to make an experiment cost effective. They’re working with materials especially made in really small quantities for this experiment. Not until we have factories specifically made to produce this stuff in bulk for reasonable prices can we figure out if it’s going to be viable in the long run. Maybe the production process needs a lot of refinement. One thing is for certain, fossil fuel prices are not going down, so sooner or later it will be more cost effective, no matter what.

      • lenrosen4

        I don’t know the cost of palladium and deuterium. And I don’t know how much of both are needed to develop a commercial product. I am sure for the purpose of the type of experiment contemplated by Dennis Cravens the $20,000 he is trying to raise through crowdfunding should more than cover the tab. Hope you had a chance to read the posting on Cravens and his Model A steam engine with a cold fusion heated boiler.

  • Ged

    Check out the European Commission report from the European Union on LENR (Cold Fusion), which can be read here: http://ec.europa.eu/research/industrial_technologies/pdf/emerging-materials-report_en.pdf

    It’s one of the emerging technologies reviewed, and on page 23 they state of their LENR verfication research (with ENEA, NRL, and SRI): “The target was achieved and the existence of the effect is no longer in doubt.” So, as far as the EU is concerned cold fusion has been proven a real phenomenon.

    Similarly, National Instruments has been collaborating with ten independent laboratories on LENR, and recently revealed their activities. The slides from that talk can be seen here: http://www.22passi.it/downloads/eu_brussels_june_20_2012_concezzi.pdf . The most interesting thing to me is the statement before the conclusion slide, that NI has confirmed Dr. Kim’s (of Purdue) results about the Equivalent Linear Two Body theory. ELTB theory shows how a Bose-Einstein condensate can be formed between two atoms when in a resonance trap, such as a metal lattice. This theory predicts and describes the cold fusion, and is part of our growing understanding of quantum physics. You can read Dr. Kim’s published work on ELTB here: http://www.physics.purdue.edu/people/faculty/yekim/8_Equivalent_Linear_two_body.pdf ; and how ELTB pertains and predicts cold fusion (at least deuterium-deuterium fusion in a metal lattice) here: http://www.physics.purdue.edu/people/faculty/yekim/Kim_BECNF.pdf .

    It’s fun discovering new physics, and if National Instruments is independently endorsing this theory (as well as LENR in general), then I think that makes this the strongest contender for the theoretical mechanisms behind cold fusion.

    It’s a fascinating topic, and this is only scratching the surface. You can track down a lot more work by others published in the scientific literature by looking at NI’s list of collaborators.

    A lot of cold fusion is hidden by describing it as “anomalous heat” when doing deuterium/hydrogen loading into a metal lattice. It’s how people have been able to publish, by avoiding the stigma of the “cold fusion” name, so good to keep that in mind while looking up peer-reviewed literature.

    Hope this was all interesting to you!

    • lenrosen4

      Thank you for the links and additional content. This topic has understandably had a lot of comments. I think we can all agree that when that first LENR device gets consumer seal approved it will be the beginning of an energy revolution. But until that happens it still feels like smoke and mirrors. I believe the biggest mistake made by those who started studying the electro-chemical phenomenon that is being observed in labs was to call it cold fusion.

      • Ged

        Well, it is fusion, according to the published research from several groups, and as stated in the EU report (“…deuterium-deuterium fusion reaction, at low energy, is some orders of magnitude higher than the expected value.” page 23). Fusion byproducts are seen, and since this isn’t occurring at millions of degrees in temperature, “cold” is an apt description.

        ELTB theory also shows this is fusion, and hence why the energy given off as measured experimentally is orders of magnitude higher than a chemical reaction (i.e. it isn’t electro-chemical according to direct experimental observations, as the EU report also states, “Energy
        densities measured during excess of power are tens, hundreds, and even thousands times larger than the maximum energy associated to any known chemical process.” page 23).

        Now, it could very well turn out to be a totally new atomic/electro-chemical process different from fusion, that still is able to cause transmutations and helium fusion byproducts, and energy densities well beyond any known electro-chemical method. But, at least as the evidence currently stands, it seems the most reasonable and well tested hypothesis is cold fusion lives up directly to its name.

        In that sense, I think they named it properly.

        • lenrosen4

          I agree that there is an electro-chemical reaction occurring and it appears to be highly variable but transmutation or fusion has traditionally been a phenomenon that required a massive amount of energy input to achieve.

          • Ged

            Using a plasma based method, it does take a massive amount of energy input (to transition to a plasma). But the discoveries lately have been that you can drive fusion using a Bose-Einstein condensate.

            From my understanding of the ELTB theory (which has been around in the literature for over a decade), and take this with a grain of salt as the math is incredible complex, what happens is you have two atoms resonating in a trap that leads to them condensing into one virtual particle. This then allows for quantum tunneling through the Coulomb barrier. Basically, the Coulomb barrier ceases to exist at the quantum scale, allowing low energy fusion (fusion at temperatures in the 100 C range).

            This idea of a virtual particle resonance allowing fusion events that should not occur (or occur at very, very low rates) is not new. The triple-alpha process describes this, but between three helium 4 atoms that come into resonance to make a “virtual” beryllium atom, which then decays into an alpha particle and a carbon 12 atom ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple-alpha_process ). This is an experimentally observed process.

            One of the other Bose-Einstein condensate theories for LENR uses a derivative of the triple-alpha process to predict and explain cold fusion. However, I personally (and since NI endorsed it and said they had confirmed its results) favor the EBTL.

            Dr. Edmund Storms has a nice published paper looking at several competing theories, and posits his own, about nuclear active regions in a metal lattice being the site for the experimentally observed nuclear events.

            No matter how you slice it though, there is a wealth (over 180 published papers, according to National Instruments) of experimental evidence empirically showing cold fusion as being actual fusion, and a net energy positive event.

      • Ged

        Oh, I forgot to mention that all the scientific published literature on this topic seems to revolve around the original deuterium-deuterium fusion in a palladium (though other metals have been used) lattice method. This is different from the claims of the E-cat and other commercial entities, which are using hydrogen in a nickel lattice. It could be that is a different, or invalid phenomenon.

        So as it currently stands, from what I’ve currently seen and read (and could always have missed some), research based LENR is different from the commercially claimed LENR. So we cannot necessarily say one validates the other.

        • jetmech

          like i said
          Ok best answer. Who cares about the “science” behind any of these claims.
          Can anyone deliver the goods?
          Has anyone ever ever delivered on the promise of cold fusion LENR on real cost effective basis? In other words MONEY out is greater than MONEY in?
          Rossi and his Ecat so far HAS NOT delivered the goods.
          No real customer has ever gotten their hands on one.
          What is to make of that?
          That is the question. Is it a scam?
          I think that the answer to that will be for each person to judge. How many years are you going to wait before a Rossi Ecat is sold not only to a “real customer” but to more than one “real” customers?
          So far no goods have been delivered.
          My guess is some people will call it a scam 6 months from now, some a year, some two years etc.
          Who cares about MIT, National Instruments etc. Where is the working, produced and sold Ecat?
          That is why I say my “best answer” IS NOT TO LISTEN TO PROMISES BUT WAIT FOR THE REAL DEAL!
          As long as the Rossi Ecat remains an unfulfilled promise speculation as to its relevance, effectivity and conspiracy theories will thrive.
          Deliver the goods Mr Rossi!

  • jetmech

    Bose Einstein condensates? As if you knew what you are speaking about!
    The Question remains “does Rossi/ DGT/ Black light Power/ Brilluon Energy HAVE a DEVICE that works as THEY claim it to work?
    Does not require “Rocket Science” Answer the question Mr “BOSE EINSTEIN CONDENSATE”!
    Where is the DEVICE?
    Provide specific “CUSTOMERS” who have purchased one of these purported devices!
    REAL not “secret” customers who can verify beyond doubt that these devices work as claimed.
    What alternate reality do you live in?
    Where “Bose Einstein Condensates” can actually explain a device that has NEVER been sold or used by anyone?
    A fantasy device explained by a fantasy?
    The ROSSI/DGT/BlackLight POWER/Brillion Energy devices can only enter the “REAL WORLD” by being SOLD! And having real non secret customers using them.
    Untill then you are explaining fantasy.

    • cassus

      There there, no reason to get worked up. Cold fusion is getting, what.. 0.000000000000000001% of the total money spent on research? Probably less, seems like a lot of them are privately funded. The worst that could happen is it turns out it’s a hoax, a hoax that has huge scientific institutions fooled. If this is the case we are left with a shamed scientific community that moves on from cold fusion. Best case scenario we don’t need oil anymore. The rewards outweigh the risks by orders of magnitude unimaginable. Save the world/Live with shame.. I say go ahead with the experiments, and give them more money. “Hot” fusion is getting all the attention even if we’re decades away from being able to contain the heat of hot fusion. Take a look at cold fusion in the meantime.

      And.. Relax.

      • lenrosen4

        I continue to write about cold fusion as you will note from the latest posting about Dennis Cravens plans in about 4 months to have a cold fusion powered car in a parade in his home town of Cloudcroft, New Mexico. I’m pulling for him but we’ll see what ensues.

        Couldn’t be more relaxed. Just want to see one of these cold fusion inventors show us something without the covers and mystery. Just too interesting to pass up the opportunity to write about it.

  • Niccolo5

    High school dropout Lube-rack Larry can determine with certainty whether water is liquid or frozen solid. No instrumentation at all is required. Just fill a cheap insulated garbage pail with cheap crushed ice. Circulate liquid water through the anomalous heat gadget and through the garbage pail sump. The ice either melts rapidly or it does not. When are any of the LENR proponents going to publicly melt a pail of ice and convince Lube-rack Larry that LENR is real? Endless arcane speculations over how extra heat might be produced without first melting the ice to prove the extra heat is actually produced is fairyland silliness, or it’s problematic ballyhoo intended to enhance commerce in snake oil.

    Why don’t the LENR proponents merely repeat the simple tantalizing Thermacore experiment with 200 nickel hypotube from 1993? Scale up the pressure vessel size and increase the hypotube length from twenty-feet to two-hundred feet. Then if the original report at, http://free-energy.xf.cz/H2/papers/Anomalous-Heat-from-Atomic-Hydrogen.pdf , which claimed continuous 41 Watts excess heat for one year were actually true, we would expect continuous heat production of about 400 Watts with only 5 Watts electrical input. For that matter, why not fabricate a larger pressure vessel six-inches in diameter and six-feet long and then stuff 2000 feet of nickel hypotube and a couple of gallons of potassium carbonate solution inside? (The hypotube could form a loop connected to an external heat exchanger, with compressed hydrogen as the heat transfer medium.) Then the free-energy gadget should produce 4,000 Watts of anomalous heat. That’s all relatively low tech and inexpensive. Where’s that 4,000 Watt nickel hypotube space and water heater?

  • DeadMan

    So…Low energy Nuclear reactions exist in the form of radio active decay and this phenomena has been commercially realized in the form of “radio-isotope thermal-electric generators” in which the heat from this naturally occurring process is captured and converted to electricity.

    Alkali metal thermal electric converters use a temperature differential to produce electricity..perhaps another example of LENR…….

    Lithium batteries are prone to entering a condition called thermal “run-away” in which localized heating can break down cobalt releasing oxygen to feed the fire until the fuel is consumed…..

    Carbide lanterns have existed for a hundred years,

    transition metals are part of the periodic table……

    Super conductors exist……

    Even though I am a skeptic, and believe that the laws of physics are to be respected…..and I would love to see someone create a demonstration that is repeatable by mere mortals without any veils of secrecy….using proper scientific method…..

    I can’t fully discount the possibility that on some level it may be possible to input a small amount of intense energy into a “localized” area (electrically created gas plasma-mini arc furnace) that creates an exothermic reaction of a different “nature”……