Monday, 27 June 2011

Video of the development of Rossi's eCat

Here are a couple of links to a video which describes how the eCat came to be, English Version.

In high quality:

On Youtube:

A transcription of the English text and speech from the Video follows, with names of the speakers followed by their contributions:

Martin Fleischmann 1989

If you have a sustained production of heat and the amount of heat which is produced is so large that you cannot account for it in terms of a chemical process what else are you to believe?

Andrea Rossi 2011

Given the delta-t, and vaporization heat, we produced an amount of energy, they will give me the exact figure later, estimated on the order of around 10 – 12 kWh.


An inventor and a scientist claim that twenty years of research in the field of cold fusion and low energy reactions may soon lead to the development of an industrial device capable of producing great amounts of clean and cheap energy. If this were to be confirmed, we would have the power of nuclear reactions together with the advantages of sustainable energy at our disposal. I believe there is only one way in order to define this: Revolution. Specifically Low Energy Nuclear Revolution.

Doug Miller

On March the 23rd chemists Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann rocked the world of science. They announced that they had achieved cold fusion in a laboratory in Utah.

Ret. Prof. Sergio Focardi

This is a name which has been historically matched to this kind of process. When this activity began, it was seen in contradiction to the nuclear fusion which takes place in high-temperature machines and which may be termed “hot”. As a consequence this nickname was born, and it’s hard to get rid of it.

Ret. Prof. Emilio Del Giudice

The whole subject of low temperature nuclear reactions has a variety of components. There is something which can, strictly speaking, be called cold fusion. It is the process through which deuterium nuclei fuse within a metallic matrix to form helium nuclei. But this is not the only kind of nuclear reaction which takes place. There are other nuclear reactions as well. I assume that the one we have lately been talking about, in Rossi’s machine, belongs to the latter category where we have nuclear reactions not linked to fusion, reactions in which protons penetrate inside nuclei. Reactions take place: if these are exothermic, then the energy which is released can be put to use. However, this is a whole class of phenomena which are mutually different - and their only common factor is that they take place at room temperature.

Prof. Francesco Celani, I.N.F.N. Frascati

At the beginning there were an exorbitant number of people: I mean they war all jumping headlong into a seemingly trivial topic in order to gain outstanding fame. When all these opportunists realized it would take real hard work in return for modest results, they made themselves scarce.

Shelley Thomas

The day before an international conference in Salt Lake City Nature Magazine today attacked cold fusion research with a study from the u-zone backyard.

US TV reporters

University of Utah physicists reported that they found no evidence a nuclear reaction after monitoring experiments inside the Pons-Fleischmann laboratory for five weeks.

In 5 weeks of observation we saw no sings of known fusion processes. That’s it. That’s all we said.

Prof. Christos Stremmenos

The Fleischmann and Pons paper was published around 1989 and obviously at the time, even at the mass media level there was a huge burst of information, which unfortunately lasted for only a few weeks. The haste with which they wanted to make this information disappear was obvious. See now, I’m not a conspiracy advocate, but I judge facts as they actually happened. Instead of deferring to this new „anomaly“ – as it was called at the time – and investigating it in depth they basically covered it up, as far as scientific news are concerned.

US TV (nuclear fusion confusion)

A wave of scepticism over the University of Utah’s fusion experiment is running through the world of science like an epidemic again. In some of the most severe and almost personal attacks yet scientist and newspapers are using words like circus and fraud in order to describe the Pons-Fleischmann work.

New York Times article

As for the University of Utah, it may now claim credit for the artificial-heart horror show and the cold fusion circus, two milestones at least in the history of entertainment, if not of science.

In today’s Boston Herald a scorching attack from a physicist at MIT with a quote from the Herald that “everything I have been able to track down has been bogus and I think we owe it to the community of scientists to begin to smoke these guys out.”

Prof. Celani

The people who stayed on were, on the one hand, real professionals in their field who knew what they were doing; on the other, they were willing to conduct their research on intensely cross-disciplinary terms. In my opinion this was the first major instance of genuine team work.


This ‘issue’, which was happening in a solid state by electrolytical means, stimulated my interest, so I approached some colleagues of mine, on a peer-to-peer level, like Prof. Cammarota, who is a metallurgical physicist at Industrial Chemistry in Bologna, in order to replicate this experience of Fleischmann and Pons’s.


I remember when the newspapers reported the news on Fleischmann: one morning Giuliano calls me up on the phone, he wakes me up and says: “Have you read today’s paper?”. “No, I haven’t, what’s the news?”

“Well, there’s these two guys who say they’ve found… if it’s not a hoax it’s probably a matter of coherence” – Giuliano says – the kind we have been studying. Let’s see if we can find an explanation for this.”

Dr. Giuliao Preparata

Dr. Giuliano Preparata has today chastised his colleagues for what he calls a closed mentality for new ideas. But if you just stay there, you know, rigid you don’t want to talk. My colleagues don’t even discuss this thing. There is no way of really going ahead and becoming better.


I met Piantelli one year after the Fleischmann and Pons announcement, at a conference in Udine. We discussed the event among ourselves, and with prof. Habel from the University of Cagliari, who is a common friend, then began our research. Piantelli had already observed strange phenomena in nickel, so, when we decided to work together, we started with nickel. We got some results – obviously not like the ones we are getting now – and kept going in that direction.


I asked the Dean of the Faculty to let me use a bunker. You know, one of those bunkers where they usually keep gas cylinders. We had five or six of these bunkers, and we turned one of them into a lab. We took a piece of palladium foil, and some heavy water from Monte Coccolino, and began the experiment.


We would feed a certain amount of energy to the experimental cell, and it worked. It produced some energy, but not enough for it to be useful. And at intervals we were able to stop and restart it. There were some slight effects but due to their limited extent they were certainly not exploitable.


We would be in touch whenever I came to Bologna, and sometimes even over the phone. “Sergio what are you up to? Are you still working?”

“Yes so give me the latest news. (You know, this is how it goes among colleagues).

And at a certain point he says:”My dear Stremmenos, I believe we are at a crucial moment. I met Mr. Rossi, who works with nickel etc…

He’s built this small system to heat up his workshop”. I say “What?” ‘Yes yes, it’s a huge step, both in quality and quantity”.

One week later I was here in Bologna.

Eng. Giacomo Guidi, nuclear medicine researcher

Rossi introduced his audience to two kinds of devices a larger one and a smaller one, both termed “energy catalyzers”. The larger device is the one used in the January 14th test, and it has a thermal power output capacity ranging from 15 to 30 Kilowatts. The smaller device on the other hand of which some images have been released showing the unshielded core, has a 2 to 5 kW thermal power output capacity. In its simplicity the Rossi reactor is almost embarrassing. It consists of a piece of copper tubing, inside of which lies a stainless steel reaction chamber. The latter is filled with powdered nickel, probably of nanometric gauge, which reacts with hydrogen at a pressure of around 25 atmospheres in the presence of a secret catalyst. According to the first tests, this type of reactions is apparently buclear, it is capable of producing a strong thermal output in the reactor core. Water is made to flow throught the device between the copper tubing and the inner stainless steel reaction chamber. As it flows through the tube the water heats up, all the way to vaporization temperature.


Right now we are conducting some preliminary operatons. Let us stat right away what kinds of measurements we are going to take today. Two kinds: first of all we are going to verify the energy production of this apparatus. How are we going to proceed? We will heat some water and vaporize it, and since we obviously know what the latent heat of vaporization ist and how much water we are vaporizing per second, we are able to tell what power is being produced by the apparatus.

Daniele Passerini, blogger

I think we arrived around 3PM. People began coming in, a few at a time. It took about an hour for everybody to get there. Then Rossi, Focardi and Levi explained what was going to happen: the reactor was going to be switched on, and thermal power was going to be produced. This was the preliminary explanation; after that the reactor was turned on, and shortly after we could see that the temperature values were rising. They kept it working for about half an hour, then they switched it off and the press conference took place.


They called it a press conference, but what went on on the 14th was actually a public demonstration “public”in a manner of speaking, because it was by invitation only, we invited several colleagues. Since this was experiment which was being introduced into our Department, it was advantageous that colleagues be informed – also to give them a chance to criticize.


When the news came out on Rossi’s work and his considerable excess thermal values considering that I was more or less often in touch with Focardi, also as a personal friend of his, I said: “What would you think if I came over to take a look?” “Oh sure, with pleasure”.

After several days I received a short email from Rossi in which he formally invited me to attend the demonstration. I said:” Thank you, I shall come, I will bring a few instruments of my own, just to be sure etc.” So I went and brought a suitcase with 20 Kg of instruments with me.


We need to understand what the source of this energy is, and the first thing we have to do – I believe it’s already been done – is to try and rule out any chemical source.

I’ve seen the reactor three times and it started up every time and looked like it was producing energy but that’s not all: the quantities of energy are decisively greater than those relevant to former experiments. Here we are talking about kilowatts, in other experiments it was a matter of watts. So the factor is: from one hundred to one thousand times more energy than was seen in past experiments.


On average, the relationship between thermal energy gained and input electrical energy was in the order of around 200 times. This does not mean we are multiplying energy by 200, because thermal energy has less value than electrical energy. If we were to re-transform it into electrical energy this ratio of 200 would decrease. But as far as conservation of energy is concerned, this is what counts.


At the present time, on the basis of the current experiments, I’m sufficiently certain about what we witnessed and I can say that both in December and January energy was produced with power of the order of around 10 kilowatts. We also ran another private test, a “technical” and a “private” one – these technical tests are necessary to enable us to understand how to set up the final test – and this was a long test, lasting about 18 hours, in which the MINIMUM power produced was of the order of 15kW – this is extremely conservative data. Actually, in that trial, in the beginning the “object” started off in a rather explosive way – explosive because it’s a new machine a machine which produces energy. We had an energy production peak – OK, I hope that they don’t chastise me, saying we didn’t test it in every possible way – estimated in the graphs at about 120 kilowatts of power. Rossi immediately damped the machine, he switched off the machine. We restarted it, and the system ran for one hour at 40 kW. I have the data.


In those experiments, we had a system to measure the temperature. We were therefore able to follow what was going on by increasing the power a little at a time. On various occasions I noticed that the process is triggered at around 60 degrees. What I mean is that I saw that, below 60 degrees, temperature rose slightly and slowly, and that means that the thermal effect is undergoing its normal development. Then, suddenly, at around 60 degrees, we began to notice thermal surges; this means that the process had been triggered, and that the system was being heated by the undergoing processes. Then, after that, the system no longer increased in a linear manner.


Once it exceeds a critical temperature value – it takes a while, because the system needs to load, and the reaction has spread to the whole sample – after 20 or 30 minutes it is capable of working by itself; and if you don’t suddenly cool it down, change the pressure or perform a switch off manoeuvre, it will not shut down. Some time ago, when I was working with Focardi, I made a couple of rough calculations and said: “Listen, warn Rossi that this thing might explode.” I was running a couple of calculations on the Microgranules, and the amount of energy they were capable of absorbing and releasing in return… at a certain point it began to …I saw that it was capable of being self-sustaining. And blow up it did! This is a good sign – it means that it’s working. There is no source of energy which will not run out of control, if it works. They say, that is Rossi said to me – by the way, I must be super-cautious about everything I get told, meaning that I must shelve the information and say: “Perhaps.. that’s very nice… maybe some day we will investigate it”. – that on one occasion an experiment of his blew up and that his neutron detectors (these detectors have a special gel which fills up with bubbles if neutrons are emitted, you can find them on the Internet as well) were found full of bubbles. Experimental fact: explosion + bubbles. Bubble can also be the result of mechanical shock, so you cannot be sure about the neutrons. However, it IS interesting. Meaning this: let’s look for a reinforced lab, and at some time try to drive one of these reactors into the critical zone (with us at a good distance away, with a bunch of cables 30 mt. long, and detectors all around it), blow it up and observe the result. Because, if you can blow it up, if you know the critical zone and how to avoid it, you also know how to control the object.

Giacomo Guidi,

In order to understand whether this reactor actually works through a nuclear reaction, three aspects must be kept in mind: First: If the reactor can really be kept running for months and doesn’t need to be recharged, then only a nuclear reaction can justify this sort of energy output. Secondly, the possible presence of gamma rays or other ionizing radiation released by the reactor. Thirdly, one must ascertain whether in the reaction ashes there are any elements which have been subject to transmutation, i.e. were not there when the experiment started. From what Rossi and Focardi have stated, all three conditions have been confirmed.


Before the experiment began, without others realizing it, I ran some checks to make sure, in the first place, that there were no radioactive sources hidden somewhere in the reactor. Secondly, that there were no generators of powerful electromagnetic interference capable of jamming electronic instruments; Thirdly, that there were no massive power cables around, capable of simulating a power excess with nothing but a 10 kW water boiler. I ran these checks without Rossi’s knowledge and everything seemed OK. At a certain point Rossi said he was about to begin the experiment. I then decided to use the gamma-spectrometer (which is battery-operated as well) without the power cable, because if there is any electromagnetic interference, this may be carried through the ground wire, and can alter the measurement. Everything was working: a battery powered mini-Geiger counter, a microwave detector, also battery powered, and an ELF detector, battery powered as well. Therefore, four independent instruments, all battery powered. After various vicissitudes, because the reactor was having major problems, some inner resistors had broken down, Mr. Rossi came out of the room delighted: “The reactor has started.” Before he came out, a few minutes before, I had independently measured that both the gamma detector and the mini-Geiger counter had hit the top of the scale, whereas the two detectors of electromagnetic interference were not showing anything. This meant that a short but intense emission of gamma radiation had taken place. Afterwards, everything was back to normal, and we stayed in the hall to see what was happening. After about half an hour, I don’t recall the time exactly, I was allowed to go and take a look at the working reactor with my portable detector set for gamma count, and I began to perform a check. I noticed that there was an increase of total gamma radiation compared to the amount recorded before the beginning of the experiment, not a dangerous increase, around 50%. And, most important, it wasn’t a stable increase, rather a very, very unstable one. This means that there was something live inside, changing the emission, the feeble emission of gammas.


During the first experiments, when we were working in Bondeno, we were using an open experimental system, and on those occasions I was using a Geiger detector, set for the gamma scale, through which I verified the presence of gamma emissions during its functioning.


What was expected from the experiment was evidence of high energy gamma rays, a symptom of “beta+”decay, a specific type of nuclear reaction.


So, we brought in two sodium iodide scintillators, and positioned them close to two holes in the lead shielding of the reactor. In this way, we will measure output radiation as well. Why two? And why are our counters positioned, as the English technical expression goes, back to back, that is to say in two opposite directions? Because, when nuclear reactions occur, we often get isotopes which decay, and undergo what is known as beta+ decay, that is, with the emission of one positron. And of a neutrino as well, but we obviously don’t have the equipment to detect that here. When this positron is produced, it is immediately annihilated in normal matter. A positron is an instance, let’s call it that, of antimatter, it gets annihilated immediately with an electron in normal matter, and produces two photons: two of them traveling in opposite directions. So the observation, the production of photons in mutual coincidence, in two opposite directions, is a clear signal it would be – and we hope to verify this – a clear signature of beta+ decay.

Through the release of two photons at this energy, 511 keV, our detectors should have been able to pick up several pairs of photons in coincidence, emitted from the apparatus. The fact we haven’t seen them only means that we have negated THAT model of reaction. It does not mean that the apparatus is not working.

Dott. Stefano Bagnasco C.I.C.A.P.

The fact that he was expecting these gamma 511 keV “back to back”, in opposite direction s, and that this did not take place is very curious. It surprises me that he knows so little of his device so as to expect something that in the end does not occur. Nevertheless, the fact remains that he has always stated that he has focused on the production of energy and that he never really gave much attention to the nuclear and radiation phenomena.


We made a mistake – perhaps our first mistake, and this shows how difficult it all is, because doing science is not a piece of cake. The mistake was that we already had a model for the reaction in mind. It is an excusable mistake, because even Focardi already had the model for the reaction in his mind: nickel-proton dry fusion.

Press conference

Dr. Fleischmann are you willing to acknowledge any possibility at all that your observations are wrong and you did not have attained fusion? Are you absolutely convinced of your results?


I have always been ready to acknowledge the fact that our experiments may be faulty. I have always, I have said this at the beginning I said that throughout at every meeting with the press I have emphasized that you cannot prove something right, you can only prove it wrong.


While I was talking to Rossi on the various aspects and so on, I commuted the spectrometer from performing a numerical count to peak identification, in order to understand whether these 511 keV were really there. For a few minutes everything went smoothly, then Rossi realized that I had touched something that I wasn’t supposed to and he got somewhat angry. So I had to switch it off.


Celani wanted to get a spectrum. But getting a spectrum is like detecting the identity of the elements inside the reactor thereby revealing the industrial secret of Rossi’s catalyst.

Dott. David Bianchini, E.F.A. Group Advisor

During the initial stage of the project measurement was supposed to involve a spectrometric measurement, that is to effectively check what the energy of photons which might have been released in a nuclear reaction was; but we weren’t allowed to do this and the only thing we were able to do was to perform a dosimetric measurement on the outside of the reactor shielding.


In any case, there is also such a thing as low energy gamma radiation, which the reactor is capable of shielding. These gammas belong to a class of highly exothermic reactions, and justify the presence of nuclear reactions inside the reactor core.


There will be a research agreement between us and Rossi, it is currently being defined, and part of our job will be submitted to industrial secrecy. The Department of Physics will be completely free to publish the results of its experiments, whether the results are positive for Rossi or not.


I have no knowledge of the experimental protocol. I’ve seen proposals and Levi and I have discussed them. As far as my competence is concerned, it will be a measurement of spectrometric activity, the one we hadn’t been allowed to do. A long-term monitoring inclusive of neutron monitoring, because the process could be associated with neutrons, it should be somehow associated with neutrons. Certainly, a lot will depend on what Rossi allows us to do with the machine.


One of the test we are going to perform with all due caution, because we must follow an extremely strict protocol for this kind of analysis, is research on possible nuclear transmutations of the sample after it has been used. But let me tell you this: the mere drawing up of a protocol, a strict protocol, in order to perform these measurements with reliable results, is a major effort.


We set up a company in Greece, Defkalion, whose goal is to carry out the project at the, let’s say, industrial level, with all the proper contrivances.

Angelo Saso, RAInews 24 reporter

In Greece there is this Defkalion Green Technologies gathering a group of anonymous investors – the odd thing being that, so far, nobody has wanted to associate his/her own name to this. Somehow, it’s still a “black box”; the heresay is that there are anonymous investors who have already allocated 200 million euros. Moreover, Greece is now risking default, and this is also quite peculiar. In America, other investors are willing to put up other millions of euros; so here’s a mechanism that somewhat reminds me of Petroldragon. A mechanism in which money just becomes available because somebody puts his trust in Andrea Rossi’s inventiveness. Let’s hope for the best.


I can tell you for sure that the current government of Greece, which has declared… has given absolute priority to the development of a ‘green economy’ is extremely favourable. It’s also obvious, due to the current economic difficulties in Greece, that we are not going to ask the Greek Government for one single Lira, or as we say nowadays, not one single euro.


I asked Rossi who was putting the money into the enterprise, and he replied in these terms: “Nobody. Actually, I’m playing American football with my bones”. This is the exact sentence he used in the interview. It appears however that both in Greece and in America, there are investors willing to supply the money.


The Swedes have now joined in their interest for this thing, so in the future we shall try to set up a Stockholm/Bologna/Athens axis!


These two Swedish physicists came to see what was going on. Rossi told them about the discovery and they were extremely interested. A test was organized. Rossi produced some steam, starting from water at 18 degrees. The description was ample, we had the opportunity to evaluate all the working parameters of the machine. Even the geometric description of the reactor, the relevant documentation, are now more comprehensive. The test with the Swedes was a real discussion, in the course of which they had the chance to interact even while the machine was working, for everything concerning various details on pump, flux, and resistor control etc. This was very much appreciated, because a lot of the scepticism was laid to rest. On their part, there was a lot of satisfaction because the first obvious result is that this is absolutely not an electrochemical reaction, thereby endorsing the hypothesis of a nuclear reaction.


What impresses most is the Swedes’ report. The Swedes who see this experiment check out everything they can, then they go back to Sweden and write a report about which mentions a nuclear reaction. Two very qualified individuals, from a scientific point of view, not just anybodies. This is still inexplicable to me. What I mean is that if you get this kind of acknowledgement, it’s hard to think of it as a hoax, because of the high level verification.


Today we hear comments from numerous scientists, some of them quite famous, who support the possibility that Rossi and Focardi have rendered a controversial physical phenomenon industrially exploitable, a phenomenon that over the past twenty years has gathered only low-key support.

On the part of many, the reaction to the news has been one of alarm and worry. The question is: what should we really worry about? If Rossi is right, we have a new, low-cost energy source. If Rossi is wrong, we can go right on living in a world which is scraping the bottom of the barrel of environmental sustainability and fossil-fuel resources.


I believe that in science intuition comes first, as with Einstein. He would first have an intuition of something, and then hand it over to technicians and mathematicians who would formulate it in a way which matched his intuition, which was always right.

Stefano Bagnasco

Personally, I never met Rossi, but I have to say that he has guts. He’s raised the stakes, in a certain sense. He says: my device is not the kind of device that works every once in a while, requires careful measurements, then you will see that there is some slight effect. He brought out a contraption which releases 12 kW. It’s impossible to make mistakes with something like that for any length of time.


It’s obvious that I am emotionally involved in favour of this kind of research because I think there is something solid about it. But it’s also clear that we need to be extremely cautious with respects to new results because, if by chance there is any hidden error, and it persists for a long time, the risk is bringing discredit upon the whole community, and that means thousands of people.


There’s obviously a part of me, and of everybody I think, which says “That’s great! Maybe we’ve found a solution to the energy problem”. So, as a person I can express this hope. But when I put my scientist’s cap on, a scientist must not express hope, or wish for something. A scientist must look at facts. Look at the facts, check the way he is looking at them, have somebody else check the way he is looking at them and then come to a conclusion.

…to be continued in the following months, as the story goes on.

The greatest scientific discovery of all human history?

"The greatest scientific discovery of all human history" is how emeritus professor Sergio Focardi of the University of Bologna in Italy describes the eCat or Energy Catalyzer developed by Andrea Rossi and his team.

He adds that it is akin to the discovery of fire, a truly Promethian event which promises to change our world for ever.

Perhaps just in time - as the continuing nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima has given us a similar comment to Focardi's, but this time with negative connotations.

"Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind," Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, told Al Jazeera.

Perhaps these two comments illustrate how nature always seeks a balance - the bright and the dark side by side.