Andrea Rossi, the ECAT developer, is an Italian inventor who has a Doctor’s Degree in Philosophy from Milan University 1975 (Dottore Magistrale in Filosofia) Università degli studi di Milano 1975) where he conducted his thesis on relativity.
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During his twenties, he already started to produce plants to recover energy from waste heat from organic waste and similar sources. At the age of 22, he started his own company in the field of energy. He has always been interested in the production of energy and in the last forty years, he has worked in this field.
But it wasn’t until in 1988 when Fleischmann of the University of Southampton and Pons of the University of Utah, applied to the United States Department of Energy for funding towards a larger series of experiments on what was popularly called cold fusion, that Andrea Rossi became seriously interested in the field. Up to this point Fleischmann & Pons had been funding their experiments using a small device built with $100,000 out-of-pocket money.
Press conference 1989 with Martin Fleischmann
The grant proposal was turned over for peer review, and one of the reviewers was Steven E. Jones of Brigham Young University. Jones had worked for some time on muon-catalyzed fusion, a known method of inducing nuclear fusion without high temperatures, and had written an article on the topic entitled Cold nuclear fusion. Fleischmann and Pons and co-workers met with Jones and co-workers on occasion in Utah to share research and techniques. During this time, Fleischmann and Pons described their experiments as generating considerable excess energy, because it could not be explained by chemical reactions alone.
They felt that such a discovery could bear significant commercial value and would be entitled to patent protection. Jones, however, was measuring neutron flux, which was not of commercial interest. This findings will have a great influence on the young Andrea Rossi.
In mid-March of 1989, the Pons and Fleischmann paper was published by the Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry. Their announcement drew wide media attention. The 1986 discovery of high-temperature superconductivity had caused the scientific community to be more open to revelations of unexpected scientific results that could have huge economic repercussions and that could be replicated reliably even if they had not been predicted by current theory. Cold fusion was then proposing the counterintuitive idea that a nuclear reaction could be caused to occur inside a chemically bound crystal structure.
However, the US Department of Energy (DOE) formed a panel to investigate cold fusion, which is also called low energy nuclear reactor. They subsequently issued a report in November 1989 that concluded that the results did not present convincing evidence that useful sources of energy would result from the phenomena attributed to cold fusion.This put an end to Pon’s and Fleischmann’s application for DOE funding.
Mr. Rossi was already working in the energy field at that time. He was fascinated with the Pons and Fleischmann discovery and tried to replicate their effect with electrolysis too. Although he did not succeed at that time, the seed in the development of the energy catalyzer fusor, i.e. ECAT, had been planted. He continued working on the ECAT in between his other contracts in power plant production. In 2007, Andrea Rossi arrived at the very critical point in his research and concentrated his time on his invention.
This was not only by chance or sheer luck, but rather a direct result of a long trial and error process where a vast amount of different configurations of the ECAT had been tried. And finally, a stable, reproducible configuration was discovered. Back then, in 2007, Andrea Rossi knew there was no turning back. He instantly realized the need of a 3rd party expert verification. Mainly because of caution since at these energy levels, both gamma radiation and neutron radiation could be lethal. He needed external verification and assurance that the amount of radiation was low enough to be non-hazardous.
Rossi knew he was on to something big, something so powerful it could change the world forever. There was no room for mistakes here. In July 2007 Rossi therefore contacted one of the most respected physics scientists in the Nickel-Hydrogen field, Professor Emeritus Sergio Focardi of the Bologna University. Professor Focardi, who had been researching Nickel-hydrogen phenomenon since early 90’s was intrigued.
Another reason Rossi decided to contact Prof. Focardi was that he felt that he was at a point where all other projects had to be dropped in favor for the ECAT. An invention of this magnitude would require all his focus. For Rossi it was all or nothing. Before putting all eggs in the same basket, he needed to be absolutely 100% percent sure of its capabilities. So Rossi arranged a challenge for Prof. Focardi, telling him “I will give you a prize (size non-disclosed) if you can show me that what I have done is wrong and does not work”. Professor Focardi accepted the challenge immediately and examined the ECAT under great scrutiny for several days in a controlled environment. A few days later he came back disappointed but with a smiling grin on his face telling Rossi that he was sorry (for not winning the prize) and that he believed that the Energy Catalyzer truly worked as stated.
Andrea Rossi with Sergio Focardi Photo:Frederico Borella
Andrea Rossi then hired Sergio Focardi as a consultant and his work on nickel hydrogen reactions prior with physicist Piantelli proved to be invaluable. Together they looked into the aspect of protecting the environment from the radiations, and to thermalize the radiations to in order to produce heat.
An application in 2008 to patent the device internationally had received an unfavorable preliminary report from the World Intellectual Property Organization at the European Patent Office. It was noted that the description of the device was based on general statements and speculations. EPO also cited numerous deficiencies in both the description and in the evidence provided to support its feasibility. They also found incompatibilities with current scientific theories.
Andrea Rossi’s patent approved by the Italian Office for Patents and Trademarks
In April of 2011, however, an application was approved by the Italian Office for Patents and Trademarks. The agency issued a patent for the invention, valid only in Italy. The Energy Catalyzer’s International, European, and U.S. patent applications are still pending up to this time.
In 2009, Mr. Rossi introduced to the public a process and a device called the Energy Catalyzer. This is a revolutionary process in energy production and is also called low energy nuclear reactions. It could be a breakthrough invention since it can solve some of the energy problems of our planet.
The method does not use or produce radioactive materials. It utilizes nickel and hydrogen. And when the reactor is turned off, after twenty minutes, every kind of radiation is thermalized. What is left are metals like nickel and some copper. The radiation that is produced here are contained inside the box of the reactor which is shielded by lead. These gamma ray radiations are in the range between 50 and 200 KEVS (kiloelectronvolts), which are very low energy radiations. It also has a maximum life of twenty minutes, because they are completely thermalized, which also means that they are transformed into heat. The fact this reactor does not use radioactive materials and do not leave radioactive materials makes it a safe nuclear reactor.
Before going public with his ECAT fusion invention, Andrea Rossi had also manufactured a boiler, using this method, that has heated his factory Ferrara, a small town in Northeast Italy. Since this boiler has heated the factory for about a year, they were able to make experiments in an actual working reactor. The reactor in Ferrara reactor is similar to the modern ECAT that they are making and has a module of about 20 kilowatts. It provides heat to an area that measures about 1000 square feet.
Ferrara is a very cold area in Italy where winter can go on for the duration of five months in a year. With temperatures ranging from 6 to 10 degree Celsius. The reactor was able to provide heat to the office and factory for over a year. This result encouraged Andrea Rossi to make the other modules that later would be tested by other scientists. They are now in the process of building a one megawatt plant.
The 2009 patent application applied for by Andrea Rossi claims a method and apparatus for carrying out nickel and hydrogen exothermal reactions with production of copper. Although the patent cites previous works on cold fusion, Rossi also asserted that it is not cold fusion, but rather LENR, Low-Energy Nuclear Reaction system. Here, the hydrogen is heated at a given temperature with a simple resistor. When the ignition temperature is reached, the energy production process starts where the hydrogen atoms penetrate into the nickel and transform it into copper.
The test on the 14 Jan 2011 was decided upon already in October-November 2010 and was more or less enforced by Prof. Focardi. People from the University of Bologna that was there as outside, private observers and Focardi himself were very eager to make this test, in order to show the world the game changing developments that have been made in a field that, historically, has suffered such bad reputation in mainstream scientific community since Fleischmann–Pons cold fusion research in 1989 failed to deliver replication.
Andrea Rossi himself was very skeptical about such an early test, as he, as an inventor and entrepreneur was more eager to develop the end product than to step forward as a public figure in the scientific community. However, in the end he felt obliged to go along with the testing because the Bologna University has had prominent historic figures such as Nicolaus Copernicus working there and he was impressed that the University was prepared to champion this new technology. After all, University of Bologna is the oldest continually operating university in the world with roots from the 11th century.
One negative aspect of these early tests was that they required a lot of time, and deviated from Rossi’s original research plan and therefore slowed down the product development. Rossi has also been exposed to journalists in the past who are more interested in discrediting him and his research than to objectively explore this new groundbreaking technology.
Today, Andrea Rossi is so tired from all the journalistic inquiries that he has decided, from now on, to let the ECAT talk for itself. He stresses, though, that not all bad has come from these tests; through them he has gotten to know many interesting persons, which several has a Swedish connection. These persons have increased and influenced Andrea Rossi’s appreciation of Sweden tremendously, to some extent because of their scientific approach but also because Andrea Rossi find them to be genuinely warm hearted persons.
This ECAT invention also recieve some skepticism, Discovery Channel analyst Benjamin Radford wrote, citing a physorg.com column, that the method is fishy. On the other hand, Levi, in an interview with Ny Teknik, stated that what has impressed him was that it produced 10 kW of measured energy output, and this output is completely repeatable. He alsdo urged an experiment with continuous operation for at least one or more days.
Another test that lasted for a period of 18 hours, was performed in Bologna, in February 2011, by Levi and Rossi, which was not open to the public. The process was ignited by 1,250 watts for five to ten minutes, and power was then reduced to 80 watts . Cooling was supplied by tap water and flow volume was monitored. As again reported by Ny Teknik, at the start of the experiment, the temperature of the inflowing water was seven degrees Celsius. For a while the outlet temperature was 40 degrees Celsius.
It had a flow rate of about one liter per second, which equates to a peak power of 130 kilowatts. The power output was later stabilized at 15 to 20 kilowatts. In this experiment, Levi stated that all chemical sources are now excluded.
Another ECAT test was done In March 29, 2011 by two renowned Swedish physicists. They were Hanno Essén, an associate professor of theoretical physics and a lecturer at the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology and former chairman of the Swedish Skeptics Society and Sven Kullander, Professor Emeritus of High Energy Physics at Uppsala University. He is also chairman of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science’s Energy Committee.
Andrea Rossi with Sven Kullander and Hanno Essén
They participated as observers in a test of a smaller version of the Energy Catalyzer. This test ran for six hours with a power output estimated at 4.4 kW. Total energy produced was about 25 kWh. Essen and Kullander later reported that any chemical process should be ruled out for producing 25 kWh from whatever is in a 50 cubic centimeter container. The only alternative explanation they can give is that there is some kind of a nuclear process that gives rise to the measured energy production.
Two more ECAT demonstrations were held in July 2011. The first one was covered by the Italian 24-hour all-news State-owned television channel Rai News. In this demonstration, an Ny Teknik author attended and tested for some previously noted possibilities of fraud. He calibrated the ammeter, measured the water flow by weighing and calibrated the temperature-sensor probe to confirm that all water is converted to steam. The result was a measurement that showed a net power of between 2.3 and 2.6 kilowatts. The input power was pegged at 300 watts.
By this time, Andrea Rossi’s ECAT invention has attracted a lot of attention. The Italian newspapers Il Sole 24 Ore, Il Tempo, La Stampa, Il Fatto Quotidiano, Rinascita, Il Resto del Carlino and La Republica reported on Rossi’s Energy Catalyzer. Many national Italian radio stations and news magazines , and a 25-minute television documentary on Rai News, have also reported on the Energy Catalyzer. It was also the topic of a series of articles in the Swedish Ny Teknik and an article in German Telepolis.
In Greece, the coverage appeared in the daily financial newspaper Express and on the State-owned New Hellenic Television. In the United States it was covered in EE Times, presented in the Fox News Channel, Discovery News, the Washington Times and in the show Coast to Coast AM. Its coverage about was also aired by the Voice of Russia where Rossi’s involvement in the Petroldragon affair was also mentioned.
Rossi and Focardi’s invention recieved a setback when it was rejected by a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Rossi self-published it in his blog, Journal of Nuclear Physics. Many physicists are skeptical of the method because fusion of nuclei requires very high temperatures according to current knowledge and because fusion should produce very high levels of gamma radiation.
Peter Ekström, a lecturer at the Department of Nuclear Physics at Lund University in Sweden, concluded that the whole story is one big scam, which will be revealed in less than one year. Kjell Aleklett, a physics professor at Uppsala University in Sweden also voiced his skepticism, albet, in a more diplomatic way.
During 2011, the EV World published an audio interview with Dennis M. Bushnell, Chief Scientist at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Bushnell identified the LENR-field as the most interesting and promising field of energy production. Dr. Kim E. Yeong, a respected physicist from the Purdue University also presented a theoretical explanation on the method.
Rossi has co-founded the company Leonardo Technologies Inc. or LTI, which stocks he later sold. The company has done contracts for the US Department of Energy in the past. At present, Andrea Rossi is back in Miami, Florida presumably producing his Energy Catalyzers there for his company Leonardo Corporation.
In a more recent development, Andrea Rossi made a contract with AmpEnergo, a US company. The latter is to receive royalties on sales of licenses and products built on the Energy Catalyzer, i.e. ECAT, in the Americas.
Some content was originally published at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_fusion
ECAT.COM highly recommends that you watch this excellent documentary about the ECAT and Andrea Rossi.