by Joe Shea
October 9, 2014
AT LAST, FUEL FOR OUR DREAMS
BRADENTON, Fla., Oct. 8, 2014 -- Today has been one of the happiest days of my life. Since 2010, I have been eagerly obsessed with the desire to tell people about a new source of energy that can lead mankind out of the maelstrom of climate change into a place where there is greater opportunity to survive and enjoy all this marvelous world has to offer.
I have assiduously followed every slightest hint of insight and every paragraph of news coverage of the technology. Even before today, it has been written about in everything from Forbes to Motley Fool, from Foreign Policy Journal to Engineering News, from Wired to the Washington Post. A long list of those aerticles is available here at The American Reporter.
In April 2009, the prize-winning CBS investigative reporting show, "60 Minues," did a lengthy segment on cold fusion aptly called, "Cold Fusion is Hot Again." Never, however, has it been splashed across the world in the way it deserves, and should be now in the wake of this expansive, careful study,
I am speaking of the six-month study by five top scientists - partially funded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, which awards the Nobel Prizes in Physics and Chemistry - of the Energy Catalyzer.
The E-Cat, as it's known, is a device invented about five years ago and refined ever since by Andrea Rossi of Bologna, Italy, and Miami. Elforsk, the giant Swedish consortium of energy companies, has used the occasion of the report's release to announce the LENR Research Initiative, which will bring the E-Cat and cold fusion to the attention of science laggards like the New York Times and The Associated Press.
The E-Cat produces three times more energy than is used to initiate its Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR), a new phrase for that modern stalker of science, cold fusion. From a smallish, eight-inch cylinder that is less than two inches around, weighs just under a pound and is very innocuous to look at, came some 1.5 million watt hours of heat during their 32-day test, the scientists said.
"The measured energy balance between input and output heat yielded a COP [Coefficient of Performance] of about 3.2 and 3.6 for the 1260°C and 1400°C runs, respectively," they said. "The total net energy obtained during the 32 days run was about 1.5MWh [1.5 million watt hours). This amount of energy is far more than can be obtained from any known chemical sources in Later, the scientists comment, "These results place the E-Cat beyond any conventional source of energy..." Its energy density, a measure of how much bang you get for the buck, is "off the scale here, [and] lies outside the region occupied by conventional sources," such as fuel cells, hydrogen and gasoline.
"Actually, the key thing with cold fusion," Swedish science writer Mats Lewan of Nyteknik, who has watched the E-Cat's progress through a variety of tests, told The American Reporter, "is that nuclear reactions release about a million times more energy than chemical reactions from a certain amount of fuel (thus using a gram of fuel instead of a ton to produce the same amount of energy)."
"But so far," Lewan added, "all nuclear reactions we know for producing energy (fission and fusion) are dangerous, giving rise to deadly radiation.
"Cold fusion, though, if it works, doesn't produce radiation, doesn't use radioactive fuel, and doesn't produce radioactive waste. And it doesn't require hundreds of millions of degrees like fusion.
"That's simply why it would be so awesome," Lewan said.
The E-Cat it is essentially the equivalent of a nuclear reactor without the radioactivity, contained in a tube the size of a plumber's pipe wrench. It ran for the 32 days on just one gram of fuel containing a catalyst. A key finding of the scientists was that the gram of fuel had changed at the atomic level, indicating that a nuclear process, i.e., fusion, had occurred.
The scientists point out that the 32-days-long test was intended to study the E-Cat's stability; they said they do not know how much longer it might have run, nor how much power it might have produced had they allowed it to continue to perform, nor how much power it might have generated had more fuel been used in a larger device. They did worry that at some point the there might have been a meltdown, so they constrained its limits to better observe it.
Said nuclear physicist and 1973 Nobel Prize laureate Brian Josephson, in an Oct. 12 letter to Nature, the world's pre-eminent science journal, "The report not only confirms output power far in excess of anything possible by chemical reaction, but also gives a clear indication that a nuclear reaction is occurring, on the basis of a substantial change in the isotopic proportions of Li and Ni over the period of the run," Josephson wrote, adding, "As before, I predict that pigs will fly before Nature makes any mention of the report."
A source of energy that produces three times more energy than it uses to sustain itself? It sounds like a violation of the laws of physics, and certainly puts a dent in the theory of conservation of energy, which says energy can neither be created nor destroyed.
There are solid indications from the transformation of the fuel that a nuclear reaction is taking place, but the most sophisticated radiation-seeking devices that exist cannot find any evidence at all of radioactivity. That is baffling to a great many scientists, who frequently say it is impossible. A new book about the device by Mats Lewan, in fact, is called "An Impossible Invention," and I, too, have written a short novel, "POWER, A Story of Cold Fusion" (both available at Amazon) about the possibility of implementing it in the current energy market. More books are almost certainly on their way.
But, as I have said elsewhere tonight, the countless millions of people who live without clean water, lights, communications and fuel, who haunt this world like the ghosts of great wars and vanished civilizations, are the real beneficiaries of this technology, of Andrea Rossi's "impossible invention" and dreams as old as humanity.
Resources: News and Forums at E-Catworld.com
Joe Shea is the author of a short novel about Andrea Rossi's E-Cat, entitled POWER, A Story of Cold Fusion, available at http://tinyurl.com/macncya, and is Editor-in-Chief of The American Reporter. Write him at email@example.com