Cold fusion with Andrea Rossi’s energy catalyzer: related issues

As I promised in the previous post, let us continue to speak about the energy catalyzer proposed from Andrea Rossi and Sergio Focardi.

Some of the criticisms moved to the E-CAT have been:

  1. the physical process of the cold fusion is energetically unfavorable; maybe different physical processes are involved inside the reactor (same criticism was thrown towards Fleischmann and Pons effect);
  2. the reactor has worked for just a few hours, but a 24 hours test would be requested;
  3. more control of the measurements to external researchers should be given;
  4. someone requested more control on the quality of the outputted vapor steam because of the wet steam vs. dry steam issue. More in general, for someone the real energy gain is questioned, because the method of measure is not correct;
  5. the catalyzer was not revealed, and this prevents other researchers from replicate the experiment, which on the other side is very simple to realize. In the opinion of someone the catalyzer is the same reactor chamber.
  6. The E-CAT processes as well as the experimental results have not been recognized by the scientific community and peer-reviewed international journals.
  7. No clear evidence of the expected nuclear reactions have been found. In particular  negligible presence of couples beta+/beta- have been measured and also if there is evidence of gamma radiation, it is not intense as expected (however, as I told in the previous post, investigators had constraints to the measurements).

Very critical analysis of the experiments can be found, like in the paper by Steven B. Krivit. However, more and more people and technologist all over the world are available to give positive credentials to Andrea Rossi and his reactor. From his side, Rossi promised that next month (October 2011) a 1 MW plant (anticipated from the Ny Teknik, a Swedish technology magazine) will be realized in U.S.A. and revealed he has an agreement with a very important company, whose name is kept as a secret. This company, if the 1 MW plant will be successful, is available to build up one thousand of such plants all over the United States.

There is just one place where Rossi has difficulty to gain followers. This place is his homeland (and mine too, of course), Italy. There is a reason for this. In the late seventies Andrea Rossi was the inventor of a technique able to produce energy from the recycle of waste. He invested also in the build up of a company in Italy, the Petroldragon. Unfortunately several legal charges made this company fail, although in 2001 Andrea Rossi was discharged from any accusation. Everything is explained in his justificatory site. This has not prevented Rossi to gain a bad reputation in his homeland, as a search on the web through Italian blogs can confirm. However, I think that every man has the right to defense and redeem himself, also if he once failed in something, and probaly Rossi is moved from a sense of ransom. If he exceeded seeking the sensational discovery, we will see. We have just to wait for next developments and the 1 MW plant that will be build up  in U.S.A. next month.

Until then, any doubts will be legitimate because the invention of a cold fusion reactor is something like the philosopher’s stone; it would be an extraordinary finding able to change the international economy. The principle of construction is quite simple, the only concerns are about the unknown catalyzer, that until now Andrea Rossi has not revealed.

The real problem here was that a fundamental scientific discovery should be openly divulgated to everyone, and not covered by patents. This is the very anomaly of the Andrea Rossi’s case.

Something more in Italian: http://it.ekopedia.org/Catalizzatore_di_energia_di_Rossi_e_Focardi

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About Francesco Buonocore

Francesco Buonocore is an Italian solid state theoretical physicist, staff scientist of the Italian government agency ENEA. Francesco likes Physics, thinking about Physics and how Physics and life are related.
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