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You are here: > News > January 19, 2011

Hope Grows as Journals Weigh in on Italian Cold Fusion Breakthrough

New Energy Times and weigh in with optimistic statements about Andrea Rossi's revolutionary claim of a hydrogen-nickel fusion device capable of producing 10 kilowatts of heat.

By Sterling D. Allan, with Buddy of Georgia, USA
Pure Energy Systems News

Scientists prepare to demonstrate Rossi's 10 kW heat generating device during the Italian press conference Jan. 14, 2011.
Photo by Daniele Passerini, the who reported the day's proceedings in his blog.

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When cold fusion was first presented in 1989, a flurry of international enthusiasm gushed over the possibility of cheap, clean, reliable power.  But then, cold fusion was quickly dismissed as junk science because the effect was so difficult to reproduce consistently, because not enough was known about it yet.  Unfortunately, that stigma has stuck, reinforced by ugly politics of science, which ignore principles of science.

Meanwhile, a small subset of researchers from all over the world, mainly in academic institutions, have continued to pursue the science, despite the ridicule they get from colleagues.  This has been heroic, considering how important a credible reputation is within academia, and the hit these people take to their perceived credibility when they persist in giving cold fusion a chance.

So while mainstream science spurns cold fusion vehemently, a maverick minority has been pursuing it with just as much passion; holding international conferences, publishing papers in their margin journals, and comparing notes.

And they don't like calling it "cold fusion," both because of the stigma attached to that phrase, as well as the inaccuracy of the name from a strict interpretation point of view.  It's most often called a "Low Energy Nuclear Reaction" or LENR.

The Big Announcement

With Andrea Rossi and Sergio Focardi announcing in a press conference and demonstration last Friday that they had a device that produces 10 kilowatts of energy (enough to power five homes), and that they were now going into production with the patent-pending technology; you can imagine that the LENR community has been abuzz with interest about this amazing disclosure.  Though there has been plenty of skepticism, the general tone seems to be increasingly positive, as can be seen in the excerpts below.

Three of the premier media sources in that arena are Jed Rothwell's, Steven Krivit's New Energy Times, and Infinite Energy.  A sampling of they're take on this is represented here.  There are other players in the cold fusion journalistic world as well, including those that cater to non-English-speaking audiences. complied a Brief Technical Description of the Experiment from various sources, and gave us permission to reprint it here:

Macy, M., Specifics of Andrea Rossi's "Energy Catalyzer" Test, University of Bologna, January 14, 2011. 2011,

Specifics of Andrea Rossi's "Energy Catalyzer" Test, University of Bologna, 1/14/2001

Marianne Macy

On January 14, 2011, Andrea Rossi submitted his "Energy Catalyzer" reactor, which burns hydrogen in a nickel catalyst, for examination by scientists at the University of Bologna and The INFN (Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics). The test was organized by Dr. Giuseppe Levi of INFN and the University of Bologna and was assisted by other members of the physics and chemistry faculties. This result was achieved without the production of any measurable nuclear radiation. The magnitude of this result suggests that there is a viable energy technology that uses commonly available materials, that does not produce carbon dioxide, and that does not produce radioactive waste and will be economical to build.

The reactor used less than 1 gram of hydrogen, less than 1,000 W of electricity to convert 292 grams of water per minute at ~20°C into dry steam at ~101°C. The unit was turned ON and began producing some steam in a few minutes, and once it reached steady state continued producing steam until it was turned OFF. The amount of power required to heat water 80°C and convert it to steam is approximately 12,000 watts. Dr. Levi and his team will be producing a technical report detailing the design and execution of their evaluation.

A representative of the investment group stated that they were looking to produce a 20 kW unit and that within two months they would make a public announcement. He declared that their completed studies revealed a "huge, favorable difference in numbers" between the cost to produce the Rossi Catalyzer and other green technologies. "We had a similar demonstration six months ago with the same success we've had today. We are almost ready with the industrialized product, which we think is going to be a revolution. It is a totally green energy." The representative offered that the company was called Defkalion Energy, named for the father of the Greco Roman empire, and was based in Athens.

Giuseppe Levi, PhD in nuclear physics at the University of Bologna and who works at INFN, offers exclusive comments on the test, which he deemed "an open experiment for physicists. The idea was like a conference: to tell everybody what was going on and eventually to start new research programs on that topic."

The first measurements Levi described were energy measurements to determine the input of energy inside the reactor and the output of energy of the reactor. "I don't have conclusive data on radiation but absolutely we have measured ~12 kW (at steady state) of energy produced with an input of about just 400 watts. I would say this is the main result. We have seen also this energy was not of chemical origin, by checking the consumption of hydrogen. There was no measurable hydrogen consumption, at least with our mass 2 measurement." By measuring with a very sensitive scale, within a precision of a 10th of a gram, Levi measured the weight of the hydrogen bottle before and after the experiment "If the energy was of chemical origin you would have expected to consume about 100 to 600 more than the sensitivity of the scale. You measure the bottle before and after and then you see in your measurements there was almost no hydrogen consumed."

The workings of the Rossi reactor was, Levi explained, unknown to them because of "industry secrets." He said: "What we've done is to measure the water in the flux and we are heating and making steam for that water. We are measuring the water flux and carefully checking that all the water was converted into steam, then it is easy to calculate power that was generated. You are measuring the power that was going in the system by quite a sensitive power meter. Initially the system started up and we had 1 kW of input and then we reduce the input to just 400 W. The output energy was constant at about 12 kW."

The flow rate, Levi continued, was measured with a high precision scale. "The flow rate was 146 g in 30 seconds. Using a simple measurement gives a simple result. There was a pump putting in a constant flux and what I have done is – with the reactor completely off take measurements – we spent two weeks of the water that flowing through the system to be certain of our calibration. After this calibration period I have checked that the pump was not touched and when we brought it here for the experiment it was giving the same quantity of water during all the experiment. The water was coming from an Edison well and the pump was putting it in the system. Then we were releasing the steam into the atmosphere; there was not a loop."

To determine if the steam was coming out dry and at atmospheric pressure, Professor Gallatini, a specialist in Thermochemics and a former head of the Chemical Society of Italy, verified that all the water came out as steam. "There was no water in the steam," Levi certified. "The outer temperature measured was 101° centigrade at atmospheric pressure." The instrument he used was a Delta OHM # HD37AB1347 Indoor Air Quality Monitor. Gallantini inserted the probe inside the exit pipe with the steam.

Levi was asked: How did you compute the thermal energy production by the Energy Catalyzer (ECat)?

He responded, "The calculation is very, very simple. Because you know the number of grams of water per second delivered to the ECat you know you must raise the water to 100°C, this is the transient phase of operation. Once the water is at 100°C the energy is used to make the water into steam. It takes 2272 joules per gram to convert water at 100°C to steam. Because the ECat provided more energy the steam became hotter, 101°C. So our conservative estimate of the steady state thermal output of the ECat, neglecting thermal radiation and other losses, is just 2272 joules per gram multiplied by the 4.9 grams per second = 11, 057 joules per second or Watts. When you realize that you have to add the energy to raise the temperature of the water you get by about 80°C and the steam by another 1°C the total thermal power the ECat releasing is about 12,400 Watts. These are not our refined estimate but they indicate that the input electrical power of 400 W produces using an amount of hydrogen less than a gram in a couple hours of operation we are seeing a system with a power gain = 12,400/400 = 31."

Here is what Jed Rothwell posted on the News page at

January 2011

On January 14, 2011, Sergio Focardi and Andrea Rossi held a press conference at the University of Bologna. They demonstrated a 10 kilowatt nickel-light water cold fusion reactor. See Rossi's web site:

Focari and Piantelli have published many papers claiming excess heat from nickel. Here is an example from 1998. No attempts to replicate this by other groups have been reported, although Mills and others have claimed excess heat from nickel using somewhat different methods. Rossi received a patent [PCT application].

We have complied a Brief Technical Description of the Experiment [reprinted above] from various sources, including photographs of the equipment, and we have uploaded a short interview with Prof. Levi who conducted the experiment, and a list of recommendations for further tests by Prof. Nagel.

Here is a description of the calorimetry:

Brief Description of the Calorimetry in the Rossi Experiment at U. Bologna, January 14, 2011
by Jed Rothwell

The experiment has been underway at U. Bologna since mid-December 2010. It has been done several times. Several professors with expertise in related subjects such as calorimetry are involved.


A hydrogen tank and a method of measuring the hydrogen flow accurate to 0.1 g
10 liter tank reservoir, which is refilled as needed during the run
Displacement pump
Tube from pump to Rossi device (The Rossi device is known as an "ECat")
Outlet tube from the Rossi device, which emits hot water or steam
Thermocouples in the reservoir, ambient air and the outlet tube
An HD37AB1347 IAQ Monitor (Delta Ohm) to measure the relative humidity of the steam. This is to confirm that it is "dry steam"; that is, steam only, with no water droplets.
Alternating-current heater used to bring the Rossi device up to the working temperature


The reservoir water temperature is measured at 13°C, ambient air at 23°C.

The heater is set to about 1000 W to heat up the Rossi device. Hydrogen is admitted to the Rossi device.

The displacement pump is turned on, injecting water into the Rossi device at 292 ml/min.

The water comes out as warm water at first, then as a mixture of steam and water, and finally after about 30 minutes, as dry steam. This is confirmed with the relative humidity meter.

As the device heats up, heater power is reduced to around 400 W.


The test run on January 14 lasted for 1 hour. After the first 30 minutes the outlet flow became dry steam. The outlet temperature reached 101°C. The enthalpy during the last 30 minutes can be computed very simply, based on the heat capacity of water (4.2 kJ/kgK) and heat of vaporization of water (2260 kJ/kg):

Mass of water 8.8 kg
Temperature change 87°C
Energy to bring water to 100°C: 87°C*4.2*8.8 kg = 3,216 kJ
Energy to vaporize 8.8 kg of water: 2260*8.8 = 19,888 kJ
Total: 23,107 kJ

Duration 30 minutes = 1800 seconds
Power 12,837 W, minus auxiliary power ~12 kW

There were two potential ways in which input power might have been measured incorrectly: heater power, and the hydrogen, which might have burned if air had been present in the cell.

The heater power was measured at 400 W. It could not have been much higher that this, because it is plugged into an ordinary wall socket, which cannot supply 12 kW. Even if a wall socket could supply 12 kW, the heater electric wire would burn.

During the test runs less than 0.1 g of hydrogen was consumed. 0.1 g of hydrogen is 0.1 mole, which makes 0.05 mole of water. The heat of formation of water is 286 kJ/mole, so if the hydrogen had been burned it would have produced less than 14.3 kJ.

New Energy Times

Here are a couple of links we put in our news today from what Steve Krivit has posted most recently at New Energy Times:

Later today he posted a commentary on the report above.

Infinite Energy

Christy Frazier of the bi-monthly Infinite Energy wrote to me today:

For the sake of timeliness, I am just linking to Rothwell's write-ups for now. I have asked Scott Chubb to provide some additional commentary for a piece we will actually run in the next issue of the magazine (current issue already back from press). 

So, no, we don't have anything written up from our own perspective at this time. I am not able to provide you specific feedback, since I have just gotten back to work after a number of days off and need to look through everything still, amid other pressing deadlines. I am copying Scott here, as he may be able to put a quick quote together for you.

Scott is a Technical Editor for Infinite Energy; he is the most knowledgeable editor we have on cold fusion-related topics.

Responding to this present page, Scott wrote: "Instead of saying that 10KW could provide the power needed for five households, I would have said this amount could light 100 light bulbs. But this is semantics. It's a nice write-up."

Also today, they posted a Focardi & Rossi 10 kW Cold Fusion Device link from their home page to a page that says:

On January 14, Sergio Focardi and Andrea Rossi held a press conference at the University of Bologna and demonstrated a 10 kW nickel light water cold fusion device (the ECat boiler). 

See detailed information (including photos and videos) at:

Our editors are preparing coverage for Issue 96 (which will also be posted online).


Established Swedish science magazine NyTeknik (New Technology) has examined the news around the Rossi experiments and have decided to publish this as a news item. (Swedish | English)


Rossi has a patent application, but he says that it does not contain proprietary information on the catalysts used in the device and the special processes utilized to prepare the powdered nickel.  Speculation on the internet continues as to what these catalysts may be and what special processes may be utilized. One possibility that has been suggested is that sodium hydride (NaH) may be mixed in with the nano sized nickel powder. The hypothesis is that the NaH when heated would release hydrogen that would interact with the nickel powder. After this occurs the cell would be allowed to cool slightly (perhaps the need for a controllable input) to regenerate the NaH which would absorb hydrogen. Then the cycle would begin once again.

Such a cycle would be similar to some of the experiments performed by Black Light Power. Additional ideas include special methods to "clean" the nickel powder of impurities, a method that embeds the nickel powder in a ceramic that may act like a catalyst, and other methods.

It has been suggested on some internet forums that due to the fact that his patent application is absent of such important information, it may not be enforceable and this may partially explain his need for total secrecy about these special processes and methods.

These emerging bits of information, technical details, interviews, and accounts of the demonstration are making the argument in favor of this technology being legitimate more compelling. As the days progress we urge you to follow this story closely.

New Forum

Given the interest in this technology, we plan to launch an type of forum for those interested in participating in that way.  While we get that set up, we have created a temporary H-Ni_Fusion forum via Yahoo!Groups, which you are welcome to join.

Feature Page

And as usual, we will be posting other updates to our Directory:Andrea_A._Rossi_Cold_Fusion_Generator feature page at as they come along.  You're welcome to help out, as that is a publicly editable site, to help us keep track of the main developments and coverage.

# # #

What You Can Do

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  7. Consider investing in Rossi's group.

This story is also posted at BeforeItsNews

Other PES Coverage

PESN Coverage of LENR

For a more exhaustive listing, see News:Rossi_Cold_Fusion | News:Cold_Fusion  


See also

Resources at

Page composed by Sterling D. Allan Jan. 19, 2011
Last updated November 29, 2012




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