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Month-long study finds heat released by Rossi E-Cat and isotope changes in fuel suggest low-temp nuclear reaction taking place

Researchers from Uppsala University, KTH and the University of Bologna have reported that during a 32-day test, an “E-Cat” reactor developed by Andrea Rossi (earlier post) released an abundance of heat that cannot be explained by chemical reactions alone. They further reported that isotope changes in the analyzed fuel (lithium and nickel) indicate that nuclear reactions might have occurred at low temperatures.

Testing by the same group of researchers of the Rossi device in 2013 resulted in computed volumetric and gravimetric energy densities far above those of any known chemical source. (Earlier post.) Those results prompted this current follow-on study.

Subsequent to the 2013 tests, the E-Cat’s technology was transferred to Industrial Heat LLC, United States, where it was replicated and improved. The E-Cat reactor tested in the most recent study is thus an improved version running at higher temperature than the one used in the March 2013 experiment.

The experiment was set-up and hosted within a laboratory placed at the researchers’ disposal by Officine Ghidoni SA and which was not in any way connected with Andrea Rossi’s businesses or those of his partners.

Ecat1
The reactor under test had an external appearance of an alumina cylinder, 2 cm in diameter and 20 cm in length, ending on both sides with two cylindrical alumina blocks (4 cm in diameter, 4 cm in length), non-detachable from the body of the reactor (referred to as “caps” in the paper).

The outer surface of the body of the E-Cat is molded in triangular ridges, 2.3 mm high and 3.2 mm wide at the base, covering the entire surface and designed to improve convective thermal exchange.Click to enlarge.

The E-Cat is charged with a small amount of hydrogen-loaded nickel powder plus some additives, mainly lithium. The reaction is primarily initiated by heat from resistor coils around the reactor tube. Measurements of the radiated power from the reactor were performed with high-resolution thermal imaging cameras. The measurements of electrical power input were performed with a large bandwidth three-phase power analyzer.

To assure operation for a prolonged period of time, the researchers supplied power to the E-Cat in such a way as to keep it working in a stable and controlled manner. For this reason, they noted, the performances obtained do not reflect the maximum potential of the reactor—which was not an object of the study.

Our measurement, based on calculating the power emitted by the reactor through radiation and convection, gave the following results: the net production of the reactor after 32 days’ operation was (5825 ± 10%) [MJ], the density of thermal energy (if referred to an internal charge weighing 1 g) was (5.8 ∙ 106 ± 10%) [MJ/kg], while the density of power was equal to (2.1 ∙ 106 ± 10%) [W/kg]. These values place the E-Cat beyond any other known conventional source of energy. Even if one conservatively repeats the same calculations with reference to the weight of the whole reactor rather than that of its internal charge, one gets results confirming the non-conventional nature of the form of energy generated by the E-Cat, namely (1.3 ∙ 104 ± 10%) [MJ/kg] for thermal energy density, and (4.7 ∙ 103 ± 10%) [W/kg] for power density.

The quantity of heat emitted constantly by the reactor and the length of time during which the reactor was operating rule out, beyond any reasonable doubt, a chemical reaction as underlying its operation. This is emphasized by the fact that we stand considerably more than two order of magnitudes from the region of the Ragone plot occupied by conventional energy sources.

The fuel generating the excessive heat was analyzed with several methods before and after the experimental run. It was found that the Lithium and Nickel content in the fuel had the natural isotopic composition before the run, but after the 32 days run the isotopic composition has changed dramatically both for Lithium and Nickel. Such a change can only take place via nuclear reactions. It is thus clear that nuclear reactions have taken place in the burning process. This is also what can be suspected from the excessive heat being generated in the process.

… In summary, the performance of the E-Cat reactor is remarkable. We have a device giving heat energy compatible with nuclear transformations, but it operates at low energy and gives neither nuclear radioactive waste nor emits radiation. From basic general knowledge in nuclear physics this should not be possible. Nevertheless we have to relate to the fact that the experimental results from our test show heat production beyond chemical burning, and that the E-Cat fuel undergoes nuclear transformations. It is certainly most unsatisfying that these results so far have no convincing theoretical explanation, but the experimental results cannot be dismissed or ignored just because of lack of theoretical understanding. Moreover, the E-Cat results are too conspicuous not to be followed up in detail. In addition, if proven sustainable in further tests the E- Cat invention has a large potential to become an important energy source.

Further investigations are required to guide the interpretational work, and one needs in particular as a first step detailed knowledge of all parameters affecting the E-Cat operation. Our work will continue in that direction.

—Levi et al.

Magnus Olofsson, the CEO of Elforsk, the Swedish Electrical Utilities’ R & D Company, reacted enthusiastically to the report. Elforsk has been followed the development of LENR – Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, and has Elforsk has published an overview summary of LENR. Elforsk was a co-funder of this latest study on E-Cat as well as the earlier measurements that showed an anomalous excess of energy.

If it is possible to safely operate and control these reactions that are now believed to be nuclear reactions, we may see a fundamental transformation of our energy system. Electricity and heat could then be produced with relatively simple components, facilitating a decentralization of energy supply that could be both inexpensive and part of a solution for global climate change. More research is needed to understand and explain. Let us engage researchers in trying to validate and then explaining how it works.

—Magnus Olofsson

Resources

Comments

Calgarygary

I remember watching one of his videos a few years ago and couldn't help but thinking that he, Rossi, was a hard guy to take seriously; but if his e-cat turns out to be the real deal, the whole story will make a great movie.

Allen

I see no genuine science in either of the two papers referenced by this article. Levi et. al.'s paper at best did a rough unvalidated estimate of the energy balance that cannot be considered reliable. Elforsk's paper contains nothing but speculative pseudo-science. I surprised you would publish this trash.

Roger Pham

If E-Cat really works, by now, there should be commercially-available units producing power for home and office use. Instead, we still see just demonstration and studies by Universities. If Dr. Rossi wants to work on it secretly, then why these demonstrations while still keeping the apparatus under wrap? Even if he wants collaboration, he still can keep everything secret until commercial release. Why these public announcements, even You Tube video by Dr. Rossi? As they say, "A hollow can or box makes the loudest noise."

ai_vin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrea_Rossi_(entrepreneur)

Read what it says under "Business ventures."

There may be something usable here but it wont be Rossi who gets us where it needs to be.

As Aha

my view it does work (isotope ratio change), but they can't make economically attractive generator, basically they are in heat pumps area of electricity:heat

Pathoskeptic

The test was made by exactly the same team than previous test. With Rossi pulling the strings.

You might want to read this for reference

http://stephanpomp.blogspot.se/2014/10/the-cat-is-dead.html

It will be worth the effort

Jimr

I am somewhat surprised by some of the extremely negative comments. I to beleive it will be some years before this technology is fully developed. It may not be Rossi initially , however there are too many others working on the technology to be fake. Many should read comments and studies by SRI,s Dr. McKubre, MIT, NASA, DARPA, and info from, Toyota, Mitsobishi, and others.

Brian Donovan

Why didn't they run the dummy unloaded reactor at full power and time? With no reference there is no good science. The methods used to estimate the energy output are fraught with potential for large errors, and the results show small percentage increased energy. The apparatus appears to have been in an open room subject to drafts, and evaporation and air reaction of elements possibly causing the isotope changes seen. The sampling for the isotope ratios seems very poor and could lead to changes simply from variations in sampled composition.

All an all, their experiments lack the resolution to reliably verify the proposed reaction. The reaction itself lacks the magnitude to be easily measured if it exists at all.

With such a small effect being sought, the desire for the experimentalists to find it will tend to cause a bias both in the setup and interpretation of the experiments that can easily lead to false positive results, even by folks are the top research institutions in the world. This has happened many times before.

When someone shows me a much better experimental setup, that I can build and test, then we can start taking it seriously.

Engineer-Poet

The proper way to measure heat output isn't with non-contact thermometry.  It's with calorimeters.  You capture the heat in a fluid and measure the ΔT for a known dM/dt.

Also, you don't maintain electric power to control device temperature.  If it's generating heat, you insulate it to reduce the heat loss to the level which holds the correct temperature.  That allows the power to be disconnected... and also prevents tricks like measuring power via a differential-mode meter while adding extra power via a common-mode voltage.

Those criticisms have been made before.  Since the experimental technique was not changed to address them, it can be assumed that this is a trick.

drivin98

Disappointed that this crap has been posted on Green Car Congress.

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