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.
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
Giuseppe Levi, Evelyn Foschi, Bo Höistad, Roland Pettersson, Lars Tegnér, Hanno Essén (2014) “Observation of abundant heat production from a reactor device and of isotopic changes in the fuel”