New Fire: a Source of Abundant Energy
It has been referred to as “making fire from ice,” and, as inventor Andrea Rossi says, a “new fire.”
One of the most exciting scientific possibilities of the modern age has had an exciting and controversial history. Since the dawn of the atomic age, scientists have struggled to harness the unlimited power locked inside of every atom in the universe. But until now, this nuclear power has eluded our greatest minds.
In the late 1980’s, two electrochemists, namely Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons, reported a set of experiments which they asserted showed evidence of anomalous heat production. The study of these experiments and attempt to repeat them has come to be known as ‘cold fusion’, although the term has been in use since the 1950’s.
Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, or LENR , is another term for the fusing of atoms or atomic particles at a relatively low temperature to produce energy. This fusion process usually requires no radioactive materials and produces no toxic waste for disposal.
The promise of an inexpensive and renewable energy supply has been the dream of countless scientists for centuries. Since the Fleischmann and Pons experiments, science has continued in this field as imaginative thinkers have sought to unlock the mystery of inexhaustible atomic power.
We may now be closer than ever to that dream becoming reality. Some believe we may be on the verge of a revolution in the way we use energy.
In January of 2011, Andrea Rossi and Sergio Focardi demonstrated their nickel hydrogen fusion reactor at a press conference in Italy. Their system uses the low-priced and easily available materials of hydrogen and nickel. To quote Rossi himself, “the hydrogen is heated at a given temperature with a simple resistor. When the ignition temperature is reached, the energy production process starts: the hydrogen atoms penetrate into the nickel and transform it into copper.”
They claim their E-Cat reactor produces energy by fusing the nuclei of hydrogen and nickel atoms together at room temperature. The cost of the base elements needed to operate the equipment is negligible. Several public experiments have been evaluated by scientific experts for efficiency, wattage output, and fraud. Although the energy generating process remains an industry secret, independent analysts have confirmed the generation of energy by the E-Cat equipment.
So far, Rossi has been granted a patent for his invention in Italy, the rest of the world waits for action from the regulatory agencies of governments around the world. America has no shortage of entrepreneurs willing to make this country a contender in the growing, global industry of cold fusion power generation.
This revolutionary technology is still awaiting the completion of the patent process in Europe and the United States.
Francesco Piantelli is another inventor who hopes to soon have a cold fusion reactor available for the European consumer market. To those who meet the claim of cheap, abundant energy with skepticism, Piantelli says the market will judge the success of their inventions. Another researcher pointed out the fact that the steam engine was developed prior to our understanding of thermodynamics, yet we were able to harness its productivity. Such is the case with cold fusion at this point in our understanding of physics. There is a certain element, known only to those applying for patents, that causes a nuclear reaction between two simpler elements: a catalyst. Part of the problem of the patenting process of cold fusion is our inability to fully understand it. Therefore, applying for patents can be complicated due to the difficulty in fully explaining the process. But recent research shows substantial progress in commercial development of LENR for consumer energy, and many reports suggest new technologies appearing on the consumer market very soon.
Defkalion green technologies is hoping to earn notoriety in this emerging technology with its visionary endeavor to have 1MW devices available by early next year. Other reports indicate that the United States could have an operational one-megawatt device as early as November of this year. Companies like Defkalion are perching themselves to be on the forefront of this energy innovation. The demand for greener energy is on the rise as more people realize the importance of sustainable energy sources for a cleaner environment.
Andrea Rossi’s Energy Catalyzer, or E-Cat , hopes to make it to the public market by late 2011. The American company Ampenergo is beginning to market and develop the E-Cat for consumers in North and South America. And given the demand for energy in this sluggish economy, the effects of this developing technology could be far-reaching.
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