Andrea Rossi likes to talk about the E-Cat and about his plans and hopes for the technology, but there is one aspect of it that he will not discuss — the catalyst that is combined with nickel and hydrogen to allow the powerful nuclear reaction to take place within the energy catalyzer.
In the recent RAI television feature about Andrea Rossi and his E-Cat invention, there was a short interview with Sergio Focardi, Emeritus Professor at the University of Bologna who has worked with Rossi on developing the device. Focardi states in the interview that he does not know what the special catalyst is, that he has never asked Rossi what it is, and that he does not want to know what it is.
Rossi has filed a patent application for the E-Cat, but the details of the catalyst are not contained in it. Rossi has said that only if the initial patent is accepted will he follow up with an independent patent on the catalyst. If the patent is not accepted, then the catalyst will remain a trade secret, and he will continue with the commercialization of the technology on that basis.
Rossi has also said that he is the only person in the world who knows what the catalyst is. This strategy ensures that the technology remains secure with him, but it does bring up a question: what happens if he dies — does the technology die with him? Someone asked this very question on his web site today.
Q: “If you die, will everything be lost? If it’s lost, do you think by not keeping the formula safe with at least another person, you are being fair with the rest of mankind?”
A: “I gave to three persons of my total trust a letter with which they will go to a study of attorneys at law to get the papers there deposited . In those papers there are all the necessary instructions.”
If the secret catalyzer is dealt with only as a trade secret there is another danger — that once the E-Cat has been commercialized and distribute, what is to prevent people dismantling the device and examining the contents? Sophisticated chemical analysis may well be able to determine the physical makeup of the chemicals used and identify what the catalyst is. This question was raised with Rossi during a live chat session at NyTeknik.
Q: “How do you plan to prevent reverse engineering and production in places that ignore intellectual property protection? “
A: I do not know. At the moment I am focused only to produce. For the moment we maintain the industrial secret upon the issues that improve the efficiency (nature of catalyzers for example). But the text of our patent will allow, before or later, somebody to replicate the effect and make what you say. But this is normal in the history of technology and I have to accept it.
It sounds like he’s being realistic, admitting that he does not have a foolproof solution to secure his technology — but he doesn’t seem to be too worried about it at this stage. One thing that seems clear is that he is currently putting all his efforts into making sure that the E-Cat technology finds its way into the marketplace where it can be of practical use in the world.