Sergio Focardi Presents TED Talk on Nickel/Hydrogen Reaction (Update: English Translation Included)

One way to get an influential idea into the public arena these days is to present it at a TED conference. TED is a non-profit organization dedicated to the spreading of new ideas freely to provide benefits to the world in a wide variety of fields.

There are TED meetings being held in various parts of the world these days, and at a TEDx conference held in Bologna on October 14th, Sergio Focardi, Emeritus Physics Professor of the University of Bologna, and collaborator with Andrea Rossi on developing the energy catalzyer, presented a talk on his work of the E-Cat entitled “L’E-cat e la fusione nucleare con il Nichel e l’Idrogeno”, or “The E-cat and Fusion with Nickel and Hydrogen

The lecture is in Italian only — this is one that we would really love to see translated into English!

UPDATE: Many, many thanks to reader Mirco Romanato for a transcript and translation of Focardi’s speech is below the video.

The following Transcription and Translation of “TEDxBologna – Sergio Focardi – L’E-cat e la fusione nucleare con il Nichel e l’Idrogeno “ is released under Public Domain by its author Mirco Romanato its author.

Anything wrong in the transcription and in the translation is my fault. 

00:24 The talk I want to do, I’m starting from the origin, is about what today is called Cold Fusion.

00:30 It started around 22 years ago when an American researcher, an American chemist, stated to have produced energy using a nuclear fusion process obtained using Palladium, a metal, and Deuterium, a heavy Hydrogen.
01:00 After this, many started to work on his path, and after 22 years  they have not obtained big results.

01:11 For what regard me, with a friend of the Siena University, decided to work in the same way but using Hydrogen and Nickel and obtained a number of results: production of energy by interactions between Hydrogen and Nickel

01:30 Following this I restarted the work with the Engineer Rossi and we started to work on the same path: building system able to produce energy using hydrogen and nickel

01:54 Now, what we can see are the results of this work.

02:07 There are, this is the first picture, this is one of the first experiments done with Engineer Rossi

02:20 And you can see, at right, there is a small red bucket, containing water and some materials and left the hydrogen canister used to put hydrogen inside this capsule where we had put the nickel.

02:50 Heating together nickel and hydrogen we obtained energy and, as result the heating of the water.

02:58 The experiment is, obviously, very crude, because it was not worth, for this experiment to build more refined objects.

03:10 This is the next experiment. This time, instead of the bucket of water, there is that donut-like object to the right where some water circulated and there was the capsule containing nickel and hydrogen.

03:35 The tube you see at the lower right is to bring hydrogen, at the center there is a canister of hydrogen, and in this way we obtained a confirmation about the previous experiment with a cleaner

system than the previous.
03:53 The third picture, it is another, third, method to measure. This time there is a closed circuit. You are able to see well, in the background at the right, the tube, where is inserted the cylinder, again at the right. In the tube some water was circulated. In this cylinder happen this heating process and it is a nuclear reaction between nickel and hydrogen

04:30 and what we observed experimentally was the difference of temperature between the two extremes of the cylinder

04:37 So, the three experiments confirmed that the system was really able to produce energy under the form of heat. We obtained the heating of the water.

05:00 This it was one of the latter objects built by the Engineer Rossi, that take the name of e-cat, where “cat” is a shorthand for catalyzer, that is used usually and currently, to experiment with the reaction between nickel and hydrogen and produce heat. And the heat produced is demonstrated heating water with various devices and this is one example.

05:50 Now, this is the next product built by  Engineer Rossi, again based to the same process, similar to a train wagon (NdR a shipping container) but smaller. Inside we see some boxes and everyone is a generator producing the same effects I described before.

06:31 making work together  all these elements, we would have 1 MW of power produced

06:45 This was not already started with all the generators together; it will be before the end of this month. At this time we can say there is a change in the sizes we are talking about. But every box we can see is like the old generators we used to react hydrogen and nickel to obtain heat.

07:17 This is clearly a nuclear reaction as in the experiments we did – we are doing them by two years, two years and half, I don’t remember the exact date we started. At the end of the experiment, when we analyze the materials used, the material put in the capsule, that originally was nickel and hydrogen we find again nickel but also copper.

07:57 Now, the copper is the element following nickel on the periodic scale. It is at its side and the nucleus of copper differ from the nucleus of nickel only because it have a single proton more. Proton that was introduced, captured, by the nickel in a process of nuclear reaction. So when we affirm this is a nuclear reaction between nickel and hydrogen, this is another proof it is not a fantastic statement. We have the proofs, because as result in the end copper is formed.

08:43 Now, one of the problems when we talk about these topics is the problem of safety. And, in this case the danger for the safety is the radioactivity, because being a nuclear reaction people foresee radioactivity emitted in the reaction. This is real, but we are lucky this process produce only gamma rays and not neutrons. I must say I pointed to the danger of neutrons from the start with the collaboration with Rossi; and Rossi, obviously, took the measures needed because, if there would be neutrons, the things would be difficult, because neutrons can be shielded but it is not a simple problem. Luckily there are not neutrons. But there are gamma rays. The presence of gamma ray I have experienced directly, in the first experiments in the laboratory Rossi had in Bondeno, because often I did the measures when Rossi was occupied doing his bidding. I, in the first measures used an instrument detecting radioactivity and measured the gamma rays. Not very dangerous, not big compared to the normal background, but anyway present. And it is obvious there was no reason to raise the natural radioactivity level.

10:40 But we never detected neutrons as this was my main fear because neutron are difficult to shield. But hey never showed. The problem of the gamma rays was solved simply adding, around the generators, small sheet of lead that are able to shield the gamma ray. So we can say, there is no risk of radioactivity when we work in this way. This is good not only for us but for when there will be commercial applications.

  • Yordan Georgiev

    The year 2011 will be remember as the year of fusion in the history … LENR did raise the bar for the energy crisis solution very high. Thus:
    – basic engineering issues must be solved ( this should not be difficult compared to the existing engineering problems solved in many other industries
    – scalability – In 5 years every middle sized (energy) business should be able to afford an 1 MW e-cat. I wander how long Rossi will stand to produce the e-cats by himself before the first cheaper copies from the competition start to appear ( take the “Chinese solar producers Henry Fording the USA competitors out of the market” example)
    – reliability – Those conservative 20 years without major consulting and human intervention / expensive repairs must be realized
    – energy conversion – electric energy production is the next step to be achieved, yet comparing the liquid fuel markets and the electricity markets I wander whether the right strategy would be to start developing for example the production of methane / ethanol or directly hydrogen
    Enough of amateur’s comments … I am really excited for the next 5 years of development and kind of sorry that did not study energy as a primary subject … Once again the bravest proved to the status quo that only the imagination is the limit for the achievement of the intellect !

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  • Orlando

    Dear Ecat, while I am convinced on the device and the process, I remain skeptical of the science. The system requires too much heat to achieve output, hence it is not cold fusion, maybe LENR. Has electromagnetism been definitively ruled out of the equation?

  • Andy Devyne

    The dam has broken. The suppression and censorship of the physical phenomenon known as Low Energy Nuclear Reactions – will end. And all that is left to do is the amends. When amends are made, balance returns.

  • john flaherty

    So Niclkel is transmuted to copper.
    nickel atomic weight 58…copper atomic wt. 63
    Copper has one more proton than nickel – so far OK.
    Problem: copper has 4 additional neutrons
    Where did they come from if there are no neutrons released?

    • Peter Moller

      John Flaherty ask about where the neutrons come from. The neutrons could come from a well understood and scientific accepted beta+ decay of copper isotopes.

      Assume we start with nickel-58 and assume Rossi’s process facilitate the inclusion of the proton from hydrogen (protium) into the nucleus of the nickel atom, ie. overcome the coulomb barrier, then we have

      Ni-58 + H-1 -> Cu-59 + electron (e-)

      No emission of any neutrons, but admittedly we have a free electron, which is acceptable. Now the isotope Cu-59 has a half-life of 29 secs and with a beta+ decay Cu-59 it is transmuted into Ni-59 emitting a positron which could annihilate itself with the electron through emitting two gamma photons.

      Cu-59 -> Ni-59 + positron (e+)

      (e-) + (e+) -> y + y

      y = gamma photon at 511 keV

      Now if you repeat the same proces with Ni-59, you get isotope Cu-60, which has a half-life of 23.7 minutes and transmute through a similar beta+ decay into isotope Ni-60. Now repeating the same proces with Ni-60, you get isotope Cu-61, which has a half-life of 3.3 hours transmuting it into Ni-61. Again the same process you get isotope Cu-62 with a half-life of 9.7 minutes transmuting it into Ni-62 through a beta+ decay. Now the same process and you get isotope Cu-63, which is stable and the process is stopped.

      All this, except how the proton of the hydrogen overcome the coulomb barrier, is well accepted science.

      • Peter Moller

        If a proton from hydrogen traverse the coulomb barrier of Cu-59 to Cu-63, we get Zn-60 to Zn-64.

        Zn-60 to Zn-63 has a halflife of approx 2.4m, 89s, 9.2h and 9.4m with a beta+ decay tranmuting into Cu-60 to Cu-63 emitting a positron (possibly annihilated with an electron emitting gamma photons).

        Cu-63 and Zn-64 are stable.

        Should Zinc absorb a proton, the resulting Galium has a really fast beta+ decay back into Zinc until possibly Ga-69 is reached.

        Ni-59 has a really long halflife (76.000 years) with a beta+ decay into Co-59, which is stable.

  • Mirco Romanato

    I transcribed and translated the talk of Focardi here:

    • admin

      Thanks very much, Mirco! I have added your translation to the post.


    • Adam

      Thanks Mirco!

  • Mike

    The ecat is very real indeed type into google Rossi ecat and also go to the website to see more on the ecat.

  • dandelion

    The presentation, by itself, is a sum of everything already public info about the E-Cat, with some interesting additions, but not more than that.

    What is more than interesting about this presentation is professor Focardi. The way he seems to have embraced the E-Cat makes me believe that dr. Rossi has achieved what he claims. I am almost convinced after watching professor Focardi’s presentation of the E-Cat.

    I cannot think of a way and a reason for a scam, and I think that people like Focardi, Levi etc. would not endorse the E-Cat the way they do without really believing in it. This is enough to convince me, too.

    • Susan

      You’re right.
      Focardi looks like a broken record repeating over and over the same old story, still ignoring that Rossi has gone further.
      P.S. Nobody yet told him that Dr. Rossi is not an engineer ?
      He keep saying that in old experiments detected gamma rays even if Rossi since a while claims that there are not gamma since they are “thermalized” by water 🙂

  • arian
  • Sergio

    Dear friends. In this whole story is missing something. The indignados. Half the world is coming down the street to ask for the change of the system. The “CF” Rossi is the weapon “lethal” in the hands of spontaneous movement. I propose: “Occupy Cold Fusion” OCF.

    • Sergio

      …and no more indignados.

    • Brad Arnold

      While I support the aims of the Occupy Wall Street movement, they would be much better off calling for the quick transition to LENR. While Occupy generally advocates and protest for social justice and economic fairness, that can be accomplished best specifically by quickly switching to the decentralized and very cheap energy production of cold fusion.

      • Sergio

        Believe me, this is the answer to almost everything. As an Italian, I have no confidence to indignant Italians, they are too philosophers. OWS definitely understands the importance…

        • Spyros

          As a Greek I had the same thoughts about my co-patriots. But, life being what it is, I have hope to the future. Even sceptics and philosophers have to eat!

      • felix

        Really? Everyone in the world being beholden to one company for their energy supply? Everyone using an energy supply that is only understood by one man, if that? This would be good for social justice?

        Even if energy were Free (in both senses), social injustice would remain since other resources would remain in short supply (notably land.)

  • daniel maris

    Thanks to Martinus as well. Very helpful.

    I think at the end he’s talking about the shielding designed to absorb the radiation.

  • daniel maris

    Well I don’t speak Italian but it was possible to follow a lot of what was being said in the context of his Powerpoint presentation.

    I thought it was particularly interesting to see some of the stripped down prototypes. It is difficult to see how Rossi could have perpetrated a fraud on Focardi with those basic set ups and it is very difficult to imagine Focardi as a fraudster.

    Thanks for the summary Arian.

  • martinus

    Hi, I have tried to translate the slides using google translate and some guesswork. Unfortunately at the end of the presentation he talks a lot, and since I do not understand any italian I have no idea what he is talking about. Anyways, here are the translated slides:

    * Slide 1: Return of cold fusion. (0:24)
    Sergio Focardi report

    * Slide 2: Retrospect. (0:51)
    Fusion of nuclei of Palladio and Dueterio.
    Fleshmann and Pons announced that on March 25, 1989
    have obtained energy from a process of fusion of Palladio and Deuterium (heavy hydrogen) in an electrolysis process

    * Slide 3: Retrospect. (1:21)
    In November 1990, at a conference held in Trento in physics I met two old friends:
    * FRANCIS Piantelli (Siena)
    * Robert Habel (Cagliari)
    We decided to do some experiments using hydrogen and nickel.

    Slide 4: Retrospect. (1:26)
    In January 1994 publish on “Nuovo Cimento” (Basic topics in physics) is an article of an experiment that demonstrates abnormal development of 50 watts against a 120-watt power input.
    The effect is preserved for the duration of the experiment (24 days).
    In 1999 it shows the emission of neutrons from the experimental cell.

    Slide 5: Retrospect. (1:53)
    In the summer of 2007 Mr. Andrea Rossi asked me for an appointment. Some shared ideas emerge from the meeting, for example the opportunity to increase the surface of nickel.

    Slide 6: Retrospect. (2:13)
    Picture of very crude experiment with gas (probably forming gas, N2/H2, as can be seen by the color coded gas bottle) He seems to talk about how the experiment was done, something about nickel in a small box…

    Slide 7: Retrospect. (3:02)
    October 16, 2007: the first experimental data.
    The system initially at 17 C (62.6 F).
    After 20 minutes the external Pb goes to 90 C (194 F).
    The next morning at 8 still works.
    Femara is downloaded to the hydrogen.
    in two hours, the system returns to the condition

    Slide 8: Retrospect. (3:15)
    Another picture of an experiment

    Slide 9: Retrospect. (3:54)
    The system of the previous image was particularly unfortunate. Welds between the different parts were broken as soon as you try to use it. In practice it was only an outline for his successor construction which is much larger, I have not the image.

    Slide 10: Retrospect (3:56, only visible half a second)
    The first system used to measure the efficiency of the system was similar to the circuit shown above, but much more robust and with a valve that opened when the pressure exceeds a certain vaporde
    The measures were made:
    * Electric power output (watt)
    * Water volume supplied from the network

    Slide 11: Retrospect (3:57)
    Picture of more sophisticated experiment to heat water

    Slide 12: Retrospect (5:00)
    First mention of e-cat (catalysator)

    Slide 13: Retrospect (5:55)
    Rossi’s product of the container with the e-cats.

    • Adam

      Very good, Thank you martinus.

  • arian
  • arian
  • arian
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  • arian

    Notable bits of information from video.

    AR approached SF in 2007 and they discussed how to improve Ni-H reactions. One idea was to improve the surface area of the nickel. Their first joint experiment was a simple bucket with water that contained a small Ni-H cell. The methods and measurements were refined in two subsequent experiments and this proved the cell was producing excess heat.

    They have been doing experiments for the last 1.5-2 years. The e-cat only produces gamma rays. They have never detected neutron radiation.