What is the E-Cat?

I’ve been noticing that this site has been getting an increasing number of first-time visitors just lately, and thought it might be useful to repost an article I wrote last year for people who are just learning about Italian engineer Andrea Rossi’s invention.

The following information about the E-Cat has been gathered over the past year from statements by Andrea Rossi and Sergio Focardi, Rossi’s collaborator. So far, no thorough independent examination of the E-Cat has been permitted — but numerous tests have taken place in which outside observers have been involved in and have their reports have been published.

E-Cat is short for the term “energy catalyzer” and is a device in which hydrogen gas, powdered nickel metal, and an undisclosed proprietary catalyst are combined to produce a large amount of heat through a little understood low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) process inside a specially designed chamber. The inner workings of the reactor are covered by a trade secret which Rossi consistently refuses to discuss.

In this process, when an external heat source is applied (Electric or fossil) it is claimed that the nucleus of a hydrogen atom, a proton, penetrates a nickel nucleus and in doing so a nickel atom becomes a copper atom, and releases gamma rays creating a large amount of thermal energy. From reports of tests, it appears that the reaction begins when the reactor is heated to around 60 degrees Celsius, and once the reaction is stable, the external heat can be turned off and the reaction can continue for a considerable length of time. In an October 6th test in Bologna, Italy, the E-Cat ran without external heat (referred to as ‘self-sustain mode) for almost four hours, maintaining a constant temperature and boiling water continuously.

How long the E-Cat can run in self sustain mode without external heat being applied is unknown, but Andrea Rossi has said that for safe and stable operations it is necessary that the external heat source be cycled on and off.

The energy produced by the nuclear reactions is used to heat water, and the output of the E-Cat is hot water or steam. Lead and Boron are used as a shield to prevent the release of gamma rays during the reactions, and when the reactions are complete (The hydrogen input is turned off) there is no radioactive waste.

The significance of the E-Cat as an energy source is that it can produce energy at a much cheaper rate and much more cleanly than other sources on the market. The major ingredients, nickel and hydrogen are common elements and readily available at low cost and are consumed in very small quantities. There is no release of CO2 or other greenhouse gases from the E-Cat. Unlike traditional nuclear fission power, no radioactive materials are involved, and no radioactive waste is produced.

Rossi has been awarded a patent for the E-Cat by the Italian Patent Office and is seeking further patent protection.

Andrea Rossi launched the first commercial E-Cat plant, a 1 MW thermal power plant in Bologna, Italy on October 28th, 2011 which was tested and certified as being acceptable by an agent for an unknown customer. Rossi has stated that the customer is a military entity that does not want to be identified.

Rossi’s Leonardo Corporation is planning to move into the domestic market within a year, and has already started production of parts for one million small 10-20 kW E-Cat units that can provide heat and air conditioning to homes. Rossi has said that his target price for these units is between $100 and $150 per kW — so a single unit could cost as little as $1000.

Rossi has said that while electrical generation is possible with this device, there is still work to do in order for E-Cats to produce electricity efficiently. The first generation of small E-Cats will not come with electrical generation capacity, but these units will be able to be retrofitted with electricity generating modules once that technology has been perfected. Second generation E-Cats will be able to produce heat, cooling and electricity.

According to Rossi, the cost of energy produced by these E-Cats will be at least one sixth of the cost of conventional sources. Every six months, E-Cat units will need to have their reaction chambers which contain processed nickel and the catalyst replaced by licensed agents of Leonardo Corporation.

Rossi has pursued a deliberate strategy of preventing independent third-party testing, maintaining that the only validation that really matters is from satisfied customers who own working E-Cats. Only when E-Cats are readily available will the forgoing information be able to be confirmed.

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  • Prediction

    There are three elephants in the room, that no-one is talking about:

    1. It’s unclear how the basic principle works. It can ‘probably’ be explained without new laws of physics. But Rossi sees no need to explain the fundamentals. Does this not look like a weak basis for mass-production???

    2. Product development. Every (let me repeat that: EVERY) device in your house has been designed, tested extensively, and is safe and reliable.
    This device was a lab-experiment less than a year ago. It is a complex product.
    Making a lab experiment into a product is a 10 year process. It’s a boring process, but there are no shortcuts. How can this machine jump from the lab to mass production in 2 months???

    3. Money. To mass produce these things in a lab you need… money. Capital. To get investors to hand over their money, you need proof. A working product. But Rossi refuses. The only proof Rossi wants are satisfied customers. Would you hand millions of dollars/euro’s over to Rossi?
    Where is the money coming from, with no explanation, no proof an no product???

    Three fundamental questions, with boring answers.
    But this is how it works in the real world, and Rossi has not answered ANY of them.
    He just talks about … robots in his factory!

    • David

      #1-Early builders saw a log roll down a hill and deduced that it could be used to move large stones to build the Great Pyramids even though they couldn’t explain gravity or why the log rolled down by itself instead of up. But that didn’t stop them from using it as a means to produce other things.
      #2- Off the shelf components are already estab lished and easily manufactured. Most of what Rossi is using has already been manufactured for one reason or another. The only exotic part is the catalyst which is his to produce. The difference is in the assembly of the different components. Robotic assembly is far easier than humanhand assembly under one roof.
      #3-Venture Capitalist need no explanation of a product, only that it produced what is advertised. A gold mine is only a gold mine once gold has been discovered. Up to that point it is just a hole in the ground but with evidence of gold in the same area the prospects might be strong enough for the investment.

  • Sanjeev
  • Alexvs
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  • http://harryv harry varvounis

    Dear Rossi, I silently watched since the beginning, and I am irritated with those negative remarks and demands that some people are making. I wonder, if any of them had anything of importance as this (e-cat) will they reveal anything to anybody? but so be it.
    However can you put me on your list, for a residencial e-cat and also, how can I certify my company for installation and service of e-cat.

    Your future, is our future, I appreciate your tenacity, enery, becouse I do know what you have to overcome. Best of luck>

  • Donald Bahn

    I want to be certified to replace the spent reactors, as well as to be on the list to place one in place of my oil burning furnace.

  • http://none Bo Miller

    I would like to be placed on the list of waiting
    buyers of the E-Cat home unit. I just hope that
    Dr. Rossi isn’t made to “disappear” before this
    wonderful device makes it to market. It can change the face of the world for the better, obviously !