The E-Cat and the Environment: Would it be Environmentalists’ Dream Technology?

When Andrea Rossi talks about his E-Cat technology he often emphasizes the following:

  • It produces no emissions of any kind — no smoke, particulates, or carbon.
  • It uses no radioactive materials.
  • It leaves no radioactive waste.

In other words, in addition to producing vast quantities of energy cheaply, the E-Cat is a clean technology and it could go a long way to mitigating the threat of pollution and global warming/climate change.

If it is widely accepted as being valid it is reasonable to expect that this would be something that people who are concerned about the environment could get very excited about. At the moment the clean technologies that are most popular with environmentalists are wind and solar, and there are great efforts being put forward in many parts of the world to incorporate these alternatives into the energy infrastructure. Until now, however, wind and solar power have not been able to compete with traditional fossil and nuclear power in terms of cost and efficiency, and have needed huge amounts of government subsidies to be even somewhat viable.

How might the alternative energy climate change if the E-Cat makes a successful entry onto the scene? If Rossi’s claims regarding cost and power density pan out, it is a genuine contender replace fossil and nuclear as the dominant form of energy production. Would many people seriously object if this was the case?

Here are some possible objections that I can forsee that people could raise who worry about what an E-Cat based world might do to the environment.

  • Unlimited energy use made possible by E-Cat technology would allow humans able to exploit and deplete the earth’s resources like never before. It could lead to an environmental calamity.
  • The amount of heat put out by billions of E-Cats producing more energy than ever before could cause environmental problems — even though no greenhouse gasses are emitted.
  • The radiation emitted by E-Cat technology could be hazardous to human health.
  • The E-cat could allow people to expand into wilderness areas of the earth (e.g. deserts, tundra regions) disrupting the habitat of wildlife.

If the E-Cat does hit the mainstream, could we see grassroots environmental movements spreading awareness of E-Cat technology and advocating for its adoption as soon as possible? Or might there be an environmentalist backlash against it for some of the reasons (or others) mentioned above. In countries around the world there is a lot of political will invested in environmental regulation — how would government policies toward the environment change in the light of a new technology that solves many of the problems that have caused these regulations to be put into place?

There are lots of unknowns, of course, but I am sure that there will be national and international debates on these environmental topics if the E-Cat ever hits the mainstream. The environmental debate may not go away if the E-Cat is real, it may just change.

  • http://CrisisMaven.wordpress.com CrisisMaven

    What you are overlooking is the fact that “free”, even “cheap” energy would heat the surface of the earth if applied to any sizeable amount. We live in an environment the average temperature of which is determined by two sources: the ongoing radioactive decay in the earth’s core and mantle and the sun’s contribution “day in and day out” (the solar constant). Raise this energy influx a little above our comfort zone and we’re all dead …

  • Gary

    I saw where some were were worried about the heat produced from the Ecat being an enviroment problem.
    This I have to question seriously. I live in TX, do you have any idea the amount of energy (heat) that is consumed to bring you a gallon of gasoline to the pump? First you have to clear land and make a small lake for an oil rig to drill a well. Transport massive amounts of fuel and chemicals let alone the rig itself to the sight. Then drill the hole. Bingo OIL. Now you have to transport that crude to a refinery, either by tanker or construction of pipe lines.

    It gets to a refinery. Have you ever driven by one? Huge stacks belching fire/ The crude has to be heated and cracked, waste burned off,on and on. Wish I knew the BTU’s put into that gallon of refined product.

    what happens next? It goes into a pipeline that had to be built and pumped to a tank farm in a city near you. Then it is loaded into another tanker truck and distributed to a gas station near you. Then you pump it into a tank again to burn in you engine which is about 20% efficient in extracting the heat and turning it into power,

    Want to go into Natural gas,coal or even Nuke? How come all Nuke plants have a big lake built by them And or huge cooling towers?

    No the Ecat if is works will not be a big contributing factor to heat compared to where we are now. In fact if you could get a BTU study on what it takes to mine, drill, process, transport; todays energy, I would be willing to bet the E cat would have a significant reduction in heat loss by the time the energy is used by the consumer.

    • Martin6078

      Gary you are right.Due the manufactor process and of course the amount of propellant for E-Cat is very small. Therefore wasted heat by E-Cat is insignificant.Maybe the new technique E-Cat and following projects caused heat heads by the future blockers.
      regards:
      Martin

    • John

      What people need to understand is that Environmentalism is a business. This is a group of scientist and organizations that need funding. They get that funding by finding a crisis that must be fixed or we will all die. So even if E-Cat was real and solved all energy problems Environmentalist will find something wrong because if they don’t their funding goes away. Of course they won’t admit this because they see themselves on the religious high plane just as the preacher who asks for donations puts himself on the high plane.

      • Martin6078

        Dear John.(and of course all positive thinking people and future lovers.) Thats Correct!
        Water preacher and wine trinkers they are.
        When we aren´t very watchful and sceptical against these NGOs (Non Gouverment Organisations)we becomes slaves again.
        Please look for depopulation plan;Georgia Guidestones; Some Globalists in their onwn words; Blocked Techniques; Who is behind The anti nuclear campange?; Climategate…
        Super technique, Aeoro-Spaceflight, Nuclear Energy and of Course LENR, especially E-Cat is a thorn in the food für these NGO.
        Have a nice weekend.
        Martin

  • Martin6078

    My attitude about enviromentalists ist really confirmed when I read some blogs here. They are against all the good inventures and modern technique: Nuclear energy,fission or fusion,spaceflight,gen- and nano techniques- and also LENR, in this case the E-Cat.
    The suppressed LENR technique has killed since the 1990ties about 138.000.000 people due of lack of energy!
    The Georgia Guidestones and The Club of Rome are greeting! Depopulation!! Be very watchfully…
    The E-Cat will be denied by the COR,WWF,Greenpeace Bilderberger and their allies,`m absolutely shure.
    best regards to all E-Cat fans and generally all progress friends.
    Martin

  • Walter D. Shutter, Jr.

    Wow! I just spent 10 minutes reading all of these posts, and not a one addressed the possibility that this E-cat power generation could be pure BS.

    You folks should check out “E-cat” at Wikipedia.

    • Martin6078

      Be carefully by Wickipedia…

    • Steve Robb

      I helped to write it…what do you want to know?

      • Martin6078

        Dear Steve and of course all the others.To interrogate Wikipedia alone is not enough, due often things in W. discribed are often “political crrect and socialistic”. Ok that´s is the personal attitude of the Wickipedia author. Therefore I compare all facts with more different sources, also these of the opposition. Often the truth ist hidden in tausand lies!
        best regards:
        Martin

  • the snake

    Assuming the e-cat works as promised. Probably within a few years it could produce electricity and power cars. If driving cars costs nothing in combustibles, people will drive more, streets will be more congested as it already is. Imagine this in some mega cities in Asia etc., where there are already traffic jams. An automobilist’s dream will come true but at the same time the traffic situation will deteriorate. If energy will be as cheap as GBytes internet traffic, people will always find ways to consume much. Who would have imagined that broadband makes sense for private users, or let’s assume a 10MW power source for a home with an e-cat. Electric smog etc. will skyrocket. People will settle in Greenland etc., in heated halls and artificial light farms. And who knows, if anyone could build a cute personal nuke bomb if progress in that technology goes on.

    • Randy131

      You’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t, maybe we should all go back to the horse and buggy era, only that would please the enviromentalists, who claim everything is going to destroy our environmnet. There is enough facts, evidence, and proof that wind farms destroy the bird population in their area, but we keep on producing more in the name of green energy, at the demise of our bird populations, so what would make all these people happy?

    • Jim

      “If driving cars costs nothing in combustibles, people will drive more, streets will be more congested as it already is.”

      You’re assuming a lot. Just because it gets cheaper doesn’t mean people will drive more. I know I won’t. I don’t drive for pleasure. At the most, for me, it would mean being willing to drive farther for work, but I’ve got much better things to do than sit in a car.

  • Steve Robb

    I’ve mentioned this before but here it is again. The entire nitrogen part of the atmosphere is withdrawn and fixed into a solid or liquid form of fertilizer every fourteen years. I read that from an article in Encyclopedia Britannica that dated to 2001. I have no doubt that the cycle time has been reduced since then. The upshot is that some portion of the atmosphere’s nitrogen is not in gaseous form and so the atmosphere has been thinned by that amount. Any thinning of the atmosphere will allow more heat to be radiated to space. Nitrogen is not a greenhouse gas so the effect is small now but if energy is cheap I can imagine reaching a point where too much is withdrawn and without the offsetting greenhouse gasses no longer produced the Earth might begin to cool.

    • SJvet

      There is no man-made global warming, and if there is any warming it’s good, not bad.

      • Steve Robb

        If the amount of green-house gasses increases for any reason, that will slow the radiation of heat from the Earth and will show up as an increase in the temperature of the Earth unless there is some other effect offsetting the blanketing effect of green-house gasses. Those are facts that only an idiot would argue against. It the temperature is not rising it suggests that something is counter-balancing the GG warming not that there is no GG warming effect.

  • andreiko

    Verplaatsing van A naar B is altijd vervuilend zelfs in de biologie dus een ieder die beweert die vorm van energie is vervuilend heeft per defenitie gelijk.

    De introductie van de e-cat zal een evolutionair proces worden met ongekende nieuwsgierigheid zal ik het aanschouwen.

  • w. hemnesn

    One concern which is also aplyable to nucliar energy.

    It brings heat into the atmosphere which is not originally provided by the sun. Normal fuel (oil, wood etc) is organic matherial which is build by solar power (oil a long time ago;-). What happens if we make more heat then the sun brings us in the atmosphere. I don’t no if there is research about this but i keep thinking about this issue.

    • Big Ugly, Wyoming

      The word is “applicable”, you idiot, not “aplyable”

      Proof that you really don’t “know” …. or do you just “no” everything.

      • Steve Robb

        Give the guy a break…he writing in another language.

  • pilatte

    wrong statement,when you use an E-cat you don’t use fossil fuel but the wasted heat is the same for electricity production
    the use of wilderness area is now possible (desalination) but the pollution now exist by the drilling project for fossil fuel in toundra and desert thus no change

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  • Scott H

    The biggest losers once the E-Cat is fully excepted is wind and solar. They will be totally irrelevant.

    • pilatte

      may be but solar and wind are not co2 emitters
      wind (when it blows) has an efficieny of 90%
      solar PV is good for climatisation
      nuclear plants are needed for industrial purpose
      there is a long way to remplace all the power plants

      • Big Ugly, Wyoming

        BTW – you really should investigate just how much CO2 is generated in the mining, transport, and manufacturing of wind and solar generation equipments.

    • Big Ugly, Wyoming

      Uh!
      E-cat would be “accepted” and wind & solar would be “excepted” …. I believe.

      • scott H

        Just a brain fart. Thanks.

  • john p.

    The environmentalists dream?,or not. Lets test the domestic E-cats out first. Before letting the cats out of the bag, so to speak, I propose a sort of EPCAT, a thorough testing out of these new LENR wonders in a small community of 100 or so households of varying sizes for a period of say six months or so. In six months any real problems with the units should be self evident.It would only seem logical to try somthing like this first.

  • Scott H

    I’m not buying that the E-cat would create any added heat then we are already creating by using fossil fuels. The amount of energy to produce oil is amazing. Exploration, drilling, fracking, producing, refining, transporting. At every stage they release huge amounts of heat.

  • Sanjeev

    Latest claim of another working commercial LENR device.

    http://www.lanr.com

    (UC)

    Quote>
    “We intend to start production on multiple types of reactor cores by the end of 2012.

    The reactors will be cheap and may be available to everybody depending on permit requirements.

    It is optimistic, but the technology is fairly straightforward based on our understanding.”

  • Sanjeev
    • Frank

      Yes, in this video you can see that the ‘1MW-container’ from the Oct. 28th test is still in Rossi’s workshop at 12th Jan. 2012….
      So, obviously it was never delivered to the ‘secret customer’.

      • lark

        I think you’re making some assumptions here.

        1) Rossi has stated that the first 1MW device was not ‘in use’ and was being modified.

        2) This might be another unit and not the one that was sold.

        So, I wouldn’t say “obviously” but rather “possibly”.

        • Sanjeev

          Unfortunately you have only a “Rossi said” as a proof that the container ever left that place.

          Others have already dissected the new and old videos and the containers seems to be the same.

          The only thing that supports Rossi’s statement that its there for repairs is that he did not try to hide it from the camera.

          It turns out that Jones Beene from vortex had the true info when he said it was returned by the customer. However, Rossi previously denied the return and called it a ‘ridiculous rumor’.

          • admin

            I don’t believe Rossi ever said the container was removed from the factory. Gaskets were leaking in the test and Rossi said they needed to be fixed. Also, new NI supplied controls are to be installed. Maybe that’s why he went to Italy recently.

  • Brad Arnold

    One of my biggest disappointments is that Green groups have failed to advocate LENR. Perhaps they are stuck in the old paradigm of solar or wind? Or perhaps they are into the money, not the mission?

    In fact, one of the most effect uses of LENR is to derail dirty energy projects, because they are very risky since LENR is emerging and would completely bankrupt them.

    Hopefully wind and solar don’t follow hot fusion in trying to stifle LENR.

    • Brad Arnold

      By the way, have you seen ConocoPhillips is selling 50% of their oil-sand holdings? I’ve been particularly aggressive in throwing LENR in the face of oil-sand investors – perhaps that is the reason CP is trying to diversify/disinvest?

    • http://www.e-catworld.com/2011/12/cold-fusion-a-resurrection-and-an-inconvenient-truth-a-view-from-europe/?replytocom=10913#respond praos

      The only real objective of Greens is selling natural gas (for back-up power) under the guise of selling wind and solar. Greens are scamers, selling preindustrial technology as something new. They’ll find something against eCat, be sure of it. After all, it’s nuclear too — and anything nuclear means instant death at the very sound of it. Just look what they did of Fukushima — a “dissaser” without a single death!

      • anton3659

        The “Greens” and the “Save the Gay Whale” crowd are never satisfied.
        ECAT may be a solution to high energy costs, but don’t expect the hippie
        crowd to support anything that helps create a higher standard of living.

  • atanguy

    Funny that people here seem to think that the opposition to the spread of CF will come from the environmentalists, have you heard coal industry, oil industry,natural gas industry, nuclear industry? OPEC? Saudi Arabia? Iran? Russia?

  • Nina
  • Martin6078

    I´m thinking The E-Cat is the must invironment kindley device ever build. Even more as all the called”green” wind, solar,biomass etc. They are wasting a lot of matter and landscape, have a weak energy density and are very unreliable.
    Byside the new environment kindley techique E-Cat should´nt start with the swindle of manmade climate change. The CO2 hoax. see climategate…

    Best regards to all.
    Martin

    • atanguy

      Martin:
      You may have some questions about the sole man made change of climate,but you are wrong about the CO2 raising, unfortunately it’s not a hoax.

      • de^mol

        Of course CO2 levels are rising because of fossil fuel burning. Nevertheless, this is not a threat to the planet. First of all, temperature rise is due to CO2 is insignificant, second of all, CO2 is the base (with water) of all plant life. Increase of CO2 increases harvests and thus life.

        • Scott H

          It’s not that the CO2 is warming the planet. It’s the warming of the planet that’s raising the CO2 levels. Mans contribution to CO2 is much less then you would think and vastly exaggerated. de^mol you are right, the benefits of CO2 out weigh the damage.

          • atanguy

            Are you working for oil industry or for coal industry? or both ;-).
            Anyway you should not be here…

          • Scott H

            I Should not be here?

            WOW! Now there’s a open minded and tolerant person.

            Yah Oil and Coal are paying me $10,000 a post.

        • atanguy

          The danger of CO2 is the acidification of the oceans. You kill the plankton, you kill the rest of life on the planet.

          • atanguy

            To Scott:
            Well Scott, my point is: If you believe that CO2 and the fossiles energy is not a danger for the human race, then don’t worry to come to this web site, we should continue to burn oil and coal and talk to Rossi in 50 years. This being said I hope you continue to post and maybe to change your mind.

          • Scott H

            I welcome the dialog. Thanks for caring so much.

  • Nina

    Not precisely on-topic, but I do have an e-cat question regarding the first-generation devices: what sort of heat do they provide. Okay, so that sounds strange. What I mean is, I have an electric heat-pump; there is no natural gas out here, and I’d have to have a tank put in for propane. Basically everyone I know has electric heat – I live in a rural area.

    I live in the southern US and it doesn’t get too cold here. I have been told that electric heat is not suited to really cold environments: is this true? Would the e-cat be suited? I’ve also been told that gas heat is much warmer feeling that electric heat – I don’t really know how that works, but it’s what I’ve been told. How would the e-cat be in that regard, do you think?

  • daniel maris

    My views are:-

    1. There is a danger of rapacious exploitation of the Earth’s resources. On the other hand there is scope as well for doing much more recycling of waste, since energy cost is a big factor in recycling.

    2. The heat addition will be trivial compared with that caused by greenhouse gases and in any event this technology will reduce carbon emissions so that has to be put in the balance.

    3. Well NASA say it’s safe (as someone else commented) and it sounds fine for domestic use if a microwave cooker and smoke alarm are considered OK.
    We do have to appreciate that few technologies are entirely safe. Sony batteries burst into flames…wind turbines explode during storms…electric transmission wires come down…
    coal ash is radioactive…coal fires in the home cause many deaths…gas is poisonous and can lead to carbon monoxide induced deaths. Gas explosions kill hundreds every year. Oil extraction poisons the enivironment.

    4. Yes the E cat together with some other upcoming technologies (the Toyota battery and water extraction from the atmosphere) might result in human expansion into wilderness areas. However one can argue that the E cat is essential to mass produce prosperity: it is prosperity that leads people to reduce family size and it is population reduction which ultimately will save habitats.

    How will environmentalists react – I think there will be a hard core for whom the R word (radiation) is just too shocking. NASA’s involvement won’t endear them either. However, there will be many more who see the gains offered by the device. There will be a lot of argument with solar and wind energy lobbies making a lot of the running.

  • palace planetarian

    Space is the answer i.e. SAVE THE PLANET, LEAVE! With working E-CAT power will make the migration to space reducing the human footprint on Earth much more affordable and practical therefore likely.

    • Robert Mockan

      Many would leave if they could. I agree with you.
      Unfortunately the insane oligarchs on this world would never permit it. They know if people could leave they would do so, then organize and come back, to destroy the insane oligarchs, and free the world from debt slavery.

      • Martin6078

        Bravo Robert,thats is the main reason, I agree 100%.
        with respect:
        Martin

      • Tim

        More likely people will leave to escape oppressive taxation, religious persecution, etc… much like the first pioneers in America. They just wanted to be left alone.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    To the extent that environmentalism is concerned with not despoiling the Earth, I don’t see any serious problems with e-cat. But to the extent that ‘environmentalism’ is simply another excuse for the people citing it to take control of everything, a device that allows for so much individual autonomy creates lots of problems. IF the technology works, we should get a pretty good insight into what environmentalist politics is really all about.

  • The Lark

    Waste reclamation through incineration (with energy capture) or creating coal like fuel pellets would cease to be economically viable leading to more landfill problems. But I think that the good outlays the bad.

    • EnergyGuy

      “Landfill problems”? Come again?

      If I understood what you said, it seems there would be fewer landfill problems, since items normally going to landfill could be recycled with the almost-free and non-polluting energy from the E-Cat.

  • http://none.com Charles Ponzi

    Well you can always use power generated by cold fusion to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in order to return it to the levels that existed on earth before fossil fuel burning was introduced thereby cooling the climate. The question is would you want to?

    Also all of this talk about a cold fusion space heater or water heater is not going to happen. Once you have cheap clean easy unlimited power people won’t have a need for an ecat in their homes. You can have an electric space heater, water heater, kitchen stove, etc. etc. Every utility and amenity in the house can be powered by electricity. The only reason people have propane or gas appliances is for efficiency and cost reasons.

    What would happen if such a thing as an ecat were to occur is a reevaluation of the agreement between the people and the power companies. Today the power companies have too much social power.

    • daniel maris

      CP – The energy companies aren’t going to suddenly divest themselves of trillions of dollars of investment in power stations. They will instead start hiking up standing charges as energy use off the grid rises. It will take a long while before E cat power stations come on stream. It will be a minimum of 10 years I would say.

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  • http://www.choicedowsing.com kwhilborn

    Why would people put out more heat than before? We would have the same needs. Our electricity now comes from a huge heater (nuclear) instead of many smaller heaters. You could look at the water temperature outside a nuclear facility to gauge this.

    Cars produce explosions and burn gas. Instead we will have steam engine generators powering our cars.

    There is no nuclear danger, although I do have some concerns about gamma rays in moving cars if they are not shielded enough. Adding an e-cat into your basement gives extra shielding but could I drive into a gamma ray from the car in front of me? That is a concern but we are told it is a safe nuclear reaction with no radiation to worry about by NASA.

    Removing smog from the planet will save/extend millions of lives in the long run. Imagine breathing fresh-fresh-fresh air in the middle of your city.

    I cannot foresee how the greenhouse effect would react to a smog free world, but I imagine it would be for the better. A lighter environment means more sunlight reflected into space and would also help cool the planet.

    I see only win win win with e-cat tech

    • kryptomaniac

      Hadn’t read anything on the e-cat’s water use. Is the heated water a closed cycle? The coolant circulates, an heats up another water supply via a heat exchanger?

      I’d hate to lower my electricity/gas bill only to make the water bill a lot higher.

      • http://www.choicedowsing.com kwhilborn

        Using water can provide more power at a lower heat. The e-cat is fabled to create enough heat so a closed circuit could be used for an automotive.

        This was a concern about automotive applications of this technology. Everything will be close looped cycle.

        Having a closed loop system puts a lot of strain on the system, and we are glad it is worked out.

      • m a r i o

        the heated water is a closed cycle, that of the central heating of the house. only during the tests of Bologna they used the tap water.

  • Mike Cheek

    It is my understanding that in the U.S. a new power transmission line from remotely located wind turbine generators was opposed by environmental groups. So when I’m feeling dark and cynical I think even this device would would be opposed because nothing other than rooftop solar is “good.” However, I think in reality such opposition could be dealt with.

    There are other issues: since this device operates by boiling water there will *have* to be a water treatment unit to remove most minerals from the water, either by ion exchange or else by reverse osmosis. Otherwise the system will scale and plug up in a few days. This will produce a small salty water wastestream. Not a problem for a few units, but multiply by 1,000,000 for a big city and this might increase the salinity of the sanitary waste water. Maybe an environmental issue, maybe not. Of course, if energy is cheap, then the waste streams can more readily be dealt with as well.

    Thermal radiation I do not see as an issue. It radiates out into space. unlike CO2 or methane it does not linger for weeks or months.

    Nuclear radiation would be a personnel issue if it exists. Surely governments will want to review and certify this if there is any such radioactive potential. Even if no potential, it will take time to demonstrate and prove this to a government.

    Creation of spent nickel / copper catalyst should not be an environmental issue, it can be recycled. If nothing else mix it in while making stainless steel.

    Destruction / modification of existing habitats could be addressed through existing laws / restrictions on habitat destruction – however, there are limits to this – if desalinated water becomes cheap, then there will be a strong temptation to expand our urban habitat at the expense of natural. That could be a real but subtle issue for down the road. But theoretically it could be dealt with through set asides. State of Florida is actually handling this particular issue reasonably well, in my judgment.

    • http://none.com Charles Ponzi

      The power transmission line in question was in the west antelope valley 10 miles from where my ranch is. It wasn’t opposed by environmentalists. It was opposed because the place is ranch country with gorgeous views and the towers were 400 foot behemoths that would maul the view. When I installed power I had to run 500 feet of conduit underground. Digging is much more costly than above ground. But it is a worthwhile price to pay for fantastic views.

      • Mike Cheek

        Thanks for the clarification. Never heard that side of the story. I can understand the opposition now.