The Switzerland-based company ST Microelectronics, one of the largest semiconductor companies in the world, has filed a patent application to the United States Patent Office for a Reactor for energy generation through low energy nuclear reactions (lenr) between hydrogen and transition metals and related method of energy generation. The application was filed in February of this year, and the inventors are listed as Ubaldo Mastromatteo and Federico Giovanni Ziglioli.
The reactor described contains:
a reaction chamber having an energy port;
a reaction unit disposed in the reaction chamber and configured to allow an energy-releasing reaction between first and second materials; and
an energy regulator configured to control a rate at which reaction-released energy exits the reaction chamber via the energy port.
The patent explains that a reaction is achieved by the absorption of hydrogen within an active metallic material (could be a number of metals such as Ni, Pd, Pt, W, Ti, Fe, Co and their alloys), applying heat, triggering the reaction and using a mechanism to control the reaction.
Interestingly, the patent doesn’t beat about the bush and try and disguise the fact that this is a LENR reaction. They cite Pons and Fleischmann and explain that LENR is a legitimate reaction, even though it is hard to control. Since it has been claimed that USPTO has been known to deny cold fusion patents based on the fact that they don’t accept the legitimacy of the science, this is an interesting approach.
ST Microelectronics is a major semiconductor company with 48,000 employees (11,500 working in R&D) and with revenues of over $8 billion in 2012. Having them working the LENR field could be a signal that leading scientists and researchers are now taking LENR seriously as a viable energy source.