The E-Cat: A Potentially Massive Energy Breakthrough

The E-Cat is an invention of Italian engineer and inventor Andrea Rossi, and stands for ‘energy catalyzer’. It is a device in which hydrogen gas, powdered nickel metal, and undisclosed proprietary catalysts 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 Andrea Rossi consistently refuses to discuss.

In this process, when an external heat source is applied (Electric or fossil) to the reaction chamber, large amounts of thermal energy (heat) are produced, much more than could be accounted for from chemical reactions. 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, 2011 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.
Initially, Rossi and his colleague in the development of the E-Cat, Sergio Focardi (University of Bologna Physicist), stated that the heat was generated because the nucleus of a hydrogen atom, a proton, penetrated a nickel nucleus and in doing so a nickel atom became a copper atom. Now Rossi states that while transmutation does take place in the E-Cat reaction, it is more of a side effect, and the core effect is caused by some undisclosed mechanism. Rossi says he has a firm understanding of what is taking place, but will not disclose his theory yet.

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. 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 in the E-Cat reactor are consumed in very small quantities. Most of the nickel can be recycled for reuse when the charge is spent. There is no release of CO2 or other greenhouse gases from the E-Cat, and 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. A second plant was shipped to the United States to an unidentified location in 2013.

The first generation of E-Cats did not have the capacity to generate electricity — they produced only hot water or low temperature steam. Rossi later developed a high temperature E-Cat known as a ‘hot cat’ which has the capacity to generate electricity at high efficiency

Below is a leaked photograph of one of these hot cats. Andrea Rossi recently provided the dimension of this reactor: “the diameter of the internal cylinder is 30 mm, the diameter of the external cylinder is 90 mm, the length of both is 330 mm.”

In May 2013, Italian blogger Daniele Passerini released a photograph (without Andrea Rossi’s approval) of a hot cat that was being tested to its maximum performance. Andrea Rossi explained in an interview on May 7, 2013 that this picture, although unauthorized, showed a Hot Cat reactor in self-sustain mode being allowed to run away — i.e. the reaction was uncontrolled.

Hot Cat on Fire

On May 16th, 2013 a report was published by a group of European academics who were given access to a hot cat reactor over a period of about five months to test. The conclusion of the group was that the E-Cat provided energy in amounts far greater than would be possible from any chemical reaction. The report can be read here. More tests are scheduled to be done, including a 180 day test which will apparently be started this summer.

So far, Rossi has maintained 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 fully confirmed.

Involvement of Cherokee Investment Partners

In the last days of 2013 a poster on noticed that Fulvio Fabiani, an engineer for Andrea Rossi’s Leonardo Corporation posted on his LinkedIn account that he was working for a company called Industrial Heat LLC, in Raleigh Durham, North Carolina. More searching uncovered the fact that Industrial Heat LLC was incorporated in 2012 and its chairman was Thomas Darden, CEO of private equity company Cherokee Investment Partners of Raleigh, North Carolina. Industrial Heat LLC and Cherokee share the same mailing address.

Further searching uncovered a report on a Chinese website that Tom Darden had travelled to China in September 2013 and had signed an agreement with Chinese officials to help establish a Sino-US Science and Technology Innovation Park in Baoding, China. One of the proposed industries listed as being installed at this park was listed as ‘nickel reactor new energy projects’ — a clear reference in the context of all this information to the E-Cat.

It appears that the US partner that Andrea Rossi has referred to for so long, but has never named, is Cherokee Industrial Partners. According to Rossi, he sold his intellectual property to the partner — so now it appears that the E-Cat is owned by Cherokee, or maybe a subsidiary such as Industrial Heat LLC.

So far there has been no public acknowledgement of this relationship by either Andrea Rossi or anyone from Cherokee Industrial Partners, so the above conclusions about the relationship should still be considered unconfirmed.

Andrea Rossi has stated that there are currently long-term tests being performed on the hot cat by both internal and independent (‘third-party’) teams, which will conclude in the spring of 2014. After these tests have been concluded, the results will be published,  so it seems that we can expect to learn a lot more about the E-Cat within the next few months.

  • Sandy

    Rossi’s secret catalyst might be titanium. A nickel-titanium alloy named “nitinol” can instantaneously shift back and forth from an austenite crystalline structure to a martensite structure. Such shifts can generate up to 100,000 pounds per square inch of force. That force could cause hydrogen ions trapped in the nitinol crystal structure to fuse with nickel atoms. Some nitinol alloys transform at 60 degrees centigrade.

    • Fortyniner

      Interesting idea, thanks. Several aeons ago (at the time of the ‘plumbing fittings’ e-cat) I suggested that a coil generating rapidly varying magnetic field might be inducing magnetostrictive movements in the nickel, and having a similar ‘crushing’ effect on hydrogen nuclei trapped in the nickel lattice, resulting in some species of fusion. However there now seem to be theories coming together that are rather more subtle, and probably much more accurate!

      • Omega Z

        My Theory is Rossi’s Cat has Fleas.
        Probably contracted them from that squirrel in North Carolina. 🙂

        • Bruce Williams

          This is a stupid comment, and has no place to exist on this site. .

  • artefact

    Good summary Frank.

    Another picture @ >800C:

  • Gordon Docherty

    Great article – just one point – “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…” should, more likely, be 160C – more specifically, from Defkalion and Brillouin, whose systems appear similar in some ways, the likely reaction point is around 187C…

  • Bertuswonkel

    Nice summary Frank but why does Rossi get all the credit!
    More groups are working on this with also interesting results.
    If you are preparing something for social media it could be wise to at least mention some of the other groups involved.This is not the work of one lone scientists but the result of years of study.
    This also might add some extra credibility for new visitors to the site.

    • ecatworld

      Good point, but the article is specifically about the E-Cat. LENR is a much broader field which would require a different article.

  • GreenWin

    Appreciate all you do for this technology Frank. Still perplexed by Rossi’s statement that partner CEO hand built an E-Cat without his input. Mr. Darden seems a fine fellow. But his background in soil remediation, real estate development, and brick making doesn’t seem to fit Rossi signing over his IP.

    At any rate, there is clearly lots of positive momentum and that’s wonderful!

    • Paul

      Cute observation! indeed, Cherokee is clearly not the industrial partner but, eventually, the financial one. The industrial partner is another. Among the 2-3 companies candidate, only one has a CEO with the skills required to build the core of an E-Cat, and is the CEO of CarrierEnterprise, whose name is J. Bartro. Ex US Navy, he is a nuclear engineer. Rossi has often written on JONP that his partner is a carrier, and also that is an Enterprise. How can we forget all this?

      • Mr. Moho

        If Carrier Enterprise is involved, it’s unlikely that its parent company Watsco Inc. would not be in the business as well.

        According to the Watsco website, its CEO Albert H. Nahmad…

        …is a dynamic leader who has taken Watsco from an HVAC
        manufacturing facility to the nation’s largest HVAC distributor. He has
        served as Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of the Company since
        December 1972. He holds an M.S. in Industrial Administration from Purdue
        University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of
        New Mexico. Mr. Nahmad maintains an active role in a number of
        charitable organizations in South Florida.

        Why is he following “The Home Depot” in his LinkedIn profile, by the way?

        • Paul

          Good job! I think that the CEO involved is Bartro, among the two. However it is very very intriguing you find The Home Depot there. Indeed, if you remember, Rossi wrote to be in contact with them in 2012, as you can read here below. I do not think this is only a coincidence.

          January 4th, 2012 at 2:53 AM

          Dear Wolf:

          We are in contact with Home Depot for the distribution of the E-Cat,
          but until the certification procedures are completed the deal can’t be
          struck. This is a work in progress, not a work done.
          Yes, the refill
          will be very, very simple and we will give preference to the assistance
          made directly by the already trusted installer or contractor of the
          Customer, so that he also will become a point of force for us.
          Warm Regards,

          • Mr. Moho

            Nahmad could be one of the 12 unknown Industrial Heat LLC investors, I think.

      • Omega Z

        Ummm, That all started out from a convo about an uphill battle a long time back. Prior to talk of todays partner.
        Initially Rossi started a well armed ship. A Financial Metaphor. Latter after obtaining some financial partners in Leonardo, that was restated as now being a Battleship. A continuation of that Metaphor. And eventually leading to the Carrier label.

        I believe that’s all it is. A Metaphor, However, it could be related to the Military Customer that stars with “N” NRL-Navel Research Lab. 🙂

  • making a summary ? big news to come soon Franck?

    It seems all is bubbling. even you and me could be surprised soon!

    • ecatworld

      Preparing for a social media outreach — stay tuned.