Rossi: Working on Miniaturized E-Cat Reactors in R&D Labs

An interesting comment by Andrea Rossi has been posted on the Journal of Nuclear Physics today in response to a suggestion from a reader named Mark who proposed the idea of ‘antibiotic pill’-sized E-Cat reactors that could be heated to meltdown temperatures, and safely explode in a sealed chamber attached to a heat exchanger at a rate of one per second.

I think Mark’s idea is that with tiny reactors you wouldn’t have to worry about controlling the reaction — just let them get to maximum temperature, melt down, and have them vaporize.

Rossi replied:

Your idea is good, the actual turning it into a prototype raises many difficulties; we are working also upon the idea of miniaturized reactors in the context of our R&D program, though. You got a point.
Warm Regards,

It’s interesting to me that small reactors are now being worked on. For quite a while it seemed that Rossi has been focusing on larger scale energy production — for industrial purposes, specifically. I am sure that is their focus for the first series of commercial products. But it is entirely logical that in doing R&D that all kinds of permutations of the technology would be being explored — and there are many applications in which miniature E-Cats would be very desirable — especially for things like domestic and transportation settings.

Rossi says that he is very worried and afraid with regards to the results of the long-term testing, but it also sounds like business as usual is going on at IH headquarters with development of the technology.

  • Omega Z

    I note that some question Rossi’s different interests. He’s studying this. He’s Studying that. Why doesn’t he just Focus on “1” thing at a time.

    To which I would ask, Have you ever watched water boil, for weeks or months on end. They have computers/data loggers to do this. Only requiring occasional analysis over time. And Changes would likely only happen after this Data is collected. The Data is a necessity in order to know what needs fixed or what works.
    Of course, Rossi & about a dozen others working on this could just all set at a Table playing Texas Holdem or whatever while waiting. Not Very Business Savvy.

    It Makes sense to use this wait time to look at & Study other possibilities. Rossi & IH would have a lot of business interest in studying all the possibilities from a business point of view. It’s very likely most of this will be licensed out to other Corporations to Manufacture & Market.

    Why not Focus on developing the Hot-Cat for Power Plants. Because Contrary to what many think, It is a Limited Market. It doesn’t matter how many or how fast you can build E-cats. It’s how fast you can build Power Plants.

    Most power plants have a 10 to 15 year build time. Even in places such as China who can cut through the Red Tape at a whim can take many years.

    There’s many reasons for this. A limited number of skilled personnel, Engineers, Funding Etc..
    Turbine production. Their Large, Expensive & Precision. Being a little out of balance & they can fly apart. At the very least, being out of balance can drastically reduce life cycle. Generators are no different. And due to limited numbers of skilled personnel, All are limited in production. The Heat source is but a small part of the entire facility. Basically you have to wait.

    I suspect this has a lot to do with IH/Rossi’s involvement in the CHP/CCHP development. They would require smaller Turbines & Generators which are more readily available. Easier to manufacture. These could be deployed in Large Skyscrapers & apartment complexes & more economical because they use the excess heat for heating & cooling. Reaching efficiencies of 80%.

    I know everyone is impatient, But these 1st systems will not be economical for the average person. Compare it to the 1st Mainframe the size of a football field. Only the Government & Large Corporations will be able to justify the initial costs. Eventually they become smaller & cheaper then become available to the masses.

    I’ll be happy just to see the 1st one on the market. Because I know in time everything else will follow.

  • Omega Z

    I think Everyone else is waiting for Rossi’s E-cat to become available.They seem to produce small quantities of excess heat for long periods of time or large excess heat for very short periods. They all need Rossi’s secret sauce to be feasibly marketable in a reasonable fashion..

    I can visualize each of them having a team of technicians in a lab just waiting to dissect a Cat. Like a bunch of Hungry Wolves waiting for the sacrificial Lamb to be thrown into their midst.

  • Christopher Calder

    I contacted Defkalion and they restated that:

    “Defkalion is currently in the process of finalizing the pre-industrial prototype unit that is required for certification.” – “We estimate that this will be (including the certification process) ready before the end of summer this year.”

    Defkalion had a chemical catalyst reactor design, but switched over to a spark driven system to break the H2 gas into H1. My suspicion is that this was done to achieve greater stability and controllability, and to negate any possibility of infringing on any Rossi patents.

    I hope both companies succeed and I believe both companies will produce usable products soon.

  • LukeDC

    Can anyone identify this cell on the Lenr Cars website?

    Link on this page.

    • artefact

      If I remember correctly then Nicolas Chauvin made it with some of the MFMP team together. It is a Mizuno type reactor.
      Another picture:

      • Obvious

        I thought it looked very similar to a Miley cell, or a large Case cell.

      • Robert Ellefson

        It is one of the “Steel and Glass” reactors for the Celani replication attempts. Those reactors gave by far the best results, but they seem to have vanished before the experimental setup could be solidified, and I don’t recall seeing any further results out of them. I wonder what became of them? As I recall, they were paid for with MFMP funds; hopefully they make it back into the experimental rotation soon.

  • Zeddicus Zul Zorander

    I sort of fail to see the strategy here. Is Rossi just freewheeling his research into whatever he likes or is there an idea behind it all? I would have thought he would spend all his time adapting the hot cats to power plant reactor replacements; the tiger. Instead it seems he does some research on one idea, then switches to another. There are now jet ecat turbines, mouse cat/hotcat combi’s, hot cats, low temp cats, antibiotic cats, tigers cats, gas cats, and probably more. You’d need a really big research team to be able to divide your reseach into so may topics.

    I suspect this is just the usual Rossi talk, otherwise he would have much bigger resources than he himself indicated.

    • Pekka Janhunen

      It’s true that he works with more than one idea, but the strategy behind it seems quite clear. The turbines are for producing electric power, that’s probably the most central goal. Probably all his new reactors nowadays have a separate ignitor which he calls the mouse, and all R&D reactors (perhaps with the exception of some very small ones) are HotCats. Probably no R&D goes on with low-temp E-cats any more. The tiger was part of his exploration how the system scales to large and small units, but is probably not active at the moment. He sometimes pursues the gas-heated option and seems to be doing so in particular with the turbine tests at the moment.

      So what is he doing presently? I get the impression that he’s mainly working with the turbine for electricity production (perhaps with potential spinoffs for aviation later on) and presently uses gas for heating it. Using gas makes commercial sense: it’s more profitable to sell all generated electricity and buy some gas rather than use part of it for resistive heating and buy no gas, because gas energy is 3 times cheaper than electric energy. In parallel, some of his R&D folks are probably looking into the system design of 1 MW and larger HotCat based plants (both heat-only and electricity producing) and some may be doing some rather low level research and exploration with miniaturised systems. There is also likely a separate downstream team, not part of the R&D department, which is working with 1 MW low-temp systems and retrofitting plants.

    • Omega Z

      Power plant reactor replacement is not so simple.
      They will require a major redesign for the Boilers. Likely Custom built for Each Power Plant. Power Plants themselves are not a standard off the shelf product. Each will be different.

      Your a Utility company. You take bids for a power plant. It’s design & components will vary according to who actually gets the Bid. You next plant may be a different builder. They will not be the same. Even if it’s the same builder, there will be incremental improvements & again, Different from the last. Basically, Each power plant is custom built.

      • Omega Z

        Just a Note.
        A Hot-cat Boiler would likely have a bigger footprint then the 1 it would replace, And in some cases, may not be economically feasible other then for a proof of concept.

  • GreenWin

    Nice to see the German shills still on payroll. 🙂

  • mcloki

    Since Rossi is doing R&D. Do you think it might be feasible that a “client”, “cough Military”, who needed a smaller version of the e-cat, was footing the bill.

  • denkdochmalmit

    Rossi is working on this, Rossi is working on that..
    But absoluty NO results!
    10.0000th are wayting for the Homeunit – but nothing!
    I think there is not coming very much…

    • Andreas Moraitis

      “Denk doch mal mit?” I better do not comment… The domestic reactors require certification. You could not simply sell them, even if you were sure that they are operating well. Rossi did not obtain the certification up to now, because there is still not enough data about long-term safety. His low-temperature, multi-core industrial plants, which are designated to be used by trained personnel, are already certified. Rossi has often stressed the fact that obtaining the certification for a device which is intended to be operated by laymen is much more difficult. At least from my experience that sounds reasonable.

      • Charles

        Does “Denk doch mal mit” mean: Is Mitt gonna run again?

    • Ophelia Rump

      The word “results” has a slightly different meaning from “Your personal gratification.”
      And somehow I get the sense you would be horrified, not gratified if you were gifted a working unit.

      Would you like a little cheese with that whine?

    • Warthog

      Why do you think a for-profit business would reveal their trade secrets to you or anyone other than a customer or potential customer.

  • Henk

    The idea is not new: Remember project Orion ?
    If implemented we would have reached Mars years ago

    • GreenWin

      Henk, are we not already there??

      • Henk

        Not with boots on the ground

  • Argon

    Hmmm. Miniaturizing, is it really needed? I was thinking that making as big as plausible (50-100 kW) is the first priority, to take over future powerplant renewal/replacement projects. Then home units (5-25kW) to decentralized/off the grid energy production.

    When that is done in large enough scale to make energy cheap, we can ‘produce’ other more portable energy forms, like hydrogen and use that in miniature apps (like army uses catalytic pocket heaters as just one example, or miniature hydrogen fuel cells for smartphones/tablets, that is existing technology already, but not in use since logistics).

    I also think that other technologies, like battery development doesn’t stop there, so when we have cheap energy in one form (preferrably electricity), we can use other technologies to fill the ‘usability gaps’ conveniently.

    • malkom700

      I agree, a very good summary of the situation. It must be realized that the decisive moment is to just any device used any COP began industrial work. This moment is very close, because we have a lot of competitors. It will be a historic moment.

    • bachcole

      For the purposes of reducing pollution, Ar is right on. For the purposes of promoting adoption, ANY commercial application will greatly help. But teeny, tiny applications won’t have the impact that reducing the costs of a utility company will have. Plus, the teeny, tiny applications would be, it seems to me, much more difficult to achieve than reducing the costs of a utility company. So, for practical reasons, I come up agreeing completely with Ar. So, why did I comment? Because it is fun to apply critical thinking to thinking. It is called philosophy. (:->) And it might help someone in the future.

  • Rene

    I recall Rossi mentioned that at runaway situations, he was worried about neutron flux generation.

  • Pekka Janhunen

    The problem probably is that only a small fraction of the theoretical 6 month equivalent energy would be liberated before the material melts. The liberated energy in that case might not exceed chemical energy by a large factor. Still, it might possibly exceed it by some factor which would make the idea worth considering – the main question might then be how to optimise the manufacture of new reactors so that it does not consume much energy and how to make them on site from recycled nickel.

    I could imagine, however, that if one lets the stuff melt and perhaps partly vapourise, the chamber becomes dirty when nickel and catalysts from the reactor pills melt, vapourise and condense on the walls. Such condensation might clog the hole or door, for example, from which the pills are put in. A similar problem exists in ICF (or would, if they would have gotten that far).

  • Ophelia Rump

    I would be happy with one the size of a Mr. Fusion capable of powering a Delorein.

    As long as it is smaller and lighter than 10 Gallons of gasoline and has a power output to replace the power source of conventional automobiles, it is a revolution.

    • Fortyniner

      Sadly for that idea, IH’s focus seems to be on entirely on the industrial – generators possibly followed by marine and locomotive propulsion (the ‘jet engine’ or steam turbine stuff?). This industrial market will probably saturate global production capacity for a few decades, and CF power units in cars may be a long way away.

      De Lorean cars are definitely looking a bit ’70s these days, but I suppose they have a kind of period charm.

      By coincidence I saw the ‘Back to the Future’ prop car last year at an ex tin mine cum retail complex in Cornwall.

  • Ophelia Rump

    The tubes made them able to fly after an EMP pulse, unlike the American jets of the time.
    That was a big wake up call for the U.S.

  • Ophelia Rump

    If you estimate the cost of labor for R&D at $200,000 per person.
    that comes to 3,200,00 per year. That is a substantial fraction of the funding, suggesting that the twelve million funding gathered out of twenty million offered, must get a burst of income this year in order to continue.

    • Owen Geiger

      Add in the cost of their legal team. That’s going to cost a fortune.

      But I don’t think they’re hurting for money. I believe there are wealthy industrialists behind the scene who can afford whatever it costs.

  • JDM

    Spark plug sized. A hole thru the center tapped and fitted with an injector valve to flash water to steam. Replace the gas tank with a water tank.
    Steam engine! (maybe tweak the computer a bit)

  • LENR G

    Perhaps Rossi’s supervisors prefer to hide the direction of their R&D efforts from competitors.

    It’s implausible that Rossi voluntarily says one minute that they’re working to make the reactors smaller and then the next that it’s not (currently) possible.

    Somebody asked him to change it.

    • Pekka Janhunen

      1-2 years ago he spoke about R&D with 100-300 W reactors while Mark’s question was about pill size devices. Maybe they have already done 100-300 W range and then hit some problem if trying to miniaturise further. That would be consistent with the old and new answers as well as his earlier statemenets, and it would be logical from the R&D strategy point of view if they have explored the boundaries of the parameter space.

  • ecatworld

    Yes, it looks like it. Now the response to Mark’s question reads:

    “We already have studied the safety limit and I do not think downsizing the reactors can give us more information. For technological reasons, at the moment it is not possible to downsize the reactors more than we already did so far. Good question, though.”

    • blanco69

      So he says he’s working on miniatures and then he says he’s not. Maybe he changed his mind. Anyway, the potyotype hook up for energy production must be complete and tested because he seems to be working on anything except that.

    • Pekka Janhunen

      The old and new answers are not necessarily contradictory. Both were kind of negative to the idea as such. Maybe he remember a technological reason which prohibits miniaturisation down to pill size and then revised the answer. That they have looked into miniaturised reactors is not new, he said it already 1-2 years ago. If I remember right the power level that he spoke about then was 100-300 W.

  • Iggy Dalrymple

    For ice-free streets, sidewalks, and driveways, add thermostatically controlled e-Kittycules to paving material.

  • Iggy Dalrymple

    Instant Steam, activate your e-Kittycules in microwave oven, then add water.

    • Obvious

      Brew in your hand coffee in a can.

  • GreenWin

    I would suspect this is where STMicro is going with their LENR research. And considering the primitive state of targeted medical treatment today – we could use some medical nano-bots able to identify and deliver drugs, treatments to specific cellular morphologies. The fact we still use systemic treatments in medicine is like crushing a cockroach with house.

    • georgehants

      Could I suggest Researching the Placebo Effect that starts with a mother kissing a child better.
      Does that work?

    • Doktor Bob

      3D print the technology straight into mini chips ^ ^
      I00 Watt seems a bit overkill ?

  • Kwhilborn

    I think varying the Ecat size in both directions would be normal R&D. This is natural. The idea of having tiny reactors meant to melt down is unique. Kudos Mark if you read this. Interesting concept.

  • Lu

    Rossi’s, or actually maybe Industrial Heat’s, main goal is to get the low lying fruit with patents. They are probably exploring everything and anything that they can patent. Just a thought.

    • Omega Z

      It was mentioned that they are studying different Reactor designs & filing patents for those that work.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Yeah, E-Kittens.

    • Kwhilborn


  • Iggy Dalrymple

    May be harmful if swallowed. Keep away from children and pets. Do not carry in your pocket. Do not inhale. If swallowed, call 911. If swallowed, do not induce vomiting.

    • BroKeeper

      New definition for heartburn.

  • Ophelia Rump

    I would love to see what Rossi has in his R&D lab. I wonder how big the core R&D team is?
    I think it will be that team that ensures the technology is not overrun by competitors with better ideas as the technology begins to proliferate.

  • Warthog

    I think small reactors will eventually be ubiquitous in electronic devices, and may come to fruition sooner. Mitchell Swartz’s “NANOR” is almost “there” already. Picture an integrated circuit with multiple parallel NANOR areas, integrated heating zones and close-coupled heat to electricity semiconductor regions.

    • BroKeeper

      True wireless mobile phones.