Remember the Tubercules – Rossi’s First Secret Ingredient (Guest Post)

The following post has been submitted by Rick Allen

Over the years Andrea Rossi has provided many hints about how the Energy Catalyzer works to produce huge amounts of power from nickel, hydrogen, and catalyst(s). One of the most important clues that is sometimes overlooked is how tubercles — spike-like protrusions or filaments on the surface of the nickel powder — are critical to producing very high levels of energy output. This seems to be one critical element of the “secret sauce” that replicators and testers need to remember.

The revelation about how tubercules are required for the E-Cat to produce high levels of power is not new. In an article posted July 11th, 2011 on the now non-functional E-Cat Report website (a link to the Wayback Machine archive page is here) the author reports how he met with Rossi on July 5th of 2011 during his business trip to Sweden. He describes many bits of information that Rossi gave him. For example:

Andrea Rossi stresses that, although one might first think “the finer the better” because the finer the powder the more surface area per volume you get, this is not the case. Because in order to reach useful reaction rates with hydrogen, the powder needs to processed in a way that leads to amplified tubercles on the surface.

The tubercles are essential in order for the reaction rate to reach levels high enough for the implied total power output per volume or mass to reach orders of magnitude kW/kg – this level of power density is required for any useful application of the process.

Rossi tells that he worked every waking hour for six months straight, trying dozens of combinations to find the optimal powder size for the Energy Catalyzer, or E-Cat. He further stresses that specific data about the final optimal grain size cannot be revealed, but can tell us that the most efficient grain size is more in the micrometer range rather than the nanometer range.

This gives us a FACT about the E-Cat: to achieve high levels of power, there must be tubercules on the surface of the nickel and the particle size must also be correct. I think there is a very clear reason for this. Research shows that tubercles or spikes on nickel particles produce very high levels of charge and electric fields at the tips which can allow for quantum tunneling to take place and reduce the barriers for nuclear reactions.

In my mind, this leads to a few questions:

First, has anyone tried to replicate the E-Cat using nickel powder of around five microns that have tubercule like protrusions?

Secondly, has anyone have ideas about how to best produce nickel powder with tubercule like protrusions?

Third, will the scientists currently conducting the test on the E-Cat provide data showing the size of the particles and the surface features?

If I were to try and guess at the recipe for the E-Cat, I’d say the following:

“A reactor with the inner surface coated with a mixture of five micron sized nickel powder processed to have spike like tubercles on the surface, mixed with a metal hydride such as lithium or a lithium magnesium alloy (as per Ikegami’s paper) to help load the atomic hydrogen into the nickel. When heat is added, the result is a small number of nickel-hydrogen reactions that may coincide with or stimulate hydrogen-lithium and deuterium-deuterium reactions.”

I’d like to point out that it seems like the actual catalysts of the E-Cat seem to be Lithium (it may have previously been another substance) and the processing of the nickel powder. My hope is that when the upcoming report is released, that it will address the tubercules of the nickel powder.

Finally, a message to the testers working on the upcoming report:

Please address the issue of the surface geometry, size, and processing of the nickel powder as part of your report! When it comes to figuring out how the replicate the E-Cat – and thereby following the Scientific Method – the tubercles are every bit as important as the isotopic and elemental composition of the powder.

Rick Allen

  • Omega Z

    I’d settle for plants being sold & working in facilities.
    That would be mainstream enough for me.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    But if they don’t get it to work we’re going to miss out on all those neutrons.

  • timycelyn

    An interesting little exchange between Rossi and one of the regular correspondents on JONP.

    “Koen Vandewalle
    September 5th, 2014 at 1:09 PM
    Dear Andrea,
    1. Can we expect that it will be possible to initiate one single Rossi-Effect-reaction on the time you want it to occur and on the place you choose, e.g: one specific nickel “grain” ?
    2. Can it, if former is positive, be managed to generate a predefined amount of excess energy ?
    I mean scientifically, not commercially profitable or exploitable.
    3. Is this part of your R&D ?
    thought full greetings

    Andrea Rossi
    September 5th, 2014 at 3:19 PM
    Koen Vandewalle:
    1- yes
    2- yes
    3- yes
    Warm Regards,

    Whilst, as ever, there is room for interpretation in the answer, it does strongly reinforce the feeling that the research they are conducting is giving them a precise understanding of at least the application/control of this phenomena. One has the feeling that the earlier work done pre-IH was, by necessity, a little more seat of the pants.

    Now, as should be happening, IH are investing in a precise understanding which will be needed as foundations before they can hope to build reliable, no surprises, equipment. This level of confidence does not equate to the ‘does it work or not’ type position that in our darker moments some of us go back to.

    If we take this as fact, then IH are certainly way beyond that place, and the ad nauseum ‘Can be either positive or negative’ thing is either there to keep the lawyers happy, or if it is to be taken seriously, refers to more exacting performance details that would be needed for fully commercial applications: eg. Reliability, Fade (in all forms), COP, and so on.



    • Fortyniner

      As you say Tim, it seems that Rossi is a long way down the road towards managing the phenomenon very closely, and the ‘uncontrollable’ straw that skeps are still clutching at is just ancient history. Rossi’s answer (1) seems to indicate some kind of precisely controlled triggering event, which is not consistent with initiation via bulk heating, controlled EM fields, induced phonon waves and so on. Something much more localised such as a spark discharge or a laser pulse would be needed for the precision he implies.

      • timycelyn

        Peter, I find answer 1 the most impressive. The problem, as ever, is that we know that Rossi’s more ‘from the hip’ type answers often have to be treated with a little caution. So I find myself wondering as to the extent of the implications of this response:
        1. Taken literally, I start down the same logical path that you have taken, to excite one specific grain would require a stimulus that is highly focussed and selective. A CO2 laster pulse, for example.
        2. Taken a little more broadly, one could apply an interpretation along the line of ‘grain X’ is inside a particularly defined footprint. Therefore I know the stimulation grain X will be receiving, and therefore I know exactly how it will perform.

        Either is pretty darn good, though….

        • Omega Z

          You just need to keep it in the context of “would it be possible.”
          Practical “NO” & likely not even sensible to do so.
          Can you stop a bullet? Yes, . . . . Once.

          Sometimes Rossi’s answers are to easy to read to much into.

          • timycelyn

            Of course – I must admit the idea of singling out a single grain and controlling it seems to me to be in the world of ‘theroretically possible’ or ‘no reason why not ….someday..’ and so on.

            However, I am prepared to believe the message of close understanding and fine control that is at the core of this exchange, and feel that my possibility 2. above is probably not too unreasonable..

    • Alan DeAngelis

      Is it a simpler process than this?

  • Omega Z

    Ahh shucks Friendly. It’s Rossi speak.
    You should know better.
    Rossi is like airline arrival/departures.
    Always more delays then on times… 🙂

  • Omega Z

    From what Rossi has stated, Only the mouse/drive is powered.
    And it’s powered only 20%/25% of the time at approximately 1Kw.
    The Cat/reactor has no power or resistance coils.
    The Control box draws approximately 100/110 watts all the time. This obviously provides an RF frequency/wave or magnetic field of some sort.

    You posted 400C & 1000C. Are these the only options or can any temp be locked in by varying the micron size. This would effect how the control is established with the cat/mouse configuration.

    As to Rossi’s control issues. He has told us many times what that problem is. It’s the consistency of the temperature rise after power off. Such as power off at 800C & being certain it will always peak at 1000C rather then run away.
    If this can be done 100% consistently, the Ultimate goal would be to push the 1400’C limit. The COP increases exponentially the higher the temp.

    • Fortyniner

      Very close integration of the ‘cat’ and ‘mouse’ components would be necessary to ensure tight temperature control. If they are arranged as inner and outer concentric layers within a single cylindrical unit, this would ensure optimal thermal coupling. The running temperature would then be mid-way between the ideal operating temperatures of the two components, where down-regulation by the ‘mouse’ balances any tendency of the ‘cat’ to run away.

      • Omega Z

        As to some of Rossi’s posts.
        The mouse is not in the cat. The cat is not in the mouse. That’s when some of us wondered if it was something to do with the control box. Rossi said no.

        The mouse/cat is a distinguishing terminology but are in fact 2 cats.
        The cat has no resistor coils or power leads. Only the mouse does.

        I haven’t determined whether it is 2 cores butted together or a divider in the middle of a single core.
        Do you recall the H-Cat with the white hot circle on the far end. And the latter image where it melted down at that exact point in run away.

        According to a Rossi response on JONP, That white hot spot was the Cat/Reactor charge. That would indicate the darker end was the Mouse/Drive.

        Of course I could be wrong. I only have Rossi’s posts to determine this configuration. If it’s a single divided core, The Reactor end would either have excess space or filled with ceramic in order for the outer shell to be a consistent diameter. The other option would be 2 separate cores of 2 different diameters. The smaller/mouse wrapped with the resistor coil & ceramic.

        • Fortyniner

          The reactor we saw in the demo was a ‘hot cat’ – I don’t think we’ve seen a 2-stage reactor in action. The hot cat design was a fairly early divergence from the basic e-cat, which (basic design) subsequently went on to become the two-stage ‘cat/mouse’ type that seems to be the focus of current development.

          I may be wrong, but I don’t remember seeing anything that indicated that the hot cat might utilise two stage activation in this way – the post-test ‘dissection’ didn’t indicate such complications (although in any case it was difficult to work out where the nickel ‘fuel’ was located).

          Either way, Rossi had had the use of considerable R&D resources since the project ‘went dark’ under IH auspices, and due to lack of info, it is difficult to guess how the reactors being used in the pilot plant are configured now.

  • Fortyniner

    That, or something very like it seems to be a pretty good explanation of the likely regulating mechanism. The cat/mouse thing suggests a large main reactor (cat) and a smaller regulating reactor (mouse) but it seems probable that the two components may be of more equal mass, most probably integrated (concentrically?) within a single housing.

  • Fortyniner

    Can’t blame a shill for trying. Or can you?

    • timycelyn

      but I think I have more patience with the mad dog…….

  • SiriusMan

    Just watched an interesting video lecture on the Casimir effect:

    At one point (5:44), he shows the original expression derived by Casimir for the attractive force felt by two parallel plates, each of 1 cm^2 in area. At 1 micron separation distance, it works out to be ~ 0.13 micronewtons (equal to about 1/1000th the weight of a fly).

    However, since the force scales as 1/d^4, it is interesting to repeat the exercise for a separation of 10 nm. Now the force is 1.3 newtons!

    We do not know what Rossi’s material is exactly, but Raney nickel has a surface area of 100m2/g.

    So those who argue the Casimir effect is too weak to be relevant, should perhaps reconsider the case for very high surface area nanomaterials?

    • Fortyniner

      Raney nickel or some similar differential alloy erosion process seems like a good bet to me. Kokes and Anderson (Journal of American Chemical Society, 81,5032 (1959)) observed “strange feature of exothermic reaction” during studies of adsorption of hydrogen on Raney nickel (not followed up), Blacklight Power/Mills used it in a nickel/hydrogen reactor, and Rossi’s ‘petroldragon’ may have used it as a catalyst. Although he apparently denied this during legal hearings, he may have been using some similar technique that produced a material that was not, strictly, Raney nickel.

      If the eroded component in a nickel/x powder was for instance microspherules of some mineral that was subsequently leached out of the surface, the result would be numerous spicules on the particle surfaces. The precise dimensions of the spicules could be controlled directly by altering the size of the microspherules.

      • clovis ray

        Hey, fortyniner.

        Check is link out, Alan S sent to me, it could be one explanation about what is happening, with the NI,

      • Owen Geiger

        So you think the spicules/tubercules could be formed on the inside of a ceramic cylinder? Do you think these cylinders could be rapidly mass produced at low cost? Up till now I had assumed a nano coating was sprayed on.

        • Fortyniner

          Actually I was only thinking of a way to create a powder consisting of ‘spiky’ particles on any chosen scale. However now that you mention it, it might be possible to add such a nickel layer to a surface using a similar method.

          In this case the nickel/mineral mix would need to be applied by spraying onto the required substrate (which could be ceramic or a metal with a very high MP like tungsten) then sintered in a furnace to form a thin bonded layer. Finally the surface would be exposed to the etching agent to dissolve the inclusions and leave the required surface geometry.

          If something like this proved to be feasible, I imagine that mass produced cores would be quite inexpensive.

  • Daniel Maris

    Sometimes you just have to listen to the clock ticking…

  • pg

    boooooooriiiiiiiinnnng………………… yaaaaaaaaawn…………

    • Veblin

      Yes you are,

  • Omega Z

    Isn’t that what MFMP are working on in collaboration with Celani.

  • Omega Z

    It was only 5 months ago(End of March) that they were wrapping up the test. Rumor had it that analysis of the charge was being done at multiple Universities. Multiple universities due to the various test equipment available at each.

  • Omega Z

    Rossi’s Mouse/Cat is just 2 E-cats likely butted together.
    The Mouse/drive is activated by resistance heater coils which activates the Cat/reactor which has no resistance heater coils..

    Some months ago, I came across a post that indicated that the Mouse/Cat are composed in a manor that optimizes their operation at different temperature ranges.

    Info from your post reveals how this could be done.
    5 micron resonate thermal frequency of about 400C.
    2 micron resonate thermal frequency of about 1000C.

    I assume a variety of optimal temps can be achieved according to various particle sizes.
    Question? Which component operates at the higher temp. Cat or mouse.

  • GordonDocherty

    One more point – those tubular structures aren’t trees in a desert, more like carpet fibers on a nano-scale rug. This means they are:

    a) densely packed, therefore creating Casimir spaces even between the structures / NAE surface sites
    b) flexible – at least, when subjected to high-frequency phononic waves. That is, they vibrate, and can compress and expand as the wave passes through / over / along them.

    c) providing a much larger surface area than would a flat surface, by taking advantage of the third dimension offered up by tubular structures in volume.

    Now, add into this mix hydrogen ions AND anions… and, yes, this environment is “ticking the boxes” as far as LENR (and Hydrino formation) is currently understood. The ions / anions have access to the NAE sites with the NAE sites themselves now actively capturing and releasing those ions (like cilia in living organisms – “move along now…”), while the NAE sites are subject to photonic, phononic and magnonic waves – and pressure to keep the ions from escaping. Add in heat to release anions from any metal hydride (although, of course, this could previously have been done to create nano-fractures in the crystal lattice) – and ensuring resonance (possibly involving EM radiation to create resonant plasmons (oscillations of free electrons), which points again to a dense electron cloud around the NAE sites possibly coming from the crystal, in addition to H ions/anions that can therefore leach into the sites ) – and this geometry / environment looks very promising indeed…

  • Omega Z

    Industrial Heat has all Rossi’s secrets.
    They could possibly be withheld, But not lost.

  • Broncobet

    Is this true? Would others comment? I was under the impression that it was an E-cat not the hot cat.

    • Omega Z

      Actually, they are both E-cats. HT-high temp, Lt-low temp.
      The Hot Cat is the one used in the TIP2
      This is just a more in depth follow up of the same HT E-cat of the 1st test. Just the most up to date version.

      This would also have implications for the Lt E-cat since it now uses the mouse/cat configuration used for the HT.

  • kenotay

    Italians make the best palladium and other scientist are using it in LENR.

  • bitplayer

    Thanks for the post. I believe this speaks to the conjecture that it might be possible to systematically manufacture optimal nano-scale LENR reaction sites, as opposed to preparing them using hit-and-miss batch chemical processes. Which in turn points to there being a *lot* of R&D left in the LENR space.

    • ecatworld

      I asked Rossi on the JONP today:

      In the early days of this blog you mentioned that you employed a 95 year-old man to prepare the nickel powder that you use in your E-cats. Is your powder still prepared manually, or have you developed newer techniques?


      Frank Acland:
      Yes, you are right: that old master of mine is returned in God’s Spirit, but after his teaching we have industrialized the powders production.
      Warm Regards,

      • bachcole


      • Barry8

        Good Q&A.

    • Alan DeAngelis

      Chemists work at the subnano-scale but they can overcome their agoraphobia if need be and synthesis macromolecules (the nano-scale).

      • Alan DeAngelis


      • GordonDocherty


  • clovis ray


  • georgehants

    Is there a creativity deficit in science?
    If so, the current funding system shares much of the blame.
    Instead of proposing risky, creative ideas when looking for research
    funds, scientists now tend to pitch ideas that are safer and already

  • Owen Geiger

    It’s fun looking at nanorod images. They may contain zinc or titanium.

    Image caption: “Zinc oxide nanorods coated with titanum dioxide nanoparticles for use in dye-sensitized solar cells.”

  • peter gluck

    About the tubercules- perhaps you will know more about their role and function reading what AXIL says on my blog or on Vortex. It is about nanoplasmonics and LENR. Grown up LENR of the useful sort is very different from the in-cradle LENR

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Just off the top of my head, I think I’d take nickel oxide powder, NiO and reduce it with hydrogen, H2 (and heat) to give a porous powder of nickel metal, Ni.

    NiO + H2 > Ni + H2O

    • Alan DeAngelis

      Like Pearlman’s catalyst (palladium hydroxide) that gives ultra fine palladium [with perhaps more tubercules (I’m not sure)].
      PdO + H2O > Pd(OH)2

      Pd(OH)2 + H2 > Pd + 2H2O

  • MasterBlaster7

    I don’t know if I would be throwing around quantum tunneling at this point.

    There could be a simple explanation for the usefulness of turburcules. The channeling and flow of hydrogen inter- and intra- the crystalline matrices.

    • clovis ray

      Hi, MB.
      yes, kinda like a filler tube huh, if tubular structures, increase power, it seems that a carbon nano tubes, or graphene like structure, would work .if it could take root on the NI surface, wow.seem like their lots of R&D left for the inquiring minds.

  • Sandy

    Are the tubercules (antenna-like extensions on the surface of the nickel particles) close enough together that they can resonate with each other, like the tines of a tuning fork? That kind of resonance could case cracks in the tubercules to rapidly open and close, and that kind of motion might force hydrogen atoms to fuse together.

  • bitplayer

    Celani published pictures of his reaction surface, page 19, and described his procedure:

    • Ted-X

      Perhaps a hint from Celani (the bitplayer’s link), still indicating that most likely nano- and micro-cracks are essential for the activity of nickel in the Rossi’s effect: “the wires break quite frequently, and, as a main irony, almost in COINCIDENCE with the production of
      excess heat.”
      ———- The emphasis is mine.

  • Ophelia Rump

    I would throw some carbon nanotubes into molten nickle and then spray it out into water, and screen it for size. Melt down the rejects and spray them again.

  • Rob Woudenberg


    To answer one of your questions: producing ”spiky” nickel particles a proces where nickel carbonyl is used as starting material is used. Here a link :

    Hunter Chemical LLC produces such powders.

    • Ted-X

      Robert W., you are correct.
      Hunter Chemical says: ” Nickel Powder, for POWDER METALLURGY … Grade AH50 is produced through a Carbonyl process and is spherically-shaped with a spiky morphology. Raw material is processed and tightly monitored to achieve a particle size distribution of 3-6 microns (FSSS). Lab samples are available on request.”

      At the concentration of about 6 ppm nickel tetracarbonyl is deadly. If Rossi experimented with the structures of nickel than it was electrodeposition. Unless he purchased nickel from ‘Hunter” and then modified the crystalline structure by tempering or cryogenically; could be even cryogenic milling. Rossi is alive, so he was not working with nickel carbonyls.

  • Ted-X

    Electrodeposition of nickel on the nickel powder (in a rotating drum) can form various surface-shapes (spikes, bubbles, grape-like shapes etc.), depending on the conditions (current density, chemical additives, surface-modifying additives, temperature). Electrodeposition of nickel is a well known process, electrodeposition on powders is used less often, but it is a feasible process. I would suggest to follow-up with a cryogenic treatment to break the metallic crystals (in the bulk of the material) and create the Casimir cavities. Crystals break along flat surfaces, right?
    Regarding lithium and/or magnesium hydrides, they are well known and their composition vs. pressure and temperature are published. I thought that they were not mixed with nickel, as such mixing could lead to melting at a lower temperature than that of the pure nickel.

  • gdaigle

    Seems to me that advances in metal foams and nanorod technology to increase the surface area of battery electrodes could come in handy here…as long as a 5-15 micron size is maintained. Since nanorods with lengths in the 5-6 µm range are obtainable, either nickel nanorods or nickel plating carbon nanotubes might be worth pursuing.

    See for nickel nanorod images.

  • Freethinker

    Mr Allen. Good piece. Smack in the middle, and right on the money…

    • clovis ray

      who is Allen,

      • Freethinker

        I’d say, the author of the piece above.

  • Ophelia Rump

    My understanding is that if they wish to publish in a major journal, then they need to provide sufficient detail for the device and the test to be replicated.

    Please feel free to correct me if I am mistaken in this.

    • clovis ray

      miss O
      I think, they want the scientific world to be satisfied but not to expose Their IP, as you can well imagine. this is huge i think, and i have said as much earlier,

      • Ophelia Rump

        Yes I very much agree with you. One alternative would be to make samples of the material available for scientific reproductions. I do not think that they can hide the IP any longer.

      • Rossi (and IH) seems to know exactly what the catalyzer is.

        Can’t they create a powder mix which doesn’t contain this catalyzer, but produces (very) small amounts of excess energy? This isn’t economical usable and will not attract investors, but this would be proof enough for the scientific world. If he also gives an detailed explanation how to create this powder mix at your own, everyone could replicate this test.

    • Broncobet

      Please don’t confuse us with facts. I had that in the back of my head, so it won’t be published in a scientific journal.Did you see my piece I wrote about LPP? Science and Nature both signing their praises.Go to LPP website and tell me what you think. I’m jealous for Rossi that LPP gets all the glory,and they used to ask us to send them our old instraments.