Skip to comments.Raleigh investor Darden still bullish on controversial nuclear technology
Posted on 10/11/2014 8:06:57 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
Triangle Business Journal
Cherokee Investment Partners' Tom Darden
Lauren K. Ohnesorge Staff Writer- Triangle Business Journal Email | Twitter
Cherokee Investment Partners CEO Tom Darden could save the world.
Or at least have a hand in paying for a rescue, if a controversial nuclear technology device lives up to its inventors hype.
The startup he helped create Industrial Heat acquired the rights to Andrea Rossis controversial Italian low energy nuclear reaction technology in January.
His partner in the venture, Cherokees J.T. Vaughn, said at the time that it was about creating a new, cleaner energy source, a technology to raise the standard of living in developing countries.
Poll: Could nuclear technology solve the coal pollution problem?
Industrial Heat raised $11.6 million last year, and has been quiet about whats happening with Rossis new energy catalyzer.
Darden lets us in on the two words that sold him on the technology: Air pollution.
Why he invested:
Im serious its about air pollution and coal, Darden says. Our company is called Industrial Heat. Our job is to make industrial heat and industrial heat is made by coal We dont think any energy should be made by coal, so thats why Im doing this. This could be a way to eliminate the use of coal.
While he acknowledges that no technology takes off without the numbers to attract financial investment he says hes not in it for the money. Hes in it for the potential the technology has to solve the air pollution conundrum.
This might be the answer, he says, pointing to solar plus battery storage as another technology hes watching heavily.
What it is:
Rossis technology, dubbed E-Cat, is a black box that, according to reports, uses cold fusion to generate large amounts of green energy cheaply.
And, according to a new 54-page report leaked on the Internet, the technology has been verified by third-party researchers.Those researchers collected data over a 32-day time span in March, producing 1.5 MWh of energy.
This amount of energy is far more than can be obtained from any known chemical sources in the small reactor volume, the report reads.
Darden calls the new data promising.
So well continue to work on it, he says.
Darden says his group was not involved with the test cited in the report.
We built the reactor, but we shipped it over to Switzerland, he says.
The road ahead:
The E-Cat is not being developed without controversy. A previous third-party analysis of the device, published in 2013, was attacked by critics.
Rossi, an Italian inventor and a convicted fraudster (convicted of tax fraud), has, himself, been the subject of global scrutiny.
But Darden isnt concentrating on the buzz or the skeptics. Hes concentrating on the mission, he says.
I dont care who gets there first, how it happens, he says. I just want to see it happen.
And hes had several high level conversations about the technology, such as one with Chinese officials on a recent trip to China.
But I honestly think that "cold fusion" will rapidly overtake all of them and leave them all behind. Rossi and Darden are going to have to build a lot of E-Cats to cook all the CROW that the perennial skeptopaths are going to be eating.
General Fusion is a Canadian company working out of Vancouver that has canadian government backing.
Here’s one more fusion company. They’ve got funding from ARPA-E and now a couple more investors.
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