Skip to comments.The Peak Oil Crisis: Transitioning to Cold Fusion
Posted on 11/16/2011 10:23:18 PM PST by Kevmo
The Peak Oil Crisis: Transitioning to Cold Fusion By Tom Whipple
Wednesday, November 16 2011 02:45:44 PM
Events move quickly these days. Two weeks ago we were watching Bologna, Italy where an entrepreneur and a retired physics professor claimed to have discovered the Holy Grail of energy - cold fusion or as it is now known: Low Energy Nuclear Reactions. At the time, there was (and still is) widespread concern that the various demonstrations of an energy-producing devices were a scam as the developers, for commercial reasons, refused to give outsiders access to their inner workings .
If you are coming late to this story, the Italians' "energy catalyzer" is a table-top-sized device containing powdered nickel known as the "reactor." When hydrogen is introduced into the container and heat is applied, the device gets hotter and hotter so that the output of heat exceeds the input by so much that no known chemical reaction can be responsible for generating the heart. This leads to the conclusion that the hydrogen is fusing with the nickel producing energy similar to that coming from the sun or from the detonation of a hydrogen bomb .
Now so much energy coming from such a small and inexpensive device, in violation of what are thought to be the principles of physics, seems too good to be true. As this phenomenon had not been independently repeated and verified by other laboratories, many pronounced it a fraud, a few the greatest breakthrough of the age, and the rest of us remained agnostic while awaiting further developments .
They were not long in coming. Last week it was learned that George Miley, a Professor Emeritus of nuclear engineering at the University of Illinois who has been conducting experiments similar to those in Italy for many years, has been observing anomalous amounts of heat emanating from test equipment similar to that being used in Bologna. Miley has been experimenting with palladium-zirconium alloys, but says his experiments are producing so much heat that could only be coming from fusion of atomic nuclei. Unlike the Italian experiments which are aimed at developing a proprietary commercial product, the Illinois experiments are being conducting under the auspices of a state university with details of the experiments being made known as soon as possible. At a university the aim of scientific research is to win a Nobel Prize, or at least academic prestige, not to make money .
While a second report does not adequately confirm that heat-producing, low-energy nuclear reactions are a real phenomenon, it is does seem to reduce the likelihood of fraud on the part of a single man or organization. Furthermore it increases the possibility that we could be witnessing the early stages of what could be one of the greatest scientific discoveries in human history - production of unlimited amounts of cheap, pollution-free energy .
We could be witnessing the early stages of one of the greatest scientific discoveries in human history .
Let's suspend our disbelief for a few moments that anything too-good-to-be-true ever happens anymore, and pretend that these reports really do portend the age of low energy nuclear fusion; that within decades energy shortages will be a thing of the past; and every person on earth could, and I say could advisedly, be blessed with unlimited amounts of cheap energy .
The problem for now, of course, is getting from here to there. Most of you likely have noticed that the world is beset with an abnormal amount of trouble at the minute - the EU financial system is coming unstuck; many think that the fabled "double-dip" recession (depression?) is only weeks away; governance of the US is in near gridlock; global warming's droughts and floods have many hungry, dying of thirst, or standing in water up to their armpits; world oil production is on course to starting dropping within the next few years; and there are now seven billion of us running around with the UN projecting we could number 15 billion by the end of the century .
For now all we have are some promising laboratory experiments and a handful of prototypes. It is starting to look as if there could be many ways of making heat by getting hydrogen to fuse with metal at low temperatures. Sorting out which method would be best, even one to get started with, is likely to take some time. Then somebody needs to tell the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that we would like to install some 100 million or so nuclear reactors, albeit small ones, in our buildings .
Then there are the rice bowls that would have to be broken. Somebody will have to tell OPEC, Exxon, the power companies, coal mines, and gas well frackers that we won't be needing their services anymore and that they should get into some other line of work. This, of course, raises the possibility that the Congress, under pressure from lobbyists, chambers, and unemployed constituents, outlaws fusion reactors under one pretext or another - no matter how well and cheaply they might work. The point of all this is to say that there could be considerable resistance to the advent of cheap, clean energy that will inevitably upset many apple carts even if it promises to save mankind from extinction by an ever-warming climate .
There is another side of this story however. Much of the world is desperate (or soon will be) for affordable energy. Japan and the EU have little or no indigenous supplies of fossil fuels remaining and are backing away from conventional nuclear power as too dangerous. Even the Chinese are catching on that too much carbon in the air can be hazardous to your economic well-being. Europe, Japan, Korea, India, and China are not incompetent in technological matters. Nor are they as susceptible to pressures from the old order seeking to preserve its ways of making money .
If the current experiments are repeatable and the technology is viable, cold fusion is likely to go viral very quickly with thousands of laboratories and corporations around the world rushing for a piece of the next Internet. The next year or so could tell us a lot about the course of civilization in coming decades .
Tom Whipple is a retired government analyst and has been following the peak oil issue for several years.
The Cold Fusion Ping List
Unfortunately, if Rossi did the following:
1) hired a bunch of actors to pretend to be the customer reps,
2) created an elaborate year-long special-effects-derived series of demos,
3) bribed, hypnotised or otherwise fooled Focardi, Levi, Kullander, Essen, Bianchini, Stremmenos
4) arranged for Piantelli, Miley and a host of others to try to fool the world into thinking that cold fusion was real,
5) got NASA, SPAWAR, The Defense Threat Reduction Agency and The Defense Intelligence Agency to say nice things about the field,
6) got Bushnell to make a fool of himself,
7) and convinced his former partners to set up another company called Ampenergo to pretend that they had a contract for The Americas for a substantial sum ----- or that they just did this with no proof because they have worked with Rossi and trust him because hes such a fine fellow,
8) sold his profitable company to his ex-partners in order to spend that wealth on a multi-million dollar scam; ----- certain that once he got all the above ducks in a row he would pretend to sell the first device ----- and then reel in the true target of his dastardly plan
9) and convinced a bunch of Greek crooks to set up a dummy company called Defkalion ----- to pretend to fight with him over the non-existent eCat, ----- to perpetuate the illusion and spin it off into a competing mirror-scam
[the second (this time genuine) buyer of a 1MW plant that will net him $2 million dollars ----- until they want their money back or sucker a $100 million dollar deal under the table ----- because he has experience in pulling the wool over all these idiotic eyes ----- and knows that they will just take his word for it ----- and not want to test if his 1MW plant can heat a small village without truckloads of coal or oil or a big fat electric cable coming into the container from beneath the floor (no you cant lift the carpet!) ]
10) and that, in order to pull this off, Rossi had to risk discovery by interviewing all the people he subsequently fooled so that he could only invite the gullible Professors and not the brilliant anonymous posters on the Internet who surely would have found him out
then, yes, all bets are off and Im with the guys who think that Rossi is an idiot and they are all geniuses.
The Cold Fusion Ping List
The Great Pseudo Scam Sham Slam
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
We keep hearing the same thing from pseudosceptics about Rossi - Its a scam!.
You will see the same breathless Its a scam! proclamation written in the comments section of almost every eCat article or blog, but EVERY SINGLE ONE of the very few people saying it have the same three things in common - they never stop to explain how the scam is supposed to work, they appear have a clear establishment bias and to them Rossi is worthy of a much coveted place in Oceans 11.
They seem desperate for everyone to believe them, when most of us are content to see how this all plays out, having never invested a single penny. Why is this? There is not one single individual I know of that has a single penny invested in Rossis eCat yet the drooling pseudos would have us believe that Bernie Madoff has been re-incarnated and relocated to Italy and were all in desperate need of their protection from the evil eCat.
Have you noticed that the pseudosceptics do something else thats very odd as well? They seem to manifest a bizarre and irrational concern for the financial well being of invisible investors whom theyve never met and yet they are for some unexplainable reason, desperate to protect. Isnt that just the queerest behaviour? Especially when the private central banks are successfully pulling the biggest con in decades on hundreds of millions of people right now. Are the sceptics trying to protect us from them? Are the scep-ticks doing anything about the Indian call centres who call you weekly to pretend your computer has a virus and then quickly take your credit card details? So whats the obsession with Rossi all about then? Clearly they couldnt give a toss about protecting peoples wallets - its a smokescreen for another agenda and people need to get wise to this.
The pseudos describe themselves as sceptics or critical thinkers, but what they forget is that to be a true critical thinker or sceptic involves being critical of your OWN hypothesis as well as others, otherwise we are ALL sceptics and the meaning of the term sceptic is rendered useless.
Their style of self-branding as critical thinkers also has an implicit declaration of superiority, by somehow implying that everyone else does not apply their own critical thinking processes.
Not once have the all seeing all knowing critical thinkers explained to us gullible mortals the explanations behind the accusations they throw at Rossi. I for one would like to know, so I dont get conned.
The definition of a scam is: a confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
Whether the pseudosceptics like it or not, the fact remains that they no more know the truth than anyone else. If we are to belive that there is indeed proof of irregularities of one form or another then lets hear it! Lets have the hard evidence please.
Where are the double crossed investors? Where are the irate scammed customers? Where are the gullible venture capitalists whove been taken for a ride? Nowhere to be seen. Why has it taken Rossi so long to cash in on this? Wouldnt he have cashed out at the very peak of the preceedings after the 1MW demo? Thats a bit odd isnt it, but the pseudos dont mention this.
Why are Defkalion still defending Rossi technology despite Rossis clear contempt for them? Are they in on it as well? Are we to assume that the various multinationals involved so far have not carried out due diligence? Is it conceivable that Focardi, Bianchini, Rossi wife, the milkman, the tramp in the park and other individuals have been conned for years, or are the pseudos saying that THEY are all in on the long con as well?
Why conduct 5 or so public demos, every time risking the whole thing on some over-observant
nosey bastard spotting the deliberate mistake? Why would you say you are going to demo a 1MW plant and then only demo a half megawatt? Why not go the whole hog and say you done a full 1MW? These questions are avoided by the critical thinkers.
Next time the pseudos say scam, ask them to provide proof since they are all such experts on how the great con is supposed to work, or maybe get them to explain how something so complex and underhand can be run for such a long time in the presence of so many highly educated and competent people. Ask them for the same thing they demand from believers - ask for a scientific and well thought out reasoning and dimes to dollars they cant do it.
And what about all the bribes that Rossi is being accused of issuing? By my reckoning hed have spent more on bribes than he could ever expect to get back from the first 2 years sales of eCats.
If the pseudos are to be believed Rossi has also overnight become the worlds most talented actor worthy of several Academy Awards, not to mention becoming a master at hiding giveaway body language in every one of his videos so far.
If you believe the pseudos then thats quite a scam hes got going there, not to mention hes a helluva talented individual.
I dont pretend to know exactly what is going on with the whole eCat thing and how it will all turn out in the end, but one thing is for sure - at this precise moment in time the scam hypothesis being touted is speculative crapola based on nothing more than a dripping mixture of unsubstantiated horse manure, establishment fear, bias and paranoia.
So is it a scam, or could cold fusion actually become worthwhile at some point in the future??
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Is the second most popular.
I am reminded of an old movie about Thomas Edison and the scene where it seems like forever he was trying different types of filaments to create a light bulb. Trial and error, over and over and over.
I think Rossi might be like an Edison. He may not have the right combination for his “filament” yet, but he is working on it. There are other too, trying various “filaments” to get that light bulb to not only work, but to last.
I think we are on the verge—Rossi and others are working toward the goal. I hope someone makes it soon. What a trip that would be, to see three amazing things in my lifetime: Man going to the Moon, LENR and near-free energy, and of course, the SF GIants winning the World Series...!
Rossi and ecat on the other hand is a scam.
This will be my standard post to you that says youre not worth trying to have reasonable discussion, also says buzz off & doesnt leave crickets. But if it offends you to the point that you get it removed like my prior innocuous citation then I’ll have to come up with some other ‘ignore button’ post.
This means I have nothing more to say to you about LENR. Bye.
55 posted on Sunday, October 30, 2011 4:41:07 PM by Kevmo (Caveat lurkor pro se ipso judicatis: Let the lurker decide for himself)
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Mr. Whipple, please don’t squeeze the protons!
I was actually looking for a picture of Mr. Whipple and was gonna post an “In before the Mr. Whipple reference” thing. I guess I’m too late.
I wonder how much it will cost to have someone come to your home every six months, crack open a badly rusted ecat and fill it with Rossi's special blend of homemade isotopes.
If it’s not Rossi’s e-cat, it will be someone else. That’s the beauty, once the technology becomes pervasive, others will create similar type products, and drive the cost down as “Capitalism” is practiced.
Now if the government takes over then the cost of cracking open a badly rusted e-cat will be cost prohibitive. Guys with blue shirts in pick up trucks will not be doing the service, but teams of gooberment workers in haz-mat suits will be descending on the property and with ten thousand dollar screw drivers, slowly open the device, dump out the copper slug and sprinkle the nickel fairy dust inside. After several reams of paperwork and many donuts later, you will be able to flick your lights back on....
Most likely the government will be taking over the cost of prosecution and incarceration.
Rossi is doing it "his way". He appears to be self funded which puts fairly tight constraints on his resources. To state that his science is slipshod is a kindness, there isn't any science. This is voodoo. I won't bore you with why; it's been done and it's tiresome. What makes this voodoo interesting is that there is excess energy involved. That's almost as good as free sex.
I must admit, I find Rossi to be an irritating con man. He seems to have either failed to grasp the *profit* step of the long con or he has something going on out of sight. I have no clue and am not very interested in the money deal. The real parts of that go on in private and are none of my business anyway. If the tech works Rossi deserves to make a ton of money. If it doesn't work, he hasn't spent any of my money so why should I care?
The whole business will get resolved in the near term. If Rossi builds units and sells them they either work or they don't. If the fraud persists through the sale and warranty period it isn't fraud. If investors with too much cash and too little due diligence lose a little of that cash they were too stupid to hold on to, well, that's alright by me as well.
The voodoo seems to depend on the mood of the spirits at the time. The big “1 MW” test was a flop as far as giving any excess energy. Maybe herds of e-cats don’t get along well.
Fusion with nickel absorbs energy, not produces any.
Herding cats is the most difficult task known to man.
New Broad Street House
35 New Broad Street
London, EC2M 1NH
The Cosmic Consciousness is about to feel one hand slap it in the face, The Stream of History is being channelized and dredged, Utopia is now We-topia! Order now!
Scam on the order of global warming.
First of all, I don't see much corrosion in that picture. The dark goo is plumber's putty - a sealant which was torn off when the lid was lifted, it will be replaced before putting the lid back.
But even if there is corrosion caused by hot steam ... is that really a problem in the 21st century? I think we managed to build huge steam engines quite a few years ago, and all is known about corrosion of every construction material on this planet.
You can say that Rossi didn't pick the proper aluminum alloy or the proper plating or whatever, but that has nothing to do with production of heat. *That* part may be a fraud, or maybe it isn't - that would be a valid point to discuss. But corrosion ... who cares? Any competent chemical engineer will tell you exactly how to properly build anything that works with corrosive materials. Such materials are widely used in the industry exactly because they are active; not much can be done with an inert material. Even fluorine is used - an element in which water burns.
"Peak Oil Crisis"? Just as the world-wide production of gas and oil is about to explode, he brings up the ol' "peak" fallacy. That said, I have no objections to cold fusion as long as not one dime of taxpayer money goes into its development.
If anyone wants to read Rothwell's arguments, as well as the counter-arguments, they can read the mailing list here:
The slick and professional-looking version of his commercial site is up:
Rossi acknowledges that this is really his site here:
You can fill out the online form to get on the waiting list!
I also notice he's dropped the promise of holding the customer's money in escrow until they are satisfied if it works. But I'm sure it will work just fine; nobody with such a nice looking web site could be doing anything nefarious!
He also says he will start delivering devices in three months, so I guess we have until mid-February to continue arguing over the lack of any valid information about how (or whether) the E-Cat works.
I tell my wife the world will end when the Cubs win the world series, I think I'm very safe in this regard.
Someday we will transition away from the “oil age” it's the way mankind operates. But guys like Wipple seem to want to rush the change and they can't. Peak oil has been predicted since 1895 and ever few years with the same outcome more and more O/G.
Probably would have done better with a different title. Any time I see “Peak Oil”, my BS meter starts to twitch.
I suppose we will reach “Peak Oil” someday, but it wasn’t in 1969 and it isn’t today.
...global warming's droughts and floods have many hungry, dying of thirst, or standing in water up to their armpits; world oil production is on course to starting dropping within the next few years; and there are now seven billion of us running around with the UN projecting we could number 15 billion by the end of the century
He held my interest until that drivel.
WRT Ecat. I'm enjoying following these events. Staying skeptical but hoped to be proved wrong.
Peak Oil is a myth
Climate Change is a myth
Cold Fusion is unproven
I think that belief system is known as "Cubism."
Of course, the artist Picasso was the first Cubist, in that he was a fan of the Cubs. (Really!)
That is not an impressive picture of ecat corrosion. That picture looks like the inside of any of the heat cycled radiators, waterpumps, and heater cores I’ve worked on over the last 40 years in automotive applications..
But "your" screeds are gems in relevant interest....yeah, right.
And if you think Jed "ignores the counter-arguments" you're a bigger idiot than I think you are.
Do they look like that after only a few hours of use?
It's impressive because the ecat has only operated for a few hours. It might be deposits, too. And when the guy comes out to replace Rossi's homemade isotopes every six months, what is he going to see? And is he going to have to scrape off the putty every time and replace it?
It’s a scam because there is no credible independently verified measurement of byproducts like helium that result from a real hydrogen based fusion reaction!
It depends on the TEMPERATURE the unit was run at. The picture shows nothing more than water scale from heat, (lots of it). If they had used distilled water or even a commercial antifreeze as a transfer fluid the inside would probably be pristine.
The trouble with both of those options is tha you need a LOT of distilled water based on his tests, and if you are working on a test unit that will be opened and closed antifreeze is not fun or clean.
It's impressive because the ecat has only operated for a few hours. It might be deposits, too. And when the guy comes out to replace Rossi's homemade isotopes every six months, what is he going to see? And is he going to have to scrape off the putty every time and replace it
IT IS A TEST PROTOTYPE. You are making specious comments to hide your ignorance or perhaps your belligerence.
If you were paying attention instead of just attempting to discredit, earlier articles on the subject stated that the units would be sealed
And if scraping putty is all I need to do to keep a fusion heater in my house for water and warmth I'd do it in a heartbeat.
Its a scam because there is no credible independently verified measurement of byproducts like helium that result from a real hydrogen based fusion reaction!No doubt the Helium went down the drain with the steam. /sarc
There are bigger problems than that with the chemical/nuclear output of the E-Cat.
Rossi claims HERE that in order to create the "fuel" for his E-Cat, he buys ordinary Nickel, and then, somehow, "enhances" the 62Ni and 64Ni isotopes.
However, THIS article states that "The isotopic analysis through ICP-MS doesnt show any deviation from the natural isotopic composition of nickel and copper."
The article states that this is consistent with some unknown nuclear process. The article neglects to state that, since there is absolutely no sign of any nuclear process in either the fuel or "ash", that it is also consistent with Rossi just adding some Copper powder to some Nickel powder, using nothing more sophisticated than a kitchen scale.
If Rossi's E-Cat device was transmuting Nickel into Copper (regardless of the isotopes involved) it would change the isotope ratios away from the natural occurrences. There's no way to get around this. HERE is a good paper describing the problems with reconciling Rossi's claims with any reasonable nuclear process.
Note that George Miley published a PowerPoint presentation showing that he is getting 39 different non-natural isotope ratios. That kind of evidence would be very difficult and very expensive to fake. Rossi has nothing comparable. Rossi's "fuel" looks like completely ordinary Nickel. Rossi's "ash" looks like completely normal Nickel with some completely normal Copper mixed in.
Not only does Rossi's "fuel" and "ash" samples fail to prove any nuclear reactions, they contradict Rossi's own statement that he is "enhancing" the isotope ratios.
Even more remarkable is Rossi's claim that he is able to "enhance" the 62Ni and 64Ni isotopes. This is the same process that countries like Iran are trying to accomplish in order to produce bomb-grade material for nuclear bombs. It is the kind of industrial process that strains the capability of entire nations. HERE is the Wikipedia article on how this is done. None of the processes are the type of thing that someone could do in their kitchen.
Rossi is claiming that a six-month "fueling" of his E-Cat will cost between $10 and $20 (for upwards of 100 grams of "secret catalyst"). If that's true, he must have a "kitchen table" process to enrich specific isotopes of Nickel for something like $0.10/gram. If he can do this, it would be far more valuable than being able to build a box that produces some hot water and steam. Why isn't he "cashing in" on this process?
I would assume that the home units will have city or well water running through them. What are they going to look like after six months? And how do you know it's just water scale, and something else isn't involved? That's a lot of scale for a few hours operation.
It's a picture from the October 6th demo, and it looks just like the units that went into the cargo container that the mystery "customer" "bought."
They already have a "perpetual motion" power generator that sounds far more impressive than Rossi's tea kettle. It generates electricity and heat without any fuel, which is far better than having to rely on Rossi to provide recharges of his magic pixie dust every six months.
Rossi seems to be consistently picking partners with histories of gullibility and/or fraud.
Have you EVER in your life cleaned out a hot water heater? EH? They work perfectly fine for YEARS or DECADES processing hot water with electric heating elements while precipitating scale all the time..
What on earth makes you think this technology would be any different? (OH yeah - gotta maintain the argument).
If I cleaned one after a few hours operation I'd expect it to be like new.
Have you EVER in your life cleaned out a hot water heater? If I cleaned one after a few hours operation I'd expect it to be like new.
DOH.. Production water heater built on assembly line runs at 170 Fahrenheit. DOH.. prototype E-cat (you keep forgetting the prototype part) runs at significantly greater temps. and have you EVER seen any of Thomas Edison's prototype light bulbs? They don't look anything like what we have off of production lines today..
Then it should be built accordingly. If those are deposits, that thing isn't going to last six months. I'd expect that a prototype so close to production would be similar to a unit being sold, especially with the availability of today's materials.
It’s either the greatest technological advancement since prehistoric man learned to make fire, or a scam.
IMHO, in the short term we’d be better off working on COAL fusion (turning solid fossil fuels into liquids and gasses) than cold fusion.
BTW, Rossi can barely make water boil, so the temperatures wouldn’t be much great than a water heater.
I'd expect that a prototype so close to production would be similar to a unit being sold, especially with the availability of today's materials.
Doh.. Maybe they are, the picture you showed was of a prototype - prototype - prototype (say it with me, you can do it).
You expect too much for somebody who has nothing more invested in a technology other than hot air. Your arguments get sadder and easier to refute every time.
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