Editor’s Note: I wouldn’t bet on it…
Cold fusion is considered by many to be the Holy Grail of energy production: a contained, low-energy nuclear reaction that could theoretically produce endless, self-sustaining, and incredibly cheap energy. But, just like the Holy Grail, it has been more myth than reality.
Countless scientists have tried to successfully demonstrate cold fusion, and all have failed – until now. energyNOW! anchor Thalia Assuras takes a look at a technology that could change the way we think about energy. The full segment is available below:
Late last month, an Italian inventor named Andrea Rossi, claimed a successful test demonstration of cold fusion at the University of Bologna. His power plant, named E-Cat (for Energy Catalyzer), passed its biggest test yet, producing energy for over five hours. The test aimed to generate one megawatt, and averaged 470 kilowatts over the test duration, but fell short of its target because of a technical glitch.
Rossi says his technology succeeded where others have failed because he uses a secret catalyst to react with small amounts of nickel powder and hydrogen gas. The resulting reaction creates energy in the form of heat without any emissions, radioactive materials, or nuclear waste. The E-Cat’s energy output was measured by tracking water boiled off during the reaction, and Rossi says his test produced as much energy as 70 gallons of gasoline.
The E-Cat was built for and tested in front of an unnamed American company that intends to commercialize the technology, but questions still remain about the E-Cat’s viability. For instance, several reporters were allowed to witness the test, but only for a few minutes at a time. And, the E-Cat remained plugged into a power supply throughout the demonstration.
Nonetheless, Rossi says he expects the E-Cat to go into mass production soon, so time will tell if cold fusion has finally found a place in the sun.
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