Italian scientist Andrea Rossi has spent the past year giving demonstrations of a device that he claims can generate large amounts of energy due to a little-understood nuclear process. His latest demonstration, performed on October 28th, has attracted some of the most mainstream media attention yet, with coverage by outlets including Fox News, Forbes, and MSNBC, among others. But the big question still seems to be whether Rossi’s E-Cat (energy catalyzer) device is a huge breakthrough or a huge scam. What’s making the answer so difficult to determine is the lack of a clear, scientific explanation of what exactly is going on.
On October 28th, Rossi invited a few dozen people, including a group of engineers from an unnamed potential US customer, as well as a handful of journalists. For the demonstration, Rossi connected dozens of modules in parallel. Inside of each module, a nuclear reaction between hydrogen nuclei and nickel nuclei occurs, releasing heat that is used to turn water into steam. According to Rossi, each module received an initial energy input of 400 watts and produced a self-sustaining, continuous output of 10 kilowatts for the next few hours. Altogether, he claims that the device produced an average of 470 kilowatts in the form of steam for more than five hours.
Impressed with these results, the unknown US customer accepted delivery of a commercial E-Cat device. In the days since then – and likely due in part to all the media attention – Rossi has reported on his blog that he has sold “more than two” devices to other customers, which are also unnamed. The devices are being sold through Rossi’s company, Leonardo Corporation, and he says that the customers will reveal their identities when they choose.