The Promise of Controlled Nuclear Fusion – Part XIV

There is steadily increasing activity in and around LENR. Andrea Rossi has signaled that his Leonardo Corporation is closer than ever to launching his 1MW E-Cat on to the open market. Apparently, the original hundred 10KW small E-Cats have now been superseded by four 250KW large E-Cats, or Tigers, as Rossi has dubbed them. However, if he has now developed such a stand-alone 250KW model, there could be a strong case for marketing it directly its own right. One Tiger could supply 250 homes by itself and that could be sufficient for a small community, village or factory. Alternatively, a streak or ambush (the zoologically correct names!) of two or more Tigers could furnish any amount of power in convenient 250KW increments.

Meanwhile, Brillouin Energy has raised the stakes by filing for a Patent for Controllable Phonon Energy Generation. Together with the decidedly improved website, Brillouin’s Robert Godes might at last be ready to challenge Rossi in the race to commercialization, at least in the USA (but see below).

However, other countries are also looking more and more likely to be competitive in the world-wide race. A group of Russian scientists have proposed a full scale LENR research program. Funding would be limited to researchers inside Russian Federation territory but, I gather, the findings would be published internationally.

From China, Songsheng Jiang of the Ni-H Research Group, China Institute of Atomic Energy, Beijing has reported producing a low energy nuclear reaction in hydrogen-loaded Nickel wire. The nickel wire was soaked in the hydrogen at pressure about 200-100 kPa for more than 10 days. Before filling it with hydrogen, the chamber was vacuum pumped down to 2 millibar or less. The heater was same as in previously reported work and normal AC power was used. Importantly, no LiAlH4 was used! Thus, Songsheng Jiang has seemingly achieved a LENR reaction using only very minimal and inexpensive ingredients. If others can also replicate this, it will be a breakthrough in itself. The English PDF is here.

In Japan, cold fusion research is now the basis of a project at Tohoku University, lead by Professor Jirota Kasagi. The goal is to develop a small, simple device for turning radioactive waste into safer substances and generating heat. See here and here.

The LENR revival in India is also gaining both momentum and respectability in equal measure as evidenced by a special section on LENR in the widely read Current Science journal. As you’ll see, the authors are a virtual who’s who of LENR R&D.

Another country which has also raised its profile in LENR/Cold Fusion is France. Remember that this was where Stanley Pons ended up after he and Martin Fleischmann were virtually hounded out of the USA by the deeply unfair reaction to their 1989 presentation. There, he found a more respectful and less prejudiced environment for Cold Fusion and scientific non-orthodoxy in general, typified by the keen, energetic researcher and author, Dr. Jean-Paul Biberian. Pons wrote a must-read introduction to Jean-Paul’s book Fusion in All Its Forms – also a must read! Not surprisingly, the original was in French but an English version has recently become available through the Infinite Energy Magazine.

So, with over half of 2015 gone, what should we make of our Tour de Fusion, the long, arduous “cycle race” that we first visualized in Part IV.  It was then lead by Rossi and Godes, who had seemingly broken clear of the peloton. It seems clear that said peloton, now including riders from Russia, China, Japan, India, France and others, may be about to gather the two still largely secretive American entries back in, with the finish line still not obviously in sight. Recently, GreenWin, a frequent contributer to the popular E-Cat World site, reflected on the comparative openness of the rest of the LENR world, compared to that of the patent-obsessed American effort:

Russia, China, India, Japan, Sweden, Italy – representing nearly half the planet population all have expanding LENR research programs. Apparently so does the U.S. – but they have carefully hidden their work behind an ironic curtain.

I’d say Churchill would have approved!

P W Power, August 2015

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