Rossi in his Bologna warehouse with a 10-kilowatt E-Cat module. He has been criticized in the past for not unplugging his machine during demos.
A well-known promoter of cold fusion technology-who’s been demonstrating his latest invention here and there over the past two years-has announced that an independent third party has verified his machine works. That is, it creates a large amount of energy in the form of heat, far more than it consumes.
If Andrea Rossi’s cold fusion reactor, called the E-Cat, really worked, it could power the world cheaply and without pollutants. Rossi has previously backed out of third-party testing with NASA and the University of Bologna in Italy, as Popular Science reported in November, but now he’s saying that a team has tested the E-Cat.
His new third party verification says the E-Cat creates at least tenfold more power than energy sources at work today. A paper about the tests is available on arXiv, a database for publishing physics papers, often before they’re peer reviewed. The paper, which is not peer-reviewed, leaves out crucial details, for example referring to “unknown additives” instead of specifying what chemicals actually go into the reaction.
There’s plenty of reason to be skeptical. Rossi has a history of blocking even simple tests of the E-Cat. Many established experts are skeptical of his invention and with the idea that cold fusion is even possible. Even among those who work on cold fusion-often tinkerers not associated with major research institutions-Rossi doesn’t necessarily inspire confidence. He has previously passed off spurious inventions, including a machine that was supposed to turn waste into oil.
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