Life connected au des while technology evolves by design?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Future of Energy

This year the Italian physicist Andrea Rossi unveiled a device that turned water to steam with a power input of one-thirtieth the energy it takes to heat a modicum of water to the temperature of convection by the drift of fluid particles. With a power-gain factor of thirty, this device could replace the dirty and dangerous methods of turning water to steam to move an electricity-generating turbine (that is how current power plants generate electricity). Because the reaction requires continuous electrical input and the reactants are not unstable there is no risk of meltdown.

Rossi claims in the patent that the device works by fusing hydrogen and nickel (making copper); this nuclear reaction has no radio-active by-products - humanity has discovered only a handful of the possible nuclear reactions; perhaps someday copper will be fused for energy. When Pons and Fleischmann revealed their method of fusing nuclei of the stable hydrogen isotope deuterium (into helium) other labs found they could not replicate their experiment (this was because those labs were using palladium cathodes from a defective batch), and even though labs around the world have more recently succeeded in creating cold fusion reactions the dogma that cold fusion is a hoax persists (so the patent office rejected Rossi's patent on his 'energy catalyzer').

Many of the people who have denounced cold fusion are scientists working on hot fusion (nuclear fusion under conditions simulating stars, where fusion commonly occurs). If cold fusion research had received even a tenth of the funding of hot fusion, we very well could be living in a world in which deuterium (which is much more abundant and cheaper to extract than equal energy potentials of fossil fuels) from seawater were our primary fuel; but hot fusion has dominated the funding for fusion research.

Rossi will ship his product to organizations which have contracts with him and begin mass production this year. He will reveal the trade secret of exactly how his 'energy catalyzer' works once he has a patent on it.

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