Frank Acland, the owner of the e-cat marketing blog e-catworld.com, believes in the e-cat. The problem already starts with the word „believe“. Progress in science and technology should be based on evidence, not be based on belief.
1. Sergio Focardi
2. Guiseppe Levi
3. Sven Kullander and Hanno Essen
4. The October 6th, 2011 test
6. National Instruments
7. Roland Pettersson
8. The May 16th 2013 Third Party Testing Report
10. The Lugano E-Cat Report
11. The Work of Alexander Parkhomov
12. Tom Darden
13. Fulvio Fabiani
Here are my comments why we do not believe in the e-cat:
1. Sergio Focardi
Sergio Focardi is professor emeritus of physics at Bologna University. Frank Acland on his blog e-catworld.com:
„From 1992 he had been working on cold fusion with nickel-hydrogen reactors. His statements about what he learned and witnessed during his work with Rossi are very forthright and unequivocal. He has stated that he believes that we are a the dawn of a new age of energy production based on Rossi’s invention.“
Sergio Focardi deceased in 2013, so unfortunately he cannot make further statements. While he was still alive, Focardi made a remarkable statement that he did not know the secret ingredients of the e-cat, and that he did not want to know what the ingredients are.
The report of the RAI television (the Italian state television) is here.
1:05 from the beginning, immediately, “One man only knows the secrets, his name is Andrea Rossi.”
7:03 “What kind of innovation did Andrea Rossi produce to obtain these results?” Focardi replies simple and clear: “It is added a secret additive, whose formula is confidential, to the system form of hydrogen and nickel. I do not know what this additive is, I never asked anything about it, and I do not want to know anything about it.”
7:34 if it is not enough, after: “What happens exactly inside the reactor of Energy Catalyzer is not clear yet, but Mr Rossi does not intend to wait any time, he wants to market his invention”
So, Focardi said „I do not want to know anything about it.“ How can a scientist who is deeply involved in the development make such an idiotic statement? How can such a person judge the validity of the invention? We do to want to question the integrity of Sergio Focardi but how can we rule out that he was cheated by Rossi, as many others, given the fact that he did not want to know the details of the e-cat device? Focardi, an old time cold fusion researcher, was an old man who wanted to believe, after spending many years on LENR.
2. Guiseppe Levi
Guiseppe Levi is assistant professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Bolgona in Italy.
„This University of Bolgona physics professor has tested the E-Cat on numerous occasions and has issued statements about the validity of the E-Cat. Levi was the lead researcher of the team of European academics that performed third party testing in late 2012-early 2013“
Levi is actually a key figure in this saga. Involved since the early days, he acted as lead author in two „independent reports“. However, Prof Levi´s professional competence as well as his independence is questionable. The man lost important documents and never repeated the most successful e-cat experiments. Prof Levi could not differentiate between wet and dry steam and did not understand its implications (COP of 6 or 1). Also, Levi did not understand the critique of the Lugano report, to which he failed to respond in a professional manner.
It was also revealed that Levi received 75 tsd € from Fabiani, another Rossi associate through his startup company for research funding of a „pinball project“ (In the 2014-2015 year, Giuseppe Levi received 35 thousand euro from Quantum Leap LLC, Fabiani´s US company, and 40 thousand euro the year before). How realistic is it that a small startup company participates in funding of that kind? Could there be any link to Rossi himself? How independent is such a scientist?
3. Sven Kullander and Hanno Essen
Hanno Essén, a theoretical physicist and lecturer at the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology, and late Sven Kullander (who died in 2014), professor emeritus at Uppsala University and chairman of the Swedish National Academy of Sciences Energy Committee, appeared on Swedish public television on Dec. 17, 2012, and endorsed Andrea Rossi and his Energy Catalyzer.
These Swedish scientists later also participated in testing of the E-Cat.
Frank Acland noted:
„both have gone on record stating they could find no other explanation for the energy production they witnessed other than a new kind of nuclear reaction.
I am sure that all of these established academics are not part of any grand conspiracy to trick the world into thinking that Rossi has come up with a new form of energy when they know he hasn’t ……I don’t see any way that Rossi could have hoodwinked these professors with some kind of rigged machine.“
But fact is Prof. Kullander found no evidence for nuclear isotope changes when he examined the ash of early e-cat experiments which only revealed the presence of copper and nickel in natural isotope ratios. During these examinations, no evidence for a nuclear reaction fingerprint was found. Ni, Cu and Fe were found in natural isotope ratios. The fact that these metals appeared in its natural isotope ratio is a clear evidence that no nuclear transmutation has taken place which involved these elements. The only possible explanation is that Rossi faked the sample.
Rossi later even admitted that he had doctored samples:
„AS THESE SCIENTISTS CORRECTLY SAY, I SUPPLIED THOSE SAMPLES, IN 2011 (TO PROF. SVEN KULLANDER), AND I GAVE A SAMPLE FROM WHICH THE COMPONENTS, THAT AT THOSE TIMES WERE NOT DISCLOSABLE, HAD BEEN EXTRACTED, BECAUSE NOT YET PATENTED. I CLEARLY WARNED PROF. KULLANDER OF THAT. SO WE ALL KNEW THAT TOSE ANALYSIS COULD NOT BE TAKEN AS COMPLETE, BUT JUST AS A FIRST APPROACH TO THE PROBLEM. THE COPPER FOUND WAS PROBABLY AN IMPURITY AND I MADE CLEAR THIS SUSPECT OF MINE . IN THAT CASE THE SAMPLE HAD NOT BEEN WITHDRAWN FROM A REACTOR BY A THIRD PARTY AND I HAVE NO DIFFICULTY TO SAY, AS I DID WHEN I DELIVERED IT, THAT I HAD TAKEN OFF FROM IT THE PARTS THAT I WANTED NOT TO DISCLOSE.“
Also, these two scientists, Sven Kullander and Hanno Essen, failed to recognize the issue of dry and wet steam and how this affected the results.
4. The October 6th, 2011 test
about which Frank Acland wrote
„Data Indicates ….demonstration Showed Nuclear Reaction“ wherein „the E-Cat self sustained for almost 5 hours and heated water a constant temperature without any energy input…..
Again, I don’t believe that Rossi would have been able to have faked this demonstration.“
All experiments in 2011 were under close control of Andrea Rossi who played dirty tricks with wet steam and misplaced thermocouples. And of course, Rossi could have manipulated these demonstrations. So it all depends whether one believes in the integrity of the man who „invented“ the e-cat.
5. Andrea Rossi himself
„I find his words and actions convincing. The way he is going about his business seems rational given the circumstances and, most interesting, there doesn’t seem to be anything going on at the moment that resembles a scam. There has been no appeal for the public to send him money — and no one has come forward and said that Rossi has tried to defraud them. Some people might think that he is simply insane and delusional, but I go back to the involvement of the professors — if Rossi was insane, it would not have taken long for these men to realize it, and they certainly wouldn’t have stepped forward publicly to identify themselves professionally with such a person.“
Frank Acland must be joking here. Perhaps he should have a chat with Andrea Rossi´s former business partners of Cherokee/Industrial Heat who accuse Mr. Rossi of fraud.
6. National Instruments
According to e-catworld, National Instruments was involved in the e-cat development:
„This major manufacturer of laboratory testing hardware and software has verified that Andrea Rossi’s account of their relationship is an accurate one. Rossi said they had worked together and that NI had been very helpful in providing advice, even though Leonardo Corp ultimately decided to work with another company.“
However, other sources revealed that National Instruments actually denied the involvement with Rossi.
7. Roland Pettersson
„ This retired associate professor of chemistry at Uppsala University in Sweden has commented positively on two E-Cat demonstrations he has witnessed. He was present at the October 6th demo in Bologna, and more recently attended a private demonstration on February 20th in Bologna. NyTeknik reports that Pettersson said he saw the recently upgraded 1 MW plant and a prototype of the domestic E-Cat.“
With all due respect for Prof. Pettersson and other academics who participated such demonstrations, we cannot be sure that they have ever examined an e-cat without the involvement of Rossi and his associates. Pettersson could have been cheated. Also, he is neither a physicist nor an electrical engineer, so he would not be able to detect manipulations in the experimental setup during demonstrations.
Other currently active professors of Uppsala University with the proper professional background disagreed, namely Prof. Stephan Pomp, faculty member of Uppsala University, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
8. The May 16th 2013 third party testing report
According to Acland,
„This was a convincing report from qualified and reputable academics who reported that after two tests each of which lasted about 100 hours the E-Cat reactor the were testing showed that the energy source could not possibly be of chemical origin“.
The paper is „Indication of anomalous heat energy production in a reactor device“ by Giuseppe Levi (University of Bologna), Evelyn Foschi (Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics), Torbjörn Hartman (senior research engineer at the Svedberg Laboratory, Uppsala University), Bo Höistad (professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Uppsala University), Roland Pettersson (senior lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at Uppsala University), Lars Tegnér (professor in the Department of Engineering Sciences at Uppsala University) and Hanno Essén (Royal Institute of Technology).
The authors concluded:
„Even by the most conservative assumptions as to the errors in the measurements, the result is still one order of magnitude greater than conventional energy sources.“
However, the test was conducted in Rossi´s factory in Italy, on his premises with involvement of his staff and/or himself, using inaccurate IR heat measurement instead of fluid calorimetry. This all leaves space for manipulations. The financial link of the lead author Prof Levi with Rossi´s associates was already mentioned above. Therefore, it can´t be considered truly third party, nor independent.
Two professors at Uppsala University, in Sweden, Göran Ericsson and Stephan Pomp called this paper „pseudoscience“.
“We examine the claims put forth by the authors and note that in many cases they are not supported by the facts given in the report,” Ericsson and Pomp wrote. “The authors seem to jump to conclusions fitting preconceived ideas where alternative explanations are possible…..In general, we find that much attention is drawn to trivialities while important pieces of information and investigation are lacking and seem not to have been conducted or considered. These are characteristics more typically found in pseudoscientific texts and have no place in a technical/scientific report on this level.”
9. The partnership with Industrial Heat LLC / Cherokee Investment Partners
Industrial Heat LLC, of Raleigh, North Carolina, is a company established by Cherokee Investment Partners, a private equity firm which is investing in environmentally friendly technology. The company announced in 2014 they had acquired the rights to Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat. According to e-catworld.com,
„They said they had made this acquisition following the third party testing mentioned above, and conducting their own tests on the E-Cat……The Cherokee / Industrial Heat connection is an indication that serious professionals have done due diligence into Andrea Rossi’s work and have been convinced that the E-Cat is a technology worth investing in.“
e-catworld.com should update. Meanwhile former business partners Industrial Heat / Cherokee Investment Partners are in legal dispute with Rossi and call his claims fraudulent. The due diligence was obviously flawed.
Industrial Heat/ Cherokee made it very clear that they
„were unable to replicate any of Leonardo and Rossi’s claimed results or otherwise generate measurable excess energy. This led Counter-Plaintiffs to realize that there were only three possible conclusions: 1) Leonardo and Rossi’s claimed results, including the purported results from the Validation, were fabricated; 2) Leonardo and Rossi did not provide all of the E-Cat IP to Counter-Plaintiffs as was required under the License Agreement in exchange for the $10 million payment; or 3) both …“
10. The Lugano E-Cat Report
The same team of Swedish and Italian academics who published the 2013 report (see point 8 above) carried out new testing in Lugano, Switzerland (the so called “Lugano report“). According to Frank Acland,
„They ran the E-Cat for 32 days, nonstop, and measured an energy balance between input and output heat which yielded a COP factor of about 3.2 (when the reactor was heated to 1260ºC), and COP of 3.6 (1400ºC). The total net energy obtained during the 32 days run was about 1.5MWh.
In addition to the heat measurements, the testers found the isotopic makeup of the fuel changed during the 32-day run. They analyzed a sample fuel used in the reactor, before and after testing using a variety of standard measurement methods and quantities of Li, Al, Fe and H in addition to Ni were found in the fuel. The isotope composition in lithium and nickel matched a natural composition before the test began, but after the run was found to have been changed substantially.“
But fact is the Lugano report has been seriously discredited. When evaluated correctly, it resulted in significantly less, or no significant excess yield beyond margin of error. See the critique by Thomas Clarke .
Other inconsistencies related to melting point miracles, reaction kinetics implausibilities and more are summarized here: part1, part2.
What remains are the isotope shift results. If real, this observation could only be possible if nuclear reactions would be involved. However, Rossi was personally involved in the sample extractions, so the credibility of the data on isotope changes are at question. Rossi had the opportunity to exchange samples. And, if there would be real isotope shifts as a result of nuclear reactions, why is the COP (corrected after Clarke´s critique) so low, close to 1?
Sample of isotopes, including Ni-62 which was the alleged main product of the reaction and the main Ni isotope in the ash can be procured from lab supply companies. Therefore, it was possible to fake the samples.
11. The Work of Alexander Parkhomov
Alexander Parkhomov is a Russian physicist who analyzed the Lugano E-Cat Report and tried to create a reactor along the same principles as the one used in the report.
According to e-catworld,
„In December 2014 he published a report describing a 90-minute experiment in which his reactor was measured to produce more energy than was input, with a COP of 2.58 when run at 1290ºC. Subsequent experiments have shown similar results.”
But we wonder how can Alexander Parkhomov (or anybody) else „replicate“ an experiment without knowing the secret ingredients? At best, his work are independent results. Parkhomov´s revealed isotope data were never even near to the Lugano report. So, it is not true that Parkhomov found „similar results“. What appeared similar was the claimed COP. However, as we know the Lugano COP was not correct due to wrong examination.
Parkhomov was caught manipulating his data. According to Frank Acland,
„Parkhomov admits doing the cut-and-paste, explaining the reason was the laptop not working correctly when it was unplugged from the power supply network“.
„COP of 1.1 to over 1.2 for about a month, measured by mass flow calorimetry. The integrated operating time of excess energy in the reactor, worked for 38 days, about 100 MJ (30 kWh)”
Normally, with ongoing optimization, results should get better. But in LENR type of e-cats, it seems the opposite is true. COP is approaching 1, which means no more excess heat. It seems with gaining experience, and better methods such as calorimetry, experimental errors are getting less.
12. Tom Darden
„In April 2015, Tom Darden, CEO of Cherokee Investment Partners, and chairman of Industrial Heat spoke at the ICCF-19 conference in Padua, Italy where he explained that he had formed Industrial Heat to invest in LENR research with the goal of creating non-polluting energy. He said in Industrial Heat’s research they had seen some success and that the field of LENR had reached a tipping point. In an interview with Infinite Energy magazine following the speech he explained that Industrial Heat had seen testing on the E-Cat before investing in Rossi’s E-Cat which was persuasive. He said that they had seen ‘some really good stuff’, and was impressed with Andrea Rossi as a researcher.“
Mr. Acland should update his files. Meanwhile former business partners Industrial Heat / Cherokee Investment Partners are in legal dispute with Rossi and call his claims fraudulent.
13. Fulvio Fabiani
Fulvio Fabiani is an Italian engineer who has worked in Rossi´s team since 5 years. According to Acland,
„His speciality is in electronic systems, and he has the assignment of managing the control systems that are used to control the E-Cat. Fulvio Fabiani has publicly confirmed that he is 100 per cent convinced of the reality of the E-Cat. He has also conducted an in-depth interview with author and journalist Mats Lewan in which he reveals much about his involvement in the E-Cat project. He’s one of the few first-hand witnesses working on the ‘inside’ with Andrea Rossi, and therefore his validation is another important evidence in favor of the E-Cats validity and reality.“
Fabiani´s has a long working relationship with Rossi. His judgment is not neutral. „Rossi is the head and runs the R&D. I’m his right arm, his left arm and his legs too.“, Fabiani is quoted saying in the interview with Lewan.
In the meantime, Cherokee / Industrial Heat attack Fabiani to be part of a fraudulent conspiracy (see court documents of pending lawsuits) – Fabiani escaped the US jurisdiction and relocated to Russia.
As a bottom line, Frank Acland´s conclusion is:
„I believe that Andrea Rossi has made a very important discovery that will eventually lead to far more advanced and cost effective energy production than we now know. Rossi seems to realize this too, and is doing all in his power to bring his invention to light, including keeping the cost as low as possible so everyone will be able to afford it. As he says, this will be a revolution, and, as I said already, a revolution must be popular to survive…Is there a chance that I am wrong in my conclusions? Of course — I’m certainly not infallible. But I have tried to be as logical and reasonable about this case as I can be, and from every way I look at things, I believe that Andrea Rossi has discovered a new and superior way of producing energy and that an LENR revolution is not too far away.“
We think that Frank Acland is wrong in his conclusions. Judgment should not be based on belief. It should be based on evidence. And the evidence is not convincing.
Further reasons why we do not believe in the e-cat:
- The criminal history and history of promoting non-working devices of the inventor Andrea Rossi, although this is not per se evidence for fraud, is a red flag.
- The promoter never has allowed an independent test. Alleged „independent tests“ were not truly independent.
- Allegedly „successful experiments“ are never repeated. Since 5 years, devices and methods are frequently changed. This is a classical scheme of science fraud.
- Failure to accept advice from experts in the field, for example on the way of measuring heat (calorimetry instead of complicated indirect IR measurement).
- Failure to properly calibrate experimental measurements to demonstrate that the input and output energies were properly accounted for
- Moving theories, from “nickel-to-copper transmutation” to “proton-lithium-7 fusion” and whatever alternative phantasies. At best, this is an indication for the lack of understanding the underlying process, or deliberate misdirection.
- Through blog posts, Rossi claimed to have customers and e-cat installations as early as 2012, but ever since failed to present a single testimonial of a real customer. Is it possible that all customers want to remain secret, after years? Or is it more likely that the device is a myth that does not exit?
- Patent applications are poorly written, inconsistent and lack sufficient disclosure. Not surprisingly, the main patents were denied by US and EP patent offices. What was granted was an insignificant part not related to the claimed core LENR process – only a smoke screen to misguide potential investors.
- History of manipulations: wet steam vs. dry steam, misplaced thermocouples, complicated indirect infrared measurements instead of precise fluid calorimetry. All of this can be explained by fraudulent attempts to fake the evidence of a higher COP.
- Rossi´s former business partners Cherokee accuse Rossi of fraud and have stated that the technology is not performing as claimed. They refuse milestone payment and surrender a potential business worth potentially trillions of dollars. Why would anybody want to do this? Incompetence and failure to recognize the value of the technology? Steal a technology? Lack of money and inability to raise funding? A conspiracy to suppress LENR/ cold fusion? Or did they simply realize that it doesn´t work?
- Fake customer „JM Products“ in an alleged 1 year performance test. The is no signature for any chemical industry at the place, a warehouse on Florida, of the alleged chemical customer. There is no license and no infrastructure for operating a chemical industry in such a place. Rossi´s lawyer Henry W. Johnson is the manager of the company. Court documents (118-01 Exhibit A) in the lawsuit of Rossi vs. Industrial Heat revealed that Rossi himself was behind JM Products. Why would one establish a fake setup, with fake employees (James A. Bass) when there are industrial installations operating since 2012? Skeptics have told all along that there were no real installations and the e-cat does not work. A real customer would have given testimonials to confirm that it works. But this never happened. On the other hand, a fake setup was used for the sole purpose of collecting a milestone payment.
- Fabio Penon
Fabio Penon, who has a degree in Nuclear Engineering from Bologna University, was involved in earlier hot cat testing (August 2012). He worked for several years in the nuclear industry and as expert on product certification, collaborating with entities such as Bureau Veritas and others. The HotCat report from August 2012, signed by Penon, contained a few notable errors.
It did not come as a surprise, considering his links with Rossi and Bologna University, when the same Fabio Penon was nominated as ERV, the expert responsible for validation of the test, to confirm the e-cat´s performance in a one year performance test. Penon being the ERV was predicted by skeptics on ecatnews.com just days before it was announced.
The ERV report was never released but according to Mats Lewan „the only way for IH to claim a COP about 1 would be to accuse Penon of having produced a fake report in collaboration with Rossi. Nothing in the report itself seems to give any opportunity for large mistakes, invalidating the claim of a high COP“.
But Penon disappeared and refused to provide the raw data of a 1 year performance test.
What reasons could there for such a behavior if the data were solid?
Our conclusion: The e-cat is a fake device.
What looks like another investor fraud, the e-cat saga, is just another nail in the coffin for LENR, after the cold fusion disaster around Fleischmann and Pons in 1989. Luckily mainstream media hardly paid any attention this time…..