One, and Only One Person Knows the Secret Catalyst Ingredient of the E-Cat

Andrea Rossi likes to talk about the E-Cat and about his plans and hopes for the technology, but there is one aspect of it that he will not discuss —  the catalyst that is combined with nickel and hydrogen to allow the powerful nuclear reaction to take place within the energy catalyzer.

In the recent RAI television feature about Andrea Rossi and his E-Cat invention, there was a short interview with Sergio Focardi, Emeritus Professor at the University of Bologna who has worked with Rossi on developing  the device. Focardi states in the interview that he does not know what the special catalyst is, that he has never asked Rossi what it is, and that he does not want to know what it is.

Rossi has filed a patent application for the E-Cat, but the details of the catalyst are not contained in it. Rossi has said that only if the initial patent is accepted will he follow up with an independent patent on the catalyst. If the patent is not accepted, then the catalyst will remain a trade secret, and he will continue with the commercialization of the technology on that basis.

Rossi has also said that he is the only person in the world who knows what the catalyst is. This strategy ensures that the technology remains secure with him, but it does bring up a question: what happens if he dies — does the technology die with him? Someone asked this very question on his web site today.

Q: “If you die, will everything be lost? If it’s lost, do you think by not keeping the formula safe with at least another person, you are being fair with the rest of mankind?”

A: “I gave to three persons of my total trust a letter with which they will go to a study of attorneys at law to get the papers there deposited . In those papers there are all the necessary instructions.”

If the secret catalyzer is dealt with only as a trade secret there is another danger — that once the E-Cat has been commercialized and distribute, what is to prevent people dismantling the device and examining the contents? Sophisticated chemical analysis may well be able to determine the physical makeup of the chemicals used and identify what the catalyst is. This question was raised with Rossi during a live chat session at NyTeknik.

Q: “How do you plan to prevent reverse engineering and production in places that ignore intellectual property protection? 

A: I do not know. At the moment I am focused only to produce. For the moment we maintain the industrial secret upon the issues that improve the efficiency (nature of catalyzers for example). But the text of our patent will allow, before or later, somebody to replicate the effect and make what you say. But this is normal in the history of technology and I have to accept it.

It sounds like he’s being realistic, admitting that he does not have a foolproof solution to secure his technology — but he doesn’t seem to be too worried about it at this stage. One thing that seems clear is that he is currently putting all his efforts into making sure that the E-Cat technology finds its way into the marketplace where it can be of practical use in the world.


  • tony

    Hasn’t the patent been granted, on 6th April 2011? Check the Wikipedia energy catalyzer article on 7th may 13:19.

    Perhaps someone can ask Mr Rossi?

  • jonathan

    Even if the first patent goes through, we will still have to wait on the second patent to find out what tje secret catalyzer is. Probably wont learn it this year…

  • Warthog

    According to Rossi, anomalous heat can be gained just from nano-particle nickel and hydrogen, just not nearly as efficiently as with the catalyst. Once the effect is known to be real, I’m sure that other materials will prove to exhibit similar characteristics. Even though Rossi investigated “thousands” of combinations, he certainly could not have tested all possibilities.

  • Boron.
    I’m betting the the secret catalyst is some form of the element boron .
    If you read the patent application (the International one), I think you’ll find some hints on it.

  • There is a possibility that the catalyst is only required to get the right geometry into the Nickel powder or ash and is then removed leaving voids.That’s quiet common in catalysis.
    In the electrolytic work its believed that the structure that does the reaction is on the surface, about 60 nm across, and is only the correct geometry to do the reaction if the the underlying palladium is in the 90+ loading phase. As H, Li and deuterium penetrate the Pd the atoms of Pd move apart. Anything attached to that get pulled to a new bond angle which may matter. In Nickel the same thing occurs the metal must be fully loaded to get the light water reaction. This means the spacing of the atoms matters in the reaction. Rossi’s version has an ignition temperature which in some phases should partly melt the nickel at the surface; That adds a whole bunch of variables and possibilities. It also adds broken bonds and freed electrons.
    In Cold Fusion the question that should have been asked is:
    What is the smallest possible tunnelling particle accelerator? Answer appears to be 60~50 nm.
    How do you make it? Ultra fine hydrides with a specific nano-geometry and a coaxial proton/ electron focus.
    How do you make that electrochemical plating of Pd, Ni or Zr onto a substrate or spray these metals into a neutral gas to make nanoscale ash or snow flakes with a controlled geometry.

    • Julian Brown

      Thanks Wesley Bruce.

      That has got to be one of the most intelligent and constructive comments I have ever seen concerning this extraordinary affair.

      I still don’t know what to think of F&R. I think it quite appalling that Rossi thinks he can treat his supposed secret ingredient just like any other industrial secret – e.g. the CocaCola recipe. We’re talking about a possible solution to the world’s energy problems for all time here, so isn’t fame and sainthood enough ?

      His secrecy will backfire on him anyway, because the patenting process demands disclosure of enabling features in exchange for the monopoly granted. Should the patent be granted, opponents will make mincemeat of it on the grounds of incomplete disclosure (Article 83 in the EPC), and he will be left footing the bill. The pending patent applicant doesn’t disclose anything that he Focardi hasn’t made public over the years plus a nanopowder technique published several years ago by Arata. Doesn’t he get this, or is he just a victim of some very bad legal advice ?

    • ryan schwartz

      maybe geometry controlled with sound or frequency. just a thought

  • Iggy Dalrymple

    In the US Patent App, boron is mentioned. Maybe boron is the “secret catalyst”.

    “[0030] In particular, the inventive apparatus is coated by
    boron layers and lead plates both for restraining noxious
    radiations and transforming them into energy, without gener-
    ating residue radiations and radioactive materials.”

  • Iggy Dalrymple

    From what I understand, Rossi has been awarded an Italian patent. Rossi has applied for a US patent but to my knowledge it has not been issued. And Yes, boron is mentioned in the patent application.

  • Iggy Dalrymple