E-Cats and the Black Market (Friendlyprogrammer)

The following post was originally posted on this thread by Friendlyprogrammer.

I have suggested this idea here many times, but I suppose I could have been more clear for some. A while back one of my comments was turned into a post about the future of Cheap energy if LENR (or something else) is successful.

I am not talking about a few people building it for themselves. I meant we will see an unprecedented amount of ecats in the black market, and not everyone will just be producing hundreds in their basements, there will be fully operational plants building black market units with automation and skilled workers.

This will happen for a few reasons. The first is that the ecat does not look very complicated. If we examine some of the earlier models they appeared to be simple pipe surrounded by lead and tin foil. Once a functional unit is torn apart everyone will know the exact dimensions of an efficient model.

Another reason that this will tear up the underground markets is that even if Rossi licensed a dozen manufacturers in every country (if he decides not to build them all himself in a Robot plant) they never would keep up with demand.

If you are looking at $500 to heat your house for the winter or you can buy an ecat from the laid off solar panel distributor down the street for $200, what would you do?

That doesn’t even include the electricity potentials of it. If an advanced ecat is put out that can create enough electricity to power a car or truck then there will be a demand for an extra 600 million as we all drive our gas guzzlers into the lake (or convert to hydrogen created on board).

Laws will not stop me from putting one in my house, car, boat, and even the police would all likely want one as quick as possible.

My age is showing here, but Cable television used to “scramble” their signals and subscribers needed to purchase a special descrambling box to watch HBO/Superchannels. Then somebody put out the pattern for a do it yourself $7 box that could be made yourself. Not many actually built this box, but those that did build them made hundreds and sold them for $50-$100. This is the type of thing that will happen if the ecat becomes easy to construct, and works well enough.

I enjoy writing and took law courses as an extension of my knowledge of English, so I am somewhat familiar with what is legal here.

I should also say this to Omega Z, as my building in basement comment also was misleading inferring I meant they would only build a few in their homes and for themselves. People will build them in their basements, but they will be doing it full time.

Let’s now imagine that the government actually cared about the blackmarket ecats and wanted to stop their sale because too much taxes are being lost. How would you suggest they do it?

Imagine a hundred shipping containers arrived in port from china filled with fake ecats. What is illegal? The Chinese shipper could call them flower pots and nobody could say otherwise. They could even stick a plant in one to prove it.

Are they going to make metal/lead containers contraband?

Even the ingredients cannot be made illegal.

Operator: Hello 911
Snitch: Yeah I saw my friend with a bag of powdered Nickel
Operator: (click from hanging up phone)

Rossi’s best hope would be to license as many people as possible and keep the price low. Sell a holographic sticker that can be attached like Microsoft puts on any windows based computer.

If you use rational thought, you will see stopping blackmarket “containers” might seem foolish.

  • Ophelia Rump

    I think the black market would be modeled more like the current HHO market. There would be reactor housing vendors, power supply vendors, fuel vendors, and control system vendors. You could order a complete system but it would probably have parts from several small vendors combined into a known good configuration. They might be shipped as separate parts to be self assembled in order to skirt restrictions. Of course there could be many more types of vendors involved when considering applications beyond the reactors themselves. Steam engine and boiler vendors already exist, those markets would explode. There would be an almost limitless market of retrofitting kits.

    If I could assemble my own working reactor from parts, and run it for profit, I would order the parts this minute. The black market will probably precede the legal home market for this technology. The black market could possibly be the only home market for LENR if the technology is not given home certification.

    I would much prefer to purchase a name brand device manufactured by or under license from Industrial Heat, if they can and are willing to make that possible.

    Industrial Heat, if you are out there, make it happen and you can sell permission, which is far more profitable to sell on mass scale than any widget ever was. Alternatively you can watch your market slip away into the million other hands which would have gladly paid you for the privilege and access to your technical support. Here is a suggestion IH, make the MFMP a licensed customer, allow them to sell parts to your standard for research purposes.
    Then you will get to set the standards for the black market, and profit from it rather than lose ground to it. You can be the biggest share holder in the black market, or fight it. You need the allies.

    • Rene

      There is an apt precedent for controlling technology which is to strongly regulate one essential piece of the tech. In this case it would be the nickel micro-powder. Just as ether is tightly controlled, and weapons receivers are tightly controlled, So will be the processed nickel. The mantra of safety will be used to keep the energy status very quo. It will take black market to get this tech out of a tight circle of energy providers. Yes, for now that may the right path to get it accepted, but those hands will not want it to proliferate, to be democratized.

      • Fortyniner

        The first step will be to use the MSM to spread the message that cold fusion is a dangerous nuclear process that (a) must only be performed by experts in a ‘secure’ setting (= corporate monopoly), and (b) which might be used by ‘terrorists’ to cause ‘nuclear’ explosions in towns and cities. This will be followed by hasty legislative changes designed to bring cold fusion reactors into the category currently inhabited by nuclear fission.

        Once this is accomplished, purchases of nickel nanopowder, and perhaps even precursors such as nickel salts, even if not outrightly banned may be used to track the ‘terrorists’ who buy these materials. Front doors being kicked in at 3AM would probably follow closely on any such purchases.

        • timycelyn

          [Grins but saying nothing]


          • Fortyniner

            “The issue is not whether you are paranoid, the issue is whether you are paranoid enough.”
            – Max, Strange Days

            “There are two kinds of paranoia: Total, and insufficient. I am both, because if you think you are sufficiently paranoid, you’re not.”
            – Guildenstern, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

          • GreenWin

            Stoppard is one of UK’s most wicked weapons.

        • friendlyprogrammer

          Yes. I’ve actually wondered if LENR advances in physics might lead to a new method of splitting atoms. It could very well be dangerous.

          I sometimes secretly hope there is some aliens out there knocking nuclear silos offline in times of crisis as the notion of furthering our physics knowledge might make dangerous sciences all too easy.

          However. History does frown upon politicians who attempt to take away popular substances like alcohol, cigarettes and Marijuana. They worm their way back into legality or have underground markets too popular to punish in Guantanamo. If 12 of your neighbors got swept up in a country wide LENR sting a few people may notice.

          • Fortyniner

            The probabilities suggest that the galaxy is probably crawling with sentient species, and there are plenty of indications at the edge of the Standard Model that the ‘speed of light’ may not the insurmountable barrier we have long thought. Put this together with observations of what appear to be large numbers of aerial vehicles of types not listed in Jane’s Aircraft Recognition Guide, and the conclusion seems obvious.

            Whether such beings care much whether some clever apes destroy themselves or not is probably another question, although they might consider the destruction of a pretty planet rather a shame.

          • friendlyprogrammer

            I agree, but did not want to suggest sanity issues. There are more stars than grains of sand, and it does seem probable that we are just apes in comparison to other species.

            We do not allow apes to harm one another however, so maybe a few aliens are running Nature Journal to thwart scientific breakthroughs involving physics to save us from ourselves. That would make more sense than some of their behaviors regarding LENR.


          • Fortyniner

            I agree that much of human behaviour seems to be depressingly little advanced beyond that of chimps. The reaction of academia to the perfectly sound evidence for cold fusion is obviously a case in point. I suppose that as a species that at most is about 100,000 years old, that would make us infants by comparison with far older sentient beings, so infantile behaviour might be expected.

            I am long since past caring what others make of my sanity (or otherwise). I just go where the evidence takes me. This particular topic has become the butt of the usual ‘conspiracy theory’/’tinfoil hat’ labels (conspiracy by whom I wonder – little green men??) which is as good a reason as any for assuming that it’s probably real.

          • friendlyprogrammer

            If someone attaches facial recognition software and a gun to a small helicopter type drone (they have done so on youtube), could they not have it go to any location and have it mug someone specific, then deliver the money or codes to a nearby location and then drive itself into a lake to avoid police.

            Criminals will also be able to use nanotech.

        • psi2u2

          Just think, they could hire unemployed DEA agents for the job. Yesterday, Cannabis, now the dreaded “nickel” powder, magic fairy dust of deviants and addicts.

      • friendlyprogrammer

        Or.. Maybe the government will care more about their taxes than they do about a LENR patent and will let the Nickel roam free for the cost of a few extra points.

    • georgehants

      Hi clovis, it must just show that the corruption of capitalism is not as strong in Russia.
      Nobody can deny that they have a more honest and free scientific establishment.
      Something for the censored and suppressed Western scientist to admire and struggle to attain, I think.
      Mr Solzhenitsyn is a good example for our scientists to follow.

      • LCD

        Russia less corrupt than in the usa, now I’ve heard everything. George when you make comments like that you don’t help any cause you represent.

        • georgehants

          LCD my point is made regarding the Russian scientific response to Mr. Rossi’s TPIR. where it is clear the corrupt capitalistic influences are not as strong as in the USA etc.
          Are you really so unable to think that you give back such a reply to something that is obviously proven by events.
          Blind irrational denial.
          You can only be a scientist.

          • LCD

            Yes as we know in your world one scientist represents all Russia.

            Do you even think about what you post George, or is your goal simply to say outlandish nonsense so that people respond?

            This is why nobody takes you seriously dude.

          • georgehants

            LCD, I think that Russian science and journals have proven they are not as corrupted and incompetent as ours.
            You are giving not the slightest defense against that conclusion just abuse and —–
            Blind unfounded denial without giving an alternative explanation for such horrendous events.
            You can only be a scientist.
            Few scientists seems to take the Truth seriously, that would explain the terrible Cold Fusion crimes.
            It of course is all somebody else’s fault, not ours. childish excuse do you not think, most adult people as they grow-up learn to take responsibility for their own failings.
            I look forward to your next denial of scientific responsibility.

        • Fortyniner

          Seen from outside, the US and Russia appear equally corrupt. Call it a draw.

          • LCD

            Well global human aid per country would indicate that is not true. The US puts Russia to shame. So might want to get all your facts right first.

          • bachcole

            They may appear to be equally corrupt in your eyes, they aren’t equally corrupt in my eyes. Russia is mafiosocracy, and we just had an election and seriously changed the government.

  • MasterBlaster7

    I cant really say what they would do in other countries. But, in the USA, they will probably (if the e-cat is an industrial success) heavily regulating nano-nickle. They (the government) have the legitimate basis that nano-nickle is highly toxic. At this point, I am much more interested, and concerned, with industrial success. We are kinda putting the cart before the horse here with do-it-yourself e-cats.

    I know that Rossi wants to keep the commercial plant under the lid for a year while data is collected. But 3, 6, 9 months in, I would like to hear stuff like….yah…its going good…we are collecting positive data…the client is saving money. Stuff like that.

  • Gerard McEk

    The original Ecat design was relatively simple, but dangerous with the hydrogen bottle. The new design is mechanically simpler it seems, but filling it with powder is specialistic work. It seems the lithium hydroxide is not very stable and should not be handled in open air. Nickel nano particles are probably very unhealthy as MB7 below also suggests. I guess the issue is that you need to get the filling in the right composure and properly sealed and proper ways to put it into your self made/assembled Ecat. Whether or not governments can regulate this I am not sure, but I guess it is nearly impossible to avoid a black market. Drugs is already dificult to maintain, if everybody want to have the Ecat powder, it will be impossible to regulate.

    • gdaigle

      Just a thought, but suspending the nano nickel powder and lithium hydroxide in diathermic oil would allow it to convey heat up to 350ºC, which should be sufficient for domestic usage. An oil suspension or other heat transfer fluid would keep the reactants from being exposed to oxygen and keep them from becoming airborne, reducing the potential health hazard.

      • georgehants

        No need for a black market , we will soon be able to buy E-Cats from Russia.
        I thought Admin might put up a topic page on this Wonderful news but not yet.
        Where most of the corrupt and incompetent western science establishment
        still hides Cold Fusion, our Wonderful Russian friends are more honest
        and uncensored.
        How times change.
        November 8th, 2014 at 10:07 AM
        Dr Andrea Rossi:
        Did you see the article on Proatom written by Dr Vitaly Uzikov?
        This is a peer reviewed nuclear physics magazine and Dr Uzikov is a
        preminent figure of the Russian Nuclear Physics world. Congratulations
        to the Professors of the ITP, this is an important endorsement from the
        mainstream Russian scientific environment. If you come in Russia you
        will find friends of much higher level than you can even imagine.
        From Russia, with love and with the regular Warm Regards,
        D. Travchenko
        Andrea Rossi
        November 8th, 2014 at 10:33 AM
        D. Travchenko:
        This paper is becoming viral and I am very honoured of what you say:
        yes, I agree totally with you in regard of the inportance of this
        Warm Regards,

        • georgehants

          While virtually every person on page has been blaming the media, governments and old nick for the delay and hiding of Cold Fusion I have been saying that it is the fault of science and the western science comics.
          This is what should of happened here, now in Russia one can start to blame other people if they do not take this scientific lead.

          • Rossi should try to get contacts to them. Maybe the russian scientists will get the information they need from the chinese scientists otherwise.

            At the current political situation with russia and the US, the russians will try to bet the US in such a revolutional topic.Time for the US scientists to take CF/LENR serious, before they lose the race caused by their idiotical proud.

        • Ophelia Rump

          Russia is threatening a new cold war, perhaps LENR will be the battleground.

          • georgehants

            Then it will be a good outcome for the World whoever wins, better than all the corruption and censoring in the West keeping it hidden.
            Don’t you agree?

          • Ophelia Rump

            Yes, I do georgehants. Indeed I do agree.
            But seldom do “leaders” do the right thing which is right there before them. They are an uninspired lot.

          • bachcole

            They seem too often to be inspired by their own aggrandizement.

          • Fortyniner

            They are inspired, but by the wrong things.

          • bachcole

            It is a war that everyone will win. Sounds like a good war to me.

          • friendlyprogrammer

            You think it’s a surveillance estate now? wait 10-20 years when you will not be able to walk outside without a drone watching you and possibly protecting you from the mugger drones known to shoot people who refuse to give up their wallets and jewellery.

            Drones could assassinate now, and you could purchase a hand sized drone on craigslist now for less than $100. Imagine fitting that with a small gun and facial recognition program and you have a device that could fly to your house shoot you and then fly itself into a lake.

            Terrorists could launch 10000 exploding micro drones from any shipping container and I hope the government is watching for drones, because they could very possibly the next weapon of choice by many.

            In one of my stories (I like writing) I even have drones recognizing that someone new has arrived in town and the authorities are tipped off that there is suspicious activity when 3 people come out of a building that the drones thought contained only 2 people.

            If a stranger walks into a mall in 30 years and the facial recognition (they can also know you by your height/weight/walking style as well) does not recognize you, you will likely be tackled by mall security and hauled to your local police station. Who the heck are you?

            I don’t mind the surveillance myself, but I agree it will cut down on crime like piracy as you stated concerning our present day surveillance of electricity consumption. They also take infra red photos from the sky to spot heat from Grow-ops, especially if they notice your hydro bill skyrocketing. Many Grow ops vent their heat through long tunnels for this reason and heavily insulate.

            I think the race for an alternative fuel will still lead to mass piracy of a breakthrough when one occurs. The power company cannot monitor 600 million cars/trucks without even mentioning boats, ships. There is also the fact many countries do not have such infrastructure to monitor pirated ecats from power bills and infra red. i.e would china care if their people had copied ecats? A country that openly has a fake Apple store in its malls?

            You make some good points though, but reigning in the surveillance state will not happen. It is currently the government doing the surveillance, however CCTV along with drones, watch cams (new this year even), computer cams, are making the surveillance much more privatized.

            The only way to prevent it is if civilization collapsed for some sad reason.

            Virginia has becomes the first state to pass Drone regulations.

            Have a look here to see what drones are capable of, but there are weaponized helicopter drones being demo’d elsewhere on youtube.

            Imagine jumping out of a burning building and these catch you gently (larger versions obviously). Watch!


            That video is hard to swallow. My god they have potential to really affect our lives in the next 1000 years.

      • Fortyniner

        Unfortunately it would also prevent the nickel and the lithium hydride (or its decomposition products) coming into contact.

        • Gerard McEk

          Yes, I think it may prevent /block hydrogen and lithium to miove into the nickel. But who knows, we are not LENR specialists.

    • William D Fleming

      There’ll be ready-mixed cartridges. Changing a burned out cell in your system will be as easy as changing a light bulb. Your ecat may run continuously for a lifetime if maintained.

      • Omega Z

        Everything to date indicates the cartridges will be disposable tho exchanged for environmental concerns. They will not be reused. Of course that could possibly change.

        After that Longevity falls back on the electronics. Dependent on components used, could last 30 plus years. Then you have the water vessel. Most likely, these will be like most major appliances. 20 to 25 years. You could make them last longer, but cost comes into play.

    • Warthog

      Oh, please….”..dangerous with the hydrogen bottle”.

      Baloney. Hydrogen is used safely in quantities both small (a few cc/min) and large(tons/hour) in thousands of locales in the US and around the world. We know how to use H2 safely. The means to do so is OLD technology of long standing. But if you’re really that paranoid about safety, replace the bottle with a small electrolyzer.

      This is the same gripe that many raise against the “hydrogen economy”, almost always accompanied by a picture of the Hindenburg zeppelin disaster. The REAL problem with the “hydrogen economy” is that it ain’t economical.

      • Gerard McEk

        For you and me this will be a simple job, t for the majority not techies things may go wrong. Anyway the usage of hydroxides will probably make things easier and there will be no need for H2 bottles.

      • friendlyprogrammer

        Backing up what Gerard said here. One of the steps Rossi took to make the ecat pass safety concerns was to start preloading the metals. Hydrogen is hard to store and transport, although there are many breakthroughs in these areas also.

        I think you exaggerated the word “dangerous” here to mean impossible, but Rossi has claimed safety analysts have said similar and were satisfied by preloading.

      • Omega Z

        And people who know what they’re doing have an oops day from time to time. Several labs have blown up injuring people & at least 1 killed.
        And you would put these in the hands of billions who don’t have a clue. In homes where kids play not always following parents directions.

        space shuttle challenger

        And it doesn’t have to be Hydrogen. Any compressed gas is dangerous. Ever seen an oxygen bottle get knocked over breaking the head off. Went through 2 concrete block walls & came to rest against a 3rd.

        A refrigerant tank left in the Sun exploding & going a 100 feet in the air. The list is very long & happens far more then you ever hear about.

        There is a reason they are highly regulated. They are dangerous. Back when people commonly burnt their trash in back yards, it was common for people to be hurt or things damaged by simple aerosol cans of hairspray & such. Now you want to add compressed Hydrogen to their home arsenals. Wonder how this would all pan out when some delusional kid takes one to school with ill intent. Especially when they become readily available everywhere.

    • Ophelia Rump

      There is the patent application for a “solid fuel pellet” E-Cat.

    • Omega Z

      The original E-cat still had issues. It now incorporates the Mouse/Cat to over come the issues which would indicate it is now more complex. And Note, Nickel powder is Toxic. They use masks & a Glove box when working with it.

  • Mark Szl

    They will just stick to bigger commercial, industrial and municipality markets with big plants. Why bother with the home market. Most will still get power from a central supplier.

    • timycelyn

      Well, if nice, friendly, benevolent Megapower Incorporated (with all necessary govt licenses and ‘connections’ [see Peter, I’m learning]) charges you 10 credits per unit of E-cat energy, wheras a nasty illegal Chinese Cat can deliver it fo 0.5 credits, you just might get a tad annoyed after a while….

  • Ophelia Rump

    I hope you are correct Jan Nie.

    • Omega Z

      It is hard to compete with a Bot that can make 10 or a 100 components while your still just thinking about it. And it is hard to live on $2 an hour that it costs to run that Bot. Those parts you bought for $1 each, they received a transport load of at 3 cents each.

      They can build it, double the price, Doubles again by the time it gets to the big box store & is cheaper then we can buy the materials for. And theirs comes with a warranties & Guaranteed to work. It will also be UL certified & not void your home owners insurance should something go wrong.

      There are many things that some people have the skills to build themselves. But don’t. The above scenario is why. I’ve built things myself, but only as a hobby. All considered, it wasn’t cheaper then what is available in the market by a long shot. That means if I built these, it would cost more then the Big Box price.

      The Only black market they would be concerned with would be black market mass production factories. They would simply be designated Economic terrorists. Hey, Whats that thing flying overhead. ah oh..

  • LCD

    Let me just add a few points to the original post.

    Just how far away are we from black market ecats? Literally a few details away. Most of those details will probably become public knowledge in less than six months through either a patent our through a leak of some sort. Then there will be a billion people experimenting with the rossi effect and a million websites selling kits, parts, and full units.

    And with all that said Rossi will still sell billions because demand is literally unquenchable and maybe that’s the way it should be. Rossi sells official certfied stuff to businesses who will care about such things and everybody will get everything else.

    The other thing that is never mentioned is all the other applications.

    The ecat would not be important just for power generation. The basic effect will have impacts from medicine and biology, to space exploration and basic physics. You name it, it will be affected.

    So one of the things which saddens me and many others is that presumably we are at the threshold of a door in human history where just beyond there will be a renaissance in prosperity, knowledge, and technological advancement. But we can’t get past it because we don’t have a system that works to recognize and expedite these types of things I.e. Rossi cannot make the profit he and his investors deserve by revealing the secret until much more time passes, more greenhouse gases are released, & more people die from those things which the Ecat could prevent.

    • friendlyprogrammer

      I am bothered that the “threshold of a door in human history where just beyond there will be a renaissance in prosperity” is being held back by Journals like Nature. There is more than enough papers/books/experiments and over a thousand PhD’s supporting LENR.

      • LCD

        ‘s been 3years already

    • Donk970

      I think big institutions and governments are in an interesting position regarding LENR right now. For the last 25 years they have suppressed development of LENR by claiming that it is junk science, fraud and complete nonsense. There isn’t anything in these devices that could remotely be considered dangerous. Nothing radioactive or particularly dangerous so they are in a position where they really can’t object without acknowledging that LENR is real and is an actual nuclear process. What will win out? The desire to save face and never ever admit that they were wrong or the desire to protect the existing energy industry profits.

  • friendlyprogrammer

    Thank you Frank. Again I am flattered by having a comment turned into a posting, especially amongst the abundance of LENR news of late.

  • Omega Z

    They will just tax the Nickel as it is mined. Only a few points to monitor instead of millions.

  • georgehants

    Roger, many thanks for your tolerance. 🙂

  • georgehants

    Roger, my concern in this case is Cold Fusion and it’s complete corrupt and incompetent denial in the West.
    My point is plainly that in this instance Russian science has shown itself to be more open and honest than ours.
    Now everybody distracting that clear obvious point to play games with politics is showing a kind of paranoia.
    I will repeat and I have no axe to grind with the Russians regarding their Wonderful disclosure or Mr. Rossi’s TPIR, I congratulate them and admire them for this report.
    Do you?

  • Omega Z

    Oil, Gas, & Coal already have extraction taxes in the U.S, as well as in others Countries. Wonder how this effects the North Sea Oil under British control. Last I recall, they had like an $80 bbl fee.

  • kdk

    Indeed, I think the problem will (mostly) only be when there is a shortage of legit (safety tested) devices.

  • Albert D. Kallal

    I suspect we might see the day when eating in a restaurant and when you look over into the exposed kitchen area that is all the rage in so many restaurants today?
    You take note of the make and model of the grill that just cooked your juicy burger and note this:

    Brillouin Cookmaster Series III professional LENR grill.

    If LENR devices are as easy to make as they seem, then the REAL question is how ubiquitous this technology will become!

    Albert k.