Infinite Energy interview Tom Darden on Rossi, E-Cat, LENR: “We’ve Seen Some Really Good Stuff”

Marianne Marcy of Infinite Energy Magazine has conducted an interview  with Tom Darden of Cherokee/Industial Heat at the ICCF-19 conference in Padua. It’s a long interview that covers quite a lot of ground, and Darden talks a lot about his background and environmental philosophy, and there are interesting areas concerning LENR. Here are few excerpts I found interesting.

The full article can be found here:

About getting into LENR and the risks involved:

“I talked to some really smart people who are involved in it. I was thinking, “You’ve got to be kidding!” and I came away and said, “There’s enough reality there that I’m willing to take a technical risk . . .

“The good thing is there has been so little in the way of resources in LENR that people have figured out how to do things very cheaply. If people are able to build successful replicable multiple devices that can operate for a while, and don’t appear to cost much, that was enough in my mind. They weren’t made of Unobtanium, or some hyper expensive material that was impossible to deal with”

Regarding funding, Marianne asks if he’s invested his own money in IH:

“Oh, yeah. I’ve been the primary funder. I think there probably are a lot of people out there like me. Clearly
there are. You read in the newspaper about Bill Gates, people with massive wealth and the Giving Pledge or whatnot. Look at what they are doing with their resources.”

About whether he saw compelling evidence before making the decision to invest in the E-Cat:

“Yes. We saw stuff that was compelling . . . We’ve seen a number of tests and we’ve had a lot of people looking at tests. Of course outsiders have looked at tests. I think particularly the transmutation data is very compelling.
I felt very good about that, better than any outlet of test data I’d seen . . . We’ve seen some really good stuff. We want to support Andrea in his research however we best can.”

About working with Rossi:

“Rossi is a smart guy. The thing I’ve always been interested in Andrea is how intensely theoretical he is. I’m not smart enough to know what theories are right. People have a visualization of things they can’t see. I have no earthy idea if what they are seeing is correct. I had assumed he was more of an experimenter, a tinkerer, trying this and this and this, in more of a random fashion. But not at all. He is laser like in his attention He is very theoretical, very knowledgeable. He’s hard working and driven and we’re pleased with the investment.”

About media attention, and coming forward publicly at this time:

“No! I don’t ever want to see that. The idea of just having to work on things in a fishbowl; I don’t see it. People who do that sort of thing either want to do that because they are trying to sell their product, so you can see why consumer facing companies want to do that. Or they’re going public. Or they’re raising money so they need a presence in the public markets. Or they want it, ego or whatever. That’s the way they are. None of those apply. I don’t want it and we don’t want to raise investor interest or look as if we’re trolling and we don’t have something to sell.”

There’s a lot more. My overall impression from reading the interview is that Tom Darden is a very deliberative person and is thinking carefully and patiently as he plans ahead for how to implement the technology under his control. He mentions that he thinks patience is a virtue and that it is important to take the time needed to get things ready, and as far as his vision of how the ecosystem he mentioned in his talk would work, where people could contribute and collaborate, and get justly rewarded — Darden states that they do not have that worked out yet — this is something they are exploring and something they want to consult with scientists about.

  • psi2u2

    Terrific new development! Great to hear Dardan speaking out on his perceptions of the present state of the R&D as well as his general philosophy. Go team!

  • pg

    finally something really good in these days

  • SiriusMan

    He sounds remarkably nonchalant for someone who has a technology with the potential to end the age of fossil fuels and generally disrupt the entire world as we know it today.

    Is there some reason why Darden is now delivering presentations and giving interviews? I do hope this is the beginning of a public awareness campaign to take LENR into the mainstream!

    • ecatworld

      If he really didn’t want any attention he would not have gone to ICCF or done this interview, on the other hand when asked if he would want to come forward to major news outlets at this time, he said:

      [Shakes his head with great irony.] No! I don’t ever
      want to see that. The idea of just having to work on things
      in a fishbowl; I don’t see it. People who do that sort of thing
      either want to do that because they are trying to sell their
      product, so you can see why consumer facing companies
      want to do that. Or they’re going public. Or they’re raising
      money so they need a presence in the public markets. Or
      they want it, ego or whatever. That’s the way they are. None
      of those apply. I don’t want it and we don’t want to raise
      investor interest or look as if we’re trolling and we don’t
      have something to sell.

      Sounds like he’s anti-hype.

      • SiriusMan

        Work in a fishbowl!? If LENR actually works as the Lugano test indicates, the world of physics will be turned upside down. Every university worldwide should be racing to run their own experiments on this new phenomenon.

        The idea that we should allow Rossi and his small team to continue to develop this in secret is ludicrous. What if it takes Rossi 10 years to develop a commercial product? What if he can’t ever get it working properly by himself?

        • TPaign

          “We should allow…”? What are you proposing… that we steal his technology, his life’s work, for the sake of others? Rossi’s work is his, and he controls when and how he shares, and/or sells, it to the world.

        • mcloki

          How can you say Rossi is working in secret. Look at this site, Look at the Facebook page. Everyone who has internet access, Half the planet and all the people who need cheap electricity and heat can follow along with what Rossi and countless others are doing. Just because Rossi or IH hasn’t wrapped up their discoveries in a nice blog post or 6 minute CNN report so you can read it, means nothing. First it was, “This will never work”, Now it’s, He’s not telling us enough. Finally it’s be “It costs how much?”. Equating how “Nonchalant” a CEO is in an interview to the work, is Silly.

      • Obvious

        In my many years of dealing with speculative companies, the ones that are adverse to hype are usually the real deal. They are not the tornados of the industry, they are the eye of the tornado.

    • Agaricus

      If you take his comments at face value, I agree that the apparent nonchalance is very worrying. He seems to acknowledge some reasons why cheap, clean energy might be a good idea, but doesn’t give even a hint of any urgency in finding a solution.

      In particular, his statement that “poor people need cheaper energy but rich people don’t need cheaper energy” seems to entirely miss the point that easily extracted oil and gas are getting scarcer, that hundreds of thousands are dying each year as a consequence of geopolitical games largely driven by oil greed, and countries like China are choking on the fumes that combustion energy is producing.

      I hope that this nonchalance is assumed in the interest of downplaying interest in his activities – but if it isn’t then we need independent replication of Rossi’s reactor yesterday.

      • ecatworld

        The topic of urgency was addressed and TD said (among other things) “Maybe I’m
        legal administrative in orientation but someone has to think
        of legal and administrative things because so many people
        just are dead before they start because they didn’t get that
        stuff right. So I do spend a lot of time getting that done and
        tolerate that those things take a lot of time, whereas so many
        people say, “Don’t worry about it! Just go.””

        • Agaricus

          Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.” ― Tom Robbins

          • GreenWin

            Ah Peter! You have brought about a smile today. Thanks. I share your concern less. Since Tom is investing in “pollution controls” he does not share our vision for broad-based LENR in small distributed format. He is, unfortunately clinging to the outdated AGW meme. But shows great insight in supporting Rossi and E-Cat and other LENR experimenters.

            At any rate I am glad to hear there IS someone handling the legal/admin details. Especially with respect to China. Since China has a way of appropriating technology, reproducing it with little QC and putting it on market where it can fail – damaging the entire enterprise.

          • Omega Z

            I could be wrong, but from his posts on JONP I don’t think Rossi is a believer in AGW.
            However, Rossi does believe in pollution & the need for cheaper energy.

        • guessing

          Legal admin, the patent things need to get done

      • Omega Z

        Peter, I think you misunderstood.
        I read it that it is urgent because poor countries & people can’t afford the present energy costs. It is more urgent for them then the 1st world.

        As to the nonchalance, he’s explained that as well. He will not be the one to tell Rossi it is done. That being the case, like us he waits and he’s not going to let it get to him. He’s going to stay relaxed about it.

    • GreenWin

      Hi SiriusM, I think Tom is a strong back channel guy who will leave the “commerce” to others. At this stage, at least until year end of the 1M e-Cat burn-in, he is aware the pathos will parse each and every word – looking for opportunity to shout “Lies!” This interview alone will further catalyze the VC community to support the growing R&D into LENR. In this case, competition will drive innovation far better than a single approach. VCs are the mainstream of commerce.

      • clovis ray

        i just love capitalism, don’t you, it does make the world move, in the right direction, just look at America , strongest nation in the world, it’s because capitalism, gives hope for things not yet, born, the american dream and the like, i wouldn’t want it anyother way. smile

  • Private Citizen

    Curious, his comments about not wanting to work in a fishbowl, unlike those who want to sell product, face consumers, go public, raise money to enter markets, raise investor interest or nurture egos.

    Perhaps his strategy is waiting until he has a finished product to sell and then enter markets, like those other icky CEO’s.

    We’ll see if his monkish reluctance to seize the moment is a proper play.

    • Omega Z

      Correct, That is pretty much what he said. Draw no attention until the product is officially ready to go.
      However, He also seemed to be saying no big announcement when it is ready. Just build & sell.

      • clovis ray

        Hi, guys, PC i think they don’t need to to advertise , why would they, customers will be breaking their doors down, in a few months, and Dr. Rossi has just said the plant is humming along, enough said, no need to go into all that technical stuff, that we all think we know about, The Rossi effect is doing exactly what it was designed to do, and Dr. Rossi like Dr. parkhomov, are very independant, and had rather work undisturbed, in this field it takes lots of Concentration on his work,

  • Bob

    I made a post a few days ago about how disappointed I was in Darden’s speech and that he did not support Rossi.

    I can now happily take that view back and am extremely impressed with what he did say about Rossi in this interview!

    Note that he did not say anything about the eCat and thus his impression of Rossi was NOT tied to whether the eCat worked or not. Darden was impressed with Rossi himself! I would say a ringing endorsement. So much so that he stated he was not a “tinkerer” but a very smart person, capable of insight and more importantly, always trying to learn more. (An attribute that I admire, not thinking one knows everything but can still learn)

    I think Darden’s comments on Rossi do more to boost my confidence that the 1MW plant will be revealed as a revolutionary device than anything I have read over the past 12 months. From this interview, I believe one can discern Darden is no fool. He is sharp and in ways that really count. The Pathoskeps will sorely be pressed to say he is delusional or taken in by Rossi’s slight of hand scam. (They probably will say this, but what do you expect from them!)

    I have a smile on my face this morning. I really liked Darden’s endorsement…… of the man Rossi… and thus through Rossi the reality of the eCat.

    • deleo77

      This is so different than the talk Darden gave. He really opened up here. I feel like another question or two, such as how is the 1MW plant going… could really have blown the lid off the whole thing.

      I would say this interview is the most meaningful thing I have read about Rossi and the e-cat in months. I think Darden is a trustworthy guy. He admits what he knows and what he doesn’t know. He essentially uses this interview to act as a character witness for Rossi. I don’t think he would do that if he saw Rossi making blatant mis-statements on his blog about the current status of the 1MW plant. Of course Darden knows about Rossi’s blog and has read it.

      I think this article gives a clearer picture about where things are. Darden is basically saying sometimes the e-cat works and sometimes it doesn’t. So it seems like it is about reliability. It sounds like the plant was assembled, he referred to it in the past tense, and now it is sitting in another location where Rossi is making iterations to improve its reliability and performance. Darden said he is pleased with his investment. That says a lot.

    • clovis ray

      Hi, Bob, we all make miscalculations from time to time, lord know i do, but in this world of living on the edge, of futherestice science it hard sometimes to discern the difference between what we think we know and what is the truth, hang in there you are doing just fine.

  • ecatworld

    I think his comments about testing they saw indicate that he was convinced the E-Cat works. He mentions that evidence transmutation was the most impressive he saw.

  • parallelB

    Rossi is lucky to have teamed up with Tom Darden. I find the man very impressive.
    I deduce from his comments that IH are probably not the ones to mass produce the E-Cat but will license it to large companies that have those facilities. Also that the performance of the 1 MW plant will be key to going forward. That is probably why Rossi spends so much time with it and it maybe in his contract.

    I disagree with Darden that the primary use will be for centralized power plants. It looks like it is difficult to scale up the E-Cat or Rossi would not have used ~100 reactors for the 1 MW plant. Most household energy is required for house heating, hot water and cooling -that require more heat then electricity – cooling could be the old ammonia cycle.

    I hope E-Cats will power trains and ships. Trucks next followed later by cars. Water desalinization and possibly even the Hot Cat for an aircraft turbine much later. I like the idea of using them to power robots too.

    Adrian Ashfield.

    • TomR

      Sometimes circumstances require a person to say things that might not be the top priority. Tom Darden has to work with the world the way it is, not necessarily the way he would like it to be. I was very impressed with the words he said and think he will guide this thing through to a very good ending.

    • Omega Z

      A 1Mw Hot-cat system will be smaller then the Lt E-cat. The Lt produces low grade steam which involve much more water volume. The 1Mw Hot-cat reactors will also be configured in a different manner. Instead of spread through out a shipping container, they will all be crowded into something about 1m cubed.

      I also suspect the individual reactors will be more in the range of 25Kw instead of 10Kw by the time they get serious about electrical production. Probably, you will see small power plants near point of distribution. At cities edge. Distributed in such a manner, waste heat is easier & cheaper for additional uses.

      “the old ammonia cycle”
      Probably not for most residential, but likely for high rise complexes where utilities are combined or included by the management. Heat absorption systems are to expensive for individual homes. Like 10x’s the cost of a conventional AC..

      Desalinating water is more complex then many think. It needs additional treatment after done. It also needs remineralized. Distilled or demineralized water is not healthy for long term use. It acts as a flushing agent on the body removing vitamins & minerals. That’s the last thing you need for people in poverty & already deficient.

      Filtration is cheaper for desalinization then boiling or flash steam systems. Even if the heat is free. It’s the calcium & salt. Wrecks the containers. High maintenance & chemicals to keep it functional. Producing electricity is far more important in reducing the costs. It’s used for UV treatment of the filtered water & running the pumps that use huge amounts of electricity. You have to pump the water back out as well as in.

      • parallelB

        My point was more that there is logic to having a distributed system, but I suppose if power can be made at 2c/kW it doesn’t matter too much. It would make sense if local authorities ran small power plants to reduce distribution costs. Much too early to make forecasts of just how LENR will be used!

        I don’t know enough about desalination plants, only that they will become increasingly necessary. LENR could be used to produce electricity to run the filtration system too.
        Adrian Ashfield

        • Omega Z

          Yes, The E-cat lends itself to a more distributed system or micro-grids instead of being so centralized as today providing cheaper energy. Not so much as individual home units. The scale is to small at that point to be efficiently converted to electricity.

          However, Home E-cat heaters powered by cheap electricity makes a good combination. This would provide the best cost/benefit ratio to the individual.

          • parallelB

            Omega Z,

            It is likely E-Cats will be developed to power vehicles. So better ways to make electricity to do that will be developed. It doesn’t matter so much that the process is inefficient if the heat is free.

  • georgehants

    When Mr Darden encourages Mr Rossi to inform people like MFMP of the basic procedure to replicate the Cold Fusion process, then I think we can begin to respect him more than just another capitalist, out to make a fortune from the unfortunate needy poor in this World.
    It will be very easy to judge as time goes by, will he like Mr Gates be selling Windows to poor countries to make his billions to then give back .00000000000000001% just to make out he is a good guy?

    • deleo77

      What I got from the article is that Darden would like to see Rossi collaborate more but he doesn’t feel like he is in a position to force Rossi to do that. My read is that Rossi is still very hesitant to work with others. The article said that Darden has funded Hagelstein, Brillouin and others. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if these groups talked to each other.

      • georgehants

        deleo, if you are correct then it is certainly time for Mr Rossi to start helping others replicate the effect.
        Nobody can take away what Mr. Rossi has achieved, but he needs to give an example to everybody to help change this World from nothing but a self-centered money grabbing society to something a little better, I think.

    • parallelB

      You have to admit that Gates got Windows widely distributed though, while FREE, good alternatives like Linux not so fast and not so widely.

      • georgehants

        parallelB, nobody can deny that anybody able to manipulate the capitalist system and make vast riches has a talent in that area, just like a top tennis player for example.
        Unfortunately another person who has a purely altruistic talent of helping others in adverse conditions, is not in any way rewarded fairly by society in general.
        Unfortunately the vast majority of people have been easily brainwashed by those able to utilize that sad trait of human nature to gain for themselves with little thought for others.
        Hitler was one of the most talented in these areas.
        I am simply stating the obvious, that a change to more fair distribution of the massive production capabilities of this World would lead to everybody being acceptably rich and an end to the completely unnecessary suffering and death that is part of the un-sharing capitalistic system.
        Mr Rossi it seems, according to deleo77’s understanding below, is being encouraged my Mr. Darden to do just this.

        • Warthog

          Still ranting, I see.. Did Frank give you a free pass, or are you just ignoring
          his wishes that such topic NOT be discussed in this forum?

          Give it a rest, George. Or preferably, take it elsewhere. I’m perfectly willing to engage you on this topic (hence giving you an email address)…but this is NOT the place.

          • georgehants

            Warthog, you are very strange, you do not believe that the sharing of Cold Fusion for everybody is not a valid topic on page.
            I am amazes that you are not one of the people still censoring any mention of the subject, just like all Western science journals etc. excepting the Wonderfully free Russian scientists of course.

        • parallelB

          I don’t think a “fair” distribution of production facilities would work very well.
          I prefer the idea of the government giving every citizen a living wage, say $25k/year, but that is another topic. Our government can’t even fill pot holes.

          • EEStorFanFibb

            I agree with the living wage idea. nuff said.

    • Omega Z

      I don’t like Bill Gates. I haven’t since 83`. I already new what he was about.
      That said, I have to give him his due’s for what he does today.

      The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has since it’s beginning distributed 33 Billion$ in Grants. In the next 10 years, they will distributed another 35/40 Billion$ in grants. The yearly amount will continue to increase for decades. Bill Gates has personally donated US$28 billion to the foundation & adds to that on a regular bases.

      These grants go to pay for drugs for the poor, medical facilities, medical research, sanitation systems, water purification, disease eradication etc, etc… All the things you think are important.
      In addition, he personally contributes several 100 million independently from the foundation.

  • US_Citizen71

    Very simple, he didn’t bring up subjects that he didn’t want to go into in depth. That doesn’t mean he has no knowledge about them. Reading into what is not said is like manipulating statistics to make them say what you want them to say. One could infer that everyone on this forum is Pro Cancer, I haven’t read anyone state that they are anti cancer so they must be pro cancer according to the logic you are using.

  • Albert D. Kallal

    We all simply waiting as to what kind of COP and how well the plant is performing – any asked TD yet?
    Albert. Kallal
    Edmonton, Alberta Canada

  • Omega Z

    Reality is until the E-cat pilot plant has passed the 1 year test & proven positive, something could still go wrong. He wont speak of the pilot plant until it’s done and ready. From his view point, it isn’t the time to go into those discussions. It would be premature. Even if the test was within days of being over.

  • BroKeeper

    Perfect Roger, Andrea Rossi had attempted to enlighten us last November via the YouTube video below that led to his mutual decision to select Cherokee Financial headed by Thomas Darden as his partner. This should help us understanding a sense of the ultimate “Hand” of Providence on the rudder of IH’s moral compass. Believing this we have a great hope of healing and purpose for this world’s long term future.
    Andrea Rossi
    November 17th, 2014 at 12:32 AM
    To better understand the core values of Industrial Heat, you can go to
    and you also can search
    William Mc Donough and Thomas Darden-UNC- Kenan-Flagler
    Warm Regards

  • BroKeeper

    Yes, the operative word is hope.

  • BroKeeper

    Hmmmm, I wonder who that would be.