Rossi: E-Cat Can Operate Beyond Melting Point of Nickel (Update #2 More on Intrinsic Safety)

UPDATE #2 (Aug 17, 2015) There has been some more comments on the Journal of Nuclear Physics by Andrea Rossi on the ‘melting point’ issue. Someone asked Rossi if the E-Cat X was able to operate above the melting point of Nickel, and Rossi affirmed that it was able to.

Later, he commented further saying, “The E-Cat is still intrinsecally safe due to the melting point of the charge, even if it is higher than the melting point of nickel.” I followed up with a couple of questions of my own.

1. Are you saying that it is not possible for your reactors to operate after the melting point of the charge is reached?
2. Has the charge changed due to your R&D process?

Andrea Rossi
August 17th, 2015 at 8:23 AM
Frank Acland:
1- yes
2- confidential
Warm Regards,

This response implies that it is not possible for the E-Cat to operate in a molten state.

UPDATE #1 (July 29, 2015): I asked Rossi on the JONP about what he had said in the past regarding the E-Cat being intrinsically safe after melting point of nickel had been reached: “If the melting point of nickel can now be passed, is the intrinsic safety feature no longer valid?”

Rossi responded:

Andrea Rossi
July 29th, 2015 at 12:47 PM
Frank Acland:
I am very sorry, but to answer to this question I’d have to give confidential information. The principle of the intrinsic safety is still valid, though.
Warm Regards,

We’ve been hearing from Andrea Rossi about how his latest version of the Hot Cat was recently able to run at 1380°C for ten hours — and this is quite close to the melting point of nickel — which is 1455°C. It has been stated by Rossi in the past that the E-Cat stops when the nickel powder melts, but today there’s quite a surprise in a comment from him when asked whether the E-Cat could “under special conditions, this temperature can be overcome (still working well), without destructive hot spots.”

Here’s the reply:

Andrea Rossi
July 29th, 2015 at 7:23 AM
Italo R.:
We can overcome that limit, for reasons I am not allowed to explain.
Warm Regards,

So that’s a bit of a revelation. One thing that comes to mind is that Rossi has said that the E-Cat is ‘intrinsically safe’ since the reaction stops when the nickel powder reaches melting point — but from what Rossi now says, that would not be the case.

It’s been years since the original E-Cat was developed, and it would not be too surprising to me if during all the R&D, new discoveries about the E-Cat process, and new methods of exploiting the “Rossi Effect” had been achieved. But this news seems to take away some of the limits of the E-Cat, and it makes me wonder what this could mean for the future of this technology. 1380°C is certainly hot enough to generate supercritical steam — so important for electricity generation — but what could one do with even higher temperatures, and what’s the limit now?

  • US_Citizen71

    Higher temperatures would be ideal for rocketry and aviation. The hotter the exhaust gases are the higher the pressure, resulting in higher thrust.

  • GregL

    I suspect that the main energy transfer is by gamma rays, which are then absorbed by the outer ceramic material to make it hot. Quite feasible that the nickel nano stuff, generating the gammas, could therefore be substantially cooler than the heat sink.

    • Obvious

      A supraradiant event (not superadiant) may exchange all of the kinetic thermal energy of a particle to fill a gap in a collective radiant emission energy level, leaving such a particle at near absolute zero. This would prevent the fuel overall from overheating, and may explain why adding heat is required to keep the reaction going. It also keeps particles from melting, explaining that mystery. Additionally it means that it would be true that the reaction would stop if the nickel melts, although in a proper reaction system this would probably never come close to actually happening except for mechanical reasons.

      • tobalt

        just a quick thought: both the Ni-Al phase diagram and the Ni-Cr phase diagram (and many other binary nickel alloys) contain compounds which are solid at temperatures greatly exceeding the melting point of pure Nickel.

        He didnt tell, they can surpass the melting point, just that they can surpass “that temperature”. Maybe send another question to clarify this.

  • Paul

    The melting point of the charge depends on the powder mix. The fact that it is higher than nickel melting point gives some information about one of the powders added.

    • +1
      that is my bet.

      • Andrew

        I wonder…. Could Rossi simply be using a modified form of Raney nickel? Powdered, extremely high surface area, porous and thermally stable.

    • Sanjeev

      Its a big clue.
      Also settles the debate about why we see temperatures around the melting point of Ni in Lugano report, while it still worked.

  • Axil Axil

    An Alchemist’s Dream: Superatoms Mimic Elements

    Titanium oxide (Melting point1,750 °C (3,180 °F; 2,020 K))

    is a high temperature subsitute for nickel.

  • julian becker

    i dont know if this question has been raised, but could this extreme temperature beyond the melting point of nickel be related to the effect fleischman & pons observed in their laboratory when the charge burned a hole in the table and the floor? so something they referred to as “beyond cold fusion”? meaning creation of strangelets or singularities. i remember to have read about this before. i mentioned it to rossi years ago, but he said their theory is different….

  • Observer

    Three major events occur when the temperature continuously rises:

    > Particles of metal melt and combine into a single slug, greatly reducing surface area.
    > Metal is no longer in a crystal lattice.
    > Reaction containment chamber eventually fails.

    We do not know how the first 2 effect the reaction.
    The third definitely is a show stopper.

  • Hank Mills – August 17th, 2015 at 10:23 PM

    For the record, if Nickel is not used in the E-Cat X, my guess is that the charge consists of lithium hydroxide and Tungsten powder. Tungsten has a greater electrical conductivity than nickel and a much higher melting point. This could allow for arcing between lithium covered particles to take place more easily. The arcing due to the electric field Iinduced by the squarewaves could ignite the lithium hydrogen plasma and induce fusion. The alpha particles produced could keep the plasma ionized and keep the reaction self sustaining. The removal of aluminum would allow for more nuclear reactions and hence more alpha particles. I think the aluminum is useless except as a getter for oxygen and other atmospheric gases.

    Interesting stuff, Hank.

  • Axil Axil

    Over on the Rossi blog site, there has recently been a ton of questions asking Rossi what the E-Cat-X is all about. Rossi is silent on that issue. He is very protective about his new collections of IP secrets. And yet, he gave the Lugano crew the Hot cat to play with for a month. To completely give the Lugano testers all his treasured and hard won IP secrets is completely out of charactor. Rossi must have thought that the Hot Cat was a dead end. Try as he might, Rossi could not get the Hot cat to work, and he gave up on it. He never intended to give anybody the opportunity and the Know-how to replicate any of his work. Does a leopard change its spots? But when Rossi read the Lugano report, he saw something he liked very much, it was something he did not see in all his own extensive Hot cat experiments. He was very surprised, and he took advantage of this very good luck as he has always done. Those new insights that he gleaned from the Lugano report gave him inspiration to invent the E-Cat-X. The tantalizing question that we are faced with: what insight did Rossi get from the Lugano report.

    Maybe Rossi gave up on the Hot Cat because, try as he might, he could not get the Hot Cat to work well, So he intended to throw his competitors a curve by showing them a failed test. He used an old fuel load from one of his failed Hot cat tests knowing full well that the Hot Cat would not work to any great extent. But to his surprise, the Lugano crew got the reactor to work anyway beyond all his wildest expectations.

    The previously used fuel loaded in the Lugano test showed no build up of Ni62, just run of the mill nickel isotopes, but the Lugano rum changed the nickel powder into pure Ni62. We know that Rossi was very surprised by this strange turn of events. Rossi must have thought to himself, what could have caused that miracle? How come I could not do this thing and those Lugano testers could?

    Because they did not want to melt the hot cat down, the Lugano crew let the Hot cat heat for 10 days before they decided to up the temperature. In those first 10 days the Hot cat was a poor performer. Rossi never had the patience to run the Hot cat for so long, he did not have the patience to run such a non productive test for that long. But after those 10 days of gestation, the Lagano crew increased the power and the heat and the Rossi reaction took off.

    The power produced by the reactor showed a COP of 7 when the power was increased. Something must have been building up over those 10 days of moderate heat. LENR has always had a history of running for a long time before the reaction sets in. The Palladium guys thought ot was caused by loading hydrogen into palladium, but that was not the case.

    Nano-particles were being created slowly until their numbers reached a critical threshold for the reactor to take off. Without those large 100 micron nickel particles, the nano particle aggregation must be grown large enough to get the power of the reaction over a critical level

    Rossi said to himself, I can just add some of my potassium catalyst to the lithium aluminum hydride to get the nano particles to form faster. 10 days is far to long to wait to stat up the Hot cat. Then I could turn on the lithium powder very fast, and I do not need the nickel anymore.

  • Axil Axil

    New update

    Andrea Rossi
    August 18th, 2015 at 5:43 PM

    Update at 07.40 p.m. of Tuesday August 18.
    E-Cat 1 MW: downloaded to 750 kW of power for reparation of a reactor. Another working night looms up.
    E-Cat X: burnt, but we have understood well where is the problem, so we are making another one that very likely will be very reliable. I hope.
    From inside the plant,
    Warm Regards,

    Rossi might have found the method to control the E-Cat meltdown mechanism, The X-Cat might have destroyed the alumina tube by overheating. How hot can the X-Cat get?

    Rossi might want to try Yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) (Melting point 2,715 °C (4,919 °F; 2,988 K))

    . This compound is a ceramic in which the crystal structure of zirconium dioxide is made stable at room temperature by an addition of yttrium oxide. These oxides are commonly called “zirconia” (ZrO2) and “yttria” (Y2O3), hence the name.

    It is difficult to solve the heater material problem because most heater elements will oxidize at high temperatures. This is not true for YSZ. Rossi could heat the YSZ tube directly.

    Electroceramics is a class of ceramic materials used primarily for their electrical properties. YSZ is an Electroceramic; it conducts electricity well as an fast ion conductor ceramic that has been used in historically for the glowing rods in Nernst lamps.

    The Nernst lamp was an early form of incandescent lamp. Nernst lamps did not use a glowing tungsten filament. Instead, they used a ceramic rod that was heated to incandescence. Because the rod (unlike tungsten wire) would not further oxidize when exposed to air, there was no need to enclose it within a vacuum or noble gas environment; the burners in Nernst lamps could operate exposed to the air and were only enclosed in glass to isolate the hot incandescent emitter from its environment. A ceramic of zirconium oxide – yttrium oxide was used as the glowing rod.

  • Axil Axil