Christos Stremmenos on Piantelli Patent

I received the following today which is a human translation from Italian to English of Christos Stremmenos’ recent comment regarding the European patent approval on the Journal of Nuclear Physics.

I was very much surprised, upon reading the “Description of Prior Art” in the publication of European Patent EP 2368 252 B1 (Jan 16th 2013, priority 24/11/2008) granted to inventor Francesco Piantelli, to find out that the inventor was said to have been working with nickel nano-powders since 1998. This is completely inaccurate. At that time, the only one who, together with Prof. Focardi, was making use of Ni and Pd nano-powders (prepared at Prof. E. Bonetti’s laboratory at the Department of Physics of the University of Bologna) was the present writer. I also know that Andrea Rossi had been working with nickel powders since the mid nineteen-nineties.

I had repeatedly consulted with Piantelli, who insisted that powders could not work — he explained why it was so with his more or less abstruse theories.

In my publication “Fusione fredda, Un dibattito che prosegue” ) [“Cold Fusion, an Ongoing Debate”], which appeared in La chimica e l’industria. Organo Ufficiale della Società Chimica Italiana, RICHMAC Magazine, N. 81, Aprile 1999, pp. 361-363), I reported on the results and methods used in the previous three years.

In this publication [p. 363] attention is brought to the structure of the samples used:
«Now, as far as the metallographic structure is concerned, we know that a metallic sample is composed of mono-crystalline grains, having variable dimensions at different textures.

Eliminating at least the variability in grain dimension is possible if one uses mono-crystalline and granulometrically homogenous metal powders in order to prepare, by light compression, samples of the appropriate size.

This determines an enormous increase in the interacting surface, and a homogenous statistical distribution of the various textures, including the most absorbent one, as well as of the defective state of the sample; these thus become reproducible on a percentage basis, irregardless of the sample’s thermal and mechanical history.

The current technique for preparing powders by grinding under vacuum allows one to obtain granulometric dimensions varying from several micrometers for micro-phases, to a lower limit of 10-15 nanometers for nano-phases. It is therefore possible to prepare samples with an ample range of granulometry» […].

At the time, Piantelli was not only working with nickel rods, he was also saying that it wasn’t possible to get the the process to work with powders. One may gather that he got the idea of using powders by copying the work of others: mine, and Dr. Andrea Rossi’s. One cannot really understand how he was able to get his patent recognized, considering that his apparatus doesn’t work, and never did: Piantelli acknowledged his own publication on Nuovo Cimento, but no mention was made of the fact that in the following number of Nuovo Cimento (Vol. 102, No. 12), Prof. Zichichi and his team at the University of Bologna, where I also was teaching at the time, tested Piantelli’s apparatus and discovered that it didn’t work at all, and that all of Piantelli’s statements were unfounded. If you want to check the veracity of my statement, just look up the above-mentioned number of Nuovo Cimento – the most established Physics journal in Italy. How is it possible to grant a patent for a process that doesn’t work? Moreover, what’s the point of saying that an inventor, in order get a patent granted, must be able to allow an expert reader to reproduce the process? If the inventor, in this case Piantelli, wasn’t able to do anything, how can he say that he is enabling others to successfully implement a process which he himself cannot get to work? I would love to know how he managed to get his patent granted. It is obviously useless, both because the process doesn’t produce anything, and because Rossi had already patented a similar process. Rossi’s patent was granted in Italy: whether or not he gets an international extension for it, it’s obvious that nobody can patent something which has already been patented in any other country in the world where patent laws are recognized.

Andrea, go right on, don’t get discouraged — besides, I know that you are veritable lion.

Christos Stremmenos, Prof. of Chemical Physics, University of Bologna (Ret.); former Ambassador for Greece in Rome.