Andrea Rossi (entrepreneur)
June 3, 1950 |
|Alma mater||University of Milan (1973)|
|Known for||Petroldragon, Energy Catalyzer|
In the 1970s, Rossi falsely claimed to have invented a process to convert organic waste into oil, and in 1978 he founded a company named Petroldragon to process waste. In the early 1990s, the company collapsed upon discovery that it was dumping toxic waste into the environment, and Rossi was jailed and later convicted for tax fraud and environmental crime. From 2001 to 2003, Rossi worked under a U.S. Army contract to make a thermoelectric device that, while promising to be superior to other devices, produced only around 1/1000 of the claimed performance.
In 2008, after moving to the United States, Rossi attempted to patent a device called an Energy Catalyzer (or E-Cat), which is a purported cold fusion or Low-Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) thermal power source. Rossi claims that the device produces massive amounts of excess heat that can be used to produce electricity, but independent attempts to reproduce the effect have failed.
On August 25, 2015, Rossi was granted US Patent No. 9,115,913 for what is described as an apparatus for heating fluids.
Andrea Rossi was born on June 3, 1950 in Milan. In 1973, Rossi graduated in philosophy at the University of Milan writing a thesis on Albert Einstein's theory of relativity and its interrelationship with Edmund Husserl's phenomenology.
Andrea Rossi is married to Maddalena Pascucci.
In 1974, Rossi registered a patent for an incineration system. In 1978, he wrote The Incineration of Waste and River Purification, published in Milan by Tecniche Nuove. He then founded Petroldragon, a company for developing oil from waste, which collapsed in the 1990s amidst allegations of dumping toxic waste, and accusations of tax fraud. Its assets were seized, together with Rossi's personal assets, and Rossi was arrested pending trial. Rossi spent four years in prison working on his legal defense in 56 trials, 5 of which ended in convictions related to tax fraud. Rossi wrote that he was acquitted in the other 51 trials. According to court documents found by journalists at Swedish Radio, Rossi was convicted and sent to prison on three accounts of environmental crime on which he was never acquitted of. The government of Lombardy spent over forty million euros to dispose of the 70,000 tonnes of toxic waste that Petroldragon had improperly dumped. According to the mayor of Lacchiarella, Luigi Acerbi, "In the years when [Rossi] was working here, he didn't produce a single drop of oil, as far as we know."
At the conclusion of the trials in 1996, Rossi moved to the US.
Electricity from waste heat
In the US Rossi started the consulting firm Leonardo Technologies, Inc. (LTI). He secured a defense contract to evaluate the potential of generating electricity from waste heat by using thermoelectric generators. Such devices are normally only used for heating or cooling (Peltier effect), because the efficiency for generating electrical power is only a few percent. Rossi suggested that his devices could attain 20% efficiency. Larger modules would be manufactured in Italy.
Rossi sent 27 thermoelectric devices for evaluation to the Engineer Research and Development Center; 19 of these did not produce any electricity at all. The remaining units produced less than 1 watt each, instead of the expected 800–1000 watts.
Claims regarding nuclear fusion
In January 2011, Andrea Rossi and Sergio Focardi claimed to have successfully demonstrated commercially viable cold fusion in a device called an Energy Catalyzer, although in an interview Rossi claimed that his Energy Catalyzer does not work on the basis of cold fusion, but weak [force] nuclear reactions. The international patent application received an unfavorable international preliminary report on patentability because it seemed to "offend against the generally accepted laws of physics and established theories" and to overcome this problem the application should have contained either experimental evidence or a firm theoretical basis in current scientific theories. Journalists were not allowed to examine the core of the reactor, and there is uncertainty about the viability of the invention.
- Mark Gibbs (2011-10-17). "Hello Cheap Energy, Hello Brave New World". Forbes. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
- http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/22/e_cat_test_claims_success_yet_again/ Richard Chirgwin, The Register: "Italian entrepreneur Andrea Rossi"
- http://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/tecnologie/2011-10-13/fusione-fredda-sfida-continua-210440.shtml?uuid=AaIpikCE Paolo Magliocco, Il Sole 24 Ore,
"Fusione fredda: la sfida continua. L'esperimento dell'imprenditore Andrea Rossi".
"Cold fusion: the challenge continues. The experiment performed by entrepreneur Andrea Rossi"
- Guastella Giuseppe. "Riciclaggio rifiuti tossici, assolto Andrea Rossi (English translation: Toxic waste recycling, Andrea Rossi acquitted)". Corriere della Sera. Archiviostorico.corriere.it. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
- John Huston; Chris Wyatt; Chris Nichols; Michael J. Binder; Franklin H. Holcomb (September 2004). Application of Thermoelectric Devices to Fuel Cell Power Generation: Demonstration and Evaluation. Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign, Illinois, part of Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC). (online pdf)
- World Intellectual Property Organization publication number WO/2009/125444.
- "United States Patent: 9115913".
- Mats Lewan (23 June 2011), "'E-cat': Here is the Greek energy box", NyTeknik, retrieved 2012-03-06
- "Andrea Rossi's E-Cataclysm?". Retrieved 2014-12-08.
- Mats Lewan (2011-06-23). "'E-cat': Here is the Greek energy box". Ny Teknik. Included was a statement from the University of Milan attesting that Andrea Rossi holds a laurea in philosophy.
- Herr Rossi sucht das Glück der Menschheit, Der Spiegel: "Bis vor wenigen Monaten Andrea Rossi auf der Bildfläche erschien. Der Italiener mit Hochschulabschlüssen in Philosophie und Technischer Chemie erklärte, dass ihm der Bau eines von ihm sogenannten E-Catalyzers gelungen sei: ein Fusionskraftwerk, in dem Nickel und Wasserstoff miteinander verschmelzen und dabei Wärme erzeugen." TRANSLATION: "Until that Andrea Rossi appeared on the scene a few months ago. The Italian with degree in philosophy and chemical engineering, said that he had succeeded in building one of his so-called E-Catalyzer: a fusion power plant to blend nickel and hydrogen with production of heat."
- Hambling, David. "Cold fusion rears its head as 'E-Cat' research promises to change the world (Wired UK)". Retrieved 2011-10-29.
- Krivit, Steven B. (7 March 2012). "Report #5: Rossi's Profitable Career in Science". New Energy Times. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- Hansson, Marcus (26 May 2014). "Medier blir medspelare i misstänkt energibluff". Sveriges Radio (in Swedish). Retrieved 28 April 2016.
- Vaglia, Aldo (7 October 2011). "Rischia più uno scienziato che un ladro". Valle Sabia News (in Italian). Retrieved 31 May 2013. (English: "Scientists risk more than thefts")
- "Issue #36: Energy Catalyzer: It Works and It's Not Fusion". New Energy Times. 2011-01-31. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
- Lisa Zyga (2011-01-20), "Italian Scientists claim to have demonstrated cold fusion", Physorg.com
- Lewan, Mats (February 7, 2011). "Cold Fusion: Here's the Greek company building 1 MW". Ny Teknik.