Andrea Rossi (entrepreneur)

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Andrea Rossi
Born (1950-06-03) June 3, 1950 (age 73)
Milan, Italy
Alma materUniversity of Milan (1973)
Known forPetroldragon, energy catalyzer

Andrea Rossi (born 3 June 1950) is an Italian entrepreneur who claims to have invented a cold fusion device.[1][2][3]

In the 1970s, Rossi claimed to have invented a process to convert organic waste into petroleum, and in 1978 he founded a company named Petroldragon to process waste. In the 1989 the company was shut down by the Italian government amid allegations of fraud, and Rossi was arrested.[4] In 1996 Rossi moved to the United States and from 2001 to 2003 he 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.[5][6]

In 2008 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.[7][8] 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.


Andrea Rossi was born on 3 June 1950, in Milan. In 1973, Rossi graduated in philosophy at the University of Milan[9] writing a thesis on Albert Einstein's theory of relativity and its interrelationship with Edmund Husserl's phenomenology.[10][11][12] Although Rossi also holds a degree in chemical engineering, this degree was granted by Kensington University in California, which was later shut down as a diploma mill.[13]

Andrea Rossi is married to Maddalena Pascucci.[14]

Business ventures[edit]


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 that was paid to process toxic waste, claiming to use Rossi's process to convert the waste into usable petroleum products.[15] In 1989 Italian customs seized several Petroldragon waste deposit sites and assets. Investigations showed that petroleum presumably produced by the company had never been placed on the market, and that mixtures of toxic waste and harmful chemical solvents were being stored in silos or illegally dumped into the environment.[4][16] Rossi himself was arrested and eventually tried on 56 counts, 5 of which ended in convictions related to tax fraud. As of 2004 the government of Lombardy has spent over forty million euros to dispose of the 70,000 tonnes of toxic waste that Petroldragon had improperly dumped.[17]

Electricity from waste heat[edit]

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.[18]

Energy Catalyzer[edit]

In January 2011, Andrea Rossi and Sergio Focardi claimed to have successfully demonstrated commercially viable nuclear power in a device he called an Energy Catalyzer. 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.[19] Journalists were not allowed to examine the core of the reactor, and there is uncertainty about the viability of the invention.[20][21]

In February 2012, Australian aviator and skeptic Dick Smith offered Rossi US$1 million if Rossi could prove his device generated output many times input, as he had claimed. The offer lapsed, Rossi having declined to take up the challenge, describing it as "clownerie".[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mark Gibbs (17 October 2011). "Hello Cheap Energy, Hello Brave New World". Forbes. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
  2. ^ Richard Chirgwin, The Register: "Italian entrepreneur Andrea Rossi"
  3. ^ 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"
  4. ^ a b "Storia di rifiuti tossici miliardi supertruffe" [Story of Milan Toxic Waste Super-scam]. la Repubblica. 26 July 1989.
  5. ^ Huston, John; Wyatt, Chris; Nichols, Chris; Binder, Michael J.; Holcomb, Franklin H. (September 2004). Application of Thermoelectric Devices to Fuel Cell Power Generation: Demonstration and Evaluation. Champaign, Illinois: Construction Engineering Research Laboratory of the Engineer Research and Development Center. Archived from the original on 18 April 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2011. (online pdf)
  6. ^ Main, Douglas (25 January 2014). "Dubious Cold Fusion Machine Acquired By North Carolina Company". Popular Science. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  7. ^ World Intellectual Property Organization publication number WO/2009/125444.
  8. ^ Ritter, Stephen K. (28 November 2016). "Cold Fusion Lives: Experiments Create Energy When None Should Exist". Scientific American. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  9. ^ Mats Lewan (23 June 2011), "'E-cat': Here is the Greek energy box", NyTeknik, retrieved 6 March 2012
  10. ^ "Andrea Rossi's E-Cataclysm?". Archived from the original on 8 December 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  11. ^ Lewan, Mats (23 June 2011). "'E-cat': Here is the Greek energy box". Ny Teknik. Included was a statement from the University of Milan Archived 17 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine attesting that Andrea Rossi holds a laurea in philosophy.
  12. ^ Diermann, Ralph (10 December 2011). "Herr Rossi sucht das Glück der Menschheit" [Mr. Rossi wants good fortunes for humanity]. Der Spiegel (in German). Retrieved 5 August 2018. 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: Andrea Rossi appeared on the scene just a few months ago. The Italian with degrees in philosophy and chemical engineering said that he managed to build what he calla an E-Catalyzer: a fusion power plant combining nickel with hydrogen to produce heat.)
  13. ^ Featherstone, Steve (10 October 2012). "Can Andrea Rossi's Infinite-Energy Black Box Power The World--Or Just Scam It?". PopSci. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012.
  14. ^ "Who's who". EcatNews. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  15. ^ Hambling, David. "Cold fusion rears its head as 'E-Cat' research promises to change the world (Wired UK)". Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  16. ^ "sul ciclo dei rifiuti e sulle attività illecite ad esso connesse" (PDF), COMMISSIONE PARLAMENTARE DI INCHIESTA
  17. ^ Guastella Giuseppe. "Riciclaggio rifiuti tossici, assolto Andrea Rossi (English translation: Toxic waste recycling, Andrea Rossi acquitted)". Corriere della Sera. Retrieved 12 November 2011. Alternate link to newspaper clipping Archived 15 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine "Per bonificare le circa 70 mila tonnellate di rifiuti accumulate nell'impianto, in dieci anni la Regione Lombardia ha pagato circa 41 milioni di euro."
  18. ^ 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 (PDF). Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign, Illinois, part of Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 October 2012.
  19. ^ Zyga, Lisa (20 January 2011), "Italian Scientists claim to have demonstrated cold fusion",
  20. ^ Lewan, Mats (7 February 2011). "Cold Fusion: Here's the Greek company building 1 MW". Ny Teknik.
  21. ^ Hambling, David (20 April 2016). "In Cold Fusion 2.0, Who's Scamming Whom?". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  22. ^ "E-Cat Proof Challenge: $1,000,000 is a "Clownerie"?". Forbes. 14 February 2012.