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EU Turns to Magic to Progress their Clean Energy Agenda

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The European Union is so desperate for their clean energy push to yield a viable solution, they have just given €3,999,870 to a Palladium electrolysis cold fusion research team.

EU announces funding for four next-gen clean energy solutions

December 24, 2020

HERMES – hydrogen-metal systems for clean energy

The HERMES project is revisiting the cold fusion concept, which emerged back in 1989 with the claimed discovery by the electrochemists Martin Fleischmann from Britain and Stanley Pons from France of excess heat production during electrolysis of heavy water (deuterium oxide) using a palladium electrode at room temperature.

At the time, the discovery was thought to offer a pathway to cheap clean energy but the finding remained controversial due to lack of replicability. Recently interest in the topic has revived with the scientific advances of the intervening years.

HERMES intends to draw on these to study the effects of hydrogen and deuterium loaded in palladium at room and intermediate (up to about 800oC) temperatures. Such modern characterisation techniques also allow reproducibility.

Read more: https://www.powerengineeringint.com/renewables/eu-announces-funding-for-four-next-gen-clean-energy-technologies/

From the project website;

Breakthrough zero-emissions heat generation with hydrogen-metal systems

Project description

In pursuit of the cold fusion dream as a solution to the world’s energy needs

In 1989, electrochemists Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons made headlines with their claim to have produced excess heat using a simple apparatus working at room temperature. Their experiment involved loading deuterium in a palladium metal. As many experimenters failed to replicate their work, cold fusion remains a controversial topic in the scientific community. Nevertheless, a vociferous minority still believes in this elusive phenomenon. Since 2015, Google has been funding experiments into cold fusion. Although no evidence has been found for this phenomenon, it is clear that much pioneering research remains to be conducted in this poorly explored field. The EU-funded HERMES project will employ advanced techniques and tools developed over the last few decades to investigate anomalous effects of deuterium-loaded palladium at room and intermediate temperatures.


Disruptive energy generation technologies are urgently required to stave off catastrophic climate change. Now, more than ever, is the time to also to consider unconventional options. The subtopic c. Breakthrough zero-emissions energy generation for full decarbonisation of this call aims to answer this need. All of the research areas identified by the call are highly unconventional. As electrochemists, we will contribute to this call by working on hydrogen-metal systems. We propose to study hydrogen (and deuterium) evolution in unconventional conditions, i.e. on metal-hydrides and the main motivation for this work is based on the recent Nature perspective “Revisiting the cold case of cold fusion”. When loading deuterium into the Pd lattice, there is a chance that something very interesting will happen, resulting in production of excess heat. The first report of such reaction was published 30 years ago, but quickly dismissed by the scientific community. But what if there is really something? Can we afford to not to investigate this further, considering the current climate crisis? Google has recently funded a research project in this area, getting some interesting results but failing to produce excess heat. However, the team concluded that it was very difficult to achieve the required conditions reported for starting the excess heat production, and that “there remains much interesting science to be done in this underexplored parameter space.” This is a high risk/high reward project, but with aid of all the improved techniques and tools developed in the last 30 years, we believe that it is worth revisiting the topic. We will use state-of-the-art technologies to prepare, characterize and study electrochemical Pd-D system, both at room temperature and at temperatures up to 1100 K. We will focus on method development, with the special emphasis on reproducibility. If no nuclear effects are observed, we will gain information of the isotope effects for hydrogen evolution.

Read more: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/952184

The Nature article “Revisiting the cold case of cold fusion” on which this snowball of research funding is based was published in May this year.

At least with hot fusion there is a measurable release of energy and fusion neutrons. Nobody has to argue about whether you were squinting at the calorimeter just right.

I guess if you have a burning urge to investigate ways of extracting zero point energy from empty space, or a plan to send a robotic mission to the forest moon Pandora to retrieve a sample of unobtanium, now might be a good time to ask the EU for funding. Remember to mention the climate crisis.

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December 27, 2020 10:07 am

April 1 is early this year.

Reply to  Tom Halla
December 27, 2020 11:26 am

Permanent April 1st these days?

Reply to  Tom Halla
December 27, 2020 12:52 pm

Progress:unqualified, monotonic change.

Reply to  Tom Halla
December 27, 2020 4:57 pm

Are you a Calendar Change Denier?

December 27, 2020 10:07 am

Watch out for Wookies and Ewoks and eight foot tall blue people!

Reply to  JOHN T. SHEA
December 28, 2020 7:37 am
Russell Robles-Thome
December 27, 2020 10:16 am

Hmm. The ‘Consensus’ on CF was about as reliable as it is on climate change. The team proved that cold fusion wasn’t happening because the experiments were really hard to do, and in any case hot fusion couldn’t be happening. Very convincing. There have been a shed load of indications of something real happening over decades – plus an array of charlatans.

I’d rather they spent money on CF than on promoting veganism…

Reply to  Russell Robles-Thome
December 27, 2020 1:31 pm

I was quite excited when Fleischman and Pons made their announcement, but the way they did it gave me pause.

Then the irreproducibility problem.

But, again and again, labs in very different locales kept reporting that they were getting anomalous heat production- not a lot of labs, but enough that I concluded that Fleischman and Pons had stumbled onto something, but they did not know what. And, if they did not know what, that would make it hard to reproduce.

Then entrepreneur (con man?) Andrea Rossi came up with his “E-Cat”. The US Navy tested it a number of years ago, but did not release the results of their tests (at least, I could not find any). Rossi is now selling E-Cats- for a while he was selling a 1MW power generation unit (no idea how many he sold), and now he is selling some sort of heating unit that uses the same proprietary system.

He claims that his device (similar to Fleischman and Pons’) gets its energy from the “weak nuclear force”, hence the lack of neutron flux.

Frankly, as a somewhat educated layman, I do not know how to ascertain the truth in all of these claims.

But if the EU chooses NOT to look into Rossi’s device, their collective wisdom makes me think it might be worth a look.

Reply to  Kpar
December 27, 2020 4:19 pm

Long, long ago (in the Sixties) my doctoral thesis involved hitting palladium nuclei with protons and counting the tritons coming out. That was when I discovered the academic world expected me to not only make good measurements, but to make sense of them. This was not what I wanted, and there were few job openings for newly minted physicists back then, so I went into the world of science museums, and haven’t regretted it.

That still gives me a certain grounding in the behavior of palladium and hydrogen. When I heard of Fleischman and Pons work with cold fusion, it seemed reasonable. In a dense, and chemically rather inert substance, the electron density might be enough to counter or obscure the charge of the deuterons, and thus let them get closer together than they normally would in free space.

It’s just noodling around; I haven’t done any calculations or experiments. Still, it sounds intuitive enough to keep hope going for a fair few physicists.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Ellen
December 27, 2020 5:46 pm

There are better metal matrices, as it turns out. Palladium-silver alloys can achieve significantly higher hydrogen loading, maxing out at 40% (molar) silver. I’ve never seen any work on that.

Pd is typically cited as having a hydrogen loading ability as 0.6 (molar). Thorium, if I recall correctly, gets up to 2:1 hydrogen/thorium.

December 27, 2020 10:24 am

And you wonder just why we will be leaving next Thursday …

Jan de Jong
Reply to  3x2
December 27, 2020 10:28 am

Because the plans of Mr. Johnson are so reasonable?

Reply to  Jan de Jong
December 27, 2020 10:29 am

There is that, but still …

Reply to  Jan de Jong
December 27, 2020 12:30 pm

Boris did the job he was voted in to complete, Brexit. For that I’m grateful.

His plans (more accurately, his girlfriends plans) for a Green Industrial Revolution are yet to be scuppered, but they will be.

When the public discover the personal cost to them of his insane vision, he’ll be kicked into touch by the voting public, if not before, by his Conservative party membership.

Steve Taylor
Reply to  Hotscot
December 27, 2020 2:00 pm

I don’t expect the party of the loyal opposition to do anything but support the same lemming-like agenda though. I knew Keir Starmer when we were at Uni together in the 1980s, he was an idiot then too.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Hotscot
December 27, 2020 4:05 pm

I’m sure it’s paying off for BloJo in the bedroom.

Richard Page
Reply to  Hotscot
December 27, 2020 9:14 pm

Hmm. Don’t expect anything to change before the COP – in fact we should probably expect more and more ludicrous schemes to emerge as BoJo gears up to strut his stuff on the world stage. After that, not sure if any of this will ever be put into action, depends on the collective insanity of the UK government and citizens beyond that point.

Reply to  Jan de Jong
December 27, 2020 2:56 pm

Until further notice, those plans are far more reasonable than the myriad bureaucratic wishful thinking that’s driving the EU ever further into the hole.
The so called “level playing field” that the UK wisely told Brussels to roll up and insert wherever it feels good, in effect kills intra system competition stone dead. The UK is now no longer subject to that bad joke.
Try telling US states or Canadian provinces that they can’t compete on say taxation, labour, energy costs or similar inside their respective federations, and see how fast you’re laughed out of the room (de kamer uitgelachen). California is a perfect example of what happens when one state behaves like a little EU inside a federation open to competition.
OT, but a reminder that easy throwaways are like boomerangs.

Ed Zuiderwijk
December 27, 2020 10:27 am

The charlatans have taken over the coop. It will produce loads of wind eggs.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
December 27, 2020 1:30 pm

A friend was convinced his idea of using electricity to blow forced air over fan-like blades coupled to an alternator would generate extra energy. He wouldn’t accept being informed about his design not being viable by all those whose opinion he sought out & for years, until passed away, kept showing around his prototype.

Reply to  gringojay
December 27, 2020 8:19 pm

It sounds like he predated the renewable energy community by a few years and missed the government subsidies for development.

December 27, 2020 10:35 am

What’s the deal with 3,999,870? That’s just barely enough to even start and then administered a program. Sounds like they are just clearing out the budget funds to claim they need a budget increase for next year.

Reply to  JEHILL
December 27, 2020 10:49 am

Yes, a few cents for each (EU) citizen. It’s more how the money is spent. 4m air dropped into my area would give the local area a real boost.

Remember, a few Billion here, a few Billion there and pretty soon you are talking real money.

Reply to  3x2
December 27, 2020 10:52 am

(In the case of The US, a Trillion here …)

Reply to  3x2
December 28, 2020 8:09 am

It won’t be much longer until the word quadrillion will be in the mix, prb’ly in describing debt.

Reply to  3x2
December 27, 2020 1:33 pm

A phrase coined by the late estimable Senator Everett Dirksen (R-IL).

And back then, a billion WAS real money…

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  JEHILL
December 27, 2020 11:09 am

JEHILL, the deal with 3,999,870 is that reporting a financial investment to a precision of 1 part in four hundred thousand (assuming rounding to the nearest 10’s place) is just widow dressing to give an air that accurate budgeting took place.

It’s a BIG FAIL for most people with an IQ above room temperature.

Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
December 27, 2020 12:33 pm

It’s not a big fail as far as the politicians investing in the business are concerned.

Reply to  JEHILL
December 27, 2020 3:20 pm

4,000,000 minus 130 in shipping and handling fees?

old construction worker
Reply to  JEHILL
December 27, 2020 3:23 pm

4 billion for research? Research will get about 20%. The rest will be used to lobby EU members to give more.

Ron Long
December 27, 2020 10:45 am

Eric, you obviously are a true believer because you include the unicorn in the article header. It is known, by other true believers, that unicorn farts are not the normal CH4, instead they are CD4, or carbon deuterium. So the unicorns are secretly providing the special deuterium need for the cold fusion process. I can’t believe I missed this when it is so obvious.

Gordon A. Dressler
December 27, 2020 10:58 am

So, 31 years since Fleischmann and Pons claimed to have produced excess heat using deuterium loaded into a palladium metal and 5 years of recent funding from deep-pockets company Google with the result in 2020 that “no evidence has been found for this phenomenon.” R-i-i-i-g-h-t . . . sounds like a good reason for the EU to throw an additional € 4 million in pursuing the dream.

Just like hot fusion net energy production, I’m sure that cold fusion net energy production is only “a few decades away” from reality.

I’m glad that, in this particular case, it’s not my tax money that’s being spent.

Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
December 28, 2020 1:25 am

Gordon I have come to the conclusion it was never your tax money.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Derg
December 28, 2020 8:30 am

Derg, your conclusion is just plain incorrect.

First, if you can correctly interpret the meaning of the phrase “in this particular case”, you can see that I am specifically referring to the above article’s mention of the European Union spending EU money on controlled fusion research. In fact, I am not a member of any EU nation that pays taxes to support EU-funded scientific research.

Likewise, the phrase “in this particular case” implies there were other case in which I did, in fact, pay net taxes (as a US citizen) to a government (the US Government) that were used, in part, to fund scientific research into controlled fusion for the express purpose of future production of net electrical power from such technology.

“The U.S. government has been funding research into controlled thermonuclear fusion since 1951. Since 1957, when the program was declassified, a public record is available in the form of appropriations and authorization reports presenting congressional decisions about fusion research.” —source: https://www.everycrsreport.com/reports/RL30417.html

At the above-referenced URL, one can download a PDF file titled “Congress and the Fusion Energy Sciences Program: A Historical Analysis” that gives the US government R&D spending profile specific to contained fusion for every FY from 1954 to 2000, which sums to approximately $15 billion (in Year 2000 dollars). I haven’t bothered to find the amount spent since FY2000, but it’s likely another $10 billion or so, with certainty that some of this was spent investigating “cold fusion” as proposed by Fleischmann and Pons.

Over the time period of 1974 to 2009 I continuously paid Federal income taxes, predominately at the highest or second-highest Federal income tax brackets . . . so I can state with absolutely certainty that some of my tax money paid to the US government has been used to fund R&D into controlled fusion, including “cold fusion”, for the intended development of commercial power generation.

How about you? . . . or are you just trolling?

John F Hultquist
December 27, 2020 10:58 am

“<em>  urgently required to stave off catastrophic climate change</em>”

I assume those on this path are smart and educated.
But only in a very limited way. They know nothing about Earth dynamics in general,
nor how the oceans and atmosphere work, nor why, where, and how energy is used.
Regarding using other people’s money — they are good at that.

Reply to  John F Hultquist
December 27, 2020 11:08 am

Nothing like OPM to motivate. Be it Millions, Billions or Trillions. There is nothing as sweet as OPM.

Alasdair Fairbairn
December 27, 2020 11:02 am

At least we Brits won’t be financing this. OOP! maybe we are. There are still 1200 pages to be read. I wonder who scarpered of with €130.00shortfall

Climate believer
Reply to  Alasdair Fairbairn
December 27, 2020 11:09 am

United Kingdom
€ 712 192,50


December 27, 2020 11:22 am

Here comes Elizabeth Shue as the totally believable PHD with her retrograde explanation of experimental chemistry…🤨

December 27, 2020 11:30 am

If you want to revisit the insanity of cold fusion, read Gary Taub’s “Bad Science”.

The whole episode was a toxic brew of incompetence, greed, lawyers and politicians.

As Eric says, it’s Unicorn farts.

Reply to  Bulova
December 27, 2020 1:19 pm

Alternatively check out https://lenr-canr.org/wordpress/. Ed Storms has a pretty good list of papers and replications of the P & F effect which now number in the hundreds if not thousands. The history of the story that it was a fake or a fraud is a sordid tale of power and money seeking.

Reply to  DMA
December 27, 2020 7:20 pm

Why does this sound like the claims that the Hockey Stick has been replicated dozens of times.

BTW, if so many people are replicating the work, why hasn’t anyone been able to actually start building something?

Reply to  Bulova
December 27, 2020 1:27 pm

It wasn’t just incompetance (except in the true believers) it was an intentional scam. Fleishman and Pons claimed they saw excess neutrons, indicative of a fusion reaction, but what they actually did was to compare the neutron flux measured at the experiment with the neutron flux measured in a different location across the lab. It is well known that the cosmic neutron flux varies from place to place according to the materials in the vicinity and the amount of shielding by the earth (soils and rock) and structure. They could have measured the neutron flux with and without the electrolysis current on, but chose to not do that. Even with this bogus method of measuring, they didn’t see anywhere near as many neutrons as they should have if there was a true fusion reaction going on. They actually proved that their excess energy couldn’t be coming from fusion, and they knew that. Despite knowing that, they went on to hype the potential to produce fusion energy by mathematically scaling their experiment by the ratio of D-D (deuterium) fusion reaction cross sections (which they used in their “experiment”) to D-T (Tritium), which they never used – because D-T is much, much easier than D-D. Completely dishonest.

Tom Abbott
December 27, 2020 11:35 am

From the article: “Disruptive energy generation technologies are urgently required to stave off catastrophic climate change.”

What catastrophic climate change?

Catastrophic climate change caused by human CO2 is unsubstantiated speculation.

There is no evidence the climate is “changing” and there is no evidence that CO2 has anything to do with the climate other than going along for the ride.

Smart Rock
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 28, 2020 3:07 pm

Disruptive energy generation technologies are urgently required

We have those already. Continued rollout of wind and solar generation is going to disrupt the smooth functioning of modern industrial societies.

December 27, 2020 11:49 am

Well, even a broken clock goes right twice a day. Even though it’s questionable if you can generate energy out of this mechanism, there is quite some research going on in condensed nuclear science in this area about strange transmutation effects happening lattice confined atoms. For anyone interested https://lenr-canr.org/wordpress/?page_id=1081 are quite some research papers on this topic.
Personally I think research in this area could shed more light into the science of matter than an even larger collider could achieve and I’m quite happy it receives some funding, no matter the reason (pun intended).

Reply to  Knalldi
December 27, 2020 2:30 pm

Mizuno is going commercial with their unit (https://e-catworld.com/2020/11/26/mizuno-technology-announces-move-to-commercial-phase/)
Brilliant Light Power are moving toward commercial development (https://brilliantlightpower.com/hydrino-states-of-hydrogen/ )
I heard that SAFIRE is considering commercial application of their technology.

Reply to  DMA
December 27, 2020 4:06 pm

Thanks for the links. I’m remaining sceptical of them for now but hope for the best.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  DMA
December 28, 2020 12:39 pm

“going commercial” and “moving toward commercial development” – <sigh> They’ve been on this trip for decades. Let me know when they actually get there.

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  DMA
December 28, 2020 2:28 pm

The US Navy SPAWAR group in San Diego had a methodology that reproduced results many times. They focused on the science rather than excess heat. Here’s an hour long conference presentation:

Thomas Gasloli
December 27, 2020 12:14 pm

Remember when Nature was a respected publication? Seriously, how is that things have fallen this far?

Will universities open Alchemical Studies departments?

This would be funny if it were not that the politicians & the propagandist media take this all for fact. It is becoming more and more obvious that we are looking at the death of civilization. We can’t survive much more of this.

December 27, 2020 12:28 pm

When Pons & Fleischmann released stuff about their “cold fusion” in 1989, I had to spend a bit of time explaining to Robert J. Grantham of GMO as to why it was very improbable. The gullibility of the Grantham Institute and their fellow travelers in the years since.

Reply to  shrnfr
December 27, 2020 12:30 pm

insert “has not decreased” after travels. Sorry.

Walter Sobchak
December 27, 2020 12:36 pm

I had a client who was taken for a ride by the father of one of those two. I am not saying dishonesty is inherited, but it is not a good background.

December 27, 2020 12:52 pm

Ah, the ’80s 🙂 Those were the days.

Alexy Scherbakoff
December 27, 2020 12:55 pm

The excess heat was generated from rubbing their hands together at the thought of making money.

December 27, 2020 1:08 pm

p(Zero emissions) = EU unity / (common sense * C^2)

Peta of Newark
December 27, 2020 1:12 pm

Retail Therapy – providing a Dopamine fix

But why do ‘they’ need that?

They are either stressed, lonely or depressed.
It is an epidemic of mental health disorders

How to fix it?

Easy again
Anybody, everybody who wants any sort of decision-making or executive role inside Public Service has..
a) To test negative for diabetes or pre-diabetes
b) To have been T-Total for at least 5 years. No Mary-Jane either.

We want people who are not lazy & half asleep all the time, people with quick-wits & clear heads.
People who are not afraid of making decisions
(+ a few more attributes but am sure you get the drift)

To fix the ‘problems with what thermometers are seemingly up to..
a) Re-mineralise all existing farmland and, once that’s done, set about the major deserts
b) Stop burning bio-mass – no matter how clever or contrived your process is

Job’s a gud ‘un

December 27, 2020 1:15 pm

For Pythagorus the answer usually involved triangles, but clearly the answer lies in alchemy.

David Solan
December 27, 2020 1:19 pm

In the past, I reviewed the extensive research results supporting the reality of “cold fusion” (by that I mean nuclear reactions involving D atoms actually occurring where temperatures 50 nanometers or more from the reactive center were close to or below ambient temperatures). Under MANY different conditions, the presence of cold fusion remained the only possible answer to what was being observed, including, in many cases, the observation of the emission of highly energetic atomic particles from the reaction center. “Excess heat” was hardly the only indication of this reality and, for all I know, could have been explained away without relying on the presence of cold fusion in most, if not all, cases. This is science, not magic. I have not personally kept up with this field for many years now, though I have heard over and over again that the results are still pouring in, as evidenced by that May Nature article.
The fact that many pseudo-scientific loudmouths treated such results with extreme disparagement in the past proves nothing and it is sad that you suggest we should go along with the lynch mob. Cold fusion has a firm scientific base: it is an example of exactly the same collective phenomenon that occurs when people are crushed to death in a stadium sports riot after a game. The forces exerted by people can be cumulative under the right circumstances and can achieve the amounts necessary to crush the bones of a perfectly healthy youth caught in the middle at the wrong time and the wrong place. Just substitute atoms for the people rioting in the stadium and 2 D atoms for that unfortunate youth and you can easily see cold fusion is possible. I personally am very skeptical that such TRUE cold fusion is actually practicable, but that is another story.
Claiming real science is “magic” is always wrong, no matter how marginal that science may be, and in order to refute the crackpots you should never resort to such low blows.

D Boss
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 29, 2020 5:51 am

Eric, and other assorted naysayers:

LENR or Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, are real and I have personally verified this on the lab bench. And no I did not have to squint to see the results of my carefully designed and fabricated calorimeter!

I was involved in privately funded R&D of various energy projects for a decade. There are many papers and even patents on LENR devices and processes. Most of those were beyond our budgetary capability. One came to our attention as being within the realm of possibility so we set out to attempt it.

One of the things we learned from copious literature research, was to find the underlying mechanisms, and often the original discoverer or inventor missed the forest for the trees. We often combined things gleaned from more than one source, with common root mechanisms, or mechanisms which could augment one another.

We did not per se replicate some work, as we took a root principle and made an amalgam of other aspects in our knowledge base to reproduce the effect, more reliably and with less hassle and expense.

Our calorimetery was straight forward and cross checked in several ways, and our power levels were around 300 watts while error was limited to +/-1.5 watts. Our two best runs achieved excess heat of 143% and 138%. Well above the potential error margin.

The process involved Ni and Cu alloys, and the root principle used plain bottled hydrogen gas, technical purity. The effect is of a single proton (from the hydrogen gas) is added to the nucleus of a specific Ni isotope, and by this addition, it changes to a Cu isotope and the mass difference yields excess energy.

No ionizing radiation is produced, nor are any neutrons released as both beginning and ending atoms have the same number of neutrons.

That is a stable isotope of 28Ni62 plus 1H > 29Cu63, yields a difference in mass, equivalent to 164 MW of excess energy per 62 grams of this isotope thus transmuted. There are also two other stable isotope pairs: 28Ni64 and 29Cu65 which yields 200 MW for every 64 grams of Ni thus transmuted.

Nothing unusual or smacking of magic or unicorns need be assumed here – except considering or assuming based on observation, that the Standard Model may be incorrect or incomplete.

Can any of you who so assiduously slam Climate Science as being completely or partially faulty, believe this same tendency does not permeate all levels of so called “Science”???

Now I would agree with Eric that this particular project and funding he mocks is foolhardy. Those idiots have no clue what really is promising and what is not. But that does not mean this new field is all bullchips.

There is a very real phenomenon, across all human endeavors and it’s particularly nasty here. This has led to some very bad outcomes – and this human frailty is characterized by “The Messiah Syndrome”.

The instant you get seduced by this “I am going to save the world” attitude, you get somewhat unbalanced mentally and loose some or all of your objective sensibilities.

As such many, many genuine discoveries have been maligned or destroyed or continued towards fraud and larceny by this Messiah Syndrome and often aided by greed.

And the mainstream then pounces on these follies as “proof” it was all a scam or nonsense.

LENR is real, but so far no serious commercial scale implementations have arisen. And I do not see any need to rush or place all hopes of saving the planet on these avenues either. Fossil fuels are not causing global catastrophe, and indeed may be necessary to reverse the several million years of carbon sequestration which was leading towards all life being extinguished on this planet. CO2 falling below 150 ppm and all plant life dies. So us adding more buried carbon to the atmo, is a blessing not a curse.

We abandoned this LENR investigation, as we already had other mechanisms that were simpler and yielded over 300% excess output.

Reply to  David Solan
December 27, 2020 3:38 pm

I suspect that if Cold Fusion is real then you need to look at the locations on earth where it is occurring and possibly even when (Cyclical occurrence). Magnetic waves, lay lines, hot springs etc are not evenly distributed around the world, and I suspect successfully generating a Cold Fusion reaction falls into the same category.

December 27, 2020 1:35 pm

More importantly, it’s EU magic with unity and justice for all.

John the Econ
December 27, 2020 1:35 pm

Ah, yes, I remember the cold fusion hysteria well. Couldn’t shake the feeling that it was a commodities scam for deuterium.

December 27, 2020 1:42 pm

Is there anything in basic physics that would make people think that this could actually happen?

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 27, 2020 5:31 pm

I was quite jazzed with the initial 1989 announcement by P-F, being interested not only in terrestrial energy but energy for space propulsion (my field). I did a lot of research, and concluded that it might be worth a look – a result I reported in a lengthy review paper to my bosses at TRW.

Because of an offhand observation I included in a two-sentence paragraph in that paper (to metallic hydrogen), I was tasked to perform an experimental program to see if hydrogen-loaded palladium might become a superconductor at room temperature! That was definitely NOT my idea, but I agreed because it would give me an excuse to engage the burgeoning cold-fusion community on company time.

We found that, in fact, palladium wire’s resistivity was reduced by an amount proportional to the overpotential applied in the electrolytic cell. But the maximum change was 6%.

I learned a lot about electrochemistry, both theoretical and practical. After attending the first International Conference on Cold Fusion in Santa Fe, and seeing the difference in setups between researchers who got excess heat and those who didn’t, I found two common factors in the first that were absent in the second. Their calorimetry, which was uniformly just fine, wasn’t the problem. It was that the excess heat people were using unregulated power supplies, and there was always evidence of electrolyte breakdown (snaps and flashes). Since none of the groups used voltage and current measuring devices having the bandwidth to record brief transients in input power, the excess heat people didn’t realize that they were intermittently dumping in extra joules – joules which integrated out over time in the calorimetry, and were measured accurately. So I lost interest.

Decades later, humorously enough, I ran across an article where researchers had found that hydrogen-loaded palladium wires became superconducting at above 30 K, though not in the range of “high temperature” superconductors (77 K). Still, the phenomenon was not expected at all. So I guess my management at TRW deserves more credit than I gave them at the time.

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
December 28, 2020 2:50 pm

Mike: Rocket propulsion is my field too. As a hobby, I check into the Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) group every few months. Their current front runner is the results from Mizuno’s lab. Here’s their site:
Dan D

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  dan no longer in CA
December 28, 2020 2:58 pm


Tom Morrow
December 27, 2020 2:15 pm

Cold fusion! Wow. And they rejected my research proposal for studying the use of a zero Ohm resistor.

Bryan A
Reply to  Tom Morrow
December 27, 2020 7:22 pm

Ya know…I believe that when the Zero Ohm resistor is properly combined with 2 of the 3 poles of the Flux Capacitor, and proper harmonics are applied true cold fusion will finally be realized. You owe it to the world to self fund your Zero Ohm resistor research

Reply to  Tom Morrow
December 27, 2020 8:37 pm

You could use it (0R) to bugger up your calculator.

December 27, 2020 2:17 pm

Zero emissions extremism

December 27, 2020 2:39 pm

I am amused by the nay sayers out there. I sold the equipment that produced the cold fusion results at U of U. My company felt this might be the future of energy production and supplied similar equipment to many universities and national labs. I know by first person experience that many of these experiments emitted unexplained heat. The fly in the ointment was the race to perfect HOT FUSION was in the forefront of scientific experimentation. Those who depended on the very expensive research into hot fusion were not pleased by the very cheap cold fusion experimentation because it was drawing funds from their paychecks. As a result many of the cold fusion critics were hot fusion experts… You can look it up, I was there. Do I know what made the cold fusion work? I took a lot of physics in collage and my answer is no; I have no Idea. What I know is, it worked from time to time but no one spent enough time or money to find out why it worked and why many attempts to duplicate this failed. As the climate change proponents say… we need to do further experiments, if you will just give us a little more money.

dodgy geezer
December 27, 2020 2:43 pm

Good way to give the French President’s nephew a small donation and not expect anything to be delivered back

Look for the Clintons to suddenly get interested in cold fusion….

Rud Istvan
December 27, 2020 3:05 pm

I researched Nd wrote about this extensively in the energy chapter of ebook the Arts of Truth in 2012. Covered in the Chaper ‘Recognition’. Had the futher advantage of sending Mororola’s top theoretical physicist to Pons and Fleischmann’s Toyota funded French lab. There was a there, there. But not every experiment, and without ever producing boiling water- so no useful energy density.

The Navy’s SPAWAR ran a skunkworks program that explained why, since declassified. The phenomenon is concentrated in the microdefects in the palladium wire structure. Nothing like uniformity possible.

About 2006 (if I recall correctly) a theoretical explanation was provided by Widom and Larsen (WL Theory) as a property of the weak force, in effect reverse radioactive beta decay, and the same basic thing that drives the formation of neutron stars via gravitational collapse. This theory led to ‘old fusion’ being renamed ‘low energy nuclear reactions’, (LENR).

The key to LENR in Earths weak gravity field is electron excitation above about 0.78 mev to enable their proton capture and thus neutron formation. There are two possible mev routes, surface plasmons and EMF.

NASA built surface plasmon chips. Worked, but impossibly expensive for any bulk energy. Will never scale.
Brillouin Energy demonstrated EMF in the lab using high frequency AC, BUT was never able to get the net energy gain above two (electricity in, heat out)
So real, but a practical technical dead end. Their effort to build a 4x gain device failed.

The EU stuff just shows they haven’t even done the homework I did way back when.

December 27, 2020 3:10 pm

With the right kind of ‘diplomacy’ they can throw in a Nobel Prize.

December 27, 2020 3:11 pm

Does it come with backup solar panels and windmills?

December 27, 2020 3:16 pm

A good friend of mine was highly embarrassed when shortly after the initial cold fusion results were announced, they announced that they had duplicated the results. A few days later they had to retract their results when a member of the team discovered that on of their probes was being used at a temperature outside what it had been calibrated for.
When they got a new probe that was calibrated for those temperatures, the effect they were looking at disappeared.

Kit P
December 27, 2020 3:24 pm

Energy scams come and go.

Electricity too cheap to meter is here to stay.

No really, I will explain. You need a meter to tax old denseless people for the energy they need to hear and cool our homes. I hate to think how much it is costing for goverment to tell me to wash my hands.

My dream job of designing new reactor went away the day POTUS elect Clinton announced his secretary of energy. Nuclear power was officially dead.

One of my subsequent jobs that was fun was developing biomass renewable energy. In nuclear power I got to be an engineer. In renewable energy, I had to learn to write business plans. The ways goverment taxes energy is amazing.

When the power company sends you a bill who do you blame, the power company or your elected taxing authority?

Also worked on the geological repository. I learned how government spends money. The only thing the US DOE is good at spending money. In the US, rate payers fund storage of spent nuclear fuel. I also learned that we do not need a lang term solution to spent nuclear fuel. I already knew this being an expert of short storage but by then I had reviewed computer printouts for the next three glacial maximums.

Our planet is still in the same ice age pattern that it has been for millions of years. Spent nuclear fuel should not be left in the path of glacial Lake Missoula. So was my house. Should I have disclosed that to the new owners.

During the nuclear is dead period, I also learned about lawyers. No matter how you make electricity, some crackpot is against and will file a restraining order to stop it. This will kill a small renewable energy projects.

Turns out nuclear was not dead. A few years after POTUS was elected I was working as a design engineer in new reactors. Even worked in China.

So here is the deal with fusion. The world does not need a infinite supply of energy energy. I finite supply of energy will do do nicely for our wonderful lifestyle.

No matter what the energy source, it takes a equipment to convert it to energy to more useful electricity. This requires engineers to design, operators to run, and a staff to maintain.

We like to get paid so we can buy power too cheap to meter.

Fusion and fission produce heat by converting mass to energy to make steam. The steam plant will be the same. Power plants that convert a small amount of mass to a huge amount energy are small. Smaller than a Walmart.

While fusion is always 30 years in the future, fission passed the learning curve stage 30 years ago. The most significant change I have seen is large containment buildings protected and an outer shield building. Expensive to build with a large equipment hatch but reduces maintenances cost over the life of a power plant.

Bottom line is that producing the power that is needed is not a problem. Energy scams are based on ignorance.

Jean Parisot
December 27, 2020 3:39 pm

“but the finding remained controversial due to lack of replicability”

I didn’t think replication mattered anymore.

Joel O'Bryan
December 27, 2020 4:02 pm

cold fusion is junk science. A cultural superstition.
Overcoming the strong nuclear force for two protons doesn’t happen outside of fission nuclear bombs and stellar cores, and maybe a Tokamak fusion compression gadget. The emission of fast neutrons and neutrinos is the telltale signature of actual fusion of nuclei.

Whoever is pushing cold-fusion to gullible bureaucrats and ignorant politicians is simply a conniving snake-oil salesman. But I’m sure the paycheck is nice if they can get it.

Pat from kerbob
December 27, 2020 4:11 pm

800C is “cold”?

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
December 28, 2020 11:56 am

Compared to a million plus that is needed for “hot” fusion.

December 27, 2020 5:27 pm

I have some cold fusion in my fridge,
you can have it for 5million !! (bring your own cool box)

Bryan A
Reply to  saveenergy
December 27, 2020 7:24 pm

Must be kept below 95f or the whole thing degrades in under 20 seconds?

December 27, 2020 8:12 pm

Converting lead to gold is a low risk high yield option and would probably be as successful

anna v
December 27, 2020 9:18 pm

Quoting David Solan::

“Claiming real science is “magic” is always wrong, no matter how marginal that science may be, and in order to refute the crackpots you should never resort to such low blows.”

I agree with him, it is a sad observation that the people who answer in this site are not scientifically mature enough to follow the scientific discipline.

I have been following cold fusion as an outsider, my field being particle physics, but I cannot agree that negative results from experiments should stop research, particularly in a subject so complicated mathematically.

I want to remind everybody of the complexity of quantum mechanical phenomena, and fusion is basically a quantum mechanical phenomenon. Think of the complexity of lasers, and the discovery of holography. Electromagnetism is simple but the phenomena involve a fortuitous coherence between classical dimensions and the quantum mechanical frame.

I am fairly certain that there could be an analogous coherence leading to cold fusion, if researchers are clever enough . in their experimental search.

If you look at the amount of money that goes into “climate science” it is good that some money goes into researching cold fusion. I agree with David that it is a long shot that even if it exists, it will be useful for energy production, but if you asked a 19th century researchers if lasing was possible you would be laughed out of the room.

anna v
Reply to  anna v
December 27, 2020 9:31 pm

I will add that , some of the more recent results are not negative, as Rud Istvan says i his homment below. The more to support that research should not stop.

Stephen Richards
December 28, 2020 12:58 am

The same scam and money ‘.000.000€ as the solar road in the north of france. That was queitly removed a while ago.

December 28, 2020 4:02 am

Well, this doesn’t look like a good bet to me – but I note from the link that: ‘The funding (under the new Pathfinder scheme for deep-tech research and innovation is aimed to support visionary ideas that may – or perhaps may not – translate into reality.’

So this isn’t part of the EU’s primary approach, but theoretical/out there research.

Reply to  griff
December 28, 2020 10:58 am

Deflect, cover up, obfuscate — repeat

Allan Kiik
December 28, 2020 5:56 am

NASA has also turned to same magic to progress future spaceflight –

December 28, 2020 8:19 am
December 28, 2020 8:32 am

Funded Euro babble

oeman 50
December 28, 2020 9:10 am

I was asked to attend a Skype presentation from a group that had developed a process to “improve” distillate fuel oil. The “improvement” was to mix the oil and water and run them through a capillary, increasing the heat content of the fuel. Mind you, this was not improving the combustion of the oil, but increasing the actual maximum heat content measured in a bomb calorimeter. I let them ramble for a while and then delivered the zinger: Where does the “extra” energy come from? The answer from the German expert was “cold fusion.” I could not even begin to hide my disgust at having my time wasted. We never saw them again.

December 28, 2020 10:26 am

Which one will be the Biden science advisor? The best candidate must be flashy and bold behind the podium like John Holdren.

December 28, 2020 1:44 pm

I’ve got a proposal for turning lead into cobalt and rare earth elements without pollution. We will green the world and I only need E 50 million.

December 29, 2020 2:27 am

F&P were absolutely wrong and unreliable. The best evidence of their artful but sloppy way to interpret the experimental results is provided by the video produced by themselves to document the huge excess heat they claimed to have achieved in their major work, the 1992 Four-Cell Boil-Off experiment:

By analyzing this video, anyone with basic knowledge in thermothecnology can realize the kind of blatant mistakes they made, as better explained here: https://forbetterscience.com/2020/12/08/cold-fusion-by-eu-commission-a-fleischmann-pons-revival/#comment-103549

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