1) When and how did you start to be interested in the E-Cat and Andrea Rossi?
“As I write in my book, I first heard about Rossi and the E-Cat through a tip from a reader of the Swedish technology weekly Ny Teknik, where I work as a reporter since about 15 years. The reader told me about blog reports on the semi-public demo of the E-Cat in January 2011″.
2) To write your book you’ve interviewed many protagonists of the story. What is the interview that eventually struck you the most and why?
“Most astonishing was maybe the very first phone call that I made after having learnt about the E-Cat demo to the Swedish physicist – and at that time also the chairman of the Swedish Skeptics Society – Hanno Essén, who surprised me by saying ‘this looks interesting’ “.
3) When and how did you guessed that the invention of Rossi was something real?
“Almost immediately I decided that it shouldn’t be excluded that the technology was possible. The basic principle was release of excess thermal energy through a yet unknown kind of nuclear reaction, and I couldn’t see any reason to believe that new knowledge in nuclear physics was impossible. But my assessment that there are good reasons to believe that the E-Cat works, grew slowly and gradually through my contacts with the people involved, through their testimonials and from my own measurements and observations”.
4) For your direct perception, in Sweden the story of the E-Cat was received more positively by the academic world and in the media, compared to other countries?
“No, I don’t think so. There are more people aware of the story in Sweden compared to other countries, and I dare to claim that basically the only reason for this is my reporting in Ny Teknik. But the general and academic opinion is very much the same as anywhere else — a great deal of curiosity, especially among people with interest in technology and energy, but above all a strong skepticism, particularly in the scientific community”.
5) On what do you base your assessment that the E-Cat probably works?
“It has been noted repeatedly that there are several possible sources of errors in all measurements that have been made on the E-Cat, and that is true. On the other hand there’s yet no evidence for these possible errors being real errors. But in the end, what makes me tip towards thinking that the E-Cat works, are several testimonials of when the reaction has gone awry. Yet, these are only testimonials, and you’ll have to trust the people behind them. Another influential event, however, was during a demo in October 2011 when the E-Cat worked in self sustained mode, i.e. with no external energy input, for almost four hours. And even though water was constantly being pumped into the E-Cat, and the casing was poorly insulated, it kept boiling inside, which I could hear and feel with my hands – and the external temperature remained at between 60 and 85 degrees centigrade. You would need a very powerful energy storage inside the E-Cat to achieve this without any heat producing process inside, and when the casing was opened at the end of the day, no such storage was evidently hidden inside”.
6) The Elforsk and Swedish licensee are very involved in the activities of Rossi. Do you think that Sweden is one of the preferential markets of E-Cat?
“I really don’t know. Rossi says he still has plans for some kind of center of production in Sweden, and his relationship with the licensee Hydrofusion seems to be good, but even if the technology really works, there are still too many unknowns regarding the market, the technology and Rossi’s business to answer this question. I think it’s a good thing though that Swedish entities move at an early stage, and I find it courageous by Elforsk to take this position”.
7) What is the more funny personal anecdote happened to you concerning the E-Cat?
When during one of Rossi’s demos in Bologna, three Italian supporters of Rossi from a small village in the mountains, 250 kilometers from Bologna, showed up in a car, opened the trunk and prepared a beautiful Italian ‘aperitivo’ with local delicacies from their region, accompanied with some excellent sparkling ‘Prosecco’ wine.
8) The history of the E-Cat is more intriguing than a novel, but at this time only a part of my information was disclosed in the book. Was the same for you?
“No, I have to admit that with very few exceptions I have revealed everything I have learnt and discovered regarding this story in my book, at least everything that I find relevant and with a reasonable degree of credibility. I find it interesting that you say that there’s a lot you have not been able to report at this point, and I look forward to hearing about those things one day!”.
9) How do you think this story will end?
“As I have stated in my book, there’s no generally accepted proof for the E-Cat being a valid technology, but my personal assessment is that there are good reasons to believe that it works. From a more general perspective I can see that there’s strong scientific evidence for LENR, and I’m convinced that if the E-Cat doesn’t work, continued research will turn LENR into an important and useful new energy source anyway within a near future, that will dramatically change the world and solve a series of fundamental global problems, the climate crisis included.
10) So, you’re optimist about the energy future…
Yes, because, from an even broader perspective, Einstein’s well known formula E = mc^2 tells us that energy is incredibly abundant all around us, and that the only problem is to find better, more efficient and less dangerous methods than those we know today – exothermal chemical reactions and a few nuclear reactions, essentially fission and hot fusion – to turn mass into energy. I can see no reason why we couldn’t find many new such methods in the future, which would give us limitless energy. But first we have to discard the detrimental and absurd notion that we have already discovered all possible ways to transform mass into energy”.
MATS LEWAN is a technology and science journalist, author and speaker. He works as a staff writer at the Swedish technology magazine “NyTeknik” and previously has worked at CBS Cnet News. Lewan holds a Master of Science degree in Engineering Physics from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, where he lives with his wife and two children.