A panel of researchers has released a paper confirming that a device made by a secretive Italian might be cold fusion.
The paper, penned by a team of independent scientists, has yet to receive a peer review, but appears to suggest that Andrea Rossi's cold fusion device might be the business.
The cold fusion device being tested has roughly 10,000 times the energy density and 1,000 times the power density of gasoline. The paper said that even allowing for a massively conservative margin of error, the scientists say that the cold fusion device they tested is 10 times more powerful than petrol which is the best fuel readily available to mankind.
According to Extreme Tech, Rossi has been claiming for the past two years that he had cracked cold fusion with his devise dubbed the Energy Catalyzer (E-Cat).
He has not won any friends in the scientific community by letting them independently analyse the device, at least before he turned the gear over to the panel. Even now, while the boffins had a fairly free rein while testing the E-Cat, they could not work out what was going on inside the sealed steel cylinder reactor.
The team of seven scientists, all from European universities, obviously felt confident enough with their findings.
Rossi and his chum Sergio Focardi have previously said their device works by infusing hydrogen into nickel, transmuting the nickel into copper and releasing a large amount of heat.
Hydrogen ions are sucked into a nickel lattice and the nickel's electrons are forced into the hydrogen to produce neutrons. The nickel nuclei absorb these neutrons; the neutrons are stripped of their electrons to become protons; and thus the nickel goes up in atomic number from 28 to 29, becoming copper.
All this produces a lot of heat - something like 500MW from half a gram of hydrogen, but does not create ionizing radiation or radioactive waste.
If Rossi's idea pans out then it really could change the world dramatically.