How can 30% of nickel in Rossi’s reactor be transmuted into copper?

by Dott. Giuliano Bettini
Retired. Earlier: Selenia SpA, Rome and IDS SpA, Pisa
Also Adjunct Professor at the University of Pisa
Adjunct Professor at Naval Academy, Leghorn (Italian Navy)

In the present article I would like to answer a question posed by L. Kowalsky in a recent paper: how can 30% of nickel in Rossi’s reactor be transmuted into copper? “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”, says a guy. I apologizes if I am too simplistic here.

The interest on Andrea Rossi’s Nickel-Hydrogen Cold Fusion technology is accelerating [1]. However, Rossi says that about 30% of nickel was turned into copper, after 6 months of uninterrupted operation. Kowalski [2]. says that “this seems to be impossible because the produced copper isotopes rapidly decay into Ni”. But how it works?

How it works
Following Focardi Rossi [3]. a Ni58 nucleus produces a Copper nucleus according to the reaction

Ni58 + p → Cu59

Copper nucleus Cu59 decays with positron (e+) and neutrino (ν) emission in Ni59 nucleus according to

Cu59 → Ni59 + ν + e+

Then (e+) annichilates with (e-) in two gamma-rays

e- + e+ → γ + γ

Starting [3] from Ni58 which is the more abundant isotope, we can obtain as described in the two above processes Copper formation and its successive decay in Nickel, producing Ni59, Ni60, Ni61 and Ni62. Because Cu63, which can be formed starting by Ni62, is stable and does not decay in Ni63, the chain stops at Ni62 (i.e. Cu63). Each process means some MeV.

Of course how can a proton p gets captured by the Ni58 nucleus? (and subsequent Ni59, Ni60, Ni61 and Ni62). Following Stremmenos [4]. a neutron-like particle, an electron proton pair, a mini-atom, a proton masked as a neutron, gets captured by the Ni58.

If the masked proton becomes a neutron the result is Ni59.
In order to have Cu59 (increase of atomic number from 28 to 29) the electron (of the masked proton) gets ejected from the nucleus. The masked proton becomes a proton.

The same process holds for all the subsequent transformations, until Cu63.
It remains to be understood the issue of the gamma radiation in the MeV range.

I am an electronic engineer, so I need easy numbers in order to understand.
However “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”, says a guy. Maybe I am too simple here.
Let’s calculate.
MeV for each Ni transformation
I read that starting from Ni58 we can obtain Copper formation and its successive decay in Nickel, producing Ni59, Ni60, and Ni62. The chain stops at Cu63 stable.
For simplicity I assume all the Nickel in the reactor in the form Ni58.
For simplicity I suppose for each Ni58 the whole sequence of events from Ni58 to Cu63 and as a rough estimate I calculate the mass defect between (Ni58 plus 5 nucleons) and the final state Cu63.
Ni58 mass is calculated to be 57.95380± 15 amu
The actual mass of a copper-Cu63 nucleus is 62.91367 amu
Mass of Ni58 plus 5 nucleons is  57.95380+5=62.95380 amu
Mass defect is 62.95380-62.91367=0.04013 amu
1 amu = 931 MeV is used as a standard conversion
0.04013×931 MeV=37.36 MeV
So each transformation of Ni58 into Cu63 releases 37.36MeV of nuclear energy.
Nickel consumption
According to many blogs in the Internet “One hundred grams of nickel powder can power a 10 kW unit for a minimum of six months”.
How much of Ni58 should be transformed, in six months of continuous operation, in order to generate 10 kW?
I follow a procedure outlined in [2].
10 kW is thermal or electrical (?) power. The nuclear power must be larger. Assume a nuclear power twice:
20 kW = 20,000 J/s = 1.25 x 10**17 MeV/s.
Each transformation of Ni58 into Cu63 releases 37.36MeV of nuclear energy.
The number of Ni58 transformations should thus be equal to (1.25 x 10**17)/37.36 = 3.346 x 10**15 per second.
Multiplying by the number of seconds in six months (1.55 x 10**7) the total number of transformed Ni58 nuclei is 5.186 x 10**22.
This means 5 grams.
The order of magnitude is not exactly the same but seems to be plausible. This means also 5 grams of Nickel in Rossi’s reactor transmuted into (stable) Copper after six months of continuous operation at the rate of 10 kW.
Rossi says that about 30% of nickel was turned into copper, after 6 months of uninterrupted operation. At first glance this seems to agree with calculations based on simple assumptions.


890 comments to How can 30% of nickel in Rossi’s reactor be transmuted into copper?

  • Joseph Fine

    Dr. Rossi,

    Have you considered using heat transfer fluids other than water? In ‘ Hybrid Nuclear Reactors ‘ [1], the section ‘Liquid Metal Reactors’ describes use of liquid sodium. Liquid sodium coolant, coincidentally, operates at a temp. of 500 degrees Celsius. Liquid Sodium would not be anyone’s first choice of coolant since it has nasty properties in contact with water or air. Any reactor, or catalyzer, would also be slower to start up since you have to melt the coolant first.

    According to the article, the Russians have used liquid Bismuth/Lead. ( I don’t know how its operating temperature. Other than by looking up the melting points of Bismuth and Lead. )

    Lead provides additional shielding against X-rays and gammas. Perhaps, you don’t even need to use Lead and can just use Bismuth. However, use of liquid metal coolants would provide greater heat capacity than water, perhaps leading to a smaller form factor. I don’t know if this is of any help, but I just was wondering.

    Joseph Fine

    Hybrid nuclear reactors

    H. Nifenecker; S. David, J. M. Loiseaux, A. Giorni
    Institut des Sciences Nucléaires
    53 Ave. des Martyrs
    Grenoble Cedex

  • Markku Pöysti

    Does the reaction stop if temperature rises to Ni melting temp? This is rather important safety point, ie. is china syndrome possible?

  • Angelo Corbas

    Desidero fortemente che si possano chiarire prestissimo tutte le questioni teoriche e tecniche sull’ e-cat, dispositivo capace di dare una nota di ottimismo alla quotidianita’ deprimente (almeno per quanto mi/ci riguarda).

    Angelo Corbas, medico greco

  • Andrea Rossi

    Dear Mr Vladimiro Carlucci,
    We will not install our E-Cats in Italy for some year.
    Warm regards,

  • Cortese Ing. Rossi,
    Sono entusiasta del suo lavoro e mi piacerebbe prenderne parte
    Sono un azienda commerciale di Roma, Italia, e vorrei capire se nel vostro progetto e’ prevista una rete di distributori dell’e-cat. In caso positivo sarei interessato . Mi faccia sapere .
    Un grande “in bocca al lupo”
    Vladimiro Chiarucci

  • Andrea Rossi

    Dear Dr Luis Vaccaro:
    1- no
    2- maybe
    3-550 °C, 50 bars
    4- efficiency
    Warm regards,

  • Andrea Rossi

    Dear Mr Simone:
    We are respecting all the laws regarding safety and authorizations.
    Warm regards,

  • Simone

    Dear Ing. Rossi,
    I recently read comments doubting that you will be able to produce and sell the machines before the end of this year, because this new technology, basing on nuclear reactions, has to pass inspections, security checks, comply with regulations, etc…. before it can be put on the market.
    Beside the fact that it’s funny to note how some skeptics are already moving from “it’s impossible ” to “yes, but it will take a long time…”, I wanted to ask you if you fear possible delays for bureaucracy or legal obstacles.
    Thanks and best wishes for the coming months

  • Luis Vaccaro

    Dear Mr Rossi:

    some other curiosities:

    1) Do you already know if only one version (3kW) of the eCAT will be sold?
    2) It will be sold as an steam generator?
    3) what will be the maximum presure and temperature of the output steam?
    4) can you tell us, what are the main difficulties in obtaining electricity, so we can try to aid you for free at Bologna or at Genoa simulating the system in some way?

    thanks for yours answers!
    I hope I will be able meet you some day!

  • Italo A. Albanese

    If you need help for electrical generators, try or for bigger systems.

  • Andrea Rossi

    Dear Mr H. Visscher:
    In this period I have not much time tp read the blogs, usually I read them only if necessary. Most of them have interesting indights and useful encouragements, some of them are extremely interesting, some are skeptic in a constructive sense, few are just insulting; I read the ones that, at a glance, are useful.
    Warm regards and Hello to wonderful Vancouver!

  • Andrea Rossi

    Dear Mr Neal Dunwoody:
    Thank you,
    Warm Regards,

  • Neal Dunwoody

    Dear Mr. Rossi,

    Congratulations to you on your discovery. It has amazing potential to benefit humankind. I wish you all the success in the future.


  • H. Visscher

    Dear Mr. Rossi

    I have been following the developments regarding the E-Cat with the greatest interest. As matter of fact I follow all kinds of alternative fusions set-ups. Ever since a kid I have been intrigued by that. I understand that you mentioned once that you do not know exactly how the E-cat works, other then it does work. Ever since the public demonstration there has been a deluge of posts on various blogs of “believers” and “deniers” .
    On these sites there are also people who post comments to describe their own theory of what kind of processes might take place within the E-Cat. My question is if you follow these blogs and – if so – if these blogs have given you new insights of which you might not have thought about before. What blog do you find the best in this regard?

    Thanks a lot and all the best with your work!

    Greetings from sunny and beautiful Vancouver, Canada!

    H. Visscher

  • Andrea Rossi

    Dear Ing. Fabio Sanzani:
    Please go to the Report of Sven Kullander and Hanno Essen and to the Report of the follow up of Ing. Mats Lewan of Nyteknik:
    there you will find all the data you are searching for.
    Warm regards,

  • Andrea Rossi

    Dear Mr Luke Mortensen:
    1- our cost is 1/10 either for kWe or kWt
    2- 70% of the market.
    Anyway, we are starting fro heat production because is easier. We have problems to resolve yet to produce electricity.
    Warm regards,

  • Luke Mortensen


    You’ve made a strategic business choice to focus on heat generation and not on the conversion of that heat to electricity. You’ve mentioned that the conversion ratio is 2:1 or 3:1. You seem to prefer not to lose all that energy as waste. It must have higher total value to your customers in that format.

    1. Could you comment on the market value of heat vs electricity per kw/hr?
    2. What industries have the most interest in heat over electricity?


  • fabiosanzani

    Caro Ing.Rossi,
    se posso chiederle qualcosa di pratico (siamo il solito studio termotecnico zona Roveri) che ha già descritto ma era solo per riepilogare.
    Il singolo modulo (E-Cat) nella sua versione attuale quanto produce mediamente in output (kW o kcal/h, come vuole), mi sembra o sbaglio ca 3Kw, qual è la temperatura media in uscita dell’acqua ed il consumo elettrico a regime (a parte lo spunto iniziale). Avrei molte curiosità pratiche ma capisco che il suo tempo è prezioso.
    Buon lavoro
    Dr. Sanzani

  • David Linebarger

    Dear Andrea Rossi,
    I have been following this from the bringing. And I have to utmost respect and gratitude for you and your work. I’m telling everyone too. Thank you so much for what you are doing.

    Warm Regards,
    David Linebarger

  • Andrea Rossi

    Dear Mr Charlie Sutherland:
    Yes, we are also studying steam engines fit for our E-Cats: not an easy task.
    Warm regards,

  • Andrea Rossi

    Dear Mr Colin Watters:
    The 1 MW plant has been bought from our Customer to operate at a profit, not to make demonstrations.
    Warm regards,

  • ColinW

    Dear Mr Rossi,

    Is it the intention that the 1MW plant will operate at a profit (eg it will export the power) or is it just a demonstration plant for the technology?



  • Just a thought..

    Since this device primarily creates heat. Are there any plans to construct steam engines around this device? It seems a backward step, but steam technology is already here and there should be little concern for efficiency.

    Thank you,

    Charlie Sutherland
    Mayodan, NC USA

  • Andrea Rossi

    Dear Mr Tyko Per:
    We do not reòlease photo of our factory.
    Critiques would not surely be stopped from distant photos anyway.
    We are looking for the market: in October our 1 MW plant will close the circle.
    Thank you for your attention,
    Warm regards,

  • Andrea Rossi

    Dear Mr Russell Robles-Thome:
    Deuterium doesn’t work.
    Warm regards,

  • Andrea Rossi

    Dear Maryyugo:
    Our public demos are over. No more public tests will be made, while our R&D with the Universities of Bologna and Uppsala will go on. In October we will start our 1 MW plant in Greece, after it we will start our commercial operation.
    Our E-Cats will work not in public, but in private concerns. I suppose visits will be allowed, though.
    Warm Regards,

  • maryyugo

    Dear Mr. Rossi, Now that you have completed the E-cats necessary for the megawatt plant, when may the universities in Sweden expect an E-cat to test? And how soon may a scientific delegation inspect and report on the “big heater” in the factory which is mentioned in the patent and in several reports? The apparent upscale of that heater alone makes it very much of interest. Thanks for your courtesy in entertaining these questions. M. Y.

  • Russell Robles-Thome

    Yesterday I asked if the e-cat had been run loaded with D2 instead of H2.

    The reason for the question is that if the process is nuclear, it would be very surprising if the reaction rate were the same. If the process were chemical, it would be quite surprising if the reaction rate were different. Hence this experiment would be quite a sensitive indicator of the reality of the claims.

    Please can you explain whether this test has been done? If you are confident of the nuclear nature of the mechanism, it would be a great thing to do. It also might be economically interesting, if the reaction rate were enhanced enough.

  • Tyko Per

    Hello Mr Rossi. Congratz on your discovery. On a Swedish forum dedicated to your research, a person posted a message from you saying that you have finished over 170 E-cats for the 1 MW plant. Congratz on this achievement. Is it possible to see a picture of these devices? Maybe taken from a distance so no reverse engineering could be performed. This will certainly silence many critiques. Thank you.

    Best wishes. Tyko Per

  • Andrea Rossi

    Dear Mr Rick Olson:
    Thank you!
    Warm regards,

  • Rick Olson

    This is truly a paradigm shift! To think of such unlimited power accesible to all is liberating! May you have great success and a compassionate heart.

  • Andrea Rossi

    Dear Mr “IBG”:
    Thank you,
    Warm regards,

  • lbg

    Dear Dr. Rossi,

    I congratulate you on you discovery and patent. You have made our future more secure.

    Respect and Regards,


  • Andrea Rossi

    Dear Mr Rick Meisinger:
    I am doing all my best to be useful.
    Warm regards,

  • Andrea Rossi

    Dear Mr Leslie:
    We consume 1 gram of hydrogen per E-Cat. All the rest is confidential.
    Skepticism is totally justified.
    Warm regards,

  • Andrea Rossi

    Dear Dr Joseph Fine:
    1- We have completed all the 330 modules of the 1 MW plant. Now goes on the testing of each of them and the construction of the container.
    2- Remotely- Singularly
    3- No, we have to change the modules, eventually refueling them at home (so far). Ships do not stay away from ports more than 6 mo.
    Warmest regards,

  • Joseph Fine

    Dr. Rossi,

    1) How many E-Cats are operating now?

    2) If you have a number of E-Cats operating together in a power plant and want to turn some of them on or off, can you do that remotely ( almost certainly ) or do you have to do it manually (turning valves and throwing switches)? Can you control the E-Cats individually or only in groups or sections?

    3) Can you refuel a module after several months without completely removing it for service, that is, by pouring Nickel (kitty food) into the device. That is, you don’t have to ship it back to the factory by Federal Express. (That would make it easier to use in Ships, for example.)


  • As I understand it; Inputs are H2 and Ni +Energy , outputs are H2, Ni, Cu and ENERGY.

    Has the mass balance been calculated? How much of the starting materials have been used up? Over 6 months a great deal of H2 must be consumed.
    You comment that several nuclear experts have looked at this, but have any experts from Hydrogen-Fuel-Cell establishment looked at the device. Completely different technologies I know, but worth a different persective.
    I know from my nanotechnology research that nano-particles can throw up some strange properties, how does the structure of the catalyst change over time? Manufacture of nano-particles is an energy intensive process, with a large energy potential.
    It is not only energy from the “initiation” stage, but also energy to pressurize the reaction conditions. have ALL energy inputs been considered?

    I understand perfectly the reasons for your secrecy, and everyone’s wish for this to be a solution to the World’s energy needs, but all real scientists need to be skeptical and questioning. I do wish you success.

  • Rick Meisinger

    Dear Mr. Rossi,

    Do you have a sense of destiny as you are making great strides in the development of this technology?
    With much support and gratitude,

    R.M. in USA

  • Andrea Rossi

    Dear Mr Eberhardt:
    We will start with industrial plants, later we will produce models as the one you say. In November you will have more detailed information.
    Warm regards,

  • Mikael Lundell

    In my opinion E-cat is a very good marketing name of the device. “E” for Efficient, Ecological, Economical, Energy!

  • Eberhardt

    Dear Mr. Rossi,

    first of all, I am wishing you and all other people of the world that your discovery
    will work over long time and replace the “OLD” Energy sources!

    It is possible to go in self-sustaining mode for heating (Gas heater)
    and electricity for single-family house with the E-Cat?

    Greetings from Germany from a possible Customer!

    I belive in your discovery “Rossi´s E-Cat”


  • Peter G

    As a chemist, I have been watching the ‘Cold Fusion” story from the 1989 beginning, and after a long, cold, expensive winter, I am wishing you great success from Boston. I hope to visit your NH factory if you build your units there.
    Peter G.

  • Andrea Rossi

    Dear Mr Bjorn Genborg:
    Adjusting can take 1 minute.
    Warm regards,

  • Bjorn Genborg

    Mr. Rossi,

    Regarding controlling capabilities (regulating) of your device; How dynamic can the power production be adjusted? For example, if a E-cat is in operation, producing 2,5 kW, how quickly can the power production be reduced to 1,0 kW? Within 10 seconds? One minute? 5 minutes? 30 minutes?

    (Sorry for the question if it has already been answered. I’m following this blogs’s posts but can’t recall that it has been mentioned).

    Thanks for your general effort in answering questions!

  • Andrea Rossi

    Dear Mr Vrbovsky P.:
    Best wishes to my Serbian Friends,

  • Vrbovsky P.

    Dear Mr. ANDREA ROSSI,

    Congratulations on your discovery.Wishing well from Serbija.

  • Andrea Rossi

    Dear Mr Harry V.:
    Wishing well to my Canadian Friends!
    Warm regards,

  • Harry V.

    Wishing you well from Canada.

  • Corrado P.

    Dear Mr. Rossi,

    hope you will succeed. I really would like to hear about your life story and how you made this discovery.


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