[This is the 4th time I have tried posting this. Let me break it into two parts.]

Here are some notes about ICCF-15. This is written from memory a few days after the conference. I did not take notes because I have some difficulty writing with a pen and paper. So I may have forgotten important details. Fortunately, a video of the conference was made and will be distributed to the participants in DVD format. This will help me prepare more rigorous and comprehensive reports. I do not know if the video will be made available to the public.

The conference website is here:


The Abstracts are here:


The ICCF-15 conference was held in Rome, Italy October 5-9, 2009. It was sponsored by the ENEA (the Italian National Agency for New Technologies Energy and the Environment), the Italian Physical Society, the Italian Chemical Society, The National Research Council (CNR), and Energetics Technologies. The conference opened with brief lectures by the presidents of the Physical and Chemical societies. They expressed support and best wishes but they seemed to know little about the subject. Silvestrini, a high official from the EU who is in charge of efforts to reduce CO2 and prevent global warming, took part in a panel discussion. He also expressed support for cold fusion but again, he seemed to know little about it. I got a sense that he does not realize that if this research pans out, it will solve the energy crisis completely. He said he hopes this research will be "part of the solution." In the past, high officials in government and national societies have ignored or opposed cold fusion, so it was pleasant to see official support.

Many new and important results were presented. In contrast to recent conferences, there were no rehash presentations of research done long ago or results presented at earlier ICCF conferences, although many described progress or incremental improvements to work presented earlier. Both the audience and the presenters included many younger people, especially from the U.S. Navy, the ENEA and Japanese universities. By "younger" I mean people in their 30s and 40s, rather than retired professors in their 70s.

There appears to be lot of new funding for the research, perhaps a million dollars or more per year. That's a lot by the standards of cold fusion. There may be more effective funding now than there has been since 1990. I cannot judge whether the dollar amounts are greater, but the talent and instruments being brought to the subject are the best they have ever been, with people from the NRL and two or three U.S. universities with capabilities that rival long-time researchers at SRI and the ENEA.

(I have to be circumspect about some aspects of this report, such as describing which universities are doing what. They have not yet gone public. They do not want to alert people such as Robert Park who oppose cold fusion. Park and others like him try to derail funding and destroy the researchers' reputations by various methods such as publishing assertions in the mass media that the researchers are frauds, lunatics and criminals.)

The conference organizers distributed two books, the book of Abstracts with 117 abstracts, and a book titled "Cold Fusion, the History of Research in Italy" (ENEA, 2008), 217 pages, with 27 papers. (See link above)

Notable Presentations

There were a number of excellent presentations and papers, such as Duncan, Kitamura, Grabowski, Sarto and Mizuno and some poorly presented work that are important and I hope will be made clearer in the papers, especially Arata and Czerski & Huke. The latter ran overtime and was cut off before Czerski got to the interesting part, which is that plasma fusion itself does not obey the so-called laws of fusion that plasma fusion researchers claim make cold fusion impossible. Czerski & Huke have published previously. I gather they have made progress but I had difficulty understanding the presentation and as I said, it was cut off.

I will not try to cover all of the interesting papers since the reader can read the abstracts. Some of the newsworthy papers that impressed me are described below.

Grabowski et al. have made heroic efforts for several years to replicate Iwamura. Unfortunately they have failed. They visited Mitsubishi and observed the experiments first-hand. They also used their extraordinarily sensitive equipment to look for praseodymium in the laboratories at Mitsubishi. They found some on the weight scales here. Trace amounts, but perhaps enough to explain some of the Iwamura's results. Iwamura pointed out reasons why this is unlikely, such as the fact the Pr did not show up in some experiments, and it appeared to show up gradually during the course of the experiment. Pr has only one isotope, so they cannot check for isotopic anomalies. Subsequent experiments used starting materials that transmute into extremely rare isotopes of elements with multiple isotopes, so they cannot be contamination.

Whether Grabowski et al. has significantly weakened the Iwamura results or not is a matter of opinion. One expert said to me he considers this "a yellow flag, not a red flag." Another said "Mitsubishi's work is superb and very careful, but it may not be careful enough." No one doubts the good faith and hard work of both Mitsubishi and the NRL. This experiment has been semi-independently replicated and some of the latter transmutations have not been called into question by the NRL, but on the other hand they could not be replicated, either. So you cannot reach a conclusion.

To me, this demonstrates once again that you must have several independent replications at high signal to noise ratios before you can believe a result. That is absolutely essential to experimental science, a fact often forgotten by supporters and skeptics alike. You can NEVER be sure of a result until replications succeed, and you can NEVER doubt it after they succeed. The only question is, how many replications should it take? I say five. Others may settle for three or hold out for 10. Skeptics who are not persuaded by 200 are not playing by any known rules of science.

(This may be off topic, but I have been well aware of Grabowski's work for many years. To those who say I have a big mouth and I never keep secrets I say: 'Ha! So there! But I still do not want to hear about your secret projects, okay?' I know of several other "secret" projects. A few are secret because the researchers think they are going to make a fortune with intellectual property. This is rare because most projects are at universities and government labs where the researchers will earn nothing even if they succeed. Projects are never secret because of national security issues, contrary to what some people imagine. Most are secret for one reason only: to keep the skeptics at bay.)

There were several improved versions and new replications of the Arata nanoparticle gas loading results, including work from Arata himself, and from Kitamura, who reported replications earlier this year in Phys. Lett. A. Arata has improved his calorimetry a great deal and improved the geometry of the cell, putting the powder on a series of small shelves which look a bit like the platters in a hard disk. This allows the gas to reach the particles more quickly. Kitamura et al. have increased power output by a factor of 8, I believe mainly by increasing gas pressure by a similar factor. I find that a little strange, and unnerving. It would seem to indicate that this is a chemical effect. Takahashi and others confirmed that Pd particles dispersed in other materials absorb more hydrogen than Pd-black: "Nano-Pd dispersed sample (Santoku, Pd/ZrO2) retained 100 times more D(H) atoms after evacuation, than the Pd-black case."

Earlier this year I circulated a memo describing the advantages of the nanoparticle approach. The title is "Gas loaded nanoparticle cold fusion" and I uploaded a copy here. I also made vigorous efforts to persuade the Japanese and U.S. researchers to collaborate and share materials. Whether my memo had any effect I cannot say, but I am pleased to report that people are collaborating. For example, Takahashi and Kitamura showed SEM photos of their materials made at Missouri U.

In my opinion, the most outstanding nanoparticle paper is from the NRL. Here is the whole Abstract:

Does Gas Loading Produce Anomalous Heat?

David A. Kidwell, Allison E. Rogers, Kenneth Grabowski, and David Knies
Chemistry Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375;
Materials Science and Technology Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375

Simple pressurization of nanosized palladium with deuterium appears to be a simpler and more rapid method to generate anomalous heat compared to electrolytic systems. A survey of the literature indicates that palladium particles less than 2 nm in size can obtain a Pd/D loading near one at modest deuterium pressure. In hundreds of reactions, we have routinely prepared palladium nanoparticles inside an aluminosilicate matrix and have found that these systems produce up to 8 fold more heat with deuterium compared to hydrogen. Furthermore, a characteristic signature of a pressurization reaction is its reversibility -- the heat released upon pressurization should be absorbed upon evacuation. This reversibility is observed with hydrogen but not deuterium. Although we are still seeking conventional explanations for this excess heat, the anomalous heat does not appear to be explained by impurities in the deuterium gas nor other simple chemical or physical sources. The selection and preparation of the particles, the experimental set-up, and results will be discussed.

The aluminosilicate matrix is a nifty method of keeping the particles apart, so they do not sinter into a large particle with less surface area. Various other people have tried this in the past but they have not succeeded as well. Arata separates the Pd nanoparticles by dispersing them in Zr-O.

The part about reversibility is key. A chemical reaction that is exothermic in one direction will be endothermic in the other. With hydride formation in gas, the material heats when you form it, cools down when you degas it. With electrolytic loading the cell as a whole cools when you form the hydride, and heats when the cathode deloads, because the orphaned oxygen during the formation phase removes more energy from the system than you store in the cathode. Anyway . . . as described in this abstract:

When you load deuterium into these nanoparticle powders, the materials produce 8 times more heat that with hydrogen. And although the chemical heat of formation with deuterium is reversible, there is an extra component that produces heat only and no endothermic reaction. You can call this extra component Mysterious Anomaly X. Just don't call it "cold fusion" if you want to be funded. It is de rigeur to say "we are still seeking conventional explanations" but readers here know there is only one explanation, and You Know What It Is.

All recent experiments with nanoparticles and deuterium have produced excess heat as far as I know. I do not recall hearing about any that failed, either at the conference or in private communications. So this experiment is either 100% reproducible or close to it.

[End part 1 - Mizuno follows]

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