Saturday, October 22, 2011

Rossi's Petroldragon and Thermal Depolymerization

This is a followup to a post on the subject of Thermal Depolymerization. (TPD)  I wanted to go into greater detail about Rossi's background, with respect to Petroldragon, and the accusations of fraud.

But first, let me relate how I became interested in TPD.  As those who read my blog will know, I became pretty interested in the subject of energy after writing a post on my old Boots and Oil blog back in 2004.  I saw a new energy crisis looming, as oil production was not keeping up with demand.  I predicted the oil crisis, and sure enough, it happened.  Anyway, I came across a post on Parapundit, which related the story of how turkey guts could be converted into oil and gas.

After looking for this post, I couldn't find it, but I did find this:

ParaPundit: Increased Chinese Demand For Oil Is A Net Loss For The USA
The date was May 8, 2004, before I started my old Boots and Oil blog.  I am sure I read the Parapundit story after that date.  Maybe the author got intrigued about TPD and made a post about it sometime after this date, and that is when I first became aware of the process.

There may have been a connection in Parapundit's post to Howard Graham Buffett, (Warren Buffett's son), who became interested enough in this new technology in order to invest in it.

I also remember hearing about and blogging about how all that biomass might be converted into fuel. This may have been in connection to fuel cells, back in early March this year.  So much about my history with this subject.

I return to TPD in connection to Andrea Rossi.  From the New Energy Times link, a possible connection to what became known as TPD can be found in this quote:
Not long thereafter the news arrived overseas, where U.S. President Jimmy Carter showed his interest in the technology, and right away offered Rossi a permanent entry visa to the United States, in the hopes of convincing him to move to the U.S. to further develop his work. Rossi accepted the invitation to come to the U.S., but he stayed in Washington D.C. for for only a few weeks, as he was still convinced he could refine his invention in his mother country.
 and this,
In December of 1996 Rossi, without a penny, emigrated to the USA and took employment in a company specializing in systems for energy production from biomass: the Bio Development Corporation in Bedford, New Hampshire.
Here's a link to Rossi's side of the story, which is in Italian.   It was most likely the source document for the quotes referenced above.

After reading through the translated story, it remains somewhat murky to me at this point.  Was Rossi unjustly accused of wrongdoing?   I've got Rossi's side of the story, but what about his accusers side?

As for Rossi, he maintains his innocence.  He claims that it was an unjust accusation which deprived him of the benefits of his invention.  From his point of view, the charges were trumped up, so his accusers could have that market to themselves.

As to that counter accusation, you may want to believe Rossi.  But, Rossi was accused by the authorities and evidently spent time in prison because of it.  What about that story?  If the government wrongly accused Rossi, what does that say about the government?   Governments aren't infallible.  Guilty men, or men who appeared to be guilty, have been set free.  Innocent men, who appeared guilty, have been subsequently freed on the basis of new evidence.  Governments are as fallible as the people who run them.

Governments have suppressed cold fusion research.  My personal opinion is that suppression was unjustified. Could there have been more than just one mistake?  If cold fusion is doubtful because of human fallibility, could its critics also be wrong for the same reason?  Much of the justification for doubting Rossi's latest work is based upon the supposed fraud previously perpetrated.  If that accusation of the past was wrong, so could the accusation in the present.  If Rossi was truly innocent in his past, why should he not be believed now?

TPD technology seems to work, although it isn't economical enough at this time.

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