Landmark Cold Fusion Patent Issued
(Published January-February, 2002
In Infinite Energy Magazine Issue #41)
An Introduction by Eugene F. Mallove
On June 19, 2001, the U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office (USPTO) issued U.S. Patent #6,248,221 for "Electrolysis
Apparatus and Electrodes and Electrode Material Therefor,"
to Randolph R. Davis and Thomas F. McGraw. The context of the patent,
its claims, and the numerous references to the mainstream cold fusion/low-energy
nuclear reaction literature cited by the inventors leave no doubt
that this is, indeed, a patent for a form of cold fusion technology.
Thus, this is a landmark patent. The original Fleischmann-Pons paper
of 1989 and all that followed from it are properly cited. Approval
of the patent was through an art group within the USPTO that somehow
managed to escape the well-known forces of opposition.
We are delighted with this return to sanity by at
least one part of the USPTO! Without intending to detract one bit
from the accomplishment of the present inventors, we only wish that
the USPTO had dealt fairly with the many other individuals who should
have been awarded patents for their cold fusion applications-especially
Drs. Fleischmann and Pons.
I discussed the R&D behind the patent with co-inventor
Davis, whom I have known since the early 1990s, though I was unaware
of his involvement with this work. Randy Davis was tight-lipped
about the current performance of the prototype "gas phase electrolytic
systems" covered by the new patent, but he was kind enough
to send us the following note for publication:
was good speaking with you several days ago about the recently
issued patent. The paper, "Critical Factors in Transitioning
from Fuel Cells to Cold Fusion Technology," lays out important
aspects of systems engineering from a general perspective. This
paper was presented in 1998 at the 33rd Intersociety Engineering
Conference on Energy Conversion. Due to evidence from the experiments
of other researchers that reactions occur, the objective is to
engineer various parts of hardware for 10 kW systems. The electronic
control circuit has recently been improved, and attempts are being
made to improve the reaction material and the overall system engineering.
"critical factors" paper indicates that breakeven for
the system would mean getting somewhat more than 50 watts. As
for many other similar projects, details continue to be highly
proprietary, to include not only the direction of the technical
work, but also information that would permit the direction of
the work and progress to be determined.
Finally, it is hoped that through such advancements, others performing
difficult scientific investigations will be encouraged to continue
Davis also gave us permission to reprint a paper that
he and his co-inventor gave at that technical conference in August
1998, "Critical Factors in Transitioning from Fuel Cell to
Cold Fusion Technology." It is a good general overview of the
parameters and design factors of particular importance in developing
cold fusion technology. The group foresees 10 kW electricity generating
units for home use, but I believe that they have overestimated the
ultimate cost of such systems to the mass market. I am confident
that electricity costs from cold fusion systems will be far below
one-cent per kilowatt-hour.
The patent, for which we provide only the abstract
and a few introductory particulars, relies on a cylindrical geometry
reaction vessel in which "nanocrystalline particles" help
facilitate hydrogen-based reactions from gas that permeates the
reactor components. They evidently require or envision a significant
level of electronic process control to stabilize the reactions.
The article and abstract are not reproduced here.