Apart from the well-known companies with LENR based technology, such as Andrea Rossi’s partner company Industrial Heat, and Brillouin Energy, founded by Robert Godes, there are a series of small rather unknown companies that have popped out in the last few years.
One of them is Swedish Neofire that surfaced in February 2015. It turns out to be founded in 2010 and run by one single person – Peter Björkbom – whom I came to talk with at ICCF-19 in Padua last week.
Björkbom, 48 years old, from the town of Borlänge in the heart of Sweden, told me that he was interested in physics and chemistry sinc childhood, and that he had some equipment.
“Since my early teens, I have always had access to some kind of chemistry or physics lab in my home. I always had that interest for physics, and a passion to perform experiments. Later, before starting with LENR, I was building a CO2 laser among other things.”
At high school, however, he was persuaded to focus on electronics and computer science, and once out of school, he started working with software development and founded a consultancy firm that he later sold to Swedish Protect Data, just before the collapse of the inflated valuations of IT companies at the end of the 1990’s, thus making a god profit.
He remained in the company for a few years, and came to work with systems for building energy management, which sparked an interest for energy technology.
In 2004, he began thinking of starting a new activity. In the energy industry, he saw a possibility to get back to his interest for physics and chemistry, and since he already in 1989 had been intrigued by the news on Fleischmann and Pons and their bold idea about cold fusion, he played with the idea to try to replicate their experiment as a start.
So he began to study what had been done in the field. And later, in 2010, he founded Neofire and started to build his own secret LENR lab, with the money he got when he sold his IT consultancy firm.
“For obvious reasons I didn’t want to talk about it,” he told me.
He initiated with experiments based on electrolysis, just like Fleischmann and Pons, and already from the start, he considered the use of lithium to be important.
Even though lithium has attracted much attention within the LENR field lately, particularly since the release of the Lugano report where lithium was shown to be present in the E-Cat reactor, the use of lithium was established already by Fleischmann and Pons and has always played an important role in many experiments.
Fleischmann and Pons used lithium salts in the electrolyte since it makes water split into oxygen and hydrogen almost without byproducts, which are normally produced otherwise.
However, Björkbom never saw any positive results in these experiments.
In 2011, when Rossi started to show the E-Cat, he became interested and began to do gas loaded experiments with nickel and hydrogen, like Rossi. Then he got some results.
“There was no good stability, and the effect was weaker than what Parkhomov (see this blogpost) and Rossi have reported, but in my eyes, it was very promising.”
His focus now, however, is on a different kind of device, which he is not yet ready to describe further. He’s working on this almost full time, though he still does some IT consultancy as a side activity.
The main goal is to achieve a stable process that can be implemented in a commercial LENR based device.
Björkbom explained to me that one difficulty is calorimetry – i.e. how you measure heat output exactly. He said that he doesn’t like the method based on thermo camera measurements, which was used in the Lugano report, and he noted that many groups struggle with the calorimetry issue.
“A simple design would be needed by many, with enough accuracy to detect excess heat with certainty, when COP* is larger than 1.2,” he said.
In Padua, Björkbom was assisting the open science group MFMP in one of its attempts to replicate Rossi’s LENR effect in a reactor inspired by the E-Cat and by Parkhomov’s rector designs.
“We’re very pleased to get his help,” Bob Greenyer from MFMP told me.
I asked Björkbom if he had any advice for people wanting to start doing LENR experiments.
“Start to browse the lenr-canr.org. There are many ideas, experiments and data to learn and take inspiration from. Much has already been tested,” he said.
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*COP – Coefficient of Performance – is the ratio between gross output energy from the device and the input energy necessary to keep the process running. A COP larger than one means that the process produces net energy or excess heat. If the net energy is larger than what can be explained by conventional energy sources, e.g. chemical burning, it’s called anomalous heat.