With global attention becoming increasingly focused on climate change, more and more scientific research is turning to advancements in clean energy. One researcher at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s (ERDC) Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) has set his sights on cold fusion.

Cold fusion — or low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR) as it is referred to today — is a hypothesized type of nuclear reaction that occurs at, or near, room temperature. In 1989, two electrochemists, Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons, claimed they could produce nuclear fusion using their apparatus on a small tabletop. Their claims were tested, found to be unreliable and have mostly been dismissed for the last 30 years.

“Engineers talk about three main problems that we strive to solve: communication, transportation and energy,” said Dr. Benjamin Barrowes, a research electrical engineer at ERDC-CRREL in Hanover, New Hampshire. “Of those three, we continuously make incremental improvements, but energy is a big problem these days. Generating and using energy with the current inefficiencies has led to greenhouse gases, climate change and even wars. It’s a big issue, so if we had a new energy source, it would be a huge benefit to everybody.”

With the current climate crisis, interest in LENR has grown.

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