Move over, Doctor Emmett Brown. Your plutonium is no good here. Nickel may be the key to a clean, powerful energy source.

It seems some Italian scientists have cracked how to make cold fusion work in a way that requires less energy input than output from the reaction, reports ExtremeTech. And, if the research paper is correct, the reactor has 10,000 times the energy density and 1,000 times the power density of gasoline.

The paper, which has yet to be peer reviewed, examines what Andrea Rossi calls the Energy Catalyzer and works by infusing hydrogen into nickel, transmuting the metal into copper.

ExtremeTech explains:

Basically, hydrogen ions (single protons) are sucked into a nickel lattice; the nickel’s electrons are forced into the hydrogen to produce neutrons; the nickel nuclei absorb these neutrons; the neutrons are stripped of their electrons to become protons; and thus the nickel goes up in atomic number from 28 to 29, becoming copper.

If any of this comes to fruition, it could mean massive changes for the automotive industry in 20+ years and a boon to Canada’s nickel mining industry. But, as with all big “game changers”, don’t hold your breath, as there is still a fair amount of secrecy involved here on the part of the scientists who’ve developed the reactor.

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