Companies claiming to be able to produce limitless amounts of power seem to pop up every few years and quickly fade away—witness the recent Steorn debacle, which ended in disappointment. But Blacklight Power, a startup that says it can extract almost endless amounts of energy from water, has been around for almost 20 years. And now the company says that a second round of tests have proven its technology.
Blacklight's system relies on the questionable existence of the hydrino, a low-energy form of hydrogen discovered by company scientists. Blacklight postulates that regular hydrogen mixed with a chemical catalyst at 50 degrees Celsius produces hydrinos. The reaction supposedly releases 200 times more energy than when hydrogen alone is burned. It is, according to CEO Randell Mills, "the third time in human history that a primary energy source has been created". The other two sources are nuclear power and combustion.
The newest round of tests involve third-party validation from researchers at Rowan University. The researchers created their own fuel and verified that it can release more energy than it starts with—6.5 times more energy than the maximum energy potential of the materials used, in fact.
So Blacklight is basically claiming that it has performed the impossible. Understandably, the company has its fair share of detractors, most of whom don't believe that the hydrino exists. It's an understandable doubt since Blacklight's experiments haven't been validated outside of Rowan. But Blacklight has also raised $60 million from big-name investors, like former Westinghouse CEO Michael Jordan, and utility partnerships with companies including Akridge Energy and Escatado Energy.
It's too early to tell if Blacklight will revolutionize energy production or fizzle. We'll likely find out soon when the company completes third-party experiments, but if history provides any clues, chances of its success are slim.