Frank Znidarsic on fossil fuels and next-generation energy: “As one door closes, another opens”

Photo: Frank Znidarsic at George Miley’s lab.

His grandfather was a farmer who immigrated to America claiming to be a coal miner, but grandpa knew nothing about coal. He did know that the growing nation needed miners to extract the newly discovered cache of carbonaceous fuel, so he did what he had to, and settled in Pennsylvania coal country. His grandson Frank Znidarsic still lives there, working in the Pennsylvania energy industry, a third-generation coal miner whose own father left this world with a bad case of black lung.

When Znidarsic writes about coal mining, and the environmental damage it causes, he does so authoritatively. Now an engineer and author, Znidarsic was the first in his family to go to college, but he labored deep underground in the mines before landing a series of jobs above-ground in the power plants that burn fossil-fuels. The second edition of his book Elementary Anti-Gravity II is almost mistitled, for the first half of the book is a condensed survey of the major sources of energy in use today from the perspective of a miner and engineer who has worked directly in the field.

The world’s current power source is met just about wholly by burning fossil-fuels like coal, natural gas, and oil. Describing each of these fuels by its method of extraction and the processing needed for commercialization, he also shows how these techniques are leaving an ecological disaster for generations to come, though he seems willing to lose the battle in order to win the war. In weighing the consequences of extracting natural gas with the ecological damage it causes, Znidarsic supports the use of natural gas over coal.

Frank Znidarsic monitors smokestack emissions in 2011.
If you are interested in what kinds of pollution are emitted by coal-fired power plants, and the complex solutions attempting to make the emissions cleaner, this book gives a concise summary of the current methods applied to this problem. He describes how costly clean coal technologies are not quite the bargain they are advertised as.

Not limited to fossil-fuels, Znidarsic also describes a brief history of nuclear accidents, including the Fukushima-Daichi Reactor #4 explosion. Referencing M. King Hubbert‘s landmark June 1956 thesis of Peak Oil in which he predicted that nuclear power would provide Earth with a technological future, Znidarsic states that cold fusion will supplant any near-future hot-fusion technology, quoting as support Jed Rothwell‘s observation that “the introduction of a new technology often follows major advances within an existing technology”.

Frank Znidarsic and Yuri Potapov at Los Alamos
Marshall McLuhan describes this as technological reversal, when one technology “flips” into another through speed-up, the way a series of photographs, brought together in rapid succession form a movie.

William Draper Harkins gives personification to this idea. Born in Titusville, Pennsylvania where the American Oil Age began, he suggested that we might get our energy by the fusion of four hydrogen atoms to make a helium atom, using Albert Einstein‘s mass-to-energy equivalence.

The second half of Elementary Anti-Gravity II is a modern science lesson, including the associated math to derive the quantum condition for cold fusion to occur. Students of physics will enjoy his algebraic derivations and the unique perspective on quantum mechanics and relativity, as well as the answer to how anti-gravity fits in.

Frank Znidarsic graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1975. He is currently a Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Pennsylvania. In the 1980’s, he went on to obtain an A.S in Business Administration at St. Francis College. He studied physics at the University of Indiana in the 1990’s. Frank has been employed as an Engineer in the steel, mining, and utility industries. Frank has been investigating new sources of energy for twenty years. His papers have been published in numerous places including Infinite Energy Magazine and the Journal of New Energy. His work was documented in a series of videos by Seattle4Truth which you can view here.

Q&A with Frank Znidarsic

CFN You have been working in the fossil-fuel industry for years. What is your current position and what kinds of things do you do in your job today?

FZ Today I am retired, however, I am looking for commissioning contracts at power plants.

CFN Can you describe how energy returns from fossil fuels have decreased over the last century?

FZ Yes, the returns on energy were larger when the environmental costs were not considered. We use so much energy today that the environmental costs are paramount. We cannot go back to the old way of doing things, and clean energy is expensive.

CFN Talk a little about the environmental damages caused by mining practices. Is it possible to clean up the damage, and restore habitat to wildlife?

FZ Yes, strip mines can be reclaimed and water can be treated. However, I don’t believe that it is possible to restore lost streams and wells, or to stop the flow of acid water from abandoned mines. And no one really knows what all of the carbon that was released into the atmosphere will eventually do.

CFN Fracking pollutes water tables to the degree that some water supplies are combustible, and can be lit on fire right out of the tap. Wildlife has died as a result of poisonous chemicals that the industry has been allowed to keep secret. Yet it’s true that natural gas burns cleaner than coal or oil. Do you really think the benefits of natural gas outweigh the damages?

FZ Yes. Gas produces half the amount of carbon dioxide per kilowatt and the majority of the deep gas wells have caused no problems at all. I am hoping that the new wells remain in production for a long time.

CFN You’ve stated that carbon-capturing systems for coal-fired power plants can use as much as 25% of the power generated by that coal. What do you see is the future of clean coal?

FZ The price of natural gas has been unstable. Unstable prices upset the investment markets. The price of coal has been stable. On this basis, the use of coal must be continued. I don’t know if our economy can sustain the costs associated with carbon capture. I am not sure that the Earth can sustain its environment without it.

CFN Can you describe your idea of cold fusion in layman’s terms? How does this relate to anti-gravity?

FZ Yes, just as soft iron increases the strength of the electromagnetic field, the active areas in a cold fusion cell appear to increase the magnetic component of the strong nuclear force. This force is known as the nuclear spin orbit force. This increased spin orbit component tends to flip nucleons and induce Beta decays. Remarkably the same condition seems to increase the intensity of the gravitomagnetic field. I have found that this condition is fundamental to the quantum jump. I am anxiously awaiting comments on my Amazon book page.

CFN How sure are you that cold fusion will be able to provide power to the planet for a technological human future? What time-frame are we looking at, years or decades?

FZ It hard to say when could fusion technology may emerge. I have been waiting since 1989. In comparison, the production of deep natural gas arrived quickly and surprised many in the energy industry.

As with any revolutionary technology, the result rides on the shoulders of the prior work of others. The technology has now reached a point were experiment, theory, and finance are coming together. I am hoping that Dr. George Miley or Andrea Rossi will surprise us soon with commercial units. I expect commercial cold fusion products within five years.

CFN Thank-you!

FZ My pleasure.

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