Cold Fusion – Almost Boundless Energy
Since “normal” fusion takes huge amounts of energy to start and even maintain the process, cold fusion has been the dream of scientists for a very long time
In fact, it was theorized (at least in the beginning) that it would take more energy to get and keep the fusion reaction going than it would yield for usable output power. And until recently, we couldn’t even figure out how to hold the necessary hot mass of hydrogen plasma in any physical container.
But much has happened since then. Magnetic fields can be made strong enough to contain the hot plasma and as can be seen in the second article below, researchers are already well along the way to making the first fusion reactor a reality.
So when something as novel as a hydrogen infused nickel bar shows a reaction that appears nuclear at room temperature (i.e. cold fusion) … and it appears to hold under intense scientific scrutiny … one has to take pause at the possibilities!
And that’s why the article that follows is so important and well worth the time to read and share …
Cold fusion reactor verified by third-party researchers, seems to have 1 million times the energy density of gasoline
By Sebastian Anthony
October 9, 2014
Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat — the device that purports to use cold fusion to generate massive amounts of cheap, green energy — has been verified by third-party researchers, according to a new 54-page report. The researchers observed a small E-Cat over 32 days, where it produced net energy of 1.5 megawatt-hours, or “far more than can be obtained from any known chemical sources in the small reactor volume.” The researchers were also allowed to analyze the fuel before and after the 32-day run, noting that the isotopes in the spent fuel could only have been obtained by “nuclear reactions” — a conclusion that boggles the researchers: “… It is of course very hard to comprehend how these fusion processes can take place in the fuel compound at low energies.”
This new report [PDF] on the E-Cat was carried out by six (reputable) researchers from Italy and Sweden. While the new E-Cat looks very different from previous iterations, the researchers say that it uses the same “hydrogen-loaded nickel” and additives (most notably lithium) as a fuel. The device’s inventor, Andrea Rossi, claims that the E-Cat uses cold fusion — low-energy nuclear reactions, LENR — to fuse nickel and hydrogen atoms into copper, releasing oodles of energy. The researchers, analyzing the fuel before and after the 32-day burn, note that there is an isotope shift from a “natural” mix of Nickel-58/Nickel-60 to almost entirely Nickel-62 — a reaction that, the researchers say, cannot occur without nuclear reactions (i.e. fusion) …
… Obviously, if these third-party findings are to be believed — if the E-Cat really is performing cold fusion — then this is rather exciting. We are talking about an extremely cheap, green, and dense power source that could quite literally change the world.
To read the full article see ExtremeTech.com
But This Isn’t The Only Fusion Model …
In the article above, the jury is still out on what is actually happening in the hydrogen loaded nickel bars. And if it really is cold fusion, we are in for some exciting times.
As described in the article below, a more “conventional” approach to fusion is to heat hydrogen atom to a super hot state known as a plasma and capture that in a strong magnetic field so it doesn’t melt through the containment device.
And ScienceAlert.com announced this fall that MIT has a fusion reactor design that would be even smaller than the one France is actually building now.
So while cold fusion is still the “big goal” (hopefully achieved as described above), others are working hard at making fusion reactors a reality in our life time.
Take a look at the related article below. Is is well worth a read …
Illustration courtesy of the MIT ARC team
Researchers have designed a simple fusion reactor that could be running in 10 years Seriously.
By FIONA MACDONALD
11 AUG 2015
Scientists at Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) in the US have designed a 6.6-metre-wide fusion reactor that they say could provide electricity to around 100,000 people. Even better, it could be up and running within 10 years, according to their calculations.
For decades, scientists have been trying to find a way to harness nuclear fusion – the reaction that powers stars – because of its ability to produce almost-unlimited energy supplies using little more than seawater, and without emitting greenhouse gasses. But despite many promising designs, finding a way to contain and commercialise the reaction on Earth has proven far more challenging than imagined. In fact it’s a long-running joke among scientists that practical nuclear fusion power plants are just 30 years away – and always will be.
But not only does the new MIT design promise to be cheaper and smaller than current reactors, it also provides hope that commercial nuclear fusion reactors could become a reality in our lifetime, with the team explaining that similar devices in size and complexity have taken just five years to build.
… So why aren’t we already using nuclear fusion to generate ridiculous amounts of clean energy? Well, that’s because the reaction requires heating hydrogen atoms to hundreds of millions of degrees Celsius. And keeping that super-hot plasma together in one place for long enough for the atoms to fuse is a lot harder than it sounds.Current fusion reactors use what’s known as the tokomak design to contain the plasma, which relies on a donut-shaped device to create a strong magnetic field. MIT’s new reactor, which they’re calling the ARC reactor, essentially works in exactly the same way, but it uses new commercially available superconductors to create coils with far stronger magnetic fields.
… In fact, the MIT team calculates that this reactor would produce roughly the same amount of power as the world’s most powerful fusion reactor, called ITER, which is currently being built in France. ITER is around twice the size of their design, and costs around US$40 billion – no word as yet on what the price tag on the ARC reactor will be, but the MIT news office claims that it’s a “fraction of the cost”.
“The next step … would be to refine the design and work out more of the engineering details,” he told MIT News. “But already the work should be catching the attention of policy makers, philanthropists and private investors.”
For the full article see ScienceAlert.com