NextBigFuture brian wang | March 27, 2018
LPP Fusion has raised over $640,000 in its latest crowdfunding round.
LPP fusion is preparing for beryllium electrode experiments for its attempt to prove out their dense plasma focus fusion designs.
LPP fusion wants to build small, decentralized 5 Megawatt nuclear fusion generators that will use hydrogen and boron fuel, both of which are essentially unlimited in nature, to allow a direct conversion of energy to electricity without expensive turbines or radioactive waste. The cost will be 10 times cheaper than any existing energy source, meaning our Focus Fusion technology can change the world.
Net Gain Nuclear Fusion experiments
LPPF is preparing actively for both the experiments with beryllium electrodes expected in the spring and for the shift to hydrogen-boron fuel expected before year-end. The research team is planning the new vacuum system that will ensure that any beryllium dust the machine produces will be safely trapped in filters. As well, efforts are underway to ensure that the experiments will continue our high safety standard.
Based on data in the literature, the team recognized that a reaction of hydrogen and boron-10 would produce radioactive beryllium-7. With a half-life of two months, this isotope would certainly complicate any work with the device. To avoid any significant production of Be-7, Lerner calculated that 99.99% pure boron-11 would be needed. Naturally occurring boron is only 80% boron-11 with 20% boron-10.
Fortunately, due to the large 10% difference in mass between the isotopes, separating B-11 and B-10 is not that difficult. LPPF has already located at least one provider of 99.99% B-11. We are now searching for a second company to convert the pure B-11 to the compound of hydrogen and boron we need, decaborane (H14B10).
Achieved the highest confined temperature of any fusion generator device, over 2 billion degrees, which is sufficient for hydrogen-boron fusion.
Raised a total of $6 million from 90 investors since 2008.
PHASE I: [What the $1 million is for, fund experiments to prove fusion breakeven with this approach]
Build on progress of past 3 years and continue enhancing LPPF’s DPF research device Focus Fusion – 1 until it has achieved Fusion Breakeven Milestone.
With adequate funding LPPF projects net fusion output in 1–2 years. Having proved feasibility, assemble grants and investment capital to fund Phase II.
They need to experiment with the Beryllium electrode.
Beryllium, a very light metal, has long been planned for the next set of electrodes and has strong advantages over other materials. “We expect that beryllium electrodes will solve the impurity problem that has been limiting fusion energy yields for years,” says LPPF Chief Scientist Eric J. Lerner. The key reason is that the effect of impurity ions on the plasma is proportional to the square of the ion’s electric charge. Since beryllium has only 4 electric charges (four protons in the nucleus) each beryllium ion has an effect of 16. That is 300 times less than one tungsten ion (used in the current FF-1 electrodes) and 50 times less than one copper ion.
This great reduction in impact on the plasma is expected to greatly lift fusion yield. In addition, the plasma will radiate far less energy, reducing x-ray damage to the anode tip. Finally, beryllium is nearly transparent to most x-rays, further reducing the damage to the anode. This will allow anodes in a future fusion generator to withstand hundreds of millions of fusion pulses before needing replacement.
Expand staff and facilities and begin engineering development of a prototype continuously operating Focus Fusion generator. Contract out some system development to engineering companies with best in class expertise in necessary technologies. Add to patents/intellectual property. Estimated duration 3–4 years.
Negotiate non exclusive licensing agreements with several large international high tech companies to manufacture LPPF design fusion power units. LPPF will provide consulting services to licensees as they refine their commercial designs prior to mass production. At some time in Phase III LPPF expects to engage an investment bank to manage an Initial Public Offering (IPO).