Tiny Amounts of Lithium Improve Temperature, Pressure in Hot Fusion Experiments

Thanks to Matt Severens for sending the following

An interesting article has been posted on the Science Daily website regarding the use of lithium in hot fusion experiments. Researchers from the Princeton Plasma Fusion Lab in Princeton, New Jersey have been doing some testing where they inject tiny grains of lithium into a plasma which undergoes turbulence.

The researchers found that under certain conditions this caused the temperature and pressure to increase dramatically. Lithium has been known by fusion scientists to increase temperatures, but this testing has apparently surprised researchers since only small amounts of lithium raised temperatures more than was expected.

From the article:

High heat and pressure are crucial to fusion, a process in which atomic nuclei — or ions — smash together and release energy — making even a brief rise in pressure of great importance for the development of fusion energy.

“These findings might be a step towards creating our ultimate goal of steady-state fusion, which would last not just for milliseconds, but indefinitely,” said Tom Osborne, a physicist at General Atomics and lead author of the paper.

[. . .]

“These results “could represent the birth of a new tool for influencing or perhaps controlling tokamak edge physics,” said Dennis Mansfield, a physicist at PPPL and a coauthor of the paper who helped develop the injection device called a “lithium dropper.””

Of course there is a big difference between the hot fusion, and LENR approaches — but the fact that small amounts of lithium have a significant effect in these fusion experiments may be somehow connected with the way that lithium seems to enhance Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat and allow for the high temperature reactions that have been achieved in the Hot Cat.

  • US_Citizen71

    Next they will accidentally discover that if they use Li7 and ionized H they get a sustained fusion reaction. 😉

    • Alan DeAngelis

      Yeah, and some nickel on the reactor walls.

      • Omega Z

        And then they will discover that an Alumina tube will suffice without huge magnetic walls for containment.

        • blanco69

          Yes. This does raise a thought about a potential shift in the hot fusion strategy. It’s possible that they are planning to use their considerable resources to gradually morph themselves into direct compeditors to the current LENR protagonists.If that happens, and they are successful, Rossi could be dropped out of the history books like so many other pioneers. I suspect they’d have to drop the word “fusion” from their labels though.

          • GreenWin

            Good thing AR has friends in the shade.

          • Tom

            It only took 50 plus years for the hot fusion boys to make this amazing discovery. They were too focused on getting and spending trillions of dollars in taxpayer money to do any experimental work. It took the competition from the LENR faction to light a fire under their butts.

          • Alan DeAngelis
          • Albert D. Kallal


            While I suspect you are being a bit tong and cheek?

            LENR will not drop out or loose to hot fusion. Hot fusion is super expensive, and the domain of big governments and military projects. Such projects are BIG dollars and fusion STILL does spew out HUGE amounts of deadly radiation during operation. So while there is little if any bad by products from the hot fusion reactor, they are VERY DEADLY during their operation. Huge shielding is required and that radiation is as bad as any fission reactor. Such fusion reactors will kill you without shielding. And much of the machinery does become contaminated during operation.

            ONE thing I much agree: The hot fusion will likely learn and glean VERY much from the cold fusion folks. In fact the resulting first successful hot fusion device will VERY LIKELY be based on a LENR effect!!!

            This is a “most” interesting way to “save” hot fusion (by robbing the intellectual ideals from cold fusion). However at the end of the day, LENR will win due to the relative SIMPLE design and simple safety, and low cost.

            I also think the smaller size will result in LENR “heat” type batteries or cartridges for powering your camping lanterns, camping stove, camping heater etc.

            LENR will this race hands down. In fact it ALREADY has won the race! In fact LENR will likely will remain the winning power source for the next 1000 years of main kind.

            LENR is a history making event – and fission, fusion, coal and EVERY FORM of energy will take a back seat to the new kind of energy!

            Albert D. Kallal
            Edmonton, Alberta Canada

        • Alan DeAngelis

          “You know, that might be the answer – to act boastfully about something we ought to be ashamed of. That’s a trick that never seems to fail.”

          • psi2u2

            lol. Nice run guys.

      • Obvious

        So…. um… they got excess heat?

        • Agaricus

          “Tiny Amounts of Lithium Improve Temperature, Pressure in Hot Fusion Experiments”…


          • GreenWin

            Wait. You mean our boys on Castle Bravo didn’t expect to get TWICE the yield??

          • radvar

            Particularly if used as an antipsychotic.

  • I just stumbled across a similar article at http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-05/dppl-tgo052015.php . It seems the news has reached here already, very good! It’ll be interesting to see what they attribute the excess energy to.

  • Job001

    Since the DOE knows about this, everyone does, including the skunk works, ITER, and focus fusion. Due to the huge increase in inertial confinement time, density, pressure, temperature, and heat release, this should put focus fusion into the success region without having to do PB11 with attendant radioactive material problems.

    It seems the atomic community is seeking success wherever it can, especially to steal the thunder and continue to prevent funded LENR.

    After all, if the process can be kept complex and radioactive, then it remains a monopoly exploitation tool, otherwise not.

  • GreenWin

    Commercial aerospace uses aluminum-lithium forging for low cost ultra hard alloys. One company has huge leverage in alumina AND lithium-based alloys – Alcoa: http://www.alcoa.com/hard_alloy_extrusions/en/lafayette_expansion.asp

    Well positioned for LENR??

  • US_Citizen71

    Essentially this:

    7Li3+p -> 8Be4 -> 2 Alpha -> Mossbauer Effect-> Heat + (2 Alpha + 2e)-> 2He

    Combined with what appears to be hot fusion researchers taking cues and clues from cold fusion experiments and acting like the ideas are their own.

    • Steven Irizarry

      how can they apply the principles of cold fusion to its opposite? aint this hard…explain how that works

      • US_Citizen71

        It was intended as a sarcastic joke … hence the winking smiley face. Others played off of my joke.

        Hot fusion research has essentially been at a dead end for over 50 years trying to solve the same limitations and problems discovered early on in the research. I found it humorous and ironic that a breakthrough was achieved by using materials (Lithium) currently being used in LENR research and attempts.

        A joke explained loses its humor.

        • Steven Irizarry

          Sorry honestly I find the ecat and focus fusion to be the best options

  • Frechette