ARPA-E to Allow Grant Applications for Aneutronic Fusion Projects (LPPFusion)

An announcement on the website of LPPFusion, a New Jersey company working on producing fusion energy using in a ‘dense plasma focus’ (DPF) — or ‘Focus Fusion’ — device, states that the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy agency (ARPA-E) has changed its requirements for grant applicants, which will allow grant applications from entities involved in ‘aneutronic’ fusion projects, and thus allow LPPFusion to compete for grant funding.

LPP’s web site explains the reason for this change:

ARPA-E had set a requirement that fusion yield be 5 times input energy—a requirement that was unnecessary for pB11 (hydrogen –boron) aneutronic fuel and probably impossible to meet. LPPFusion sent a question to ARPA-E, asking that the requirement be changed to take into account the much higher efficiency of energy conversion (and much more economical energy conversion) possible with aneutronic fuels. Such fuels produce energy in the form of charged particles, allowing a direct conversion into electricity without use of an expensive and inefficient steam cycle.

ARPA-E responded to our question on the “FAQ” section of their website that applicants could instead use a requirement that the electricity recycled back to the next pulse be no more than half the total electricity generated

LPPFusion is now going to seek for a $2 million, two-year grant. LPP’s focus fusion brand of fusion is not in the LENR category, but perhaps there might be more flexibility within ARPA-E in the future to accommodate grant seekers who are looking for help with other — maybe ‘cold’ — forms of fusion.