Laser-Boron Fusion Proposed as Roadmap to Clean Energy (Univ. of New South Wales)

A news release from the University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia is reporting about a paper published in the journal Laser and Particle Beams by a team of researchers led by Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics Heinrich Hora which claims that they have discovered that a path to laser-boron fusion is now viable, employing a two-laser system, and may be a superior fusion method than others currently being attempted. Their fusion approach uses no radioactive fuels, nor produces radioactive waste.

The title of the paper is “Road map to clean energy using laser beam ignition of boron-hydrogen fusion”. An excerpt from the abstract published here: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/laser-and-particle-beams/article/road-map-to-clean-energy-using-laser-beam-ignition-of-boronhydrogen-fusion/8BE057DC1BC9E0A588FB3ABAA993078C

In this paper, we have mapped out our research based on recent experiments and simulations for a new energy source. We suggest how HB11 fusion for a reactor can be used instead of the DT option. We have mapped out our HB11 fusion in the following way: (i) The acceleration of a plasma block with a laser beam with the power and time duration of the order of 10 petawatts and one picosecond accordingly. (ii) A plasma confinement by a magnetic field of the order of a few kiloteslas created by a second laser beam with a pulse duration of a few nanoseconds (ns). (iii) The highly increased fusion of HB11 relative to present DT fusion is possible due to the alphas avalanche created in this process. (iv) The conversion of the output charged alpha particles directly to electricity. (v) To prove the above ideas, our simulations show for example that 14 milligram HB11 can produce 300 kWh energy if all achieved results are combined for the design of an absolutely clean power reactor producing low-cost energy.

Prof. Hora states in the UNSW news release:

“I think this puts our approach ahead of all other fusion energy technologies . . .It is a most exciting thing to see these reactions confirmed in recent experiments and simulations, not just because it proves some of my earlier theoretical work, but they have also measured the laser-initiated chain reaction to create one billion-fold higher energy output than predicted under thermal equilibrium conditions.”

  • Bob Greenyer

    Whilst this is still very experimental, the guaranteed lack of radioactive emissions, the containability of the fast protons and Alpha particles and the HUGE direct electrical energy production make a realist version of this a real threat to anyone in the new energy space. I like the HB system and intend to do tests in a NOVA reactor in the new year (already bought the Boron Oxide) – one to follow.

    • Axil Axil

      Where can I find the Link that explains what the Boron Oxide is used for…how it works…

      • Bob Greenyer

        Boron Oxide is not used in this AFAIK. I chose it because

        1. You can get it
        2. Metals in NOVA reactors rapidly coalesce and so drop out of reaction volume

    • Nigel Appleton

      “One to follow” – I agree.
      May I ask if you could flesh out your plans a little? Do you intend to try and induce proton-boron fusion? If so how? I doubt you have a petawatt laser in your hip pocket – what will your approach be?

      • Bob Greenyer

        MFMP loaned ‘Super NOVA’ reactor with permission to modify to enable a range of claims testing in 2018.

        This bespoke device which cost a small fortune to develop should give the project an unprecedented opportunity to attempt to test and verify a range of technologies in 2018 that have been discussed in recent years.

        Help needed to design and build new head and controllable glow/arc discharge generator.

        https://youtu.be/ATXD4QQrjfA

  • Brokeeper

    Although this is an amazing announcement, I sense many inventors of new energy processes are prematurely publishing their discoveries to the public since Rossi’s Nov 24th demonstration, fearing losing potential investors. They are nowhere close to developing a workable product that could compete with Rossi’s (optimistic) prediction of 1 – $10 per KW per reactor heat per year by end of next year’s product release.

    Andrea Rossi
    December 8,
    2017 at 3:35 PM

    Alexander:
    For the reactors 10 $/kWt. For the plants, depends on the specific characteristics.
    Warm Regards,
    A.R.
    —————————————————–
    Andrea Rossi
    December 8,
    2017 at 6:16 PM

    WaltC:
    The recharge cost should be 1/10 of the cost of the reactor.
    Warm Regards,
    A.R.

    • Axil Axil

      The recharge of the reactor will be the replacement of the QX tube.

      • Omega Z

        ->”The recharge cost should be 1/10 of the cost of the reactor.”

        This is probably based on a core return. Kind of like a propane tank for your grill. The 1st one is expensive. The refill is much cheaper as you just exchange the tank.

        • IMO people will soon realize that Quark-X reactor is not more complex than heating the nickel hydride and lithium mixture from batteries in microwave oven.

  • Zephir

    hydrogen-boron fusion is now claimed to be viable
    Huh? The hydrogen-boron fusion requires one hundred-times higher temperatures for ignition than deuterium-tritium fusion, which failed at NIF in spectacular way. I suspect, the innocent tax payers are cheated once again, especially in the light of cold fusion research. For example Unified gravity Corp (Morgan Hill, California company) fuses hydrogen with lithium by using only 1000 volts, i.e. the energy accessible by every microwave oven. Work smarter, not harder – and cheaper too…

    one exception as the ideal clean fusion process – without neutron production – is the fusion of hydrogen (H) with the boron isotope 11B

    Only in theory: in reality this fusion generates 2 – 3% of neutrons anyway, particularly because it results helium which fuses with protons too under formation of neutrons. That means, the reactor will still generate deadly neutron flux, which would make all metal parts of it radioactive. Whereas the results of Unified Gravity are perfectly reproducible, reliably free of any neutrons and published in mainstream journals (1, 2, 3). The way in which nuclear lobby systematically ignores these results on behalf of futile and expensive hot fusion research should be prosecuted like every other scam and public embezzlement of tax payers money.
    See also discussion We shouldn’t keep quiet about how research grant money is really spent, Don’t let scientists decide for themselves what research is interesting, but force them to solve problems defined by others

    • Big science: is it worth the price? Heavy Costs of Major Projects Pose a Threat to Basic Science. It’s no secret, that main enemy of cold fusion research isn’t proverbial "BigOil lobby", but hot fusion accademicians who fear of competition. But this trend is omnipresent due to occupation driven attitude of Academia. The Big Science drains money for all smaller projects, not to say about these more useful ones – no matter what they’re dealing with.

      • Omega Z

        ->”main enemy of cold fusion research isn’t proverbial “BigOil lobby”, but hot fusion accademicians who fear of competition.”

        Bullseye…. Academics are in competition for those research dollars and will fight to hang on to what ever they can and do what ever is necessary to achieve that.. If big physics projects receive less funding, many people will need to change there specific line of research. It’s a fact. “No One” likes to have to be retrained for new tasks. It’s just human nature. I’ve spent years getting to where I’m at and now I have to start from scratch.

        Fossil fuels are limited. Any transition away from these will require decades. Tho a new energy source may be disruptive to them they are not going anywhere. Fossil sources have many uses other then energy and as long as they’re economically extractable, they will be extracted. It will just be an extended period of time.

        With reduced demand comes lower prices. Someone will find new uses for them. I’m thinking of when I was a kid, the butcher practically gave away chicken wings. A feast for the poor. Ahh yes, today, thanks to innovative marketing, they sell for a premium costing as much and even more then some premium cuts.

        Used to go to the butcher to get bones for the dog. ” For Free”. Those not given away, the butcher actually had to pay someone to collect them to be hauled to rendering plants. Today, they sell them to those who process them for doggy treats. Yeah, you can pay steak prices for what was once free. Big oil may shrink, but they aren’t going nowhere and they know it. LENR is just a long term lifeline to them.

  • Andreas Moraitis

    „The energy of the alpha particles can be converted by more than 97% with a minimum of thermal energy losses when being slowed down by an electric field if the reaction unit is negatively charged at nearly 1.4 megavolts (MV) against the earthed reactor wall.“

    It seems that their spherical reactor shell is ideal for exploiting the energy of charged particles whose trajectories are randomly orientated. Maybe of interest for AR?

  • Alan DeAngelis
  • Very interesting that the Aussies are apparently getting into “Big Physics”. Obviously, though, the idea of using lasers to create fusion is not new and neither is the idea of using the Proton-Boron reaction to create a very clean reaction. In fact, Michl Binderbauer of Tri Alpha plans to use it in their device, which basically consists of two particle beams firing at each other.

    All that and a lot more is in this snap-shot I took of the hot fusion scene two years ago:

    http://www.thinktankreport.com/2015/11/26/the-promise-of-controlled-nuclear-fusion-part-xvi/

    • Axil Axil

      As an expert in the fusion reaction, what is your opinion about the viability of the PP fusion reaction at terrestrial temperatures and pressures?

      • – I don’t know much about PP fusion, other than that it occurs in the Sun and other stars, although not in the simple way we might have thought, e.g:

        https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/09/05/the-suns-energy-doesnt-come-from-fusing-hydrogen-into-helium-mostly/#4e544f7670f9

        Whether, due to quantum tunnelling combined with magnetic confinement and other lab-based techniques, we might be able to use it at terrestrial temperatures and pressures, I wouldn’t want to speculate.

        However, as the article says, the Sun does eject a lot of Helium 3, some of which is trapped on the Moon’s surface and He3 can also produce a very clean reaction with deuterium, creating He4 plus an energetic proton which could be used to directly generate electricity (as in the cited P-B reaction). IMHO, that would be the real reason for the US wanting to return to the Moon – to mine that and other trapped gasses and minerals that are rare on Earth.

        That mining could be automated so as not to require an Astronaut although, no doubt, there would be political points to be scored against Russia and China all over again by also re-making a manned landing.

  • Nigel Appleton

    As I understand it, the viability of this concept is borne out by simulations and even a certain amount of experimentation. However I don’t know if 10-petawatt lasers exist- the most powerful I’ve read of is 2 petawatts

    ETA http://www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/2016/09/national-energetics-10-petawatt-laser-system-passes-major-milestone.html

  • I’d have no problem with cost of hot fusion research, if only the validation of cold fusion research wouldn’t take a fraction of this cost. Once we aren’t still doing it, then one question arises: who is responsible for it? We shouldn’t keep quiet about how research grant money is really spent. Why a Lot of Important Research Is Not Being Done. Research perversions are spreading. What we witness here is a failure of science to self-correct. Science is broken, at least by any useful definition of the word. Self-correction doesn’t always happen, and science journalists mustn’t be afraid to spell that out.
    This article therefore concludes:
    "Don’t let scientists decide for themselves what research is interesting, but force them to solve problems defined by others. In the future, the most valuable science institutions […] will link research agendas to the quest for improved solutions — often technological ones — rather than to understanding for its own sake. The science they produce will be of higher quality, because it will have to be.
    Hot fusion, especially boron-proton one is just waste of tax payer money. It requires one hundred-times higher temperatures than deuterium-tritium fusion, which still just waits for its ignition in tokamaks.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Imagine if a chemist stubbornly refused to find a catalyst for his reaction to lower the energy of activation and just kept heating and heating it year after year hoping for a reaction. He’d be out of a job in no time.
    But Big “Science” (if you want to dignify it by using that word) can get away with that sort of crap. https://dashboard.dublinschools.net/lessons/resources/cartooncatalyst_1434981249_md.gif

  • BAA

    That source (pub. date 09/2016) points out the 10-petawatt National Energetics system is due to go online by the end of the year. I haven’t noticed any stories blowing up in the past few months, so they’re probably delayed, but the facility AND the laser are complete.There a technology roadmap to ramp up to the exawatt range, and it looks like the EU is already well-advanced on that

  • kayla

    Where can I find the Link that explains what the Boron Oxide is used for…how it works…