$1.2 Million Project Funded by The Abell Foundation and Individual InvestorsDecember 17, 2008
Lawrenceville Plasma Physics Initiates Two-Year Experiment to Test Hydrogen-Boron Fusion
$1.2 Million Project Funded by The Abell Foundation and Individual Investors
Lawrenceville Plasma Physics Inc., a small research and development company based in West Orange, NJ, has announced the initiation of a two-year-long experimental project to test the scientific feasibility of Focus Fusion, controlled nuclear fusion using the dense plasma focus (DPF) device and hydrogen-boron fuel. Hydrogen-boron fuel produces almost no neutrons and allows the direct conversion of energy into electricity. The goals of the experiment are first, to confirm the achievement of the high temperatures first observed in previous experiments at Texas A&M University; second, to greatly increase the efficiency of energy transfer into the tiny plasmoid where the fusion reactions take place; third, to achieve the high magnetic fields needed for the quantum magnetic field effect which will reduce cooling of the plasma by X-ray emission; and finally, to use hydrogen-boron fuel to demonstrate greater fusion energy production than energy fed into the plasma (positive net energy production).
The experiment will be carried out in an experimental facility in New Jersey using a newly-built dense plasma focus device capable of reaching peak currents of more than 2 MA. This will be the most powerful DPF in North America and the second most powerful in the world. For the millionth of the second that the DPF will be operating during each pulse, its capacitor bank will be supplying about one third as much electricity as all electric generators in the United States.
A small team of three plasma physicists will perform the experiments: Eric Lerner, President of LPP; Dr. XinPei Lu and Dr. Krupakar Murali Subramanian. Mr. Lerner has been involved in the development of Focus Fusion for over 20 years. Dr. Lu is currently Professor of Physics at HuaZhong Univ. of Sci. & Tech., Wuhan, China, where he received his PhD in 2001. He has been working in the field of pulsed plasmas for over 14 years and is the inventor of an atmospheric-pressure cold plasma jet. Dr. Subramanian is currently Senior Research Scientist, AtmoPla Dept., and BTU International Inc., in N. Billerica, Massachusetts. He worked for five years on the advanced-fuel Inertial Electrostatic Confinement device at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he received his PhD in 2004 and where he invented new plasma diagnostic instruments.
To help in the design of the capacitor bank, LPP has hired a leading expert in DPF design and experiment, Dr. John Thompson. Dr. Thompson has worked for over twenty years with Maxwell Laboratories and Alameda Applied Sciences Corporation to develop pulsed power devices, including DPFs and diamond switches.
The $1.2 million for the project has been provided by a $500,000 investment from The Abell Foundation, Inc, of Baltimore, Maryland, and by additional investments from a small number of individuals.
The basic technology of LPP’s approach is covered by a patent application, which was allowed in full by the US Patent Office in November. LPP expects the patent to be issued shortly.