Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, Inc. (DBA LPPFusion) is researching an innovative approach to nuclear fusion. Our approach differs from others in the following ways:
SMALL INEXPENSIVE MACHINERY
Conventional fusion approaches use huge, expensive machinery (magnets or lasers) to compress hot gas (plasma) enough to fuse the atomic nuclei and release energy. We use Nature to achieve this. Our device, called a Dense Plasma Focus (DPF), creates a magnetic bottle that compresses itself, due to natural instabilities of plasma. Our DPF harnesses these instabilities instead of fighting them. It fits in a small room, and could be mass-produced and sold for $1 – 2M.
NO RADIOACTIVE WASTE
Conventional approaches are fueled with deuterium and radioactive tritium. Their fusion produces high-energy neutrons, which gradually destroy machinery and turn it radioactive. Our fusion fuel is abundant hydrogen and boron, which produces no high-energy neutrons (aneutronic fusion). Our DPF can never melt down, never pollute the environment, and requires no costly containment structure or radioactive waste disposal.
DIRECT GENERATION OF ELECTRICITY
Conventional approaches produce heat that drives steam turbines to generate electricity. Our approach avoids this costly process. Most energy is produced as a beam of nontoxic helium ions, which directly generates electricity in a form of high-tech step-down transformer. No steam turbines are required.
While innovative, our approach is based on proven laws of classical and quantum physics, unlike “cold fusion” claims. Our research is published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
In March 2012, the leading journal of its field, Physics of Plasmas, published our paper describing proof that we achieved two of the three conditions required to fuse hydrogen-boron and produce net energy (more released than put in). The first condition is plasma temperature of 1.6 billion degrees C. We achieved 1.8 billion, which is the hottest ever reported for a fusion fuel, and hotter than the core of the sun. The other conditions are sufficient confinement time, which we also achieved, and sufficient plasma density, which we expect to achieve soon.
We expect this because our mathematical model of the DPF is derived from physical laws, not mere trial-and-error. The model led us to design improvements that we patented in the U.S. (#7,482,607) and other nations (some pending). The model has been confirmed by years of experiments, and it predicts that design improvements we are now implementing will produce the breakthrough or net fusion energy, sought around the world for 60 years.
In November 2013, our approach was evaluated by an independent committee of senior fusion scientists, chaired by a former director of U.S. fusion research. Their conclusion:
“…the LPP DPF approach to fusion power has considerable merit and that a much higher level of investment is warranted, based on their considerable progress to date.”
We seek $2.5M from accredited or otherwise qualified investors, in addition to $5M already raised for our current research phase. With this funding, we expect to demonstrate net fusion energy from hydrogen-boron fuel in 12-18 months.
Then we plan a 3-4 year engineering phase, leading to the nonexclusive licensing of our technology to large manufacturers. Our 5-megawatt fusion generators are projected to cut the cost of electricity by over 90%, due to their small size, low capital and fuel costs, clean operation, and direct generation of electricity. Each generator will power approximately 3,500 homes, or mobile applications such as ships, trains, or electric planes.
We project this could cut global CO2 emissions by up to 10 gigatons per year by 2030, soon enough to prevent the worst effects of climate change.