One of the holy grails of energy generation has long been fusion power, replicating the reactions that take place in stars like the sun.
So far such efforts have proved very difficult – but one company claims to have found a solution that could provide the world with a huge, renewable and green source of energy.
The Focus Fusion project is entering its final phase, with scientists aiming to prove that their concept really works.
The project is being run by Lawrenceville Plasma Physics (LPP) by chief scientist Eric Lerner.
They are currently running a fundraiser on Indiegogo to seek money for what they claims is the last step in their research.
They have passed two of their goals to proving their method of fusion power is successful, with a third apparently within reach.
In a March 2012 paper the team successfully heated fusion fuel up to 1.8 billion degrees – too times hotter than the centre of the sun.
This was confined within a tiny plasmoid for 10 billions of a second, a short amount of time but enough to achieve this goal.
Their next step is to increase the density of the fuel 10,000-fold, which they plan to do in the next 18 months.
‘Our team fully supports using today’s existing renewable energy technologies like wind and solar, but it is clear we need even greener, more affordable energy solutions,’ the company says on Indiegogo.
‘Some 20 per centof the global population is without electricity, while almost half of the world lives on less than $2.50 [£1.50] per day.
‘The International Energy Agency forecasts that 1.2 billion people will remain without electricity. ‘
They say their system would not only stop climate change by lowering the emission of greenhouse gases, but it would also provide nuclear power without nuclear waste.
Current nuclear plants, they say, are based around nuclear fission, which produces as a waste product long-lived radioactive waste.
Fusion energy, meanwhile, is comparatively ‘clean’.
But, as LPP says, governments around the world ‘have spent billions of dollars on fusion with little to no success.’
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