Breakthrough! Fusion Energy is here (finally)

inertia

Super Member
Clean fuel breakthrough in hydrogen production

"The process yields large amounts of hydrogen, and it all works at room temperature."

According to the paper published in February 2022, Ga (Gallium) is used to dissolve Al2O3 (Aluminum Oxide) coatings on Aluminum nanoparticles. The nanoparticles in turn provide a continuous, on-demand, water-splitting reaction for hydrogen generation via the Grotthuss mechanism.

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The Pixie

Well-known member
Clean fuel breakthrough in hydrogen production

"The process yields large amounts of hydrogen, and it all works at room temperature."

According to the paper published in February 2022, Ga (Gallium) is used to dissolve Al2O3 (Aluminum Oxide) coatings on Aluminum nanoparticles. The nanoparticles in turn provide a continuous, on-demand, water-splitting reaction for hydrogen generation via the Grotthuss mechanism.

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This looks very dubious. The first law of thermodynamics is clear that to get hydrogen from water you need (at least) as much energy as you will get out from burning the hydrogen to make water again.

Are they using gallium metal to power the reaction? Now you need to put energy into the system to make the gallium metal.

ETA: It looks like they are using aluminium metal to power it, not gallium metal. You can use waste aluminium, but I would guess you are better off in energy terms if you recycle the waste aluminium, rather than generator hydrogen from it, then produce electricity from the hydrogen, and then use that to reduce bauxite.
 

inertia

Super Member
This looks very dubious. The first law of thermodynamics is clear that to get hydrogen from water you need (at least) as much energy as you will get out from burning the hydrogen to make water again.

hmm...( thinking out loud )

Based their abstract alone, and the first law dU = T dS - P dV, at ambient temperature, assuming an ideal gas [ U(T) = Cv dT ] :

The internal energy dU = 0, because dT =0, and the enthalpy dH = 0 because dH = Cp dT

In this scenario the Gibbs free energy dG = H - d(TS) ---> dG = - TdS. ( This is also true with the Helmholtz free energy. )
... and TdS = - PdV
... and the work = the heat (energy) put into the system

By integrating, the entropy dS of a reaction and the Gibbs free energy can be evaluated.

Are they using gallium metal to power the reaction? Now you need to put energy into the system to make the gallium metal.

In the abstract: "The synthesis of this Ga–Al composite occurs without the need of an inert atmosphere or mechanical aid."

ETA: It looks like they are using aluminium metal to power it, not gallium metal. You can use waste aluminium, but I would guess you are better off in energy terms if you recycle the waste aluminium, rather than generator hydrogen from it, then produce electricity from the hydrogen, and then use that to reduce bauxite.

I'm thinking that "The Pixie" has a background in this work. :cool:

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The Pixie

Well-known member
hmm...( thinking out loud )

Based their abstract alone, and the first law dU = T dS - P dV, at ambient temperature, assuming an ideal gas [ U(T) = Cv dT ] :

The internal energy dU = 0, because dT =0, and the enthalpy dH = 0 because dH = Cp dT

In this scenario the Gibbs free energy dG = H - d(TS) ---> dG = - TdS. ( This is also true with the Helmholtz free energy. )
... and TdS = - PdV
... and the work = the heat (energy) put into the system

By integrating, the entropy dS of a reaction and the Gibbs free energy can be evaluated.



In the abstract: "The synthesis of this Ga–Al composite occurs without the need of an inert atmosphere or mechanical aid."



I'm thinking that "The Pixie" has a background in this work. :cool:

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I have a background in chemistry, but nothing more specific than that.

However, it is the chemistry of the thermodynamics that is the issue here. The internal energy of a system depends on what the substances are as well as their state. The internal energy of 1 kg of water at ambient is very different to the internal energy of 1 kg of hydrogen and oxygen gases.

Burning hydrogen produces energy; that is why we want the hydrogen.

2H2 + O2 ---> 2H2O + energy

In fact we get 286 kJ for every mole of water. The first law says energy is conserved, so the reverse must require energy - again 286 kJ for every mole of water.

2H2O + energy ---> 2H2 + O2

The paper looks like it is going via aluminium, but you still need to put the energy in. Making the aluminium in the first place requires a lot of energy, and also generates a lot of waste.

bauxite + NaOH + some energy -> Al2O3 + red mud
2AL2O3 + huge energy -> 6Al + 3O2
3H2O + 2Al -> Al2O3 + 3H2 + little energy

Hydrogen burns cleanly, so may well be a good fuel for cars, and you could generate it from solar power, so it does have a role as an environmental fuel, but it is not going to solve the energy crisis. It is more like a battery; an energy store.

Of course, if you get fusion working, then it is a fuel for that, but that is a very different thing.
 

inertia

Super Member
I have a background in chemistry, but nothing more specific than that.

However, it is the chemistry of the thermodynamics that is the issue here. The internal energy of a system depends on what the substances are as well as their state. The internal energy of 1 kg of water at ambient is very different to the internal energy of 1 kg of hydrogen and oxygen gases.

Burning hydrogen produces energy; that is why we want the hydrogen.

2H2 + O2 ---> 2H2O + energy

In fact we get 286 kJ for every mole of water. The first law says energy is conserved, so the reverse must require energy - again 286 kJ for every mole of water.

2H2O + energy ---> 2H2 + O2

The paper looks like it is going via aluminium, but you still need to put the energy in. Making the aluminium in the first place requires a lot of energy, and also generates a lot of waste.

bauxite + NaOH + some energy -> Al2O3 + red mud
2AL2O3 + huge energy -> 6Al + 3O2
3H2O + 2Al -> Al2O3 + 3H2 + little energy

Hydrogen burns cleanly, so may well be a good fuel for cars, and you could generate it from solar power, so it does have a role as an environmental fuel, but it is not going to solve the energy crisis. It is more like a battery; an energy store.

Of course, if you get fusion working, then it is a fuel for that, but that is a very different thing.

I see. Without the entire paper to read, I can't comment further. I assume that the energy supplied is from an exothermic chemical reaction (i.e. "Ga acts to dissolve the aluminum oxide coating of the Al nanoparticles" - no supplied potential )

Did you view the MP4 videos?

They didn't work for me.

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The Pixie

Well-known member
I see. Without the entire paper to read, I can't comment further. I assume that the energy supplied is from an exothermic chemical reaction (i.e. "Ga acts to dissolve the aluminum oxide coating of the Al nanoparticles" - no supplied potential )
I agree. The reaction between aluminium water is going to be very exothermic. The gallium removes the oxide layer, exposing the bare metal, allowing the reaction to proceed. Or that is my reading anyway.

Did you view the MP4 videos?
They didn't work for me.
I could not even find them!
 

inertia

Super Member
Maybe - the world can say goodby to fission, oil, and coal. (It's time for a clean, less-expensive break. :cool: )

- August 14th, 2022: Fusion energy breakthrough
- August 11th, 2022: Phys.org

...
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September 15th, 2022

Hearing on the commercialization of fusion energy

“Domestically fusion research is at a critical inflection point. Private fusion companies are preparing to demonstrate their technologies. Our national labs have hit significant milestones and private capital has been generously invested in the promise of technology…To further support and direct fusion and plasma research and development, Congress passed the Energy Act of 2020, the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, and the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. These laws provide direction to DOE to fully support the U.S. contribution to ITER and pursue innovative fusion concepts and establish a milestone based development program to design and build a pilot fusion plant,”

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin

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inertia

Super Member

Scientists achieve major advance​

Official announcement (12/13/2022)

Ignition achieved! "researchers have been able to create more energy in the process than they put into it"

3.15 MJ of fusion energy demonstrated for the first time in world history

- Question and Answers: ---> Energy.gov
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inertia

Super Member
Why a Tokamak design isn't better than a fission reactor:
- they both produce radioactive products

Fortunately there are other techniques. Helon's reactor generates energy directly from the plasma instead of allowing energetic neutrons to generate heat.


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inertia

Super Member
Maybe - the world can say goodby to fission, oil, and coal. (It's time for a clean, less-expensive break. :cool: )

- August 14th, 2022: Fusion energy breakthrough
- August 11th, 2022: Phys.org

Irvine CA - TAE technologies secures funding


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Updade: 02/21/23

"The first such realization of p11B fusion in a magnetically confined plasma."

TAE Technologies, based in California, is working on using normal hydrogen and boron instead of tritium and deuterium ( heavy isotopes of hydrogen ) as fuel for a novel fusion reactor. Unlike rare tritium with deuterium, abundant hydrogen and boron do not release high energy neutrons that produces yet another source of radioactivity. The engineering challenge is to create a plasma that exceeds 100 billion kelvin.

An advancement in the technology occurred last month that created the worlds' first proton-boron fusion within a magnetically confined plasma at Japan's Large Helical Device. Their results showed fusion rates that produced neutral helium were about 10^11 per second.

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LifeIn

Well-known member
Updade: 02/21/23

"The first such realization of p11B fusion in a magnetically confined plasma."

TAE Technologies, based in California, is working on using normal hydrogen and boron instead of tritium and deuterium ( heavy isotopes of hydrogen ) as fuel for a novel fusion reactor. Unlike rare tritium with deuterium, abundant hydrogen and boron do not release high energy neutrons that produces yet another source of radioactivity. The engineering challenge is to create a plasma that exceeds 100 billion kelvin.

An advancement in the technology occurred last month that created the worlds' first proton-boron fusion within a magnetically confined plasma at Japan's Large Helical Device. Their results showed fusion rates that produced neutral helium were about 10^11 per second.

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How far from break-even are they with the p11B fusion?
 
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