Theoretical liquid-grid fusion reactor

This forum is for other possible methods for fusion such as Sonolumenescense, Cold Fusion, CANR/LENR or accelerator fusion. It should contain all theory, discussions and even construction and URLs related to "other than fusor, fusion".
Post Reply
Joshua Guertler
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:59 pm
Real name: Joshua Guertler

Theoretical liquid-grid fusion reactor

Post by Joshua Guertler » Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:02 am

Greetings,

I was looking at the design for a fusor and the issues confronting inner grid deformation and the problems concerning deuteron loss to a high skew-per-pass ratio with the inner grid. However, I will forewarn all who read this that what I am about to propose may be a stupid idea and is by no means intentioned to produce anywhere near break-even fusion, please advise me where I could improve or if I should just throw the whole thing away.

Instead of a traditional grid for a Hirsch-Farnsworth Fusor where solid tungsten or tantalum wires are used, I was considering liquid lithium-6 as a target held together by surface tension in the form of a sphere. The reason for Li-6 is because of its ability to breed tritium - a fuel which has an optimal ignition temperature of 4.4 KeV. This material also prevents boiling and the denaturing associated with solid targets. To improve the fusion rate, solid pieces of lithium deuteride will be added, as the deuteron-deuterium collisions will hopefully instigate more fusion reactions and the more-dense lithium will hopefully make for an easier target than the less-dense liquid lithium.

A series of small rods will go to the sphere to deliver the typical 48 KV and 12 mA to optimize D-D fusion and kick D-T fusion into gear. Due to the vapor pressure of liquid metals, a small manual pumping system will be needed to remove lithium metal from the inner liquid grid and add in replacement liquid lithium. For larger reactors that may need a cooling system, a heat exchanger may be set up so that the liquid lithium exiting the inner grid may be used to heat up a liquid metal (sodium-potassium) loop that will go to a magnetohydrodynamic generator (or generator of the sorts).

In order to levitate the molten lithium sphere, I was considering the use of a strong magnetic field. However, due to the use of high voltage electricity, a sort of acoustic levitation using pressurized pulses of deuterium may be preferable. Perhaps, a combination of the two may be the superior solution. The force of deuterons from an ion gun would, in all likelihood, be insufficient for such a task. To prevent an implosion and to optimize fusion rates, deuterium gas may be blown into the liquid metal bubble. This would be a similar process to glass blowing. However, one must be sensitive not to break the bubble.

Such a reactor would be in the spherical form used in most Hirsch-Farnsworth Fusors and would have a spherical grid in the center from which omnidirectional electron emittance beams would originate from. Moreover, deuterium would still be fed in (mostly by ion gun) and used as the primary fusion fuel.


Well, that's my probably crazy idea. I never planned on building it but I am interested to hear what the fusor community has to say. Thank you.

Sincerely, Joshua Guertler

User avatar
Richard Hull
Site Admin
Posts: 10902
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2001 1:44 pm
Real name: Richard Hull

Re: Theoretical liquid-grid fusion reactor

Post by Richard Hull » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:19 am

Have you looked at the cross section for D + Li. With this arrangement there will be no D+D fusion for if there were only fast neutrons would issue??
One must think of everything and every facet of any and all reactions or total lack, thereof. What acceleratory voltage were you plan on using.

The issue is are you talking D+target or D+D fusion neutrons and the their action of Li? All D+D fusion neuts are very fast neuts.

Folks smarter than us have looked at this, I am sure.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

Joshua Guertler
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:59 pm
Real name: Joshua Guertler

Re: Theoretical liquid-grid fusion reactor

Post by Joshua Guertler » Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:02 pm

Greetings Mr. Hull,

My primary objective was to consider a hybrid of Li-6 + neutron fission (using neutrons from fusion), D+T fusion by using the H-3 produced by Li-6 fission, and the typical D+D fusion caused by the deuterons striking each other whilst trying to reach the liquid grid. Also, the use of some lithium deuteride powder in the grid will effectively act as a sort of target material, similar to the targets in pyroelectric fusion. The target in my design has been left as a solid due to how more dense target fuels may be preferable compared to less dense ones.

My target voltage would be ~48 KeV, as the optimal working input temperature is 48 KeV for D-D fusion.

In order to optimize Li-6 fission reaction, I was considering covering the hemisphere in a layer of zirconium hydride, as this is a relatively inexpensive and effective means of reflecting and moderating neutrons.

Also, I saw that you made the statement that there would be no ongoing D+D fusion. Could you please elaborate on why that may be?

Thank you for looking over my idea. And again, this is probably just another stupid idea out of my head.


Sincerely, Joshua Guertler

User avatar
Richard Hull
Site Admin
Posts: 10902
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2001 1:44 pm
Real name: Richard Hull

Re: Theoretical liquid-grid fusion reactor

Post by Richard Hull » Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:27 pm

There would be little if any D +D fusion as all would hit the Li grid stopping there, if it is a solid sphere. You would get no recirculation to speak of which is vital to D-D opposing high energy head on collisions in the quantum tunneling sense. On their way to the grid D-D is grossly reduced as all are heading to the same goal, the grid, and their energy is a tiny fraction of the acceleratory energy. In short, they are headed in the same direction with little differential energy in velocity space making any collisions low energy ones no where near the head ons of D-D and D-neutrals in a hollow grid seen in a standard fusor.

Things that sound theoretically great are hard to make happen, as expected, in the "mixing bowl" that is the electrostatic fusor.

Build it and report back. The proof is always in the pudding. Make sure you are well instrumented.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

Joshua Guertler
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:59 pm
Real name: Joshua Guertler

Re: Theoretical liquid-grid fusion reactor

Post by Joshua Guertler » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:34 pm

Thank you, I now understand its flaws and will adjust from there. The purpose of this proposition was to investigate potential options for an extension of my Science Fair project. Basically, the experiment which I am performing assesses a certain aspect of the Hirsch-Farnsworth Fusor (specifically, the ideal deuterium pressure of a fusor using the ideal 48 kV input) that I am building and I was curious to see if there would be a more efficient type of fusion reactor that I could apply my findings too. Thank you again.

Sincerely, Joshua Guertler

User avatar
Richard Hull
Site Admin
Posts: 10902
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2001 1:44 pm
Real name: Richard Hull

Re: Theoretical liquid-grid fusion reactor

Post by Richard Hull » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:14 pm

Costs and difficulties can easily go up non-linearly as any dignificant modifications or add-ons are piled onto the simple fusor. All ideas turned into hardware in fusion physics are typically, very costly.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

Post Reply