July 06, 2010

Net 12.7 Megajoules Generated During Impact, Quench and Initial Ignition Phase Per Shot of Methane Impact Fusion

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One millimeter of diamond methane can be accelerated to 1000 kilometers per second to produce fusion. The diamond methane impact fusion work is computer simulations and research papers now. Only the initial impact and ignition have been simulated in detail, but even that part is showing net energy is generated. The diamond is charged so that it can be accelerated by a linear accelerator.

Because of the limitations of the algorithm and the nature of fusion process, our simulation is only valid in the early stages, when the alpha particle travel length is not too long, and the radiation leaking not too bad. As our goal is to fi nd an approximate ignition energy, if we see the temperatures of both electrons and ions rise to certain number, we won't worry if it could continue, because the propagating burning is a exponentially growing process. However, we can not give the total energy yield yet. There is still quite some room for improvement, because the field strength the bullet can tolerate is still a few hundred times away (over 10 GV/m)

Calculating the Energy to Produce Synthetic Diamond Bullet

It takes 20 Kilowatt hours to produce one carat of synthetic diamond
1 carat is 0.2 grams
100 kilowatt hours per gram
100 watt hours per milligram

One cubic millimeter of water would be one thousands of a cubic centimeter.
Diamond is 3.52 grams per cubic centimeter (so it weighs 3.52 times water)
One cubic millimeter diamond 3.52 milligrams per cubic millimeter
352 watt hours to produce one cubic millimeter synthetic diamond
one watt hour is 3600 joules

Therefore, 1.267 megajoules to synthesize cubic millimeter diamond bullet

A millimeter diamond bullet with the kinetic energy of 1 to 2 MJ, or at the speed of about 1000 km/s, is sufficient to initiate a propagating thermal nuclear burn. The paper shows more energy generated in the shot. The simulation is only the initial impact and initial ignition. The energy probably goes to 100-200 nanoseconds. They just stopped the simulation so far at 50 nanoseconds as seen in the graph above. So my guess is 3-7 times more energy. Plus I think more more energy with a faster shot.

The neutron energy is ignored in their simulation, but it does help in heating the electrons globally. With simulation obtained shell density and width, about 5% of the 14.1 MeV neutrons will scatter with the ions, and leave approximated one half of their energy to DT ions. The 6 to 7 MeV D or T ions can travel more than 10 times further than 3.5 MeV alpha particles. They can penetrate through the density shell

The peak energy from an impact is 4 petawatts (for 830 km/s impact) but mostly at 1.5 petawatts over about 40-50 nanoseconds. 80% of the energy is wasted (neutrons that might be used to transmute depleted uranium into plutonium for nuclear fission reactors. 20% that are ions and electrons need to get converted to electricity at differing efficiencies).

Lets say 2 petawatts for 40 nanoseconds
2 million gigawatts for 40 nanoseconds
80 million joules
16 million joules not wasted

3.3 megajoules to produce the millimeter diamond and accelerate it
16 megajoules generated
Net 12.7 megajoules per shot in initial impact and ignition.

More energy could be obtained with greater than 830 km/s shots.
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