Unlimited Clean Energy Could Be Happening Sooner Than You Think
We use fossil fuels for energy to heat our homes, run our cars, for electricity and for manufacturing. The downside to using oil, coal and natural gas is that it’s not only a limited resource (it will run out one day), but they let off carbon dioxide when used which contributes to pollution and climate change. What if there was a way to have unlimited energy that was clean and didn’t emit any carbon dioxide at all? It sounds too good to be true, but scientists have been working on just that for a long time and they’re finally close to making it a reality. What they’ve been working on is fusion.
Fusion is taking two light atoms and fusing them together to make a heavier atom. The total mass of the created new atom is less than the two original atoms, and the difference between the two is released as energy.
There have been teams of researchers around the world spending billions of dollars trying to figure out the fusion problem.
It’s not as easy as it sounds because the atoms require an insane amount of heat to be fused together. The most promising atom fusion for energy is the one combining deuterium and tritium atoms, which would require heat of about 72 million degrees Fahrenheit to fuse. That’s hotter than the center of the sun.
Although that particular fusion would produce about 17.6 million electronic volts of energy, scientists havn’t quite figured out how to build a power plant that would be able to handle and contain the immense heat.
There is no material known to man that you could build a power plant from which could handle the heat hotter than the sun, so the answer is to contain the energy plasma by not letting it touch the sides of anything using magnetic fields. The magnetic fields would surround the fused atom, allowing the heat and energy produced to float.
MIT and Commonwealth Fusion Systems’ have a fusion experiment going right now called Sparc. They have raised $50 million from Italian power company Eni to build a reactor and, if it works, it will produce enough energy to power a small city. Their goal is to have this plant up and running in 15 years. If all goes well, we will all have an energy revolution and unlimited clean energy to use in the near future.
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