If we master laser-based inertial fusion energy, can we provide abundant clean energy and change the world?
As the world's energy demands continue to rise at an unprecedented pace, the need for a new, civilization-scale energy source has become increasingly urgent. However, the challenge is not just about meeting the energy demands, but also about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reaching net-zero emissions in order to tackle climate change.
While renewable energy sources are a promising solution, achieving a 100% renewable energy system is fraught with challenges, including grid stability and footprint. This is where Marvel Fusion's challenge comes in.
Marvel Fusion pursues a novel non-thermal approach to fusion based on the non-radioactive fuel Proton-Boron11 (pB11). It draws on several physics effects which are not applicable in conventional magnetic and laser-driven fusion approaches. This includes highly efficient absorption of laser energy, controlled laser pulse propagation and acceleration of fuel nuclei. The large leverage that Marvel Fusion’s approach offers in affecting fusion rates also brings the desirable pB11 fusion reaction within reach.
To make such non-thermal fusion concepts possible, two technologies are key: Laser systems that reach the intensities, peak power, contrast and pulse length required, and Nano-structured fuel pellets (“targets”).
The unique opportunity for the IFE concept that Marvel Fusion has developed was made possible by the very recent convergence of exponential innovation in both laser and nanotechnology. The required power (Petawatt-class laser system) in combination with the repetition rate (10 Hz) of diode-pumped laser systems has only been available in recent years. At the same time, material innovation and industrial scaling of nanotechnology have finally brought the necessary fuel targets within reach.
Fusion energy could serve as the ideal energy source and perfect solution to solve humanity’s energy problems. It would provide for a clean, abundant, reliable and highly dense energy source. Moreover, a fusion power plant would have a much reduced footprint as compared ot renewable soltions, and only require very little resources as compared to e.g. coal power plants (one year of full operation for a 1 GW power plant requires roughly 450kg of fuel and does not cause any carbon emissions vs 2.4bn kg of coal and 4.4 bn kg carbon emissions).
Marvel Fusion pursues a novel non-thermal approach to fusion based on the aneutronic and non-radioactive fuel pB. It draws on several physics effects which are not applicable in conventional magnetic and laser-driven fusion approaches.
This includes highly efficient absorption of laser energy, controlled laser pulse propagation, acceleration of fuel nuclei with non-thermal energy distributions, strong magnetic field generation and lowering of the repulsive barrier between fusion reactants through enhanced electron screening. The large leverage that Marvel Fusion’s approach offers in affecting fusion rates also finally places within reach the desirable proton-boron fusion reaction.
The 3DEXPERIENCE Platform would be an essential part of their power plant development efforts. It can be used to simulate particle flows, design power plant components such as diagnostics, and to model their nanostructured targets. The platform is also used for durability testing and the apps go hand in hand with our design processes. Their team of physicists and engineers can manage and coordinate the different projects in the company centralized over the platform and integrate the different requirements.
They can share ideas, evaluate design concepts, verify them with various simulations, proceed with design reviews, and ultimately organize the manufacturing process. As the team grows, they will be able to integrate and coordinate more people in multiple projects, establishing and optimizing the workflow based on their needs.
If we can create a Pipeline in the Sky™ for transporting hydrogen from where it’s produced to where it’s most needed and transport freight 100% carbon-free for less than the cost of today’s air freight, can we ensure that we achieve CO2-reduction targets by 2050?
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