Joseph Abbate, 2018, Chemical and Biological Engineering
The goal of our project was to develop a method for separating the fusion products – species that can be used as fuel, radioactive and destructive tritium, and essentially rubbish – so that each can be handled correctly. First, we looked at using magnetic and electric fields in order to separate the energetic from the cool components, but found that because of our plasma’s incredibly high density, this would not be feasible. Then, we researched exploiting material properties such as reflection, sputtering threshold, and permeability to separate the exhaust stream by sending it into the right type of wall. Finally, we looked into separation of the fast fusion products via refrigeration and did a corresponding cost analysis to check whether it would be economically viable. Our end result was a paper outlining the potential methods for separation to be used as the basis for a grant proposal to further research the exact mechanism.