Scientists Develop a New Process To Capture Deuterium for Fusion Fuel
Jan. 9, 2020 (EIRNS)—Chinese and British scientists have developed a process to more efficiently separate deuterium, a heavy isotope of hydrogen, from a gas mixture, Global Times reported on Jan. 8. The process, said Ding Lifeng, a member of the Chinese side from the Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, consists of a new material, named porous organic cages (POCs), which separates the isotopes and absorbs the deuterium “in large quantities.” By contrast, the current separation process “is energy-intensive and, therefore, expensive,” Ding said.
The large next-generation tokamaks, such as the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), like the current generation, will continue using deuterium and tritium for fusion fuel. More advanced reactor designs are experimenting with alternative fuels, the most promising being helium-3.