What is Cold Fusion?
What is Cold Fusion? We have already learned about fusion and fission reactions in our elementary school or high school but never heard about Cold Fusion. In this article we will dive deep and unravel the mystery of Cold Fusion and also discuss whether Cold Fusion can be one of the clean renewable energy sources. ❄
Let’s understand Fusion Reaction first. Fusion reaction is a chemical reaction involving two or more elements (Nuclei), combined to create another element with higher atomic number and more stable atom. This reaction of elements to form a stable atom, releases an enormous amount of energy, which is used to generate electricity, run submarines or make mass destruction weapons. This is general definition and explanation about fusion reaction.
However, we must provide huge amount of energy (usually in the form of heat) to start the Fusion reaction. This is conventional process of fusion reaction and since thermal energy is required to start the process, it is called Hot fusion or simply fusion reaction. There are other drawbacks as well, like radioactive waste, radiations emitted and high maintenance. Contrary to conventional fusion reactions, Cold Fusion reaction is a fusion reaction that works at Room Temperature. That is why it is termed as Cold Fusion reactions.
How does Cold Fusion reaction work?
Cold Fusion, also known as low energy nuclear reaction or Lattice-Assisted Nuclear Reaction, is a fusion reaction that starts at room temperature and releases energy.
When water, which already has a lot of Hydrogen, is introduced to a small piece of metal, nickel or palladium, a reaction occurs that can create excess heat and transmutation products. Since this reaction does not require much energy to start, this is termed as a Cold Fusion Reaction.
Cold Fusion phenomenon was first discovered in 1989 when two electro-chemists, Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons found that their apparatus had produced anomalous heat (“excess heat”) of a magnitude they asserted would defy explanation except in terms of nuclear processes. The reported results received wide media attention and raised hopes of a cheap and abundant source of energy.
Advantages of Cold Fusion (Best among Renewable Energy Sources)-
Best quality about Cold Fusion is, it does not require much energy to start, which is not in the case of nuclear fusion reaction. Also, nuclear fusion reaction creates nuclear waste that is harmful for living creature. Almost 10% of the supplied nuclear fuel goes into nuclear waste and we need to store it away from any form of life for infinite amount of time (it takes infinite amount of time for a nuclear substance to decay). In case of Cold fusion, we don’t have to rely on costly Nuclear Elements and neither we need to worry about Nuclear Waste management.
Since we supply Water (Which is rich with Hydrogen) as main Source for Cold Fusion, it does not produce any Carbon toxics into the environment. So Cold fusion is environment friendly as well.
Why Google, Mitsubishi, Toyota are investing in Cold Fusion?
Because it might become the gamechanger of the energy sector. It is cheaper, does not require much energy to start, and is eco-friendly which is not in the case of a nuclear fusion reaction.
Now every nation is highly active towards climate change and they are trying best to save mother nature. A nuclear fusion reaction has an opposite impact on their efforts and creates nuclear waste that is harmful to all living creatures. Almost 10% of the supplied nuclear fuel goes into nuclear waste and that needs to store away from any form of life for an infinite amount of time (as it takes an infinite amount of time for a nuclear substance to decay). In the case of Cold fusion, there is no need to rely on costly Nuclear Elements therefore no need to worry about Nuclear Waste management.
Since it needs water (which is rich with Hydrogen) as the main source for Cold Fusion so no Carbon toxins into the environment.
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Is cold Fusion even possible?
As of now Cold Fusion is mere a conceptual talk and hypothesised type of nuclear reaction on room temperature. In real life there has not been any successful experiment proving it so far.
As per Michael J. Schaffer, a senior scientist at one of the major U.S. fusion research laboratories, “Because cold fusion is still an unresolved and controversial subject that generates strong opinions and passionate debate among scientists, I begin by stating up front that I am a mainstream plasma physicist researching fusion energy. I also read many of the papers published on cold fusion, however. I attended the last three International Conferences on Cold Fusion, and I myself ran two sets of cold fusion experiments, both with no clear evidence of excess power release. Overall, I consider myself to be a fairly neutral observer.
There has been more than three decades since term Cold Fusion was coined but certainly, we don’t have much on this. We don’t even have a successful experiment which have generated significant amount of energy to consider it as useful.
Many people reject this because this seems too good to be true. There are many scientists who call it a hypothesis which should remain in Comic book. But we should not eliminate the fact that many hypotheses and imaginations from the past have come true. If you have watched Star Trek then you must remember Captain Kirk and his phone which sparked a future tech innovation.
What is your thought about Cold Fusion. Is it just too good to be true or can be a major breakthrough someday? Leave your thoughts below in comments.
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