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Iron Cobalt Fusion Reactor

Turn Iron into Cobalt 60
  [vote for,

With the need for a large supply of Cobalt 60 as a fuel for a Cobalt 60 Gamma Ray Battery, mined resources of Cobalt, used to make Cobalt 60 by neutron bombardment, will be depleted quickly.

Using a High Density Plasma Fusion Reactor (its a thing), create Iron/Deuterium plasma. Slowly Cobalt 60 will be formed and can be extracted as fuel. This fuel essentially stores the energy used to create Cobalt 60 from Iron 54 in the strong nuclear forces of the nucleus of Cobalt. Similar to a chemical bond, it is the stored energy in the unstable Cobalt isotope that may make it a viable gamma ray source for a gamma ray battery.

The energy used to make Iron into Cobalt can be sourced from any power station - allowing one to store energy as radioactive Cobalt. The process of fusion would be tremendously inefficient, however I think that if the Cobalt is used as a storage device for energy derived from renewable resources, then using Cobalt 60 as an energy storage mechanism may become viable.

The Cobalt created in the reactor begins as plasmarized Iron 54. Upon entering the high density reactor, an equivalently energetic deuterium plasma is introduced.The reaction takes place using a very high voltage, perhaps a million volts, the plasma mixture is zapped for a few minutes, increasing temperature and pressure, hopefully resulting in Cobalt 60 that can be chemically separated from the substrate.

Iron is cheap and plentiful. If we can 'charge' iron to become Cobalt 60, using renewable energy sources, this allows very high density energy storage solution to compete with other energy storage solutions such as batteries.

AngelEleven, Nov 21 2015

cobalt 60 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobalt-60
there are some stories of people exposed to the istope. [travbm, Nov 24 2015]


       While it is quite possible to fuse Fe-58 with H-2 to make Co-60, the reaction takes more energy to cause, than it yields. There is thing known as "the curve of binding energy" and the most stable place on the curve is Fe-56. Other elemental isotopes can yield energy if they combine or split apart to become closer to Fe-56. It takes energy to move anywhere on the curve away from Fe-56.
Vernon, Nov 21 2015

       //the reaction takes more energy to cause, than it yields//   

       This is totally OK. The purpose of the reactor is to create Co-60 to store energy. I am not concerned about creating energy by using fusion, I am concerned about using fusion to store energy in nuclear bonds, as opposed to chemical bonds - allowing a much greater (by factor of millions?) energy density.   

       The source of the 'fusion energy' would be from things such as tidal, solar, geothermal and wind. The actual energy from the Co-60 decay can then be used to generate electricity and a Nickel by-product.   

       Co-60 is merely an energy storage medium, like lead/acid in a lead acid battery - which also takes more energy to charge than it can deliver.   

       Iron 56 is the most abundant form of iron on earth, using a reaction of Deuterium may increase the yield of Cobalt 60.
AngelEleven, Nov 21 2015

       Welcome to the HB! I now feel that I have been here long enough to say this.
xenzag, Nov 21 2015

       It would be more economical to breed tritium and let it decay into helium 3 that could be used as a fusion reactor fuel. While the tritium decays it could be put in batteries lasting 10-15 years. Now the batteries could be recycled and helium 3 could be recovered for focus fusion reactors or Polywell reactors or some such thing as a pulse reaction base on magnetohydrodynamics.
travbm, Nov 21 2015

       Thank you for for the welcome. its nice to be here. The problem with Tritium is that it is flammable and hard to contain.
AngelEleven, Nov 21 2015

       Indeed - welcome to the Halfbakery!
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 21 2015

       What's the overall energy conversion efficiency - low nano-percentages ?
FlyingToaster, Nov 22 2015

       How would one begin to calculate conversion efficiency? What about data from nuclear reactors made from mostly steel? What is most important is the how hot Cobalt 60 is compared to how much energy it took to make it - not necessarily how much Cobalt vs Iron atoms the process might create/use.
AngelEleven, Nov 22 2015

       That's what I asked.   

       Though, since the only fit that jumps out is something like making space batteries out of asteroids, how much asteroid it would take to make a battery would be useful, as well.
FlyingToaster, Nov 22 2015

       I wonder would it be based on the Busard Reactor or a focus fusion device or some sort of muon induced particle accelerator assisted fusion?
travbm, Nov 23 2015

       Welcome and [+]
Voice, Nov 23 2015

       Muon induced particle accelerator assisted fusion was my first thought about accelerating some magnetic iron ions around. Then a parallel path in opposite direction for Deuterium cycle. Once a suitable speed has been reached, the stream of particles is collided and zapped with high voltage. The idea is to have a very thin stream of particles, ideally one nucleus thick for each stream. The collision then under the extreme pressure and temperature of magnetic field induced by the million volt zap, will hopefully yield an acceptable percentage of Cobalt. I am not sure if Polywell or Bussard Reactors can do the trick. I think it is definitely worth a try.
AngelEleven, Nov 23 2015

       It appears that your "addition" is off. Iron has 26 protons and cobalt has 27, and nickel has 58. If you add deuterium (1 proton and 1 neutron) to Fe-56, you get Co-58, not Co- 60. If you add 2 deuteriums to Fe-56, you get Ni-60, not Co-60. That's why, in my earlier anno, I specified starting with Fe-58 (another stable natural isotope of iron), because if you add one deuterium to that, you get Co-60.
Vernon, Nov 23 2015

       IT seems easier to make colbalt 60 by bombarding cobalt 59 with neutrons from a fission reactor. This could extend use of current nuclear power plants.
travbm, Nov 24 2015

       [xenzag] //Welcome to the HB! I now feel that I have been here long enough to say this.// - hmph! - only just...
hippo, Nov 24 2015


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