FAQs

The Process

What is muon catalysed fusion?
Muon catalysed fusion is a well known and documented process in which a subatomic particle known as a muon captures two deuterium atoms and forces them to fuse, resulting in energetic particle release and helium.

What are muons?
Muons are the decayed products of a particle called a pion, and are the catalysts in the fusion of two hydrogen isotopes – a process which releases copious amounts of energy.

What fuel does Star Scientific use to generate muon catalysed fusion?
The ONLY fuel we use is deuterium – a naturally occurring molecule which is abundantly available in sea water and which can be easily extracted without harming the remaining water.

How is deuterium harvested?
Deuterium is extracted from sea water using a process called centrifuge. It cannot be artificially produced.

Won’t harvesting deuterium from the world’s oceans severely deplete them?
A key advantage of deuterium is the fact it can be easily extracted from sea water without harming or polluting the remaining water in any way. It is estimated the world’s oceans contain enough deuterium to supply global needs for many, many generations to come.

How does muon catalysed fusion differ from “plasma fusion”?
Plasma fusion relies on extreme temperatures – up to 300 million degrees – to fuse together particles of deuterium and tritium, while muon catalysed fusion uses muons (rather than high temperatures) as the catalyst. Star Scientific’s process further differs as it uses deuterium as its only fuel, whilst plasma fusion uses deuterium and tritium, produced from molten salt containing lithium.

Is tritium released into the atmosphere as a result of the muon catalysed fusion process?
Tritium is not an ingredient added from the outset via an injection of lithium (as is the case for plasma fusion), so no tritium remains or is emitted into the air as a result of muon catalysed fusion.

Why are many governments investing so heavily in plasma fusion, rather than muon catalysed fusion?
Muon catalysed fusion is based upon how the process occurs in nature and significant research was invested in the field in the 1940′s. Unfortunately much of this early work encountered a range of problems – many of which scientists believed to be insurmountable.

As a result, most current research has been directed towards other methods, such as plasma and laser fusion, which attempts to capture fusion energy through brute force. Star Scientific remained convinced the best approach was to look to nature for the answers, and that commitment has paid off, and led us to where we are today.

Validity & Testing

Why has muon catalysed fusion not been successful in the past, and how does Star Scientific plan to overcome this?
People have been producing nuclear fusion reactions from muon catalysed fusion for decades – they just haven’t been able to do it consistently, or in sufficient volumes for it to be considered a viable energy source.

Star Scientific is developing a method to efficiently and consistently produce pions, and hence muons economically – and these muons are the catalyst for fusion energy.

How will Star Scientific overcome the “alpha sticking problem” which has caused many scientists to abandon research into muon catalysed fusion?
The ‘alpha sticking problem’ refers to the concern that during the muon catalysed reaction, some muons – about 1% to 2% – bond with the by-products instead of catalysing. This reduces the number of muons available to liberate energy, and therefore the energy output.

Star Scientific is perfecting a method to constantly produce pions, which immediately decay into muons, which means the natural loss of some muons during the reaction is of no consequence.

How has Star Scientific addressed the issue of energy input vs output in creating fusion energy?
Energy input versus output is an issue with plasma fusion, not muon catalysed fusion. Plasma fusion consumes 18 times more energy than it produces. The Star Scientific system requires very little energy to run, which means 99% of the energy liberated by the fusion reaction is available for use.

Has your muon catalysed fusion system been independently tested?
Our system has undergone, and continues to undergo, rigorous testing by our own team of scientists as well as leading, independent global experts from around the world. As long as our IP is protected, we have an open door policy where results measurement is concerned to ensure this technology can be officially evaluated and then shared with the world as soon as possible.

Waste/Safety/Environmental Impact

What is the risk of a nuclear accident or meltdown?
Absolutely none. One of the reasons this technology is so ground breaking, and is of such global significance, is its safety.

Unlike current fission nuclear reactors, there are no fissionable materials such as uranium or plutonium used to generate energy through muon catalysed fusion – so there is no possibility of an accident, leak or meltdown.

What waste is generated from muon catalysed fusion?
In Star Scientific’s system, harmless helium gas is the only product other than energy – in the form of neutrons, gamma and protons – produced.

What kind of emissions does it produce?
The reason this technology is so ground breaking is that no harmful emissions are produced at all – including greenhouse and carbon dioxide gases – because the process does not require the burning of fossil or fissionable fuels to liberate energy. The only fuel we use is deuterium – a naturally occurring molecule which is abundantly available in sea water.

The only emission produced is helium exhaust, which is a harmless, inert gas which is naturally occurring in the atmosphere and does not accumulate.

What’s the impact of emitting helium – instead of greenhouse gases – into the atmosphere?
Helium exhaust is totally harmless to the environment. It is an inert gas, which is naturally occurring in the atmosphere and does not accumulate.

Can muon catalysed fusion be used to create a nuclear weapon?
Absolutely not. One of the reasons this technology is so ground breaking, and is of such global significance, is its safety and its total incompatibility to weaponry of any type.

Unlike current nuclear reactors, there are no fissionable materials – such as uranium or plutonium – used in the muon catalysed fusion process. Fissionable materials are required to make nuclear weapons.

The only fuel used to generate energy through muon catalysed fusion is deuterium – a naturally occurring molecule which is abundantly available in sea water and can be easily extracted without harming the remaining water in any way.

Cost & Efficiency

How much muon catalysed fusion energy is needed to produce the same amount of energy as current power plants?
Currently a one gigawatt power plant requires the burning of 4.4 million tons of coal to operate for a year, producing many thousands of kilograms of carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and other contaminants.

The only fuel used in the muon catalysed fusion creation process is deuterium – a naturally occurring molecule abundantly available in sea water – and only 150kg of deuterium would be required to run a power plant of comparable size – without emitting any climate change gases.

How much would a power plant cost to set up? Won’t it be really expensive to run?
Any plant fuelled by muon catalysed fusion would be 75% cheaper to build than a conventional nuclear power plant, because most of the expense involved in traditional nuclear plants goes towards avoiding a meltdown or other catastrophe.

Since such an event is impossible with muon catalysed fusion – as no fissionable materials such as uranium and plutonium are used in the energy creation process – costs are significantly lower.

How much space do you need to set one up?
The great benefit of this technology is that the equipment can be built to any size depending on the requirement – either to service large geographic areas, or on a much smaller scale to produce heat and electricity in space, on ships, in mines – the possibilities are endless.

Star Scientific in action
Working towards making
muon catalysed fusion a reality
What is muon catalysed fusion?
Star Scientific's muon catalysed fusion
process explained
Future applications for
muon catalysed fusion
How Star Scientific's planned muon catalysed fusion system could replace the heat source of existing power stations in the future
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