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Energy Crisis Solution: Ionizing Plasma Generator

  1. Dec 7, 2008 #1
    I believe it seems possible that a plasma generator could be constructed to ionize the gases used in the making of the plasma. A plan needs to be worked out to construct an energy collector to collect the energy that is given off by the ionization of the plasma gases. Now, in order to "recycle" the gases, there needs to be a way of ionizing, de-ionizing, and re-ionizing the gases. Now the energy given off by the breaking of the electron bonds can be collected and used for power. Similar to a nuclear reaction. I've read about ways of ionizing plasma, but I'm not sure if it can work in reverse, or if it can be repeated over and over. Any ideas as to how to go about this?

    Thanks, Randeezy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2008
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  3. Dec 7, 2008 #2

    Astronuc

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    Fusion plasmas are envisioned to do this with direct conversion, and fusion reactions provide the energy.

    More conventionally, one is describing MHD power plants where combustion gases are 'seeded' with metal elements that are easily ionized in a hot gas, and the ions and electrons are separated in a strong magnetic field. Chemical reactions are limited in temperature.
     
  4. Dec 7, 2008 #3

    russ_watters

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    It isn't quite clear to me, but it seems you think you can ionize plasma and use it to generate the power needed to ionize it, plus extra. That's a violation of conservation of energy.
     
  5. Dec 7, 2008 #4

    Danger

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    That's my take on it as well. Sounds like the old 'motor driving the generator' idea.
     
  6. Dec 8, 2008 #5
    Yes, but you have to remember about the potential energy that is gained each time you re-ionize the plasma. it's like using rechargeable batteries - you charge it fully, and you discharge it, but the next time you recharge it, it doesn't fully charge. Some of that potential energy is stored in the chemicals of the battery, and some chemical energy is lost. If we can find a way to seperate the stored potential energy from the bond in the re-ionized plasma, we will be able to work "around" the "conservation of energy" law.

    Make sense?
     
  7. Dec 8, 2008 #6

    Astronuc

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    We don't work around conservation laws.

    Ionizing atoms, or separating electrons from nuclei or atoms (which become ions) is like pulling springs (increase in mechanical potential energy) or lifting something in a gravity field (increase in gravitational potential energy). A force must be applied over a distance, and the energy applied is equal to the integral of the force over that distance.

    So, one needs to add energy to a system from outside the system to increase the potential energy.

    Stored chemical energy simply means that somewhere energy was added to chemicals to change their state, e.g. fossil fuels used to be organic material which transformed water and CO2 into sugar, cellulose and other organic compounds. Then when the plants died, they decayed, and were subsequently covered with rock and other minerals. Over 10's or 100's of millions of years, they were transformed into gas (methane, ethane), petroleum, and coal. Fossil fuels are simply chemically stored solar energy.

    Similarly elements (atoms) were created billions of years ago and most are not in their lowest energy configuration. Stars transform hydrogen into helium over long periods of time. Stellar nucleosynthesis in some cases produces the heaviest elements, e.g. thorium, uranium, plutonium, which then may collect in planets. The Th and U in nature were created billions of years ago, and they represent nuclear potential energy, which we can release in nuclear reactors.

    So energy in our systems must be added.

    The remaining issue is that left to itself (in the absence of magentic fields or energy), the plasma neutralizes itself since electrons will search out positive charges via the Coulomb attraction.
     
  8. Dec 8, 2008 #7

    Yes, but what if we could use a magnetic field? Could it be possible that we could both "seed" the plasma and ionize it? Then use the de-ionizing process to send an electron flying into a phosphor-flourine chemical screen. This would cause a chemical "rift" that would transfer the minute impact along the surface of the screen to a "funnel-like" apparatus that is filled with an electro-static gel that would transfer the energy to a "containment cell" with levels that are seperated like a battery's "compartments", and the reaction of the small collection of PF3 particles would compress and turn the gel into an chemical "battery" that could be heated, almost like Sterno, to generate power. It is carbon-free and pretty much safe for the environment. Now, don't get ready to shoot this down, because I know for a fact that Plasma can be held in place and ionized with a magnetic field.
     
  9. Dec 8, 2008 #8

    russ_watters

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    Huh? No. The "stored potential energy" and the "bond in the re-ionized plasma" are the same energy, just moving in opposite directions: exactly like that battery example you gave. You can never get more energy out of a rechargeable battery than you put into it.

    randeezy, you're ignoring the bottom line and confusing yourself by bringing in irrelevancies. This line of reasoning you are on is crackpottery. You really should accept it. Conservation of Energy is real. Whether you accept it or not, though, there is nothing more to discuss here. The question has been adequately addressed and we don't entertain crackpottery. Thread locked.
     
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