Diamonds turn nuclear waste into nuclear batteries

Point out news stories, on the net or in mainstream media, related to polywell fusion.

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Carl White
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Diamonds turn nuclear waste into nuclear batteries

Post by Carl White »

http://newatlas.com/diamonds-nuclear-batteries/46645/
One problem with dealing with nuclear waste is that it's often hard to tell what's waste and what's a valuable resource. Case in point is the work of physicists and chemists at the University of Bristol, who have found a way to convert thousands of tonnes of seemingly worthless nuclear waste into man-made diamond batteries that can generate a small electric current for longer than the entire history of human civilization.

kunkmiester
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Re: Diamonds turn nuclear waste into nuclear batteries

Post by kunkmiester »

Nuclear and radiation have been demonized far too much over the past decades for this idea to see the light of day.
Evil is evil, no matter how small

Carl White
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Re: Diamonds turn nuclear waste into nuclear batteries

Post by Carl White »

Hmm, well, it's in Popular Mechanics too I see, which is pretty much doom for a technology.

Interesting to think about though. They say that the current is too small for a cellphone, but is that 100% true? It could slowly charge a capacitor for bursts of communication.

It may have space applications.

paperburn1
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Re: Diamonds turn nuclear waste into nuclear batteries

Post by paperburn1 »

watch battery?
I am not a nuclear physicist, but play one on the internet.

Carl White
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Re: Diamonds turn nuclear waste into nuclear batteries

Post by Carl White »

Here's a company, Nuclear Diamond Battery (NDB), that's been working with this idea:
California company NDB says its nano-diamond batteries will absolutely upend the energy equation, acting like tiny nuclear generators. They will blow any energy density comparison out of the water, lasting anywhere from a decade to 28,000 years without ever needing a charge. They will offer higher power density than lithium-ion. They will be nigh-on indestructible and totally safe in an electric car crash. And in some applications, like electric cars, they stand to be considerably cheaper than current lithium-ion packs despite their huge advantages.
https://newatlas.com/energy/nano-diamon ... eries-ndb/

They have a video at the end of the article and have demonstrated a couple of proof-of-concept models to date. But they don't seem to have attracted substantial funding yet. It looks like their major challenge is scaling up the concept for production.

Skipjack
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Re: Diamonds turn nuclear waste into nuclear batteries

Post by Skipjack »

From what I see they have partnered with Orano, which is a very large company that does nuclear fuel and nuclear waste processing. I am not sure how much Orano has invested in them, though.
My biggest problem with them is that there are no numbers. I am most interested in the power density. From all the back of the envelope calculations that I have seen, it might not be very good.

Carl White
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Re: Diamonds turn nuclear waste into nuclear batteries

Post by Carl White »

Skipjack wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:41 pm
My biggest problem with them is that there are no numbers. I am most interested in the power density. From all the back of the envelope calculations that I have seen, it might not be very good.
They claim they can achieve better power density than lithium ion. Either the person who wrote the article got that wrong, or something smells here.

kunkmiester
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Re: Diamonds turn nuclear waste into nuclear batteries

Post by kunkmiester »

What's the electron production and energy from carbon 14? That'll give a few numbers.
Evil is evil, no matter how small

Skipjack
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Re: Diamonds turn nuclear waste into nuclear batteries

Post by Skipjack »

Well one gram of Carbon 14 should (by my calculation) emit 2x10^11 beta particles per second at about 49 keV each.
So we are talking 9.8 x 10^12 keV/second or 3.528 X 10^16 keV/h and that translates into 0.00157013295726 Wh.
So you need a 1kg for 1.57 watts of power. That is assuming that their system is 100% efficient.
I am super tired today, so I hope that I did not make any mistakes anywhere. If I did, please point it out.
Anyway, if my math is correct, then this is not going to work as advertised. But then, maybe I am missing something somewhere?

Also interesting to note that NDB seems to have completely changed their website within the last couple of days. There is now even LESS information on it.

Carl White
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Re: Diamonds turn nuclear waste into nuclear batteries

Post by Carl White »

NASA's KRUSTY (1 kW) weighs 134 kg with a 28 kg uranium 235 core. If we apply the optimistic figure of 1.57 W/kg (100% efficiency), about 636 kg of Carbon-14 would be required for a 1 kW nuclear diamond battery.

If they use isotopes with shorter half lives, they could increase power, but they lose the advantages of Carbon-14 they were touting. Nickel-63 (half life of about 100 years) was used by researchers at the University of Moscow in 2018 to make a prototype battery, but they only achieved a power density of 10 microwatts per cubic centimeter.

GerardFianen
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Re: Diamonds turn nuclear waste into nuclear batteries

Post by GerardFianen »

Is this about the 100 MICRO-Watt ' chip from NBD ??

Well, I could not have worded my opinion on on that company better than the EEV blog did:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzV_uzSTCTM

Skipjack
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Re: Diamonds turn nuclear waste into nuclear batteries

Post by Skipjack »

ThunderF00t also has a great debunking of this. It is a complete nonstarter. Unfortunately "tech journalists" these days are not tech savvy at all and unfortunately also not real journalists. Any real journalists would have for one requested information about the numbers and would have done some number crunching on their own if the numbers are not available.

Carl White
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Re: Diamonds turn nuclear waste into nuclear batteries

Post by Carl White »

It's not carbon-14 alone. They plan to use a blend of different isotopes to achieve different power density targets. A table was provided in their investor pack, but that's been taken offline. Some have not only shorter half lives but also generate more energetic beta particles, so even if present as a small fraction, they could potentially add a lot of oomph.

I guess they feel confident that their diamond encasing will prevent leaks, but doesn't diamond burn?

Skipjack
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Re: Diamonds turn nuclear waste into nuclear batteries

Post by Skipjack »

Carl White wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:03 pm
It's not carbon-14 alone. They plan to use a blend of different isotopes to achieve different power density targets. A table was provided in their investor pack, but that's been taken offline. Some have not only shorter half lives but also generate more energetic beta particles, so even if present as a small fraction, they could potentially add a lot of oomph.

I guess they feel confident that their diamond encasing will prevent leaks, but doesn't diamond burn?
Well, what Isotopes are they planning to use and how would that work within the diamond structure, which is allegedly what makes to so great.
Mind you that a "normal" tritium Betavoltaic is not doing any better either.
And yes, diamond does burn and it burns quite well too. That is a real problem when it is made from C14. C14 is no problem when it is in low concentrations or external to the body. But if it burns into CO2 that could be inhaled...
Quite frankly, I think they are full of it and they know it too. That is why there are no numbers anywhere to be found on their website. Just fluff and marketing blah, blah.

paperburn1
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Re: Diamonds turn nuclear waste into nuclear batteries

Post by paperburn1 »

In 2016 it was proposed that carbon-14 in a diamond crystal structure could be used as a longer lived betavoltaic device (a diamond battery). It was proposed that the carbon-14 could be sourced from graphite blocks from decommissioned graphite-moderated reactors. [6]

In 2018 a Russian design based on 2-micron thick nickel-63 slabs sandwiched between 10 micron diamond layers was introduced. It produced power output of about 1 microWatt (μW) at a power density of 10 μW/cm3. Its energy density was 3.3 kilowatt-hours/kg. The half-life of nickel-63 is 100 years.[7]
I am not a nuclear physicist, but play one on the internet.

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