U.S. Department of Energy Announces $10 Million in Funding to Projects Studying Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions

ARPA-E Selects 8 Projects to Apply Scientific and Rigorous Approach Focused on Specific Type of Nuclear Energy

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $10 million in funding for eight projects working to determine whether low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR) could be the basis for a potentially transformative carbon-free energy source. The teams selected today—from universities, a national laboratory, and small business—aim to break the stalemate of research in this space. “ARPA-E is all about funding high-risk, high-reward energy technologies,” said ARPA-E Director Evelyn N. Wang. “The teams announced today are set out to answer the question ‘does this area show promise, and if so, how? Or can we conclusively show that it does not?’ While others have shied away from this space, ARPA-E wants to break through the knowledge impasse and deepen our understanding.” The following teams have been selected to receive funding as part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) LENR Exploratory Topic:

  • Amphionic (Dexter, MI) will focus on exploring if LENR are produced in potential wells existing between two nanoscale surfaces by controlling metal nanoparticle (NP) geometry, separation, composition, and deuterium loading. (Award amount: $295,924)
  • Energetics Technology Center (Indian Head, MD) will use electrochemical co-deposition of a deuterated palladium metal compound on a metal substrate conformed onto a plastic scintillator to establish and sustain LENR. (Award amount: $1,500,000)
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley, CA) will draw from knowledge based on previous work using higher energy ion beams as an external excitation source for LENR on metal hydrides electrochemically loaded with deuterium. The team proposes to systematically vary materials and conditions, while monitoring nuclear event rates with a suite of diagnostics. (Award amount: $1,500,000)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA) will develop an experimental platform that thoroughly and reproducibly tests claims of nuclear anomalies in gas-loaded metal-hydrogen systems.​ (Award amount: $2,000,000)
  • Stanford University (Redwood City, CA) will explore a technical solution based on LENR-active nanoparticles and gaseous deuterium. (Award amount: $1,500,000)
  • Texas Tech University (Lubbock, TX) will focus on advanced materials fabrication, characterization, and analysis, along with advanced detection of nuclear products as a resource for teams within the LENR Exploratory Topic. (Award amount: $1,150,000)
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) will use a gas cycling experiment that passes deuterium gas through a chamber filled with palladium nanocrystalline samples. Variables will include temperature, nanocrystalline size, and laser wavelength. (Award amount: $1,108,412)
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) will provide capability to measure hypothetical neutron, gamma, and ion emissions from LENR experiments. Modern instrumentation will be coupled with best practices in data acquisition, analysis, and understanding of backgrounds to interpret collected data and evaluate the proposed signal. (Award amount: $902,213)

Learn more about the projects selected as part of the LENR Exploratory Topic.