Australia’s first laser nuclear fusion company appoints world-leading scientific board; publishes groundbreaking research

Australia’s first laser nuclear fusion company appoints world-leading scientific board; publishes groundbreaking research

SYDNEY, Dec. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Australia’s first laser nuclear fusion energy company HB11 Energy has formally appointed a scientific board composed of the world’s luminary laser and fusion energy experts, united with a common goal of re-establishing Australia as a leader in fusion and clean energy technology.

Prof. Dimitri Batani from the Intense Lasers and Applications Center (University of Bordeaux) has been appointed as lead scientist in charge of 19 researchers across 10 universities, with plans to grow the team to over 50 in the near-term.

He is one of the few researchers globally involved in several historically significant demonstrations of hydrogen-boron fusion with lasers, significantly improving HB11 Energy’s ability to become the first company in the world to successfully commercialise nuclear fusion energy.

Former ANSTO CEO Dr Adi Paterson has also joined the scientific advisory board and will bring extensive experience in nuclear energy research and first-of-a-kind nuclear reactor engineering. He joins Guest Scientist at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (University of Rochester) Prof. Tom Mehlhorn, Director of the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (University of Rochester) Dr Mike Campbell, and laser engineering professor Prof. Dieter Hoffman.

Lukasz Gadowski, one of the fathers of the German startup ecosystem and co-founder of DAX-listed Delivery Hero, was also appointed as director after being lead investor on a significantly oversubscribed $4.6 million round earlier this year.

The appointments follow the recent release of new research led by HB11’s founders and other world-leading laser experts, which unveiled some of the key physics responsible for achieving laser fusion between hydrogen and boron – a reaction that was previously thought impossible.

Achieving hydrogen-boron fusion would be a holy grail for clean-energy generation, as its fuels are safe and abundant, it does not leave any harmful waste, and it has the capacity to provide large-scale power for base-load grid electricity or hydrogen generation.

The newly-formed scientific board is tasked with developing the proprietary laser fusion concept of HB11’s co-founder and Scientific Director, Prof. Heinrich Hora, into a new source of clean energy that may also have economic benefits over coal-fired electricity.

Adi Paterson, scientific advisor to HB11 Energy and former CEO of ANSTO, said: “Fusion has been considered a long term prospect as an energy source. However, more recently there has been a dramatic increase in the pace of progress, particularly from laser-based approaches.

“With the inherent safety and techno-economic benefits of the hydrogen-boron fusion reaction, combined with the very promising results from only a few experiments, HB11 Energy’s approach is the single most promising opportunity to address carbon emissions at a large scale.”

Cofounders of HB11 Energy Prof. Heinrech Hora and Dr. Warren McKenzie
Cofounders of HB11 Energy Prof. Heinrech Hora and Dr. Warren McKenzie

Dr Warren McKenzie, Founder & MD of HB11 Energy, said: “With this global powerhouse of a board we are poised to rapidly expand our research and engineering activities aimed at delivering a new large-scale energy source that is absolutely safe and clean. They are the dream-team we need to progress Prof. Heinrich Hora’s vision of laser boron fusion into a commercial reality, and in a time frame that will create a meaningful impact on climate change.”

HB11 Energy is Australia’s first fusion energy company that is pursuing one of the few completely safe fusion reactions between hydrogen and boron-11.

It is currently demonstrating that a hydrogen-boron reaction, triggered by lasers, can deliver a clean, safe, reliable, and virtually unlimited source of large-scale electricity production.

It does this through a concept reactor that generates electricity directly using fuels that are safe and abundant, a reaction that does not create harmful radiation and which has no possibility of a reactor melt-down.

HB11 Energy believes that this concept reactor, which has already been granted patents in four countries, could see Australian technology lead the world in the quest for net zero emissions by 2050.

HB11 Energy recently secured a $2 million Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant from Deakin University. It is planning a series of fundraises in 2022 to rapidly accelerate its growth and pace of R&D.

HB11 Energy (www.hb11.energy) is working on creating a new source of clean, safe, and reliable energy using laser technology to fuse Hydrogen and Boron-11. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, while Boron-11 comprises some 80% of all Boron found in nature, is readily available, and is a stable, non-radioactive isotope.

Unlike other nuclear and fossil-fuel burning plants, HB11 Energy’s energy generating process does not require large plants with steam turbines and does not generate any dangerous radioactive waste. There’s no risk of a reactor meltdown and the energy generated can be directed straight to the grid.

HB11 Energy is the future of clean energy. It is creating the possibility of a world powered by clean, safe and unlimited electricity, generated by small reactors that use abundant fuels and do not create any harmful waste.

Board of Directors

Scientific Advisory Board

  • Prof. Heinrich Hora (UNSW Emeritus Professor and HB11 Energy Scientific Director)
  • Dr Adi Paterson (Former CEO of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation)
  • Dr Mike Campbell (Director of the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester)
  • Prof. Tom Mehlhorn (Former Superintendent of the Plasma Physics division of the US Naval Research Laboratories and Distinguished Visiting Scientist at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester)
  • Prof. Dieter Hoffman (Head of Nuclear Physics at the Technical University of Darmstadt)
  • Prof. Roland Sauerbrey (Scientific Director of Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf)
  • Prof. Shalom Eliezer (SOREQ Research Center)
  • Prof. George Miley (Professor of Nuclear, Plasma & Radiology Engineering at the University of Illinois)