Plasma reactor looks for a home for tests

A plasma reactor designed to improve the combustion of powdered coal and air has been built, and its developer is now looking for somewhere to try it


Developed by inventor Richard Vere-Compton, it uses a ring of eight spark plugs and a fair amount of power from a set of magnetos to induce a stream of plasma down its central vortex. Vere-Compton described it to us as a, “Coal fired rocket engine”, which phrase we have heard before applied to an MHD (Magneto Hydrodynamic Power) generator on which the US federal government spent some $49 million in the 1970s. Their idea was to induce conductivity and efficient combustion by seeding the fuel and air stream with potassium and running the combustion at 1750 deg C. The project required very large heat regenerator stoves to achieve efficiency but low cost materials able to survive the effects of coal slag laced with potassium at such high temperatures proved impossible to find.

Vere Compton’s idea, which he has christened “Donner and Blitzen” gets over the material problems by keeping the hot zone at the centre of the vortex but it does require power to generate the plasma. Anyone willing to help him and offer his machine a home should get in touch with him at

Tom Shelley

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