Energy alchemy: Navy turns sea water into jet fuel

The Naval Research Laboratory has designed a system which harvests carbon dioxide and hydrogen, the raw ingredients of jet fuel, from seawater, according to OilPrice.com.

  • close
    In this February 2012 file photo provided by the U.S. Navy the guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon (DDG 58) is seen in the Atlantic Ocean. Refuelling is a very difficult and dangerous procedure when two vessels are at sea, especially if the seas are rough, or there is a storm, or even in the middle of a fire fight, according to OilPrice.com.
    Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker/US Navy/AP/File
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington is working to develop a system that can produce jet fuel from seawater.

Last year the US Naval Military Sea Lift Command, the main fuel supplier to Naval vessels that are at sea, delivered around 600 million gallons to ships that were on the open water. (RELATED: Israel's Offshore Gas Reserves - Bonanza or Security Threat?)

Refuelling is a very difficult and dangerous procedure when two vessels are at sea, especially if the seas are rough, or there is a storm, or even in the middle of a fire fight. Yet it is also vital as running out of fuel would be devastating to a naval ship in action.

The NRL has designed a system which harvests carbon dioxide and hydrogen, the raw ingredients of jet fuel, from the seawater. NRL discovered that gathering carbon dioxide from the seawater was far more efficient than getting it from the air because the concentration in seawater is 140 times greater. The hydrogen and carbon dioxide go through several processes to create olefins (a hydrocarbon), and then two more steps to turn the olefins into suitable jet fuel. (RELATED: Coal Set for a Strong Comeback in Europe)

So far the lab tests have indicated that the process will produce jet fuel at a cost of around $3 - $6 per gallon. Now all that is needed is large scale tests on the open sea.

Source: http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/US-Navy-Develops-a-Technique-to-Produce-Jet-Fuel-from-Sea-Water.html

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best energy bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. 

 
 
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...