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US Navy 'game-changer': converting seawater into fuel
Yahoo/AFP ^ | 4-7-14 | Mathieu Rabechault

Posted on 04/07/2014 10:30:58 PM PDT by kingattax

Washington (AFP) - The US Navy believes it has finally worked out the solution to a problem that has intrigued scientists for decades: how to take seawater and use it as fuel.

The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel is being hailed as "a game-changer" because it would signficantly shorten the supply chain, a weak link that makes any force easier to attack.

The US has a fleet of 15 military oil tankers, and only aircraft carriers and some submarines are equipped with nuclear propulsion.

All other vessels must frequently abandon their mission for a few hours to navigate in parallel with the tanker, a delicate operation, especially in bad weather.

The ultimate goal is to eventually get away from the dependence on oil altogether, which would also mean the navy is no longer hostage to potential shortages of oil or fluctuations in its cost.

Vice Admiral Philip Cullom declared: "It's a huge milestone for us."

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 04/07/2014 10:30:58 PM PDT by kingattax
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To: kingattax

You will need power to drive the synthesis. The only source that would be logical is nuclear.

This synthesis would only be usefull in making fuel for the aircraft. To power the ship nuclear powered steam electric turbines would be used.

In accordance with the laws of thermodynamics, “AINT NOTHING FEE.”


2 posted on 04/07/2014 10:53:34 PM PDT by cpdiii
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To: cpdiii

The only reason I don’t like this idea is that if the sea water as fuel and it catches on in other form of transportation it could have a far worse impact on our ecology than the global warming alarmists ever dreamed of....


3 posted on 04/07/2014 11:34:29 PM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: kingattax

Either (1) Late April Fools or (2) some variation on algae, but now it can be grown in seawater.


4 posted on 04/07/2014 11:43:02 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: kingattax

Small fillip of encouraging news for our defense establishment, severely weakened by Obama’s drawdowns and foreign policy incompetence, the entry into our armed forces of open homosexuals, and the forced placement of women on submarines and ships at sea.

No doubt it will allow us to sail farther and cheaper, so that we can economically surrender to Putin and the Chinese.


5 posted on 04/07/2014 11:48:16 PM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: jsanders2001
The only reason I don’t like this idea is that if the sea water as fuel and it catches on in other form of transportation it could have a far worse impact on our ecology than the global warming alarmists ever dreamed of....

Apparently you have absolutely no grasp of the vastness of the oceans.

6 posted on 04/07/2014 11:49:22 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
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To: kingattax

Somebody is terribly confused. CO2 is already fully oxidized and has no energy left to extract, and hydrogen can only be produced from water by an investment of energy. This could be a way of producing jet fuel on aircraft carriers that have nuclear power to produce hydrogen, but I don’t see how a conventionally powered ship could use this process.


7 posted on 04/08/2014 12:07:01 AM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: Born to Conserve

Correct. Some of the comments after the article go into this (the energy investment needed) further. I suppose you could conceivably have a nuke powered “fuel supply” ship tag along with one’s task force, instead of needing a carrier.


8 posted on 04/08/2014 1:55:50 AM PDT by Paul R. (Leftists desire to control everything; In the end they invariably control nothing worth a damn.)
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To: Paul R.

“The US has a fleet of 15 military oil tankers”.....

The Navy does not operate on fuel alone, sailors need to eat and carrying enough food and supplies to keep the fleet underway and at sea means one hell of a lot more cargo ships than just 15 oil tankers.

Taking on fuel at sea in foul weather is a great experience for anyone who has never witnessed it as is re-supplying anything, be it human or otherwise.


9 posted on 04/08/2014 2:37:27 AM PDT by DaveA37
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To: Jeff Chandler; jsanders2001; Allegra; big'ol_freeper; Lil'freeper; shove_it; TrueKnightGalahad; ...
Re: jsanders2001's "The only reason I don’t like this idea is that if the sea water as fuel and it catches on in other form of transportation it could have a far worse impact on our ecology than the global warming alarmists ever dreamed of...."

Jeff's post in reply "Apparently you have absolutely no grasp of the vastness of the oceans"

Do not believe it is the 'vastness of the oceans' that jsanders2001 is not grasping... it is the 'vastness' of control over all of us the environmentalist/tree-huggers/Liberal Democrats wish to bring about that jsanders2001 speaks of--

10 posted on 04/08/2014 3:02:49 AM PDT by Bender2 ("I've got a twisted sense of humor, and everything amuses me." RAH Beyond this Horizon)
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To: cpdiii

Thank you for your science-based post. The approach so poorly explained in the article must begin with electrolysis and continue with other energy-intensive processes so as to build up a fuel molecule that will eventually be turned back into water and CO2. At the present time, only nuclear could provide the required energy.


11 posted on 04/08/2014 4:45:39 AM PDT by AZLiberty (No tag today.)
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To: Born to Conserve

I’ve not read the article yet as I’m limited on time, but I’m wondering if they aren’t using a battery system to do the breakdown, or just using it as supplemental to reduce the overall fuel usage similar to the brakes recharging
the battery on a hybrid. Either that or they are using the salinity as a chemical reactant to create the charge to drive the breakdown....I’ll have to read more I suppose...

It brings to mind an old thought - I always wondered if there was a way to supplement energy through the use of the metal mass moving through the earth’s magnetic field. Technically a metal ring moving through the magnetic field should be capable of producing an electrical current within the ring. While not a sulotion for propulsion it could be a supplemental source for trickle battery charging purposes if the current could be properly transformed.


12 posted on 04/08/2014 5:06:01 AM PDT by reed13k (For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothings)
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To: reed13k

The Navy has been spending BIG BUCKS developing super capacitors in recent years. In addition to catapults for carriers and rail guns, it’s possible they’re thinking of using super capacitors here, too.


13 posted on 04/08/2014 5:17:35 AM PDT by Thermalseeker (If ignorance is bliss how come there aren't more happy people?)
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To: Bender2

Oh I get that but I’m referring to the reapplication (if its even possible) of using it in other modes of transportation. Even a 5 % reducyoon in the size of the oceans would have very significant impact smartypants.


14 posted on 04/08/2014 6:35:20 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: Jeff Chandler; jsanders2001; Allegra; big'ol_freeper; Lil'freeper; shove_it; TrueKnightGalahad; ...
Re: Even a 5 % reducyoon [sic] in the size of the oceans would have very significant impact smartypants.

I was wrong, Jeff... jsanders2001 really does not have any grasp of the vastness of the oceans--

But he knows 'a 5 % reducyoon' like... the back of his hand.

15 posted on 04/08/2014 7:44:45 AM PDT by Bender2 ("I've got a twisted sense of humor, and everything amuses me." RAH Beyond this Horizon)
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To: kingattax

ALL of our submarines are nuclear powered, not “some”, as this author states.


16 posted on 04/08/2014 7:45:58 AM PDT by Gunner9mm (www.libertycall.us)
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To: jsanders2001
Even a 5 % reducyoon in the size of the oceans would have very significant impact smartypants.

You really don't have a grasp of the vastness of the oceans. It is impossible for humans to reduce the size of the oceans to any measurable degree. All the fuel used by all the vehicles since vehicles started using fuel would not amount to a measurable percentage of the volume of the oceans.

17 posted on 04/08/2014 8:11:50 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
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To: jsanders2001

The main problem with extracting fuel from seawater is, suppose you screw up and catch the oceans on fire?


18 posted on 04/08/2014 8:13:52 AM PDT by Lazamataz (Early 2009 to 7/21/2013 - RIP my little girl Cathy. You were the best cat ever. You will be missed.)
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To: AZLiberty
The approach so poorly explained in the article must begin with electrolysis and continue with other energy-intensive processes so as to build up a fuel molecule that will eventually be turned back into water and CO2.

The technology breakthrough is the catalyst, which is a nano-array of tiny unicorn horns which are just so darned cute that the water molecules fall apart into oxygen and hydrogen with little sighs of contentment instead of having to use nasty old energy to separate them.
19 posted on 04/08/2014 8:23:07 AM PDT by Colinsky
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To: Lazamataz

> The main problem with extracting fuel from seawater is, suppose you screw up and catch the oceans on fire?

Cause an imbalance in the ecosystem that migh really have cery bad consequences once they get rolling and use the technology on a worldwide scale. You can’t get energy from a source without expending some of it (layman’s terms).


20 posted on 04/08/2014 8:35:17 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: jsanders2001

> The main problem with extracting fuel from seawater is, suppose you screw up and catch the oceans on fire?

Cause an imbalance in the ecosystem that migh really have very bad consequences once they get rolling and use the technology on a worldwide scale. You can’t get energy from a source without expending some of it (layman’s terms).


21 posted on 04/08/2014 8:36:28 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: Bender2

Reduction...$&@# small keys...


22 posted on 04/08/2014 8:39:12 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: jsanders2001

Still, I’m much more worried about catching the oceans on fire. That would really suck for my upcoming vacation.


23 posted on 04/08/2014 8:41:39 AM PDT by Lazamataz (Early 2009 to 7/21/2013 - RIP my little girl Cathy. You were the best cat ever. You will be missed.)
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To: jsanders2001

I *like* ‘reducyoon’.


24 posted on 04/08/2014 8:42:18 AM PDT by Lazamataz (Early 2009 to 7/21/2013 - RIP my little girl Cathy. You were the best cat ever. You will be missed.)
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To: Lazamataz

That would be a perfect rebuttal from the “Guam is gonna tip over” guy.


25 posted on 04/08/2014 8:46:11 AM PDT by wxgesr (Nada, zilch, zed)
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To: Lazamataz

> I *like* ‘reducyoon’.

French version...


26 posted on 04/08/2014 8:59:32 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: Jeff Chandler

Bottom line: everthing men put their hands on when it comes down to using resources is that they are like a siphon that keeps getting larger and larger. Would you have ever thought the world would be covered by as much concrete as it is now back in the 19th century? Probably not even close to what it is today.


27 posted on 04/08/2014 9:04:57 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: jsanders2001
Bottom line: everthing men put their hands on when it comes down to using resources is that they are like a siphon that keeps getting larger and larger.

That's hysterical.

28 posted on 04/08/2014 9:24:14 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
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To: Lazamataz
The main problem with extracting fuel from seawater is, suppose you screw up and catch the oceans on fire?

Ah, jeez I didn't think of that.

29 posted on 04/08/2014 9:26:13 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
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To: Jeff Chandler

> Bottom line: everthing men put their hands on when it comes down to using resources is that they are like a siphon that keeps getting larger and larger.

That’s hysterical.

I’m not a tree hugger if that’s wht you’re driving at but I do like a forest and some mountains to retreat to when I need it.


30 posted on 04/08/2014 9:35:52 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: jsanders2001

What I am driving at is your statement is hysterical.


31 posted on 04/08/2014 9:37:38 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
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To: Jeff Chandler

I guess you’re not getting the bigger picture.


32 posted on 04/08/2014 9:41:42 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: jsanders2001
I guess you’re not getting the bigger picture.

Either that or I am.

33 posted on 04/08/2014 9:58:25 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
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To: Bender2; Jeff Chandler; jsanders2001; Allegra; big'ol_freeper; Lil'freeper; shove_it; ...

What do you want to bet it takes more energy to create this fuel than a ship will get out of it by burning it? Even if you use a nuke power plant to drive the process, you will hit the rule of diminishing returns.

You never violate the Laws of Thermodynamics but they can violate you if you try to ignore them.


34 posted on 04/08/2014 10:30:34 AM PDT by nuke rocketeer (File CONGRESS.SYS corrupted: Re-boot Washington D.C (Y/N)?)
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To: nuke rocketeer; cpdiii
While it probably consumes more energy than it produces, it eliminates the long supply line. Nuclear powered aircraft carriers could fuel their own aircraft, and fuel ships would not need to leave the fleet and travel thousands of miles to refuel.

There would be tremendous savings in cost due to travel and valuable tactical advantages.

35 posted on 04/08/2014 11:38:44 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
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To: Jeff Chandler

Not totally, the surface escort ships are all non-nuke and will need a fuel supply. Like someone else posted, you still need food too.

The reactor would have to be upscaled at least a factor of 10 to make enough fuel for the aircraft and escorts, with the increased cost and if the size of the ship is kept constant, a loss in carrying capacity.

Bottom line, I bet it will not be worthwhile.


36 posted on 04/08/2014 12:53:40 PM PDT by nuke rocketeer (File CONGRESS.SYS corrupted: Re-boot Washington D.C (Y/N)?)
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To: nuke rocketeer
The reactor would have to be upscaled at least a factor of 10 to make enough fuel for the aircraft and escorts

Just the aircraft.

Fuel tankers could be replaced by nuclear powered, fuel producing tankers WHICH DON'T HAVE TO TRAVEL THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY FROM THE CARRIER GROUP TO RELOAD.

Food can be procured in many more locations than the quantity of fuel required of large naval ships, can be transported on any cargo ship, and can be airlifted.

37 posted on 04/08/2014 1:39:24 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
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To: Jeff Chandler

You still run into two major problems here with that idea.

First, the tankers will still have to have a massively oversized reactors to produce the electricity to make the synfuel, while still producing enough power to keep up with the task force, and you still have to have fuel for the escort vessels which are non nuclear powered.

Second, the Navy would have to ramp up training to supply more nuke qualified sailors and reactor production would have to be ramped up to start producing bigger reactors for ship use, and here you will run into the problem of diminishing returns, as bigger reactors require more shielding, which means less power available for auxiliary uses. Also the industrial infrastructure for building naval reactors will have to be enlarged to build the bigger vessels. This ain’t cheap, and I’ll bet the EPA will make life miserable for Bettis or Knolls as they try to expand the heavy forging facilities.

Plus, it seems to me you still don’t get thermodynamics. I’ll bet it still will be cheaper to run those tankers back and forth than it will be to try to make fuel in-situ.


38 posted on 04/09/2014 5:37:43 AM PDT by nuke rocketeer (File CONGRESS.SYS corrupted: Re-boot Washington D.C (Y/N)?)
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