Skip to comments.US Navy 'game-changer': converting seawater into fuel
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 ...
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.”
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....
Either (1) Late April Fools or (2) some variation on algae, but now it can be grown in seawater.
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.
Apparently you have absolutely no grasp of the vastness of the oceans.
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.
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.
“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.
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--
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
ALL of our submarines are nuclear powered, not “some”, as this author states.
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.
The main problem with extracting fuel from seawater is, suppose you screw up and catch the oceans on fire?
> 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).