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US Navy reveals fuel made from seawater


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#1    seeder

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 10:31 AM

The US Navy has developed a radical new fuel made from seawater.

They say it could change the way we produce fuel - and allow warships to stay at sea for years at a time.

Navy scientists have spent several years developing the process to take seawater and use it as fuel, and have now used the 'game changing' fuel to power a radio controlled plane in the first test.

http://www.dailymail...l#ixzz2yI11k8g4

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#2    and then

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 10:40 AM

I thought it was April 1st again.  Wow.

  We've cast the world, we've set the stage,
  for what could be, the darkest age...
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#3    taniwha

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 10:54 AM

Let the water wars begin!


#4    seeder

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 10:54 AM

Will Joe public ever benefit tho?

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#5    Wickian

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 12:01 PM

Well, even the Environmentalists gotta be on board for this.  No more fossil fuels(if it's practical) and we lower the sea level at the same time!


#6    Orcseeker

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 02:45 PM

But... How do the big corporations make money from such an abundant resource with a technique that will cheapen as time goes on?!

We won't see this until theyve squeezed out every big dollar they can.


#7    Child of Bast

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 05:17 PM

View PostOrcseeker, on 09 April 2014 - 02:45 PM, said:

But... How do the big corporations make money from such an abundant resource with a technique that will cheapen as time goes on?!

We won't see this until theyve squeezed out every big dollar they can.

And therein lies the problem, as always. Big oil will have to die out.

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#8    DieChecker

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 09:51 PM

So, this involves taking CO2 out of the air and breaking H2O into H2 and O2. The issue I see here is that you need energy to break the water to begin with, and to make a hydrocarbon from it, you're going to need a LOT of CO2. If a Destroyer burns 1000 gallons of fuel an hour, and carbon is assumed to be the heavier part of the fuel, AND if we understand that CO2 is about 1/3rd carbon by weight.... Then it can be guessed that the Destroyer would need to collect somewhere between 2500 and 3000 gallons of liquid CO2 per hour. And I just don't see that happening. CO2 is about 0.04% of the atmosphere. So probably billions of cubic feet of air per hour would need to be processed to create the Carbon for one ship. Which is like 1000 large air conditioners worth of air movement.

Seems very inefficient to me. I don't see it working on anything but a demonstration level for very long.

Any maintenace issues at all and your ship immediately runs out of fuel. Your ship takes damage to its air/water intake, refinery or generator and your ship either stops, or explodes.

Edited by DieChecker, 11 April 2014 - 09:55 PM.

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#9    lightly

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 12:04 AM

....  here's how they describe the process in the linked article:


The NRL process begins by extracting carbon dioxide and hydrogen from seawater.
As seawater passes through a sepcially built cell, it is subjected to a small electric current.
This causes the seawater to exchange hydrogen ions produced at the anode with sodium ions.
As a result, the seawater is acidified.
Meanwhile, at the cathode, the water is reduced to hydrogen gas and sodium hydroxide is formed.
The end product is hydrogen and carbon dioxide gas, and the sodium hydroxide is added to the leftover seawater to neutralize its acidity.
In the next step, the hydrogen and carbon dioxide are passed into a heated reaction chamber with an iron catalyst.
The gases combine and form long-chained unsaturated hydrocarbons with methane as a by-product.
The unsaturated hydrocarbons are then made to form longer hydrocarbon molecules containing six to nine carbon atoms.
Using a nickel-supported catalyst, these are then converted into jet fuel.


..... then the article ends with:

Drawbacks? Only one, it seems: researchers warn it will be at least a decade before US ships are able to produce their own fuel on board.

..... Seems like a great idea? It said you could  burn this in any car  right now too.  
A decade isn't very long . .  . anymore.

*

Edited by lightly, 12 April 2014 - 12:09 AM.

Important:  The above may contain errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and other limitations.

#10    DieChecker

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 07:17 AM

View Postlightly, on 12 April 2014 - 12:04 AM, said:

....  here's how they describe the process in the linked article:


The NRL process begins by extracting carbon dioxide and hydrogen from seawater.
As seawater passes through a sepcially built cell, it is subjected to a small electric current.
This causes the seawater to exchange hydrogen ions produced at the anode with sodium ions.
As a result, the seawater is acidified.
Meanwhile, at the cathode, the water is reduced to hydrogen gas and sodium hydroxide is formed.
The end product is hydrogen and carbon dioxide gas, and the sodium hydroxide is added to the leftover seawater to neutralize its acidity.
In the next step, the hydrogen and carbon dioxide are passed into a heated reaction chamber with an iron catalyst.
The gases combine and form long-chained unsaturated hydrocarbons with methane as a by-product.
The unsaturated hydrocarbons are then made to form longer hydrocarbon molecules containing six to nine carbon atoms.
Using a nickel-supported catalyst, these are then converted into jet fuel.


..... then the article ends with:

Drawbacks? Only one, it seems: researchers warn it will be at least a decade before US ships are able to produce their own fuel on board.

..... Seems like a great idea? It said you could  burn this in any car  right now too.  
A decade isn't very long . .  . anymore.

*

That still sound ridiculous to me. They still would need to produce 1000 gallons of fuel an hour. So, I wonder how many gallons of seawater they would have to process to make that happen. Probably there is more CO2 in seawater then the air, but still it probably means millions, or tens of millions, of gallons of seawater treated each hour to power the ship.

Also there is Conservation of Energy to think about. You can't break water into hydrogen, and mix up hydrocarbons by the thousands of gallons without a bunch of electricity to begin with. The seawater needs to have a lot of energy put into creating the hydrocarbon fuel, which is going to bite off a big chunk of what was produced needed to produce the next 1000 gallons. So, probably you'd really need to produce 2000 gallons of fuel rather then 1000. Efficiency is a killer.

Basically this is just a proof of concept, which may be horrendously ineffective. The engineers may never get the technology to the point where it is even self supporting.

Edited by DieChecker, 12 April 2014 - 07:18 AM.

Here at Intel we make processors on 12 inch wafers. And, the individual processors on the wafers are called die. And, I am employed to check these die. That is why I am the DieChecker.

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Qualifications? This is cryptozoology, dammit! All that is required is the spirit of adventure. - Night Walker

#11    Peter B

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 10:13 AM

View Posttaniwha, on 08 April 2014 - 10:54 AM, said:

Let the water wars begin!

Water wars? Over sea water?


#12    Peter B

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 10:16 AM

View PostOrcseeker, on 09 April 2014 - 02:45 PM, said:

But... How do the big corporations make money from such an abundant resource with a technique that will cheapen as time goes on?!

We won't see this until theyve squeezed out every big dollar they can.

If the US Defense Department can make it work, I doubt they'll worry about big corporations. They certainly have plenty of motivation. They've already flown planes with their own blend of biofuel to reduce American reliance on crude oil.

In any case, I've never seen an energy company worried about a new source of fuel. They simply diversify into manufacturing that fuel too. And while there's plenty of sea water to use as raw material, the process may turn out to be expensive to scale up.


#13    taniwha

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 10:18 AM

View PostPeter B, on 12 April 2014 - 10:13 AM, said:

Water wars? Over sea water?

People have died for less.  Remember when everything use to run on oil?


#14    DONTEATUS

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 02:58 PM

I had a physicis teacher onec tell me a great quote " Theres nothing from nothing and it leaves Nothing " Just dont blow this people, Without salt water we would not have anything to spray on the Aliens to Kill them off ! justDONTEATUS :tu:

This is a Work in Progress!

#15    Peter B

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 03:00 PM

View Posttaniwha, on 12 April 2014 - 10:18 AM, said:

People have died for less.

Like what?

Quote

Remember when everything use to run on oil?

The Earth has a lot more sea water than oil.





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