Directory:NRL Seawater to Fuel Program

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Image:Navy-water-plane 300.jpg

Compiled by Congress:Founder:Sterling D. Allan

Pure Energy Systems News

April 8, 2014

Here's a snapshot at a topic we usually only see in our exotic free energy news, not in the mainstream: water as fuel. You'll see why the mainstream is covering this and pursuing it: it is very complicated, expensive, and will take years to get to the point where it is practical. Eventually, conceptually, they say it could be used to create fuel for any vehicle without having to modify engines.

David Zweig, who was one of the people who brought this to my attention, points out that this process is a complicated version of the H-Cat (minus LENR or other anomalous heat: "US experts have found out how to extract carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas from seawater. Then, using a catalytic converter, they transformed them into a fuel by a gas-to-liquids process."

The recent milestones include flying a radio-controlled plane using 'sea fuel' in first test of new fuel able to capture 92% of CO2 in water to create jet fuel.

Here's an excerpt from a [ NRL press release, picked up by the Daily Mail, Yahoo, among others:

: 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.

: The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel is being hailed as 'a game-changer' because it would allow warships to remain at sea for far longer.

: 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.

: The predicted cost of jet fuel using these technologies is in the range of $3-$6 per gallon, and with sufficient funding and partnerships, this approach could be commercially viable within the next seven to ten years.

: Pursuing remote land-based options would be the first step towards a future sea-based solution, the Navy says.

: They hope the fuel will not only be able to power ships, but also planes.

: Dr Heather Willauer, an research chemist who has spent nearly a decade on the project, said:

:: 'For the first time we've been able to develop a technology to get CO2 and hydrogen from seawater simultaneously, that's a big breakthrough,' she said, adding that the fuel 'doesn't look or smell very different.'

: Now that they have demonstrated it can work, the next step is to produce it in industrial quantities.

: But before that, in partnership with several universities, the experts want to improve the amount of CO2 and hydrogen they can capture.

: [...]

Official Websites

Parent Organization (Broader than just this project

How it Works

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: The NRL process begins by extracting carbon dioxide and hydrogen from seawater.

: As seawater passes through a specially-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.

Energy breakdown

Quoting from NavyTimes

: According to the journal article, which was written by Navy researchers, here's how 100,000 gallons of JP-5 could be made in a day:

: Step 1: A processing plant would extract carbon dioxide from 2.35 billion gallons of water — enough to fill the 2012 Olympic swimming pool 2,400 times. This water would yield about 11.9 million gallons worth of carbon dioxide.

: Step 2: Another process will produce hydrogen from ocean water. Through reverse osmosis, fresh water will be extracted from ocean water. The two hydrogen atoms from the freshwater molecules will be separated from the oxygen atom. The hydrogen atoms will be collected while the oxygen atoms will be vented away.

: Step 3: The hydrogen and carbon dioxide from the first two steps will be used in a catalytic conversion process. The end result is water, heat, and, most importantly, synthetic hydrocarbon, or fuel. Theoretically, the process could be tailored to produce any sort of hydrocarbon fuel, not just JP-5, according to the report.

: The leftover water and heat generated could be harnessed and recycled into the system, making it more efficient.

: This process would require an outside energy source to cause the various reactions. Nuclear power systems, such as the ones used on aircraft carriers and submarines, could be one option. Another could be ocean thermal energy conversion, a process where the temperature differences between warm water near the ocean's surface and colder water at deeper depths are used to turn an engine and create electricity.

: The study doesn't answer some big questions, however.

: For example, how would all the necessary equipment to process hundreds of thousands of ocean water per day fit on an aircraft carrier?

: To be determined.

: "The key is funding research to reduce the power needed for the process, so more fuel can be made," said Heather Willauer, a NRL chemist and one of the writers of the study. "In addition, research focus should be directed toward reducing the size, weight and footprint of the technologies to make it feasible for a sea-based process."

: The analysis estimated fuel from this process would cost between $3 and $6 per gallon, including initial start-up costs. The report cited the Navy's 2011 average cost for JP-5 at $3.51 media reports have put that number closer to $4. These prices don't include shipping and storage costs, which would be cut drastically or eliminated by making JP-5 at sea.

: "Historical data suggest that in nine years, the price of fuel for the Navy could be well over the price of producing a synthetic jet fuel at sea," the journal article says.

: Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has set goals to cut the Navy and Marine Corps' use of fossil fuels, calling for using alternative fuels for 50 percent of the Navy Department's total energy usage by 2020.

: His plan has come under attack, largely from Republicans, who say the Navy should not pursue alternative fuel program until alternative fuels are more cost-effective. The Navy's work in alternative liquid fuels has used a blend of traditional fuels mixed with either an algae- or camelina-based based fuel.


Creating Fuel from Seawater


Navy researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Materials Science and Technology Division, demonstrate proof-of-concept of novel NRL technologies developed for the recovery of carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen (H2) from seawater and conversion to a liquid hydrocarbon fuel. (YouTube April 7, 2014)

Profile: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

Quoting from

: The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory is the Navy's full-spectrum corporate laboratory, conducting a broadly based multidisciplinary program of scientific research and advanced technological development. The Laboratory, with a total complement of nearly 2,800 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to meet the complex technological challenges of today's world. For more information, visit the NRL homepage or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

In the News

The U.S. Navy Just Announced The End Of Big Oil And No One Noticed (AddictingInfo April 12, 2014)

(The hyperlink is missing because this points to the present page)
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Latest: Directory:Water > Directory:Water as Fuel > Directory:NRL Seawater to Fuel Program - It's basically a non-LENR variation of the H-Cat: electrolyzing H, combined with CO2 in a catalytic process, to make fuel. Maybe a decade before it's ready to deploy in on-site fuel creation in ocean applications. Meanwhile, they just flew a model plane on the fuel. (PESN April 8, 2014)

Scale Model WWII Craft Takes Flight With Fuel From the Sea Concept - NRL Press Release, April 7, 2014

Could you soon be filling up with SEAWATER? US Navy reveals 'game changing' fuel created from water - ( April 7, 2014)

US Navy 'game-changer': converting seawater into fuel - "US experts have found out how to extract carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas from seawater. Then, using a catalytic converter, they transformed them into a fuel by a gas-to-liquids process." (Yahoo News April 7, 2014)

Navy eyes turning sea water into jet fuel - Reshuffling water molecules could propel Navy's aircraft, but tech has a long way to go (NavyTimes October 13, 2012)

Fueling the Fleet, Navy Looks to the Seas - Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory are developing a process to extract carbon dioxide (CO2) and produce hydrogen gas (H2) from seawater, subsequently catalytically converting the CO2 and H2 into jet fuel by a gas-to-liquids process. (NRL September 24, 2012)