U.S. Navy Turns Sea Water Into Fuel

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Water is considered to be a universal solvent. The term exaggerates a bit because of course, water can’t dissolve every known thing in the universe, but it can dissolve most of the things known to us on earth. From carrying our hormones, blood, enzymes, food and waste products through the body to dissolving pretty much every ionic and polar compound on earth, water serves as an incredible solvent for all purposes. This quality of water has led the U.S. Navy to finance research to turn the compounds in seawater  in to fuel.

aircraft-carrier

The U.S. Navy has been working on a project to satisfy its hunger for fuel. A typical Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the U.S. Navy burns 1000 gallons of petroleum fuel per hour. That’s a hell of a lot of fuel required to move an enormous hunk of junk. This is why the Naval Research Laboratory has devised a way to take apart seawater and turn it in to fuel for the ship.

warship

The method is simple. Extract the hydrogen gas and carbon dioxide already present in seawater and use a catalytic converter to turn them into hydrocarbon fuel.

The catalytic converter has proved incredibly efficient at extracting the two gases (92%) and the fuel has been tested on April 2, 2014, when a model plane was flown, powered by it. The U.S. Navy estimates that the fuel will cost about $3-$6 per gallon when it hits the commercial market about a decade from now and will hugely reduce dependency on oil imports.

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