US Navy Turning Sea Water into... Jet Fuel?

Discussion in 'User Submitted News' started by Gahars, Oct 14, 2012.

Oct 14, 2012
  1. Gahars
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    Member Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    The United States' Navy (the largest of any nation's by a wide margin) patrols much of the world's oceans, and that doesn't come cheap. Besides the costs for manpower, upkeep, and all that good stuff, fuel (especially for their jets) has to be accounted for, and it doesn't keep cheap. So, naturally, they have a vested interest in searching for inexpensive, widely available alternative fuels.

    However, instead of settling for "sunlight" or "wind", they've gone with a different approach: sea water.

    And no, they're not all wet... or at least, not in that sense.

    [​IMG] Defense Tech

    Well, it does make a certain amount sense: when you only see water, sea water must come to mind quickly. I don't remember the Village People ever singing about alchemy or witchcraft, but I can't imagine many people are complaining.

    Anyway, the Navy predicts that the conversion process would cost them about $3 to $6 per barrel, which is pretty good considering the fluctuating price of gas and the costs of transporting it across the ocean. Plus, you know, sea water is pretty hard to beat when it comes to convenience.

    Anyway, when all is said and done, this project should definitely make waves for the Navy. I'm sure they'll be coasting off this for years. Plus, who knows? When it comes to public opinion, this could be just what they need to turn the tide.
     
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  2. BORTZ

    Global Moderator BORTZ wtf, nintendo

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    Shiz man... SHIZ.
    Thats really really interesting. I remember a while back there was a small, uh, mistake? or something, where someone figured out how to separate the salt or something in sea water and burn it. It made less energy than it did to separate the particles, and it was dismissed.
     
  3. 431unknown

    Member 431unknown Greatness Awaits

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    If they can figure out how to do it the Middle East can say good bye to us buying a good chunk of oil from them. That is just simply amazing news.
     
  4. Sterling

    Member Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    Yeah, no kidding. Though, you'd have to adapt car engines to use highly volatile jet fuel. It may save us a buck, but it may provide more problems to health than it's worth.

    EDIT: looking at JP-5's MSDS, it looks like it's much more stable than gasoline.

    EDIT2: If the oil companies actually let this start, hopefully they won't charge out the ass for it.

    EDIT3: Does the process use up the Sea Water, or is it discharged back into the ocean once the process is completed?

    EDIT4: Also, the article says it's 3 - 6 dollars to produce a gallon and not a barrel. 126 - 252 dollars a barrel. Just starting, that's awesome. Just think about how much cheaper it will be once the process gets easier.

    EDIT5: I had to edit the previous edit because of a typo.
     
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  5. KingVamp

    Member KingVamp Great... AETHER!

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    Would that make much of a difference?


    It's time to get away from this gasoline over seas.
     
  6. Devin

    Member Devin "Local Hardware Wizard"

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    I sea, what you did there.
     
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  7. shakirmoledina

    Member shakirmoledina Legend

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    now we can send the whole earth into space!
     
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  8. Sterling

    Member Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    Yep, what do you think happens if you use a resource without putting it back?
     
  9. Satangel

    Member Satangel BEAST

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    So is this real, and plausible? Only applicable to airplanes or what? Seems too good to be true, so CHEAP to get those substances out of the water.
    Also, if you get the hydrogen and carbon oxide out of the sea water, it still needs modification to make a fuel, right? How much would that cost?
     
  10. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    I was wondering similar things- the basic chemistry is sound enough (although I am not sure about the dissolved CO2 content as far as quantities required- throw in some calcium carbonate and I will be quiet though) with the main problem usually being the energy required to pull it off; Hydrogen for certain types of fuel cells is often sourced from water (with the ideal being in the fuel cell itself) as it is. However if you have a nice nuclear power station onboard then that becomes something of a moot point or at least something to work around (move slower and then transfer energy to fuel production); I do not think many of the bigger ships, certainly those that deal with aircraft beyond the token helicopter, are still diesel fired and if you expand that to a fleet (your air craft carrier is probably going to be flanked by a few other ships) you then reduce the cost of transport to basic inter ship stuff.
     
  11. Blaze163

    Member Blaze163 The White Phoenix's purifying flame.

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    Does this mean America will be invading the sea next? Like Aquaman doesn't have enough problems. You know, what with him being Aquaman and all...
     
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  12. Cyan

    Global Moderator Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    Maybe it's not a problem (yet), but I have few concerns.
    Of course, I don't understand all the process, and it's based only on suppositions based on what I remember from school's chemistry lessons.


    What I'm concern is not that it's possible to create fuel, but that it will require an energy source (fuel? toxic chemistry? producing even more pollution) to convert the water to Oxygen/hydrogen/carbon
    The power from the extracted elements cannot provide enough energy to aliment the engine used to extract them (there's no self sufficient engine). They WILL need more power than what's created. it could be fuel (they will need to re-supply while at sea to make the engine extract fuel? no advantage) or they could use nuclear (then they don't need to extract fuel anymore if they have a more powerful energy source to move the boat).


    Another concern:
    Is there's enough CO2 in a given amount of water to create their fuel?
    It could generate and extract a lot more hydrogen and oxygen than carbon. What will they do with that hydrogen? convert it back to water? or convert only the required amount based on the carbon?

    And finally:
    Sea absorbing CO2, it's a natural process to produce oxygen from aquatic plants.
    for 1 boat with this engine type, it's fine.
    If all the planet starts doing it, what will happen to ecosystem?
     
  13. Veho

    Global Moderator Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    People who are selling fuel to the military are opposed to the military making their own fuel? I am shocked.


    The regular price for kerosene is currently 4.3 dollars per gallon. Even at 3 dollars per gallon, they're ahead.

    EDIT: And that's just kerosene; JP-5 costs $5.80 per gallon.
     
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  14. Gahars
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    Member Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    Though it's worth keeping in mind... there is so much of this resource lying around (On Earth, there's about 326 million trillion gallons of water... 98% of which is sea water.) and it would only be used for jet fuel. There could be an impact, but it'd likely take a long, long, long time to develop.
     
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  15. Sterling

    Member Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    Water is such an important resource for all life on Earth. Life could do without oil since it isn't that important for survival, but water no one could live without. Fucking with the balance of such an important resource (even just a little bit) is kinda stupid FYI.
     
  16. Gahars
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    Member Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    And the point is, any amount of water (again, the stupidly abundant sea water, not the relatively scarce drinkable water that us land creatures need to survive) displaced from this process would be minuscule and negligible. I get what you're saying (though I really don't appreciate your tone), but this is like adding a single grain of sand to a scale; it's just not going to tip the balance.
     
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  17. Sterling

    Member Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    Sea water is just as important to life on Earth as fresh water is. We may not drink the stuff, but an incredible amount of life resides beneath the surface that we live off of (the oceans of the world also do much more for life on land too). I know that this treatment process is like a drop in a swimming pool by comparison, but Earth's ecosystem is a finely tuned machine. Since this stuff will be cheap to produce (cheaper as time goes by too) we will certainly see every engine being adapted for the fuel. Long term usage will certainly wear on the fine balance, and thinking about this now could prevent long reaching disasters. Discounting the [very real] concern simply because it won't be of much consequence now is kind of short sighted. Unintended consequences happen all the time simply because we failed to take into account such scenarios.
     
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  18. KingVamp

    Member KingVamp Great... AETHER!

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    While I still think it isn't something we have to worry about for a long time, I sea where you coming from and
    I didn't want to sea Earth screw up more than it already is. It may not even screw us over from over use, but we aren't
    the only ones living here.
     
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  19. Sterling

    Member Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    I sea what you did there.
     
  20. Valwin

    Banned Valwin The Neautral Gamer

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    strange by that logic we would be in trouble already seem how most life on this planet drinks water


    this whole fuel thing will have 0 impact on the seas
     

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