Fuel from Seawater

Discussion in 'Propulsion' started by brian eiland, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Although no one is saying that aircraft carriers will soon be able to fuel their jet fighters using water from the ocean, such a scenario has recently come a step closer to reality. Scientists from the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have successfully flown a radio-controlled airplane that was running purely on fuel derived from sea water.

    Navy powers model plane using fuel made from sea water

    ....and further reading
    http://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/2014/scale-model-wwii-craft-takes-flight-with-fuel-from-the-sea-concept
     
  2. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    Fascinating. I am really curious about the power demands to do this, but on a nuclear carrier that probably isn't a real problem.

    They say that at commercial size they can make jet fuel for about $3-$6 / gallon which would compare favorably to current prices at an airport, but without the logistic issues the Navy faces.

    I doubt this is going to scale down to recreational boaters, but it is very cool technology.
     
  3. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
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    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

  4. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
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    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

    There are some folks that are indicating that the aircraft carriers are equipped with an unlimited power source (nuclear) with which to perform this separation of the hydrogen from the water in order to facilitate this sea water conversion process, so no problem for them.

    But rather I think they are experimenting with a different process altogether. And note the 'use of small quantities of electricity'.....

    http://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/2012/fueling-the-fleet-navy-looks-to-the-seas
     
  5. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    I considered building a H2 powered car, generate my own hydrogen fuel at home, but there are large complications, and hazzards, assoicated with it. And the engergy that goes into it to make the fuel is more than what you get out in fuel. So it is not a very cost effective way to make fuel.

    On a carrier there are other considerations, they can make fuel for the aircraft and never need to resupply as long as their nuke power plant stays powered. this is a great tactical advantage for the military.
     

  6. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    I just watched a very interesting presentation on these fuels on a PBS NOVA science presentation

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/algae-fuel.html


    PS: I also remember reading about a year ago that the airlines were studying the use of biofuels (algae fuels) and figured they could operate the entire world's fleet of commercial aircraft on a production facility about the size of the rather small country of Belgium
     
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