Each year, the US Navy consumes around $11 billion worth of fuel – which is a whole lot of money when you think about it. Well, scientists over at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) might help ease the burden of forking out so much money just for fuel alone, that they have managed to come across a process which can transform seawater into jet fuel. It sounds more like science fiction than reality, but NRL did release an announcement that detailed the transformation process of changing from gas to liquid, where carbon dioxide will then be extracted from the seawater, resulting in hydrogen gas.
Research assistant Dr. Heather Willauer explains, “The reduction and hydrogenation of C02 to form hydrocarbons is accomplished using a catalyst that is similar to those used for Fischer-Tropsch reduction and hydrogenation of carbon monoxide. By modifying the surface composition of iron catalysts in fixed-bed reactors, NRL has successfully improved C02 conversion efficiencies up to 60 percent.”
Imagine that, an aircraft carrier with a deck full of fighter jets armed to the teeth with a payload that can wipe out a small country, operating without ever having to worry about running out of fuel. One thing though, this does not mean that the end result is any greener than before, but at the very least it eliminates the risks of re-fueling at sea, especially when weather conditions are harsh.