The U.S. Navy has certainly made plenty of waves in the previous week, with the intention to deploy a railgun in 2016 as well as working on a laser weapon that will see action in the summer. Having said that, to establish your military might across the seven seas would take plenty of coordination and resources, where chief among them would include fuel issues. Going nuclear might work, but it is far from green, so when word of scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. came about that they have successfully turned seawater into fuel, it is a cause worth celebrating.
After all, there aren’t any gas stations in the middle of the ocean that will be able to refill your vessel, and the Navy’s vessels require oil tankers to refuel them. The future will be very different, as one can extract carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas simultaneously from seawater, before making use of a catalytic converter in order to create fuel that looks and smells the same manner as that of normal, petroleum-based fuel.
I don’t think we need to reiterate the advantages of such technology, as ships will be able to create fuel from the water around them, meaning having to depend less on nuclear power, and not having to run the risk of oil tankers springing a leak and causing untold environmental damage along the way. Also, to hear that existing ships need not be redesigned to make use of the new seawater-based fuel is also good news, since the result of this development would not cause the engine to seize up or anything untoward.
It will still require a minimum of ten years of research and development in order to produce enough seawater-based fuel on the move for a self-sustainable vessel.