Navy Wants Battleships to Run on Seawater

Posted December 13, 2013 at 4:12pm

Defense One: “The Naval Research Laboratory, a 90-year-old corporate research hub serving the Navy and Marine Corps, is searching for such alternative sources. Led by analytical chemist Heather Willauer, the lab is currently developing technology that sucks up the gases necessary to produce synthetic jet fuel for ships right out of the seawater they tread. If and when it becomes commercially viable, the technology could transform naval operations.”

“The process begins with a three-chambered cell that receives a stream of seawater in the central compartment…. The cell pulls a relatively pure and concentrated source of carbon dioxide from the seawater… The cell produces hydrogen, which aids in recovering carbon dioxide from seawater. Both processes occur in tandem. The unit captures up to 92 percent of carbon dioxide from the seawater, where it is 140 times higher in concentration than in the air. All the energy supplied to the cell goes into making hydrogen, not into the extraction process, so the recovered carbon dioxide is actually free.”