News / Science & Technology

US Navy Develops Fuel from Seawater

U.S. Navy researchers say they've been able to power a model airplane using fuel derived from seawater. (U.S. Navy)
U.S. Navy researchers say they've been able to power a model airplane using fuel derived from seawater. (U.S. Navy)

Related Articles

Kerry Says Energy Should Not Be Used as a Weapon

‘No nation should use energy to stymie a people's aspirations,’ says US top diplomat after Russia increases natural gas prices for Ukraine

Libyan Rebels Agree to End Blockade at 2 Oil Ports

Reopening of facilities expected to boost Libya's weak government, which has been struggling to assert itself for nearly three years

Video Remote South Africa Village Gets Electricity for First Time -- in 2014

Electricity is finally coming to the village through a private initiative led by the University of Johannesburg
VOA News
The U.S. Navy may have discovered a way to make fuel from seawater.

Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory say they’ve developed a prototype technology for the “recovery of carbon dioxide and hydrogen from seawater and conversion to a liquid hydrocarbon fuel.”

Using the technique, the Navy was able to fly a model airplane with an internal combustion engine using fuel from seawater, according to the Navy, which called the technology “game changing.”

The process extracts carbon dioxide and hydrogen from the seawater and converts those gases into “liquid hydrocarbons by a metal catalyst in a reactor system,” according to the Navy.

Despite the success, the technology could be  seven to 10 years away from commercial viability, meaning the process would have to produce jet fuel at the price of roughly 78 cents to about $1.60 per liter, according to the Navy.

A Navy admiral responsible for fleet readiness and logistics told the UK’s Daily Mail that the Navy was in “very challenging times” regarding energy.

“We need to challenge the results of the assumptions that are the result of the last six decades of constant access to cheap, unlimited amounts of fuel,” he told the Daily Mail. “Basically, we've treated energy like air, something that's always there and that we don't worry about too much.”

Here's a video about the test flight:
 

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Big D from: Michigan
April 11, 2014 3:16 PM
This is exciting stuff, and I look forward to hearing any detail that lends credence to it.

I'm a little pessimistic about the DoD right now, as they're obviously caught up in the whole "save the planet from CO2" craze/y brought to us by the religious secularists.

Why else would they be trying to make bio-jet fuel? Why else would they build "next generation warships" powered by diesel engines (radiophobia)? Nuclear powered ships are a safe strategic advantage.

by: Marvin McConoughey from: Oregon
April 11, 2014 5:44 AM
I don't yet believe the claims made for converting sea water to fuel at an affordable price. If true, the potential goes far beyond of merely military value, but the details given thus far are not convincing. Sufficient technical detail must be presented in a verifiable format before the claims will attract widespread acceptance.

by: tin shein from: Yangon, Burma
April 10, 2014 3:22 AM
What a wonder to hear that the US Navy has succeeded in converting seawater into jet fuel! Keep up your research work so we won't need to depend on the ever-dwindling oil reserves around the world. If it succeeds in producing it on a commercial scale, the dependence of the US and EU on the crisis-striven Middle East will be over in the not distant future. Efforts should be made to shorten the time to be taken to put that fuel on the market in sufficient commercial quantities to reduce the production costs to manageable levels comparable to current oil prices.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs