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

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs