Inconvenient Technology (for the Fossil Fuel Industry)
Device patented last year makes fuel from sea water
This thing ACTUALLY WORKS in the real world. All you need is a bunch of solar panels on a ship (in this case, it's a US Navy aircraft carrier).
I'm sure the fossil fuel industry is NOT interested in this being given to the public. It was patented by NREL. Consequently, the government can keep us from using it FOREVER (national security is one of those convenient excuses that makes it legal to keep an invention out of public hands
But the point is, IT WORKS. There is NO DISCUSSION as to whether it works or not, even if somebody will probably will show up here and poo poo it with some bullshit about the "superior" ERoEI of fossil fuels.
That doesn't fly here because solar energy is plentiful in the ocean AND the RATE of production on a ship does not require refinery rapidity. This can END all use of fuel requirements for ships now met by the petroleum industry. :icon_mrgreen: So, I'm sure the fossil fuelers are going out of their way to make sure the public never gets its hands on this.
I've read about it and the excuse given for not going whole hog with this is that it's sort of an energy quandary. The process requires more energy than they get out of it from the fuel (mostly for jet fuel but ANY hydrocarbon can be synthetically produced with it
). Since dissolved Carbonates from CO2 in sea water are used to make the fuel, it's carbon neutral jet fuel that is produced!
The CATCH is that, if you use bunker fuel to run a diesel generator that produces the electricity to make the jet fuel, you use MORE bunker fuel than the jet fuel you get out of it. The OBVIOUS solution, that they don't seem to want to talk about for some reason
, is getting the electricity from the sun to run the Electrolytic Cation Exchange Module.
YES, the amount of electricity this process requires can EASILY be met and exceeding by ship board solar power (ESPECIALLY on an aircraft Carrier!).
And NO, they don't need to get it from the nuclear reactor, boys and girls.
So, if they GET the electricity (which does the work) from the sun, it DOESN'T MATTER that it uses a lot of energy to make the fuel.
And, anyway, if they ran the energy numbers of transporting fossil fuels to the ships (as long as defenders of the polluting fossil fuel industry aren't doing that "math"
), it would ACTUALLY require a whole lot less energy to get that fuel made on the ship
than a full cycle ERoEI of fossil fuel based fuels from the well to the refinery to the ship.
THIS IS the final NAIL in the fossil fuel coffin.
NOW the only recourse they have that can keep their polluting business model going is in-your-face government corruption and the deep sixing of this invention by cynically, fraudulently and mendaciously claiming it can't be released (or even used on military ships!) because of "national security".
IT'S NOW OVER for the "high energy density" makes fossil fuel better" argument BECAUSE these are carbon neutral HYDROCARBON FUELS of FAR SUPERIOR QUALITY. WHY? Because they DO NOT have high sulfur or other crude oil contaminants to strip out in the production. This is TOP GRADE JP-"place a number here for different jet fuel grades
" (e.g. JP-4). They can make TOP GRADE GASOLINE (they made gasoline for a P-51 Mustang engine) from it too!
NRL patents process for turning seawater into fuel
By Kevin McCaney
Jun 08, 2016
The Naval Research Laboratory has been working on finding a nearly unlimited source of fuel—the sea—and now has the validation of a patent to show for it.
NRL’s Material Science and Technology Division has received a patent for its Electrolytic Cation Exchange Module (E-CEM), which separates carbon dioxide and hydrogen from seawater and then producing hydrocarbons to be used as fuel.
Tests of the process have to date been conducted on a small scale—in April 2014, E-CEM was used to create fuel of a scale model of the P-51 Mustang—but the process has the potential to scale up to practical applications, NRL said in a release.
“A ship's ability to produce a significant fraction of the battle group's fuel for operations at sea could reduce the mean time between refueling, and increase the operational flexibility and time on station,” said Cmdr. Felice DiMascio of the Naval Reserve, one of five contributors and inventors named on the patent. “Reducing the logistics tail on fuel delivery with the potential to increase the Navy's energy security and independence, with minimal impact on the environment, were key factors in the development of this program.”
NRL currently is scaling up its process to create larger amounts of fuel, although it’s still a long way from being able to power, say, a boat or a plane. “Building on the success of the first exchange module, we have scaled-up the carbon capture process to improve efficiency and substantially increase feedstock production,” said Dr. Heather Willauer, NRL research chemist. “Using a scaled-up, second generation E-CEM prototype, we will substantially increase CO2 and H2 production capable of producing up to one gallon of fuel per day, an increase nearly 40 times greater than with the earlier generation E-CEM.”
Researchers at NRL's Marine Corrosion Facility in Key West, Fla., are working to optimize the two processes involved in fuel production—the recovery of hydrogen and CO2, and their synthesis into hydrocarbons.
NRL said it recently partnered with a commercial entity to test its catalyst as it switches from its initial small plug flow chemical reactor to a large-scale chemical reactor, and hopes to have the two processes working at Key West by the end of the year.
In addition to DiMascio and Willauer, the other researchers named on the patent are Dennis Hardy and Frederick Williams of NRL and Kathleen Lewis of the Office of Naval Research. About the Author
Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN. https://defensesystems.com/articles/2016/06/08/nrl-e-cem-seawater-into-fuel.aspxAgelbert NOTE:
The "end of the year" was 4 months ago. Sure, Trump's wrecking crew is going to squelch this thing on behalf of the fossil fuel industry.
BUT, ANYBODY (Hi Palloy
) that jumps on the low production rate or some other bit of hair splitting, straw grasping bullshit to claim "it won't work" or "it's not ready for prime time" is making a baseless argument simply BECAUSE, if this did not WORK, they could NEVER HAVE PATENTED IT!
THE INSTANT the fossil fuel industry learned of that patent, THIS WAS THEIR REACTION.
THEN they went into overdrive to kill this fantastic invention. I hope your realize that this also represents a method of keeping the oceans from destructive acidification, as well as rapid CO2 sequestration if scaled up.