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Old 11-04-2014, 13:37   #1
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Fuel From Seawater

Looks like the U.S. Navy has figured out how to break seawater down into its constituent gaseous elements and then condense those gases into a fuel usable in what I would assume would be turbine engines.

Article here

The article makes it sound like it could be feasible on a large scale fairly quickly. Thoughts?

Tom
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Old 11-04-2014, 13:53   #2
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Re: Fuel From Seawater

Great news, our need for oil is over, tell the ruskies to shove their nat gas,
we have seawater! LOL what a poorly written article.
Navy needs jet fuel for fighter jets, hard to get that even when you have a nuclear reactor, that is what this is about, not powering the ships.

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Originally Posted by Tscott8201 View Post
Looks like the U.S. Navy has figured out how to break seawater down into its constituent gaseous elements and then condense those gases into a fuel usable in what I would assume would be turbine engines.

Article here

The article makes it sound like it could be feasible on a large scale fairly quickly. Thoughts?

Tom
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Old 11-04-2014, 14:15   #3
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Re: Fuel From Seawater

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Originally Posted by nimblemotors View Post
Great news, our need for oil is over, tell the ruskies to shove their nat gas,
we have seawater! LOL what a poorly written article.
Navy needs jet fuel for fighter jets, hard to get that even when you have a nuclear reactor, that is what this is about, not powering the ships.

Um.....You're wrong. Read the opening paragraph of the article below.

Quote:
The U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyer typically burns 1,000 gallons of petroleum fuel an hour. Most of the Navy’s fleet shares the same ravenous appetite for fuel, and refueling these massive warships can interrupt missions and present challenges in rough weather. However, researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory have now proven that it’s possible to power engines instead with a cheap, convenient supply of fuel: seawater.
They mention testing the fuel in a model aircraft near the end of the article but the whole point of every story I have read is to avoid the need for the non nuke ships to leave the patrol area to refuel at one of the Navy's many oil tankers. Aircraft are to be supplied with fuel as well. Besides, to my knowledge most modern Navy ships use turbine engines as their prime movers so the fuel they use is actually the same as the fuel jet turbines use. Jet A, I think it is, is actually just really clean diesel fuel / Kerosene.

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Old 11-04-2014, 14:22   #4
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Re: Fuel From Seawater

I can make a cat pass a Harley Davidson with just a little bit of turpentine...
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Old 11-04-2014, 14:31   #5
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Re: Fuel From Seawater

II've got a perpetual motion machine that needs no fuel at all for sale too if you believe this one. The article was obviously written by someone who flunked 3rd grade science, so he/she decided to become a journalist. There's no free lunch people. You can't get more energy out than you put in. You can't make high energy hydrocarbons out of water and CO2 without putting in a lot of energy. A nuclear powered ship might be capable of manufacturing a jetfuel like substance out of water and CO2 using energy from its reactors, but no fuel burning ship is ever going to manufacture it's own fuel.
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Old 11-04-2014, 14:44   #6
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Re: Fuel From Seawater

Yeah they could be creating Hydrogen from electrolysis but they need a electrical source to do it. Could possibly get it from wave/current energy but I doubt enough to power a aircraft or ship in a reasonable amount of time.

Also I have never seen a turbine engine run off of hydrogen before. It burns a different heat than Jet fuel and is a airborne gas verses a solid liquid, thus would need to modify the turbine engine before they could use it.

I have ran a fuel cell in my boat before and did get better efficiency with running a hydrogen mix though the intake, but do not advise it for anyone as it is very unstable!

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Old 11-04-2014, 14:47   #7
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Re: Fuel From Seawater

OK guys, I'm just a guy reading articles online here, but if you look at the sources I think it is pretty simple to see this is a legit story. The first reference is to discover magazine. Below are links to other pretty well trusted news outlets. I'm as big a skeptic as the next guy but what they are proposing is not impossible, the article specifically mentions a catalyst is being used in the process so it is not just the straight breaking down of seawater via traditional methods i.e. electrolysis.

US Navy creates 'game-changing' jet fuel from seawater | The Daily Caller

US Navy 'Game-Changer': Converting Seawater into Fuel | Transportation content from IndustryWeek

Navy's future: Electric guns, lasers, water as fuel - CNN.com

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Old 11-04-2014, 14:51   #8
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Re: Fuel From Seawater

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Originally Posted by leightonyachts View Post
Yeah they could be creating Hydrogen from electrolysis but they need a electrical source to do it. Could possibly get it from wave/current energy but I doubt enough to power a aircraft or ship in a reasonable amount of time.

Also I have never seen a turbine engine run off of hydrogen before. It burns a different heat than Jet fuel and is a airborne gas verses a solid liquid, thus would need to modify the turbine engine before they could use it.

I have ran a fuel cell in my boat before and did get better efficiency with running a hydrogen mix though the intake, but do not advise it for anyone as it is very unstable!

Rob
You guys are killing me. Reading comprehension must be low among this group. In the article it states that they are condensing the hydrogen gas and CO2 into a liquid to allow it to be burned. This is not a traditional electrolysis operation. This is obviously new tech.

Tom
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Old 11-04-2014, 15:03   #9
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Re: Fuel From Seawater

Tom, do some fact checking, if a DDG51 burned that much fuel an hour, the ship would run out of fuel in under 12 hours. 1,000 lbs and hour, maybe. But not even a battleship burns 1,000 GALLONS. And at any rate, liquid hydrogen still burns far hotter than Jet A does. Not to mention that its highly explosive. There is a reason the O2 plant on a sub is called "the bomb." This article is not even close to factually accurate.

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Old 11-04-2014, 15:11   #10
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Re: Fuel From Seawater

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Originally Posted by Tscott8201 View Post
You guys are killing me. Reading comprehension must be low among this group. In the article it states that they are condensing the hydrogen gas and CO2 into a liquid to allow it to be burned. This is not a traditional electrolysis operation. This is obviously new tech.

Tom

I admit I didn't read this article, but I don't really see the need too.
My job as a Turbine Engine test engineer for the Boeing Company here in Everett Washington for the last 7 years gives me enough information to know how turbine engines run

The funny part about trying to make people you don't know look stupid is you never know what they know about a certain subject until you ask. not the best way to make friends... peace bro
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Old 11-04-2014, 15:22   #11
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Re: Fuel From Seawater

I give up. I'm not trying to make anyone look stupid. I found an article from multiple credible sources and posted it up here for discussion. I even did research on the admiral noted in the story. Everything seems legit. Also, I'm not uneducated myself. I'm an electrical engineer employed in my field so I too have some knowledge on the subject.

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Old 11-04-2014, 15:32   #12
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Re: Fuel From Seawater

Sounds fair enough Tom. No offence taken, and I respect your knowledge in the electrical field. I wish we could stick our heads together and come up with solution for cruisers to run more efficiently.

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Old 11-04-2014, 15:48   #13
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Re: Fuel From Seawater

Have they discovered that the first law of thermodynamics is invalid? I hardly think so. That would warrant far bigger headlines than this. That would be front page news in every media outlet in the world. That would mean that everything we know about physics is wrong. That would mean that Albert Einstein was an idiot, and Isaac Newton was just another crackpot.

Sorry. I'm not buying it. They may well be able to produce a usable fuel from seawater, but not without expending large amounts of energy to do it (more energy than the fuel itself could provide). Ships are not going to become self-sustaining by doing this. I don't know who thought that was a possibility, and put it into the article, but it is someone who never passed a high school physics course, I'm pretty certain of that.
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Old 11-04-2014, 16:04   #14
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Re: Fuel From Seawater

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tscott8201 View Post
You guys are killing me. Reading comprehension must be low among this group. In the article it states that they are condensing the hydrogen gas and CO2 into a liquid to allow it to be burned. This is not a traditional electrolysis operation. This is obviously new tech.

Tom
OK they are condensing the hydrogen gas but where are "they" getting that gas to condense? You have to break the bond between the hydrogen atoms and the oxygen in water and that is where the problem lies.
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Old 11-04-2014, 16:12   #15
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Re: Fuel From Seawater

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OK they are condensing the hydrogen gas but where are "they" getting that gas to condense? You have to break the bond between the hydrogen atoms and the oxygen in water and that is where the problem lies.
A nuclear ship could do this fairly easily. All US subs currently do this to make oxygen. But it sounds like in this case, they'll keep the hydrogen instead of the O2. I personally still dont feel this will be viable to do at sea as it will require a massive amount of power to keep a carrier air wing supplied. After doing some research, in theory, its possible but not probable. I think tge biggest problem is the article was very poorly written by someone who really didn't grasp what he was writing about.

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