Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory are developing a process to extract carbon dioxide (CO2) and produce hydrogen gas (H2) from seawater, subsequently catalytically converting the CO2 and H2 into jet fuel by a gas-to-liquids process. "The potential payoff is the ability to produce JP-5 fuel stock at sea reducing the logistics tail on fuel delivery with no environmental burden and increasing the Navy's energy security and independence," says research chemist, Dr. Heather Willauer.Sure, you can read it all ... but you will have to figure this stuff out and it makes my Liberal Arts nogg'n hurt.
In the first step, an iron-based catalyst has been developed that can achieve CO2 conversion levels up to 60 percent and decrease unwanted methane production from 97 percent to 25 percent in favor of longer-chain unsaturated hydrocarbons (olefins). In the second step these olefins can be oligomerized (a chemical process that converts monomers, molecules of low molecular weight, to a compound of higher molecular weight by a finite degree of polymerization) into a liquid containing hydrocarbon molecules in the carbon C9-C16 range, suitable for conversion to jet fuel by a nickel-supported catalyst reaction.Ummmm OK. I don't care .... you can oligomerize my olefins all day long and Saturday if you can make fuel out of salt-water.
Take every red cent from the Green Navy and throw it at the NRL geeks. Making fuel from seawater? Yea - you read that right. Now, if our geeks can take what they have now, operationalize it, and then get even a little bit of Moore's Law going ... then yea. Ponder that writ large.
Hat tip gCaptain.