US Navy looking at HHO
US Navy looking at HHO- obtaining fuel from seawater!
Tell someone that you’ve invented a car that runs on water and they’re liable to report you for fraud. US Navy looking at HHO- oh no. That hasn’t stopped scientists and engineers at the U.S.. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) who want to run warships on seawater (HHO or Hybrid Fuel) – or at least, to turn seawater into jet fuel. This may sound like they’ve been standing too close to the ether again, but the idea is to extract carbon dioxide and hydrogen from seawater and then convert these into jet fuel by a gas-to-liquids process. If this proves practical, American naval vessels could refuel themselves at sea.
At first, it seems odd that the NRL wants to make jet fuel, but many modern warships now run on gas turbines, a type of jet engine. Every year the U.S. Navy’s fleet of 15 oilers carries 600 million gallons (2.27 billion liters) of fuel to ships at sea. This is a major logistical problem made worse by dependence on hostile or unstable nations who may cut off or interfere with fuel supplies in times of crisis. Needless to say, a ship that can make its own fuel while underway would be an advantage. Seawater contains about three percent carbon dioxide in the form of dissolved carbonic acid, carbonate and bicarbonate. That’s 140 percent more than air. Along with the hydrogen bound in the water molecules, there’s all that’s needed to make hydrocarbon fuels at sea. The tricky bit is how to do it. According to research chemist Dr. Heather Willauer, the NRL’s approach is based on established technology. “The reduction and hydrogenation of CO2 to form hydrocarbons is accomplished using a catalyst that is similar to those used for Fischer-Tropsch reduction and hydrogenation of carbon monoxide,” she said. “By modifying the surface composition of iron catalysts in fixed-bed reactors, NRL has successfully improved CO2 conversion efficiencies up to 60 percent.” US Navy looking at HHO Hybrid Fuel- oh no! The Fischer-Tropsch reduction was invented by Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch in Germany in the 1920s. It converts coal, natural gas or biomass into fuel by means of iron or some other catalyst and is used commercially in countries with abundant coal, but little oil. Despite being very inefficient and costly, the U.S. Defense Department has long been interested in it.
The NRL process begins by extracting carbon dioxide and hydrogen from seawater. To do this, it uses a three-chambered electrochemical acidification cell. As seawater passes through this, it’s subjected to a small electric current. This causes the seawater to exchange hydrogen ions produced at the anode with sodium ions. As a result, the seawater is acidified.