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U.S. navy researchers try to produce jet fuel from seawater

Researchers have a working lab-scale model using an electrochemical acidification cell.



WASHINGTON— Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) are developing a process to produce jet fuel from seawater.

The researchers believe they can 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.

NRL has successfully recovered CO2 and the production of H2 from seawater using an electrochemical acidification cell. It has also converted CO2 and H2 to hydrocarbons—organic compounds consisting of hydrogen and carbon—that can be used to produce jet fuel.

To find out how it works, jump to the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory website.

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