"If they made fuel at sea," Naval Research Laboratory chemist Heather Willauer told NextGov this week, "they wouldn't be buying it."
The next-generation of fuel, Hydrocarbon as is named, will be made up of carbons and hydrogens. The U.S. Navy is planning extract carbon dioxide (CO2) from seawater while powering vessels and air planes as a 1st step.
There is a lot of CO2, which is dissolved in the open ocean, indeed, it's 140 times greater than the CO2, which is in the air. The technology of NRL to capture carbon includes 3-chambered cell, which applies electricity to seawater. The CO2 will be then pulled out of the cell and will produce hydrogen, used to power the ships and planes.
Moreover, the U.S. Navy engineers use a 2-step process in order to combine hydrogen gases and CO2 into a liquid soup of hydrocarbons. Next, will be produced a type of hydrocarbon, named olefin, thanks to an iron-based catalyst, which is going to convert hydrogen gases and CO2 (without the iron-based catalyst, you end up with much wasteful production of methane).
As a next 2nd step the engineers and chemists of the U.S. Navy team, through the process of combining little links of molecules, named monomers into a longer and sophisticated chain, named a polymer (said in other words, oligomerization) will convert olefins to to a fuel precursor.