Fuel from Seawater? What exactly is the Navy up to?

NRL carbon capture skidEarlier this week CleanEnergyAuthority.com got a lead from our friends over at the Navy about a new process that the scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory was working on that would create jet fuel from seawater.  We promptly posted the information on our Facebook wall and watched the story go viral.  Since then the story has made the usual rounds of Green blogs but nary a mention in the national press.  

Having covered various topics around the military's programs that are attempting to make the various branches less dependant on fossil fuels we see this newest development as probably the biggest breakthrough we have heard about to date.

Many people have tried to make energy from water over the years with the common result of violating various laws of physics so we are approaching these new claims pretty warily (even though seawater not fresh water is being used in this instance).  We sincerely hope that the Navy will be more forthcoming about these new technologies as it's not hard to make the leap and wonder how there might be some benefit to the whole world at work here. 

If the Navy can truly make jet fuel at $3-$6 / gallon from as a clean and abundant source as seawater imagine what that could mean for the commercial airline industry?  Along with negligible emissions it would completely free the airlines from the fossil fuel industry and all the dirty downsides (and costs) that that entails.  

Are we the only ones here to see these developments as being truly game changing for the world if these reports are accurate?  While jet fuel is not gasoline it is very similar to diesel fuel.  With further research and economies of scale could this technology not completely change how we power all vehicles?

The reports from NRL are pretty specific regarding how the process works but we do still have some questions around their statement  "This cell uses small quantities of electricity"  but we think anyone can agree that using some electricity and seawater is preferable to how we now procure jet fuel, diesel, kerosene etc. We hope to hear more from NRL soon as this story plays out.

image of the Electrochemical Acidification Carbon Capture Skid courtesy of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory