Notices
Results 1 to 8 of 8
Like Tree2Likes
  • 1 Post By Harold14370
  • 1 Post By adelady

Thread: US Navy 'game-changer': converting seawater into fuel [horrible technical writing alert]

  1. #1 US Navy 'game-changer': converting seawater into fuel [horrible technical writing alert] 
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,822
    This article is a shining example of abysmally terrible science writing. Nowhere does it explain that the power for making this fuel comes from the nuclear aircraft carrier's reactor plant. You have to read the comments after the article to find that out.
    US Navy 'game-changer': converting seawater into fuel
    Washington (AFP) - The US Navy believes it has finally worked out the solution to a problem that has intrigued scientists for decades: how to take seawater and use it as fuel.


    The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel is being hailed as "a game-changer" because it would signficantly shorten the supply chain, a weak link that makes any force easier to attack.


    The US has a fleet of 15 military oil tankers, and only aircraft carriers and some submarines are equipped with nuclear propulsion.


    All other vessels must frequently abandon their mission for a few hours to navigate in parallel with the tanker, a delicate operation, especially in bad weather.


    The ultimate goal is to eventually get away from the dependence on oil altogether, which would also mean the navy is no longer hostage to potential shortages of oil or fluctuations in its cost.


    sculptor likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,225
    The ultimate goal is to eventually get away from the dependence on oil altogether, which would also mean the navy is no longer hostage to potential shortages of oil or fluctuations in its cost.
    Omitting the rest of the necessary sentence ... to fuel the jets on the nuclear powered aircraft carrier ... is a pretty big oversight.

    Yet another example of people thinking that making something better/ more useful/ more economical/ more reasonable is not newsworthy.

    They're undercutting the real message by this. Instead of saying - we could get rid of all the refuelling tankers if the nuclear powered aircraft carriers can make their own fuel, which looks to be a realistic outcome - they're setting themselves up to be entirely dismissed as useless because of the outlandish headline driven overstatement.


    sculptor likes this.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Masters Degree MrMojo1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    South Florida, USA
    Posts
    618
    This is old news. I recall reading something like this on Wired years ago.

    Darpa Seeks to Tap Water’s Power Potential

    I found these articles from 09/13/2012.

    Navy eyes turning sea water into jet fuel

    Fueling the Fleet, Navy Looks to the Seas
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    exchemist
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    2,527
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    This article is a shining example of abysmally terrible science writing. Nowhere does it explain that the power for making this fuel comes from the nuclear aircraft carrier's reactor plant. You have to read the comments after the article to find that out.
    US Navy 'game-changer': converting seawater into fuel
    Washington (AFP) - The US Navy believes it has finally worked out the solution to a problem that has intrigued scientists for decades: how to take seawater and use it as fuel.


    The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel is being hailed as "a game-changer" because it would signficantly shorten the supply chain, a weak link that makes any force easier to attack.


    The US has a fleet of 15 military oil tankers, and only aircraft carriers and some submarines are equipped with nuclear propulsion.


    All other vessels must frequently abandon their mission for a few hours to navigate in parallel with the tanker, a delicate operation, especially in bad weather.


    The ultimate goal is to eventually get away from the dependence on oil altogether, which would also mean the navy is no longer hostage to potential shortages of oil or fluctuations in its cost.
    I see they mention extracting CO2 and H2. I suppose they use this to make synthesis gas (CO + H2), which is how gas-to-liquids fuels are produced, by the Fischer-Tropsch process. I wonder how they get CO2 to CO, though. That seems to be the interesting part. Anyone know?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    1,970
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I see they mention extracting CO2 and H2. I suppose they use this to make synthesis gas (CO + H2), which is how gas-to-liquids fuels are produced, by the Fischer-Tropsch process. I wonder how they get CO2 to CO, though. That seems to be the interesting part. Anyone know?
    Electrolysis gets you hydrogen. Atmospheric condensation gets you carbon dioxide. Next process is the Sabatier reaction, which gives you methane and water from hydrogen and carbon dioxide. You can use the methane directly (it's a pretty good fuel for turbines, although you have to keep it very cold) or convert it to methanol, which is easier to store.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    exchemist
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    2,527
    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I see they mention extracting CO2 and H2. I suppose they use this to make synthesis gas (CO + H2), which is how gas-to-liquids fuels are produced, by the Fischer-Tropsch process. I wonder how they get CO2 to CO, though. That seems to be the interesting part. Anyone know?
    Electrolysis gets you hydrogen. Atmospheric condensation gets you carbon dioxide. Next process is the Sabatier reaction, which gives you methane and water from hydrogen and carbon dioxide. You can use the methane directly (it's a pretty good fuel for turbines, although you have to keep it very cold) or convert it to methanol, which is easier to store.
    Ah yes. Sabatier. But you'd need the methanol version for aircraft fuel I think. No plane has space of weight tolerance for cryogenic storage, surely? It was the reference to Gas-to-liquids that made me think of Fischer Tropsch, which is used to produce middle distillate equivalents from methane, via partial oxidation to CO + H2. Then you could use aero turbines and ship diesel engines for that matter) unmodified.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    8,046
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    This article is a shining example of abysmally terrible science writing. Nowhere does it explain that the power for making this fuel comes from the nuclear aircraft carrier's reactor plant. You have to read the comments after the article to find that out.
    US Navy 'game-changer': converting seawater into fuel
    Washington (AFP) - The US Navy believes it has finally worked out the solution to a problem that has intrigued scientists for decades: how to take seawater and use it as fuel.


    The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel is being hailed as "a game-changer" because it would signficantly shorten the supply chain, a weak link that makes any force easier to attack.


    The US has a fleet of 15 military oil tankers, and only aircraft carriers and some submarines are equipped with nuclear propulsion.


    All other vessels must frequently abandon their mission for a few hours to navigate in parallel with the tanker, a delicate operation, especially in bad weather.


    The ultimate goal is to eventually get away from the dependence on oil altogether, which would also mean the navy is no longer hostage to potential shortages of oil or fluctuations in its cost.
    I see they mention extracting CO2 and H2. I suppose they use this to make synthesis gas (CO + H2), which is how gas-to-liquids fuels are produced, by the Fischer-Tropsch process. I wonder how they get CO2 to CO, though. That seems to be the interesting part. Anyone know?
    This link should describe how it's possible to do that part.

    Reverse Water-Gas Shift Reaction - Marspedia

    The part I wonder is how they're filtering the CO2 out of the water. Anyone know what process they're using for that?


    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    The ultimate goal is to eventually get away from the dependence on oil altogether, which would also mean the navy is no longer hostage to potential shortages of oil or fluctuations in its cost.
    Omitting the rest of the necessary sentence ... to fuel the jets on the nuclear powered aircraft carrier ... is a pretty big oversight.

    Yet another example of people thinking that making something better/ more useful/ more economical/ more reasonable is not newsworthy.

    They're undercutting the real message by this. Instead of saying - we could get rid of all the refuelling tankers if the nuclear powered aircraft carriers can make their own fuel, which looks to be a realistic outcome - they're setting themselves up to be entirely dismissed as useless because of the outlandish headline driven overstatement.
    A smart publicist who wanted the idea to die might do that in purpose, in order to "get out ahead of" it.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    1,970
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    No plane has space of weight tolerance for cryogenic storage, surely?.
    Carrier aircraft are pretty unique in that respect. They are either flying or on the carrier; at no time are they just sitting on a piece of asphalt somewhere. Thus refueling them just before takeoff would work just fine. Refuel, vent boiloff, start engines, then the boiloff stops since you are using fuel faster than it's boiling off. Take off, land, then either dump remaining fuel or siphon it back into cryogenic storage. (LNG carriers do something like this; they use the boiloff for fuel.)
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. American WW2 Navy Uniform
    By mmatt9876 in forum History
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: August 15th, 2013, 04:28 PM
  2. Seawater buffering system
    By Som in forum Environmental Issues
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: June 18th, 2013, 09:28 AM
  3. US Navy Rail Gun = totally awesome
    By FuturePasTimeCE in forum Military Technology
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: September 8th, 2011, 12:14 AM
  4. simple chemistry - making an artificial seawater
    By laurasmith21 in forum Chemistry
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: March 8th, 2011, 07:33 AM
  5. Technical Writing for Peer-Reviewed Journals
    By rick.taiwan in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: March 14th, 2008, 12:28 AM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •