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On April 7th, 2014, scientists from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory announced that they had been successful in flying a radio-controlled scale-model of an old WWII era plane, the P-52 Mustang, using liquid hydrocarbon fuel. Not impressed? How about if we tell you that the fuel was created entirely from ordinary seawater?
The researchers who have been working on this endeavor for over a decade, were able to accomplish this amazing feat with the help of a super efficient catalytic convertor called electrolytic cation exchange module (E-CEM). The converter extracts the hydrogen and carbon dioxide (also present in the ocean in large quantities) and converts them into liquid hydrocarbons. What makes the breakthrough even more exciting is that E-CEM is able to process seawater without chemicals or pollutants. This means that unlike previous carbon dioxide extraction methods, the fuel produced is clean and ready to use.
Also while the fuel is not 'green', it is carbon neutral. That means that the same amount of CO2 will be extracted and returned to the seawater, each time.
Given that the seawater fuel is expected to cost between $3-6 USD to produce, they are probably right. However, if the costs can be brought lower, it would be a great advantage to both the world and, the U.S. Department of Defense, who spends a staggering $3 million USD on fuel, every single day of the year.