The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory showcases how it was able to recover carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen (H2) from seawater and convert them to a liquid hydrocarbon fuel. The fuel was then used in an off-the-shelf two-stroke internal combustion engine to successfully power an RC plane's flight.
In the second step these olefins can be converted to compounds of a higher molecular using controlled polymerization. The resulting liquid contains hydrocarbon molecules in the carbon range, C9-C16, suitable for use a possible renewable replacement for petroleum based jet fuel.
The predicted cost of jet fuel using these technologies is in the range of $3-$6 per gallon, and with sufficient funding and partnerships, this approach could be commercially viable within the next seven to ten years. Pursuing remote land-based options would be the first step towards a future sea-based solution.
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