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GREEN ISSUES

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24 Sep 12. Refuelling U.S. Navy vessels, at sea and underway,
is a costly endeavor in terms of logistics, time, fiscal constraints and threats to national security and sailors at sea. In Fiscal Year 2011, the U.S. Navy Military Sea Lift Command, the primary supplier of fuel and oil to the U.S. Navy fleet, delivered nearly 600m gallons of fuel to Navy vessels underway, operating 15 fleet replenishment oilers around the globe. Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory are developing a process to extract carbon dioxide (CO2) and produce hydrogen gas (H2) from seawater, subsequently catalytically converting the CO2 and H2 into jet fuel by a gas-to-liquids process. NRL has successfully developed and demonstrated technologies for the recovery of CO2 and the production of H2 from seawater using an electrochemical acidification cell, and the conversion of CO2 and H2 to hydrocarbons (organic compounds consisting of hydrogen and carbon) that can be used to produce jet fuel.
“The reduction and hydrogenation of CO2 to form hydrocarbons is accomplished using a catalyst that is similar to those used for Fischer-Tropsch reduction and hydrogenation of carbon monoxide,” adds Willauer. “By modifying the surface composition of iron catalysts in fixed-bed reactors, NRL has successfully improved CO2 conversion efficiencies up to 60 percent.” (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)

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