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U.S. Navy Invents Process To Make Energy Out Of Seawater? The End-Times For Fossil Fuels Is Finallly Here?

Linked to By Frank Byronn Glenn ..................................................................................................................................  

Surf’s up!    The Navy appears to have achieved the Holy Grail of energy independence    –    turning seawater into fuel:

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After decades of experiments, U.S. Navy scientists believe they may have solved one of the world’s great challenges: how to turn seawater into fuel.   .............................................................................................................................................. The new fuel is initially expected to cost around $3 to $6 per gallon, according to the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, which has already flown a model aircraft on it. .........................................................................................................................................
Curiously, this doesn’t seem to be making much of a splash (no pun intended) on the evening news. Let’s repeat this: The United States Navy has figured out how to turn seawater into fuel and it will cost about the same as gasoline. ..................................................................................................................................................... This technology is in its infancy and it’s already this cheap? What happens when it’s refined and perfected? Oil is only getting more expensive as the easy-to-reach deposits are tapped so this truly is, as it’s being called, a “game changer.” ...................................................................................................................................................... I expect the GOP to go ballistic over this and try to legislate it out of existence. It’s a threat to their fossil fuel masters because it will cost them trillions in profits. It’s also “green” technology and Republicans will despise it on those grounds alone. They already have a track record of trying to do this. Unfortunately, once this kind of genie is out of the bottle, it’s very hard to put back in. ...................................................................................................................................................... There are two other aspects to this story that have not been brought up yet: ....................................................................................................................................................... 1. The process pulls carbon dioxide (the greenhouse gas driving Climate Change) out of the ocean. One of the less well-publicized aspects of Climate Change is that the ocean acts like a sponge for CO2 and it’s just about reached its safe limit. The ocean is steadily becoming more acidic from all of the increased carbon dioxide. This in turn poisons delicate ecosystems like coral reefs that keep the ocean healthy. .......................................................................................................................................................... If we pull out massive amounts of CO2, even if we burn it again, not all of it will make it back into the water. Hell, we could even pull some of it and not use it in order to return the ocean to a sustainable level. That, in turn will help pull more of the excess CO2 out of the air even as we put it back. It would be the ultimate in recycling. ......................................................................................................................................................... 2. This will devastate oil rich countries but it will get us the hell out of the Middle East (another reason Republicans will oppose this). Let’s be honest, we’re not in the Middle East for humanitarian reasons. We’re there for oil. Period. We spend trillions to secure our access to it and fight a “war” on terrorism. Take away our need to be there and, suddenly, justifying our overseas adventures gets a lot harder to sell. .......................................................................................................................................................... And if we “leak” the technology? Every dictator propped up by oil will tumble almost overnight. Yes, it will be a bloody mess but we won’t be pissing away the lives of our military to keep scumbags in power. Let those countries figure out who they want to be without billionaire thugs and their mercenary armies running the show. .......................................................................................................................................................... Why this is not a huge major story mystifies me. I’m curious to see how it all plays out so stay tuned. ........................................................................................................................................................... UPDATE: People have been asking for more details about the process. This is from the Naval Research Laboratory’s official press release: ............................................................................................................................................................
Using an innovative and proprietary NRL electrolytic cation exchange module (E-CEM), both dissolved and bound CO2 are removed from seawater at 92 percent efficiency by re-equilibrating carbonate and bicarbonate to CO2 and simultaneously producing H2. The gases are then converted to liquid hydrocarbons by a metal catalyst in a reactor system. ................................................................................................................................................
In plain English, fuel is made from hydrocarbons (hydrogen and carbon). This process pulls both hydrogen and carbon from seawater and recombines them to make fuel. The process can be used on air as well but seawater holds about 140 times more carbon dioxide in it so it’s better suited for carbon collection. ............................................................................................................................................................ Another detail people seem to be confused about: This is essentially a carbon neutral process. The ocean is like a sponge for carbon dioxide in the air and currently has an excess amount dissolved in it. The process pulls carbon dioxide out of the ocean. It’s converted and burned as fuel. This releases the carbon dioxide back into the air which is then reabsorbed by the ocean. Rinse. Repeat.

Will Putin Continue Playing "Russian Roulette" in Ukraine?

By Frank Byronn Glenn  -- ..................................................................................................................................................... I'm guessing they will.  From Putin's point of view -- there is no way he can allow a neighbor so large and geographically so strategic to fall into the sphere of the American and European aligned NATO group.  He'd be seen as too weak and too undeserving to rule Russia.   Not that that fact alone would force him from power -- but it would inflame the Russian Federation denizens -- who have been embarrassed and dismayed by the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the fall from power and prestige worldwide that accompanied it.  So, much like Hitler, who rose to power promising to restore proud Germans to their rightful place of power and prestige on the world stage -- Putin is enjoying a resurgence in popularity as a result of this "tough guy" act toward his neighbors and in his interactions with other world powers.  "Putin and Russia are no one to mess with now," he hears them murmuring in his ears. ................................................................................................................................................ And then there is the Ukrainians.  Over-matched and mercilessly bullied since time-immemorial by their over-sized and undiplomatically oriented big-brother neighbor -- Russia --  they appear to be fast approaching a "nothing to lose"  moment in the itinerary of their floundering "ship of state".  Ukrainians are a proud people, too.  With a country, culture, and history they are proud of.  And now the course of their forward  history appears to allow for only what Russia approves of -- as a permissible path forward for them -- and everyday Ukrainians   may reject that. .................................................................................................................................................. For their sake -- for the sake of the rule of law and international treaties -- and the role of diplomacy in solving world problems without armed conflict -- let us hope that the chest thumping by Putin -- that the Russian people have applauded so enthusiastically -- will be enough to satisfy Putin and his cronies this time around -- and they can allow themselves to settle into something sensible and hopeful in terms of a future for Ukrainians and Russians -- and the rest of the world -- and we won't have to continue stumbling along this high-wire of high risk, nonsensical foreign policy theatrics -- that still has yet to make an ounce of sense to most objective observers around the world.  And to the extent that there is a glimmer of rhyme or reason to Putin's actions -- it clearly fails the rudimentary, common-sense,  cost-benefit analysis that you would hope a world leader in a great country -- like Russia -- would be capable of making.