Scientists at the Naval Research Lab are trying to extract the carbon dioxide from the salty sea, produce hydrogen gas from it, and then turn it into jet fuel using a gas-to-liquids conversion process. They say it'll be cheaper and won't hurt the environment. Plus, there's plenty of carbon dioxide in seawater—almost 140 times as much as in the air. Here's how the process works:
In the first step, an iron-based catalyst has been developed that can achieve CO2 conversion levels up to 60 percent and decrease unwanted methane production from 97 percent to 25 percent in favor of longer-chain unsaturated hydrocarbons (olefins). In the second step these olefins can be oligomerized (a chemical process that converts monomers, molecules of low molecular weight, to a compound of higher molecular weight by a finite degree of polymerization) into a liquid containing hydrocarbon molecules in the carbon C9-C16 range, suitable for conversion to jet fuel by a nickel-supported catalyst reaction.
Source: gizmodo.comAdded: 1 October 2012