Turning Seawater Into Fuel

(This article has been simplified for young children)

How Ships Can Produce Unlimited Fuel of Their Own.

Scientists have discovered a process to turn seawater into hydrocarbon fuel. (Related article: ‘Salt Water Fueled Sports Car’: https://thebalancedchild.com/sports-car-runs-salt-water/#more-5973).

Since 2014 they have made the process energy-efficient and affordable enough to use on a large scale out at sea.

Turning Seawater Into Fuel 1

The basic idea of seawater fuel is simple. Ships collect seawater to convert to fuel using this special process. They already have pumps on board to return the waste water to the sea. If ships can produce an unlimited amount of their own fuel, they’re not just environmentally sound – they’re also free to stay out at sea for much longer.

The key is a special catalyst (something that helps the process) made of molybdenum carbide. The conversion process uses this catalyst to turn carbon dioxide from regular seawater into carbon monoxide that can then be combined into hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons are a compound of hydrogen and carbon, which are the main components of petroleum (oil) and natural gas.

Molybdenum carbide is a lower cost compound of extremely high-melting molybdenum (a special silvery-white metal) and carbon.

Click here for more on this process: https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/a33348567/seawater-fuel-catalyst-ships/

Explore our award-winning STEM Science toys including alternative energy at: TheBalancedChild – Stem Science Toys

Related Article: The Electric Sports Car that Runs On Salt Water: https://thebalancedchild.com/sports-car-runs-salt-water/#more-5973