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Seriously. Just read about this on FB, and thought it a joke, and googled it, and sure enough:

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. ...

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.
*
The process efficiencies and the capability to simultaneously produce large quantities of H2, and process the seawater without the need for additional chemicals or pollutants, has made these technologies far superior to previously developed and tested membrane and ion exchange technologies for recovery of CO2 from seawater or air.

Navy released an article on it April 7th, and it still has no media traction. Go figure.

A few minor blogs have picked it up, but no one significant.

I welcome someone with the relevant knowledge / understanding of this to write a better diary on it!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Can it be? Can it be good? (13+ / 0-)

    “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” Thomas Edison, 1931

    by nzanne on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:51:49 AM PDT

  •  This has already been done!! (6+ / 0-)
    I welcome someone with the relevant knowledge / understanding of this to write a better diary on it!
    and * I * welcome someone with better DailyKos searching skills than I have to post the relevant links .. .

    Basically, the "catch" is that this is a significantly energy intensive process that makes sense for specialized application like fueling jets on an aircraft carrier but is completely not economical for general use.

    •  But if you can create jet fuel at a cost of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wilderness voice

      $3-$6 a gallon, that's about the same projected cost as gasoline, and will come down as technology advances.

      Can't you modify an automobile engine to run on jet fuel?

      Yes, DailyKos DOES have puzzles! Visit us here Saturday nights @ 5:00 PDT (easier puzzles) and Sunday nights @ 5:00 PDT (more challenging) for a group solving. Even if you just pop in and comment while watching the fun, everybody is welcome. uid:21352

      by pucklady on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:06:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, the "cost" of a gallon of gasoline (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bob Duck, nzanne, Involuntary Exile

        is much less than that - that's what you pay at the pump.

        If the cost was actually $3 to $6, you'd be paying in the ballpark of $5 to $8.

        We're not there yet - but maybe will be in the foreseeable future

        •  Actual numbers (5+ / 0-)

          For gasoline, the breakdown of its cost in the United States is (roughly):

          67% crude oil
          12% refining cost (actual cost + profit margin)
          9% sale cost (distribution, storage, marketing, + profit)
          12% taxes

          (The gross profit margin on gasoline only runs about 2.5%: petroleum is a big-money business not because what they're selling is expensive, but because they're selling so much of it at low profit per unit.)

          So, all that means is that a gallon of gas "really costs to produce" about 77% of its price at the pump. At $3/gallon, $2.31 or so. That's the cost you'd have to get down to before this process would be competitive with regular gas.

          For an aircraft carrier, even if the fuel cost significantly more, it would still be worth developing and fielding the technology because of one overriding factor: logistics. An aircraft carrier without go-juice for its aircraft is a glorified floating parking lot, and there's no alternative in the reasonable future for practical aircraft power than liquid fuel (whatever its source). That creates a significant logistics issue for a carrier because when deployed it depends on resupply to keep its birds in the air: threatening the supply line is almost as useful at making a carrier useless as sinking it would.

          The same principle would be at work for forward bases: energy is a key logistics and security concern, and not having to depend on an outside source for it makes life a lot easier.

          I live in part of the world where we depend on a very short resupply season: this tech might be economical to deploy in remote areas as well, if not too unreasonable in cost.

          So in those cases, a technology that might not be economical to deploy on large scale in the civilian sector might still be keenly developed for specialist applications.

      •  Or another way to look at this (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, RMForbes, ET3117, Calamity Jean

        is that even $6 a gallon is absolutely a bargain in war zones:  $400 per gallon gas to drive debate over cost of war in Afghanistan

    •  ;) see below. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy

      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

      by serendipityisabitch on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:07:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You might want to check this diary (6+ / 0-)

    http://www.dailykos.com/... from last month for a bit more.

    Worth bringing up again, as it seems to be legit technology.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:05:19 AM PDT

  •  You have to use more energy (5+ / 0-)

    To make the fuel than you get back out.  No, it cannot be produced cheaply as you have to generate more energy than you get back.

    I heard the Navy used waste heat from their reactor.  In other words, they didn't have to pay for the energy inputs.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:13:13 AM PDT

    •  True, but for the future it's possible that the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nzanne

      input can be renewable energy. If we actually start leaving fossil fuels in the ground, this kind of thing might work very well not only for jet fuel, but for plastics production, which also currently relies on the same base.

      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

      by serendipityisabitch on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:24:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is not enough electricity on the planet (2+ / 0-)

        to make all of our gas from water.

        Worldwide, the total energy used to create electricity each year is about one half of the total energy we get from gasoline each year.  So to sustainably make all of that gas from seawater, we'd have to triple current electricity production and somehow make sure that all of it was from solar or wind.

        That's not happening in the lifetime of anyone on this planet now.

        The next Noah will work a short shift. - Charles Bowden

        by Scott in NAZ on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:06:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Quite true. I'm assuming that reliance on fossil (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama, Calamity Jean

          fuels will have to be lowered substantially. Jet fuel is one of the few applications that we are probably going to have to maintain usage on, though - it's really, really hard to power a fast aerial vehicle with other currently available power sources.

          At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

          by serendipityisabitch on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:04:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's an obvious fallacy of over generalization (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean

          Just because this would only become a niche source of renewable fuels does not mean it should not be pursued. It makes sense for a nuclear aircraft carrier to be able to produce their own jet fuel for their aircraft because it is far more costly to ship that fuel to the ship when they are on station. The same is true of remote coastal settlements that might have access to geothermal power. This might also be a good way for coastal communities to store excess solar energy production when demand is down. Just because it will not replace all fossil fuel use doesn't mean that it can be useful in reducing our dependence upon fossil fuels.  

          Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

          by RMForbes on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:51:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

            First, I never said this couldn't be a niche thing.  In fact, I said that exact same thing in another comment here--this seems tailor-made for the navy where ships have to stay at sea a long time and you have nuclear power at hand.

            As for energy storage in the form of gas?  That's just dumb.  It takes more energy to make gas from electricity via this method than you get back from the gas.  Then, when you go to use the gas, it turns out that gas is a very inefficient way to store power.  Most of the energy you get from burning gas is lost as heat.  You'd be way better off storing that extra solar energy getting in batteries or using it to split water into H2 and O2 and then using fuel cells or whatever to get the energy back.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

            Finally, burning gas is just nasty.  Tailpipes emit all sorts of pollutants besides CO2 that are bad to breath and bad for the environment.  Why encourage more gas usage when we could switch to cleaner alternatives?

            The next Noah will work a short shift. - Charles Bowden

            by Scott in NAZ on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:05:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There are no energy storage systems that are 100% (0+ / 0-)

              efficient. Also, most of the nasty pollution caused by burning fossil fuels are caused by the impurities in the fossil fuels like sulfur and not just the hydrocarbon fuel. That's why biofuels produce far less pollution than fossil fuels. Plus, biofuels and synfuels like this produce 85% less CO2 than fossil fuels when burnt.

              The reason I see this as a valuable right now is because it would directly remove dissolved CO2 from the oceans which are currently having the problem of raising PH which is making it harder for plankton to grow. If we don't do something very soon our oceans will die and we won't be far behind.

              I would like to see this type of technology coupled with other forms of biofuel production. For example, if we used our sewage to grow algae that can then be converted into biofuels we could replace over 10% of our current fossil fuel use with far cleaner biofuels. Add this to a shift towards electric vehicles we could end our dependence on fossil fuels altogether within a decade. This technology is not an end all solution but it can be coupled with other green technologies to end the reign of the oil cartels.  

              Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

              by RMForbes on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:37:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You're wrong on the oceans (0+ / 0-)

                The oceans contain 37,000 gigatons of suspended carbon.  Human emissions produce 6 gigatons of carbon a year.  (those are rough numbers, but they're close enough).  So, even if we got all of our carbon from the ocean starting tomorrow, it would not make a speck of difference to the ocean's acidity level.  The ocean is really, really, really big.

                You're confusing the issue and changing the subject by bringing up synfuels.  There's a big, big difference between getting "free" energy from algae and spending a bunch of energy to make gasoline from seawater.  This technology described in the diary is not a bridge or even a helpful alternative since it just wastes electricity making gas when you could use that same electricity to power cars directly.  Getting gas from algae should provide positive net energy.  Making gas from seawater spends energy to get to the same point.

                The next Noah will work a short shift. - Charles Bowden

                by Scott in NAZ on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:49:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It is you that is wrong about the oceans (0+ / 0-)

                  The atmosphere and the oceans freely transfers CO2 so when human activity adds CO2 to the atmosphere it also gets dissolved into the oceans. The plankton in the oceans are part of the natural carbon dioxide/oxygen cycle just like our forests. As more CO2 gets dissolved into our oceans the ocean's PH increases which makes it harder for plankton to reproduce and grow. If we haven't already passed the tipping point we are very close to it.

                  We need to act now, we can't wait decades to address this problem. If we have a technology that can remove dissolved CO2 from our oceans directly we need to do it in order to buy us more time. It really doesn't matter that it takes more electricity to produce as long as we can start to remove some of the excess CO2 from our oceans so we can help reestablish equilibrium in the global carbon dioxide/oxygen cycle. By the way, we need to turn around deforestation and turn it into reforestation at the same time.

                  Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

                  by RMForbes on Fri May 02, 2014 at 01:32:06 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Oy (0+ / 0-)

                    I don't want to argue about atmospheric geochemistry with you because I'm not an expert, and I suspect you're not either.  Bottom line: if you move CO2 from the ocean to the atmosphere, eventually it ends up back in the ocean.  So even if you change the ocean's pH, it would be temporary at best.

                    Meanwhile, there's a much bigger reason why you're wrong: there is not nearly enough electricity on the planet to generate an appreciable fraction of our gasoline from electricity.  It would take about twice the current electric generation capacity of the whole planet to replace fossil fuel gas with gas made from seawater.  Transitioning electric generation from fossil fuels to renewables has already been slow going. If you decide to raise the bar and say we have to generate 3 times as much electricity, it becomes impossible.

                    The next Noah will work a short shift. - Charles Bowden

                    by Scott in NAZ on Fri May 02, 2014 at 02:00:35 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You are back on the same ridiculous argument (0+ / 0-)

                      that since we can't replace most of our fossil fuels with this technology as it currently exists we shouldn't pursue it at all. I don't understand why you have such a lack of vision. To me, this technology should be developed so that airports close to oceans could produce their own aviation synfuels instead of using fossil fuels. Nobody is talking about replacing automotive fuels with these synfuels.

                      When has any technology not become more efficient with development? To argue that this technology will never be viable is plain ridiculous.

                      Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

                      by RMForbes on Fri May 02, 2014 at 02:24:39 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Where will the airports get the electricity? (0+ / 0-)

                        Airports would need a LOT of electricity to replace their jet fuel with fuel made from seawater.   I don't think you appreciate how much energy fossil fuels contain.  Annually, US airports use about 75 million barrels of jet fuel.  In terms of energy, the equivalent of that would be enough electricity to run about 20 million houses for a year.  Even creating the fuel for a few airports would be prohibitive in terms of the amount of energy needed.

                        Of course, we can imagine that the airports put in a bunch of solar panels in their open space.  Great!  Now, they can make their own jet fuel from seawater.  Except that's a stupid use of the electricity.  It would take more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to use that electricity to run electric cars.  Electric cars get the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon and have something like 90% thermal efficiency.  Cars are more like 30%. (For jets, it's somewhere between 5-50%).  Bottom line: it will save more emissions to use new clean electricity in cars than to make synfuels.

                        As for efficiency, the laws of thermodynamics guarantee that it will ALWAYS take more energy to make fuel than you get from it.  Always.  Better to use that energy to run efficient electric cars instead.

                        The next Noah will work a short shift. - Charles Bowden

                        by Scott in NAZ on Fri May 02, 2014 at 02:45:42 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Again you assume that the technology will stand (0+ / 0-)

                          still and it never has. Solar panels are much more efficient today than they were just a couple years ago and even the most efficient solar panel is still only about 43% efficient today. We have a lot of room to improve. This synfuel technology is just getting started, it's ridiculous to say it will not become far more efficient. But, even if it doesn't it is far better to remove CO2 and crack the chemical bonds in seawater to produce synfuel than to continue to release the carbon sequestered millions of years ago in today's environment.

                          It really doesn't matter how much energy there is in fossil fuels if their use destroys our environment. We cannot survive with a dead ocean. And no matter what you think, it just makes more sense to remove carbon from the environment to produce fuels than to release fossilized carbon into our modern environment. This is just one of many things we need to do in order to reestablish equilibrium to our environment. Fossil fuels have to go now, we can argue about how but it just has to be done.

                          This technology may or may not be ready yet but it may be ready in a couple years. We can't just discount any new technology that will replace fossil fuels while removing a significant amount of CO2 from the over saturated oceans. Doing nothing is not a viable option.  

                          Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

                          by RMForbes on Fri May 02, 2014 at 03:26:53 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm gonna let this thread go (0+ / 0-)

                            I think the science will bear out that this technique will never be employed in a large scale.  Making gas from electricity is a waste and will never account for much if any of our gas usage.

                            Good luck with your fruitless crusade for a technology that will never amount to much.

                            The next Noah will work a short shift. - Charles Bowden

                            by Scott in NAZ on Fri May 02, 2014 at 04:16:30 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Good luck with your fossil fuels, they are done. (0+ / 0-)

                            Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

                            by RMForbes on Fri May 02, 2014 at 04:26:43 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

      •  You can use the energy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        From the renewable sources directly and it will be far more efficient.

        This technology is useful for the Navy because they could use it to fly their fighter jets and they don't have to go anywhere to refuel.

        In that case, it's worth the expense.  As a way to power cars and tractors, no way.

        Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

        by yet another liberal on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:20:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not suggesting it for car or tractor fuel. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          yet another liberal

          Plastics, however, are going to be hard to impossible to replace for a number of applications, including medical, so a process that produces raw material for their production is one of the things we'll be looking for. This is one possibility.

          At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

          by serendipityisabitch on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:59:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Plastics can be made from cellulose (0+ / 0-)

            and when they are made from plants like cannabis hemp they become completely biodegradable. Plastics made from petroleum biodegrade into toxic waste that cause damage to the environment while plastics made from cellulose breakdown to cellulose which become natural fertilizer.

            Just about everything we now make from timber and petroleum can be made stronger, greener, lighter weight, more durable and less expensive from the cannabis hemp plant. Automotive body panels made from hemp composites are over ten times stronger per pound than steel and are far more dent resistant. Hemp composites do not shatter during accidents like fiberglass and are far less expensive to produce than carbon fiber composites. We should be producing electric vehicles using hemp composites already.

            Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

            by RMForbes on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:08:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And let's hear it for George Washington Carver, (0+ / 0-)

              while you're at it. All we really need can be made from the lowly peanut, or, at least, almost everything.

              At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

              by serendipityisabitch on Fri May 02, 2014 at 03:59:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Peanut oil is valuable too but not close to the (0+ / 0-)

                value of hemp seed oil. The nutritional value of hemp seeds prevented famine twice in Australia in the 1800's. Look it up.

                Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

                by RMForbes on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:38:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  But a counter argument could be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      serendipityisabitch

      if (and I emphasize "if") a meaningful amount of carbon could be extracted from the ocean by this method, this might be an approach well worth subsidizing.

      Especially with the possibility of "safe" floating nuclear power plants that could be positioned out at sea

    •  Not waste *heat*, they planned to use (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW
      I heard the Navy used waste heat from their reactor.
      electricity generated from the reactor that wasn't needed for other things right that second.  Right now they are still working on perfecting the process.  The Naval  Research Laboratory is on shore and uses line power.  
      In other words, they didn't have to pay for the energy inputs.
      Well, they certainly wouldn't pay very much.  I suppose if this process was used extensively on shipboard, the reactor might need to be refueled a little early, but don't quote me.  The raw material, seawater, is obviously free.  

      The value of this process is the saving in transportation costs, and the hassle factor of pumping the jet fuel from the supply ship onto the carrier.  If this process turns out to work, a lot of Navy personnel are going to be very, very happy.  

      "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

      by Calamity Jean on Fri May 02, 2014 at 01:54:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ya need a nuke (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy, ashowboat, Odysseus

    or at least a source of free heat that's in the same scale as a cooling tower.

    The cost is low because the energy powering the reaction was free.

    Basically, the Navy has figured out how anybody who already has a nuke plant can get some reasonably priced fuel.

  •  Two things. (0+ / 0-)

    First, a lot of things make sense on a ship that don't make sense on land.

    Second, it's still hydrocarbons and it still destroys the climate.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:33:58 AM PDT

    •  Not really (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus
      Second, it's still hydrocarbons and it still destroys the climate.
      It extracts carbon from the ocean, which is a "good thing"

      With the caveats being that when the fuel is used, the effect is reversed (but still, it's a wash at worst).

      And, it's not clear that this can be done on a large enough scale to actually have a measurable impact

      •  A wash? Am I missing something? (0+ / 0-)

        You take CO2 that's trapped in the oceans and burn it, releasing it into the air, where much it will travel up into the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas --- and, that's a "wash" for the climate?

        There must be something I don't understand -- actually, there's a lot I don't understand about the process, but I don't see how this isn't a greenhouse gas generator. Maybe it produces less CO2 than burning other sources of hydrocarbons -- I have no clue about that, but I can't see how it's a wash any more than extracting petroleum from the earth and burning that for energy.

        Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

        by FischFry on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:49:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The larger context is that RWers of (0+ / 0-)

          late have been disputing the idea of global warming because atmospheric temperatures have lagged somewhat based on predictions.

          But that is because the ocean has been absorbing both more heat and carbon dioxide than has been assumed in the models.

          Therefore, getting carbon out of the ocean will allow it to continue this beneficial role for longer, without completely killing itself.

        •  Yes. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JeffW
          Am I missing something?
          The ocean and the atmosphere are constantly exchanging gas molecules.  Part of additional CO2 added to the air will dissolve in the ocean within weeks if not days, until the CO2 in each reaches equilibrium.  If the extra CO2 put into the air came from the sea less than a few years ago, it's a wash.  Extracting petroleum from the earth and burning it adds CO2 to the air/sea system because when the oil was underground it wasn't interacting with either the air or the ocean.  

          "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

          by Calamity Jean on Fri May 02, 2014 at 04:11:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  If a small fraction of the extracted hydrocarbons (0+ / 0-)

      is put underground , over time the problem of ...

      "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

      by indycam on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:51:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This was already diaried and it's still a fantasy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yet another liberal, sneakers563

    This might be a useful solution for the navy where ships have to be at sea for a long time and can't easily refuel.

    But for the rest of the world, it's a non-starter.  Total electricity generation worldwide is around 21 terawatt-hours a year.   Total energy from gasoline worldwide is around  35 terawatt-hours a year.  So, to replace all of that gas with electricity, you'd have to roughly triple electricity generation.  And if you want to do it sustainably, it would have to be entirely from solar and wind.  I doubt we will see that much renewable electricity generated in the lifetime of anyone living today.

    So, this is neat but it's a fantasy to think that it will make a difference for climate.  Much, much, much better to just make cars and trucks that run on electricity.  It's more efficient energy-wise anyhow.

    The next Noah will work a short shift. - Charles Bowden

    by Scott in NAZ on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:20:26 AM PDT

    •  If you make cars and trucks that run (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus

      on electricity, don't you end up having to replace that energy that's currently derived from gasoline anyway? Isn't it still an extra 35 terawatt-hours that would have to come from the electrical grid?

      I understand that large electrical plants are more efficient than automobile engines, that not all gasoline is used in automobiles, and this process uses more energy than it produces. All those factors make the electric vehicle approach more efficient than this process. But in the end, don't you still run up against the same problem of having to radically expand the amount of energy produced by the grid and, as you say, do it entirely from solar and wind?

      To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

      by sneakers563 on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:13:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Electric cars (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yet another liberal, sneakers563

        are more efficient than gas cars.  They use less energy to go a given distance.  http://www.ucsusa.org/...   (page 12ish--electric cars get the equivalent of 100ish miles per gallon of gas)

        So, switching to electric cars means quite a bit less energy usage, which makes it more conceivable that we could generate enough emissions-free electricity to power all those cars.

        Obviously, that means we still have to expand clean electricity generation.  But nearly as much as we'd have to to make gas from seawater.  Still, you make a good point: given how far we have to go to get to zero emissions, technology alone will not fix the climate mess in a reasonable time. We'll have to reduce our resource usage, travel, population growth, etc., too.

        The next Noah will work a short shift. - Charles Bowden

        by Scott in NAZ on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:44:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

          I hadn't really thought about the fact that switching away from gasoline engines would require an expansion of the amount of power available on the grid. In retrospect, it's obvious, but I haven't heard it discussed before.

          To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

          by sneakers563 on Fri May 02, 2014 at 01:15:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Did we miss this part? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sneakers563, serendipityisabitch
    The process efficiencies and the capability to simultaneously produce large quantities of H2, and process the seawater without the need for additional chemicals or pollutants, has made these technologies far superior to previously developed and tested membrane and ion exchange technologies for recovery of CO2 from seawater or air.
    Hydrogen could be used for the energy input, correct? Or just as a source of energy, period.

    And that last line - seawater and air. I agree that taking hydrocarbons out of the water and air just to put them back in again seems kind of pointless...but if what serendipityisabitch says is accurate about plastics using the same base, it could be beneficial as a means of reducing dependence on extracted fossil fuels and be considered a form of carbon sequestration since that carbon would be locked up in the form of Hefty bags and kids' toys.

    Or am I being overly optimistic?

    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."

    by grape crush on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:31:38 AM PDT

    •  Optimistic, but not necessarily overly so. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, grape crush

      The equations for this kind of process are necessarily complex. Hydrogen as a byproduct won't offer much energy, but it may offer some. The rule of thumb with energy use in this kind of process is that you will have less available from the end products than you need to input to manufacture them, but if it can start with renewables, the overall waste in terms of heating the atmosphere came out of the atmosphere in the first place, in the form of wind and solar energy.

      Instead of thinking in terms of a magic bullet, as another commenter said a few days ago, you have to start thinking in terms of magic b-bs, and chip away in as many places as you can.

      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

      by serendipityisabitch on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:25:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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