In the not-too-distant future, the US Navy could be getting some fuel from the very seas it sails on. That's thanks to Navy researchers who say they've figured out a way to convert seawater into jet fuel, the Huffington Post reports. Experts have been working on the idea for almost a decade, Discover notes; it could be commercially viable within 10 years, the Navy says. Right now, however, researchers are showing off the technique using a model plane.
It works by pulling carbon dioxide and hydrogen from water using a catalytic converter, Discover explains. Those gases are turned into a liquid hydrocarbon fuel that could, experts hope, power both planes and ships, AFP reports. "We don't necessarily go to a gas station to get our fuel," Vice Admiral Philip Cullom tells AFP. "Our gas station comes to us in terms of an oiler, a replenishment ship. Developing a game-changing technology like this, seawater to fuel, really is something that reinvents a lot of the way we can do business." (In other fuel news, scientists have figured out how to make ethanol without corn.)