U.S. Navy fuels RC plane with SEAWATER!

U.S. Navy fuels RC plane with SEAWATER!

The P-51 in the photo above looks like a typical RC model, with a huge exception: it is powered by seawater! The U.S. Naval Research Lab has been working on ways to turn seawater into fuel, using a Carbon Capture Skid to remove carbon dioxide from the water while producing hydrogen. A metal catalyst in a separate reactor system turns the CO2 and hydrogen gases into a liquid hydrocarbon fuel. Check out the video for details!

U.S. Naval Research Lab's E-CEM Carbon Capture Skid.

U.S. Naval Research Lab’s E-CEM Carbon Capture Skid.


Updated: April 10, 2014 — 11:34 AM


  1. Okay, it’s not quite they unscrew a cap on the plane and dump in a pint of brine, but it’s pretty cool, nonetheless.

  2. So it’s powered by hydrocarbons. I don’t see how it can be construed as being powered by sea water?

  3. Merritt
    What is missing here is a discussion of the energy source. While the raw materials come from seawater, they are end products of combustion. The energy to do reverse the process must come from somewhere

  4. Leave it to the wasteful ‘govmit’ green energy crooks, to come up with another way to waste money. It would be like living next to the Great Lakes or an a river, and shipping in seawater to separate the salt to make drinking water. The carbon based energy used to remove this ‘seawater carbon based fuel’ will be greater than the equivalent of energy gathered from the seawater. Same waste we are doing with ethanol added to our gasoline. We lose energy in the long run, and actually wind up polluting more. Sorry for the rant. Got carried away.

    1. This would be great for the new Common Core program that the Feds have dreamed up for the nation.

  5. Well , as I see it, here is the deal.. Someday , when we have fusion energy, we can use the power from fusion to convert saltwater to hydrogen to power reciprocal engines. It is not going to be cheaper than oil or corn/grain alcohol , just a plausible method to produce useable fuel for engines.
    That will be clean from start to finish. We ain’t there yet and got a long way to go, but it will be possible with this technology.

  6. a few years back a guy doing research trying to save his wife that had cancer found that running certain radio waves through water caused it to flame straight out of the water like a torch! now he hasn’t been heard from since… this is cool too but not as much as that guy.

  7. Greg, I know exactly what you mean. I worked as a Gov Rep in the defense industry for 20 yrs, and defense contractors would slit their own mothers throat to make sure that the profit remained the same or increased. I’m sure the oil co’s. would kill anyone who endangered their monopoly. Your right about this will NEVER cost less than carbon based fuels.

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