Looking for a carbon neutral fuel, The Foghorn team succeeded in creating it from seawater. Take advantage of the abundance of hydrogen and carbon in the water. An effort to try to reduce the gases produced by transport.

What was the goal?

Transportation accounts for 97% of greenhouse gas emissions, thanks to the combustion of fuel in planes, cars, trucks and other means of transportation. Therefore, the leaders of the United States Navy began to design how to create fuel using seawater.

Seawater contains a large amount of hydrogen and carbon, which are essential for the formation of hydrocarbons such as petroleum. It has been proposed to combine these substances from the laboratory, in order to achieve a neutral fuel which significantly reduces emissions polluting gases.

What was the process?

It all started in early 2014. The first stage of the investigation is completed by the creation of a prototype of the system. Methanol is made from seawater. The feasibility of the production of hydrocarbons is verified in the laboratory.

The team manages to fly a plane with fuel created with salt water. The consistency and smell of this hydrocarbon is similar to that of kerosene that we all know.

Although this was a great achievement, there was a downside. The costs were extremely high and the fuel was not competitive with the price of gasoline.

What were its advantages?

Carrying out the development of a fuel in this way would not only reduce greenhouse gases, but also fuel could be produced directly on board ships.

Another advantage is that it was not necessary to modify the engines of planes and ships to use hydrocarbons.

The experiment is considered a success. But they had to improve the production technology in order to reduce the production cost.

Try to make the project profitable.

Initially, the production cost was $ 10 per gallon (3.78 liters). A high cost to compete with gasoline. The team has pledged to hit a maximum cost of $ 8 with the intention of increasing it to $ 5 in less than 5 years.

If this objective is achieved, salt water fuel would be profitable to position itself on the Nordic markets. Where the cost of gasoline is very high.

As the investigation continued, the team realized that in order to produce the necessary fuel, they had to pump a significant amount of salt water. Which produced a high cost.

Without giving up, they began to look for a more economical source of hydrogen, finding solid oxide electrolysis. A technique that separates water into oxygen and hydrogen.

After numerous studies and meetings with experts in the field, the team concluded that achieving a cheap and reliable source of hydrogen would require a significant capital investment and at least 5 more years of research.

What happened to the investigation?

In 2016, after two long years of work, it was decided to end the project. At the moment, seawater fuel is not profitable. The current and projected cost of hydrogen is very high.

Hopefully, one day, all these technologies already developed can help build a better world.

More information: x.company/foghorn

nanoFlowcell Quantino, the electric car that runs on salt water

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