U.S. Navy Converts Seawater into Jet Fuel
Researchers at the Unites States’ Naval Research Laboratory had found a way to extract carbon dioxide and hydrogen from sea water for conversion into hydrocarbon liquid jet fuel. Using NRL’s proprietary electrolytic carbon exchange module (E-CEM), the scientists were able to simultaneously extract CO2 in the saltwater while producing hydrogen gas. An iron catalyst is then added to the two gases to convert them into liquid hydrocarbon fuel. The scientists successfully tested the fuel to power a miniature radio-controlled P-51 jet replica with its unmodified two-stroke engine. The scientists believe their test could be commercially viable within the next ten years.
California Legislators Advance Bills to Stop Fracking
On April 8, the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water Quality pushed for measures to halt hydraulic fracturing activities at oil and gas fields in California and to update the state’s oil spill response program to address the risks of importing crude oil by rail. Both mandates now head to the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality for further deliberation. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, as well as other forms of well stimulation involve the utilization of high-pressured water, sand and chemicals through oil and gas wells to crack shale formations.
Russia Announces Energy Auction Dates
The government of Russia has announced that the Renewable Energy Source Investment Project auctions for 2015 through 2018 will be held on the 28th of May through the 10th of June this year. Following the country’s revised IPA program, auction winner will be given rights to manage selected projects for 15 years and should see a return on investment of no less than 14 percent. Some 1,645 MW of wind power and 496 MW of solar power will be up for grabs and the results will be tallied by the end of June.
Statoil Uses New Oil-Sands Technology Amid Increasing CO2
Statoil ASA is looking to decrease carbon dioxide emissions per barrel from its Canadian oil-sands projects by 20 percent within six years, responding to environmental criticism of the methods used in the production of crude oil. Statoil’s Alberta division produces bitumen, a sticky type of oil that is softened with steam before it can be extracted. Using gas to heat water to create steam mainly contributes to the 25% carbon intensity increase from operations compared from last year. Statoil is now applying solvents to its-steam assisted techniques and is also utilizing valves to better direct steam to areas that need it, says Staale Tungesvik, president of Statoil’s Canadian operations.