The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent for the Electrolytic Cation Exchange Module‘s seawater carbon and hydrogen extraction process developed by the Naval Research Laboratory’s material science and technology division.
NRL researchers designed E-CEM to extract carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas, materials needed to produce synthetic liquid hydrocarbon fuels, the U.S. Navy said Wednesday.
E-CEM works to give the agency fuel stocks whether at sea or in other locations, as well as help reduce the dependency on fossil energy sources and unprotected delivery risks at sea.
The patent named NRL’s Dennis Hardy, Heather Willauer and Frederick Williams; as well as Cmdr. Felice DiMascio from the Navy Reserve and Kathleen Lewis from the Office of Naval Research.
“A ship’s ability to produce a significant fraction of the battle group’s fuel for operations at sea could reduce the mean time between refueling, and increase the operational flexibility and time on station,” said DiMascio said.
“Reducing the logistics tail on fuel delivery with the potential to increase the Navy’s energy security and independence, with minimal impact on the environment, were key factors in the development of this program,” DiMascio added.