“Secondly, you’d have to pump all that water into the conversion machine using some form of energy, and if the ship uses fuel to make the electricity to do the conversion job, then the whole process would be pointless. So the conversion would need to take place on a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.”
So writes Energy Skeptic of the American navy’s project to turn NUCLEAR powered aircraft carriers into mobile airports that can make their own jet-fuel from seawater. Circular logic, much? That’s a big FAIL Energy Skeptic, you’ve completely misunderstood what the navy project is all about. Use their own fuel to run the ship indeed! Honestly! Of course it’s discussing nuclear powered aircraft carriers: with a throw away comment like that last line, one wonders whether you’ve even read the articles? 😉
At around 59 to 70 , nuclear power has a high enough EROEI (Energy Returned on Energy Invested, or basically Energy Profit) to ‘lend’ some EROEI to the diesel and aircraft industries, which is what we are discussing. When smaller, lighter electric cars, buses, delivery vans and garbage trucks can all be electric, and save city councils heaps of money in doing so, I’m assuming most petroleum (gasoline in America) will be replaced with electricity. But there’s a problem. Super-sized long haul trucking and farming and mining vehicles can’t run on a battery. Well, there are ‘fuel-cell’ trucks but my understanding is that fuel cells are still quite expensive and hydrogen is pretty hard to store. This PDF claims that this could change between 2020 and 2030 (page 8), and as hydrogen can be made anywhere that has electricity and water, I’m not ruling it out. I’m open to whatever arrives first on the scene. But there are other options as my “Recharge” pages above show, with powdered boron and synthetic diesel both driven by nuclear power’s high EROEI. EROEI is just not a valid reason to rant against energy carriers like boron or synthetic diesel. And this is before we’re even discussing breeder reactors that don’t require thousands of tons of diesel in mining and refining uranium ore, but just burn nuclear waste! Those breeders could have EROEI’s in the high hundreds, maybe even over a thousand!