Seriously, A Ship that Could Run on Water!

We’ve all heard that conspiracy spewing hippy on the subway telling us, “No dude, the government has a car that runs on water.” Now we know our sandal-clad friend might have been on to something. Researchers from the US Naval Research Laboratory say they have demonstrated proof-of-concept on the ability to use seawater as fuel for their newest Navy Warship.

Image courtesy of CNN

Image courtesy of CNN

The destroyer USS Zumwalt, was christened on April 12, and according to CNN, is the most advanced warship ever. The Zumwalt is the Navy’s first stealth destroyer with the potential to fire missiles seven times the speed of sound, and use lasers to destroy threats. It’s even built on angles, making it 50 times harder to spot on radar than average destroyers. It’s the largest destroyer in the Navy, about 100 feet longer and 20 feet wider than ships in the current Arleigh Burke fleet.

Besides all of its amazing fighting capabilities, the fact that a destroyer of this magnitude can run without traditional fuel is incredible. The Naval Laboratory says its researchers have found a way to use seawater as fuel with a concept that draws carbon dioxide and hydrogen from the water and turns it into hydrogen gasoline. The lab explains, “The gases are then converted to liquid hydrocarbons by a metal catalyst in a reactor system.”

So far, the fuel produced by this method has powered a small model aircraft. The initial goal is to have the ship produce extra fuel to power aircraft, so it does not have to return to shore, putting it in danger. Eventually researchers hope to power the ship, in addition to the aircraft, through this technology. Removing the necessity for fuel stops, not only makes powering the ship cheaper and more sustainable, it also has the potential to save lives. Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Phil Cullom said,

After more than a decade of war, our adversaries have found certain soft underbellies to our operations. They know that when you go after the logistics and resupply of fuel, that’s an easier target than confronting our frontline forces. What if we removed that from the equation? Can you imagine a time when an aircraft carrier doesn’t have to wait for the oiler to come steaming alongside it to deliver jet fuel? It truly does change things. It prevents what could one day be our ‘maritime IED moment.

So this ship is bigger, stealthier, has the most advanced weaponry you could find, and could literally run on water! While skeptic subway goers might go on to say, “If the government is telling us this much about the ship, they must have one that runs on air,” I’d say this is about as cool as it gets- no more yucky fossil fuel burning and the ability to kick some serious butt. On my badass scale, this rates at the highest level; Chuck Norris as captain!

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