Portable System Turns Scrap Paper, Uneaten Salisbury Steak Into Fighter Jet Fuel

Mr_Fusion.jpgTurns out, the U.S. military has a gas problem, though not the same kind as your Aunt Millie's. In order to cut down on its use of petroleum—over 5 billion barrels last year alone—the Pentagon might turn to a portable device that takes paper, wood and food waste and turns it into jet fuel. The science is already in place: a gasifier by Diversified Energy uses molten metal at 1,300°C to convert carbon-based material into carbon monoxide and hydrogen, then a fuel synthesiser from Velocys takes over, converting that stuff into hydrocarbon liquid fuel. It's not going to be carried on a backpack: "Portable" in this sense means between 150 and 1,500 tons, capable of making over 20,000 gallons of fuel per day out of all of that material, plus coal and natural gas. Still, this could eventually be something that we all get custom-mounted on our new DeLoreans. [Technology Review]

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