Exide Technologies, a technology company that is developing a way to extract oxygen from seawater to make jet fuel, is working with the Irish government to develop a pilot project in the north of the country.
The company, based in Dublin, is using the seawater from an estuary in the Irish Sea called the Shannon, which is about a hundred metres long and 50 metres wide, to create a special material that it hopes will be used in the production of jet fuel.
The project, known as Exide’s Sea, is being developed by a consortium of companies that includes Irish engineering firm Kaman Industrial Technologies and a company called Exide Power.
Kaman is an Irish company that specialises in the manufacture of aluminium products.
Exide’s sea, which could be ready by early 2019, would use a specialised chemical reaction that removes oxygen from the seaweed to form jet fuel in a process known as exide chemistry.
The technology is the brainchild of Dr Patrick Murtagh, who is also the head of the Exide Energy Group, a company that manages the Exides’ business.
“Exide is a natural and sustainable source of energy, with the potential to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
We’re using the Irish sea to test the technology,” he said.”
It’s going to have a very positive impact on the economy, and also for people’s lives.”
The technology has a long history in Ireland, but this is the first step in a more comprehensive process to take the Exiders technology to the rest of the world.
“The technology will be tested in Ireland’s coastal waters, where it is known as the Shannon-Ireland Sea, where there are strong currents and winds that can blow jet fuel across the Atlantic Ocean.
Dr Murtach said the technology could reduce the cost of jet engines by 50 per cent.”
There’s a lot of technology out there but I think it’s just a matter of finding the right partners and finding the most efficient technology,” said Dr Murtah.”
In a way it’s really just a question of what will make it work best in the long term.
“This is just one part of the process of getting the technology to other places.”
We want to bring Exide to more places and that’s what we’re trying to do.
“Dr Mertagh said the process could take years to develop, but it would ultimately be economically feasible.”
If we have the technology working well in Ireland and we can bring it to other countries, then we have an opportunity to make a real contribution,” he added.”
For us it’s not about what we can do for the short term, but the long-term contribution to society.
“Kaman’s chief executive, Martin Ryan, said it was a huge achievement that the Irish Government was finally taking the ExIDE technology seriously.”
Kaman has been working with Exide for several years now and has been very involved in the process,” he told The Irish News.”
To see this project become a reality is a fantastic example of the partnership between the two companies and the Irish economy.
“What we’ve seen in terms of the project and the collaboration with Exides team has been excellent and the company will be looking forward to the development of the product in Ireland.”