Related topics: hydrogen · catalyst · energy · electricity · chemical reactions

Promising new catalysts for hydrogen fuel cells

Hydrogen fuel cells hold a lot of promise as sustainable and eco-friendly energy sources to power transportation by land, air and sea. But traditional catalysts used to drive chemical reactions in hydrogen fuel cells are ...

New catalysts make efficient use of precious metals

Nanoscientists from Utrecht University have devised a new and promising way to make catalysts in which the amount of precious metals needed is reduced by a factor of 10. Those precious metals are scarce, but essential in ...

Molecular dance by which a unique bacterium transfers electrons

Imagine you wanted to plug a device into an outlet on your wall, but you didn't have a cord that reached all the way. Instead, all you had were short snippets of wire that, put together, weren't enough to cover the distance ...

Smoke from wildfires ages in the atmosphere

Emissions, like smoke from wildfires and exhaust from vehicles, go through chemical changes when they enter the atmosphere. New research from the University of Georgia shows, for the first time, that these changes may affect ...

page 1 from 40

Fuel cell

A fuel cell is an electrochemical conversion device. It produces electricity from fuel (on the anode side) and an oxidant (on the cathode side), which react in the presence of an electrolyte. The reactants flow into the cell, and the reaction products flow out of it, while the electrolyte remains within it. Fuel cells can operate virtually continuously as long as the necessary flows are maintained.

Fuel cells are different from electrochemical cell batteries in that they consume reactant from an external source, which must be replenished – a thermodynamically open system. By contrast, batteries store electrical energy chemically and hence represent a thermodynamically closed system.

Many combinations of fuels and oxidants are possible. A hydrogen fuel cell uses hydrogen as its fuel and oxygen (usually from air) as its oxidant. Other fuels include hydrocarbons and alcohols. Other oxidants include chlorine and chlorine dioxide.

The principle of the fuel cell had been demonstrated by Sir William Grove in 1839, and other investigators had experimented with various forms of fuel cell. The first practical fuel cell was developed by Francis Thomas Bacon in 1959.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA