• Fuel Cell Technology

    Pages: 22

    A 22 page paper that provides a comprehensive overview of fuel cell technology. Discussion includes: an introduction to fuel cells, what they are, how they work and the types of fuel cells in research; applications for fuel cell technology, including those that are already in use; fuel cell-powered motor vehicles and what the progress is in this industry, including manufacturers who have already introduced fuel cell-powered cars and the forecasts for the near future; issues concerning hydrogen; problems and disadvantages with fuel cells and a conclusion. Bibliography lists 6 sources.

    File: MM12_PGfuelcl.rtf

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    FUEL CELL TECHNOLOGY , properly! What are Fuel Cells A fuel cell is  an "electrochemical energy conversion device that converts hydrogen and oxygen into electricity and heat" (Nice, 2002). Fuel cells can be recharged but to do so requires hydrogen and oxygen  instead of electricity (Nice, 2002). This type of energy device, which provides direct current voltage, can be used to power numerous other devices, such as electrical appliances, lights, heating devices,  motors and perhaps even power generation plants (Nice, 2002). There are a variety of different kinds of fuel cells, each requiring a different chemistry (Nice, 2002). Classifications of fuel  cells are determined by the specific kind of electrolyte that is used in the cell but the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is considered to be the most promising  at this time and it uses the a simpler reaction than other types (Nice, 2002). The proton exchange membrane fuel cell has four elements, which are: 1. The anode  - this is the negative post of the cell. "It conducts the electrons that are freed from the hydrogen molecules so that they can be used in an external  circuit. It has channels etched into it that disperse the hydrogen gas equally over the surface of the catalyst" (Nice, 2002). 2. The cathode is the positive post of  the cell; it has "channels etched into it that distribute the oxygen to the surface of the catalyst. It also conducts the electrons back from the external circuit to the  catalyst, where they can recombine with the hydrogen ions and oxygen to form water" (Nice, 2002). 3. The electrolyte is the proton exchange membrane. This is a material that 

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