Fuel cells have been discovered for about 150 years, in the 19 th century, there was a rapid increase of its knowledge, but it is only recently that they have become prominent technology. Fuel cells are increasingly relevant in today’s technological world, as can be seen in electric cars and NASA technology.
Components: 2 electrodes – pos&neg – cathode & anode, electrolyte
Same as combustion of hydrogen (exothermic) Fuel cell: produces energy in the form of electricity H2 is led to the anode, tow which it may lose e- and thereby form H+ Ions capable of diffusing through the electrolyte, while e- flow through the external circuit. Gaseous oxygen is similarly led to the cathode, combines with returning e- from the circuit and H+ from the electrolyte
Converts 25% of the chemical energy of the fuel into the kinetic energy of the car. Rechargeable batteries – run down quickly.
Even better, since fuel cells create electricity chemically, rather than by combustion, they are not subject to the thermodynamic laws that limit a conventional power plant
The automobile internal combustion engines use gasoline as fuel, produce CO2, NOx, & volatile organic compounds.