Fuel Cells For Dummies “ With this helpful guide, you will understand fuel cells like a pro!”
Redox Reactions <ul><li>Hydrogen fuel cell cars work using a type of reaction known as a redox reaction. </li></ul><ul><li>In all atoms, we have particles called electrons, protons and neutrons: </li></ul><ul><li>In a redox reaction, oxidization means the loss of electrons, while reduction means a gain of electrons. </li></ul>
Redox Reactions With fuel cells cars, hydrogen and oxygen (O 2 and H 2 ) react to make water: H 2 + ½ O 2 H 2 O In this case, Hydrogen is Oxidized by Oxygen and Oxygen is Reduced by Hydrogen: H 2 2H + + 2e - ½ O 2 + 2e - O 2- This mixture of Ions produces an electric current. Let’s see how…
How a Fuel Cell Works... In this system, Hydrogen is oxidized into 2H + and Oxygen is reduced into O 2- . These are the ionic forms or Positively/negatively charged particles of the gasses. In essence, the ions then flow Negative positive supplying a current The same way a battery does.
The system in which this takes place is known as the Proton- Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC). There are two porous electrodes or electrical conductors made of carbon. One of which is an anode (-) and the other a cathode (+). In the heart of the PEMFC is the Membrane-Electrode Assembly (MEA). The anode is now defined as the electrode at which electrons leave the cell and oxidation occurs, and the cathode as the electrode at which electrons enter the cell and reduction occurs. How a Fuel Cell Works...
Hydrogen gas is injected into the anode and reacts with a catalyst (platinum) forming a positive Hydrogen Ion (a proton) and two electrons. The electrons flow from negative to positive through the circuit connected to the car and finally the two electrons react with oxygen and H + producing water as a byproduct. This process produces an electric current, giving energy to the engine. How a Fuel Cell Works...
Pros and Cons of Hydrogen Fuel Cells Pros Cons <ul><li>No waste produced. </li></ul><ul><li>No carbon footprint at all. </li></ul><ul><li>Quieter than internal combustion engines </li></ul><ul><li>Due to no moving parts, the fuel cell is very efficient. </li></ul><ul><li>Very expensive. </li></ul><ul><li>Energy output is very low. </li></ul><ul><li>Hydrogen is explosive, hence fuel cells are dangerous. </li></ul>