Hydrogen Fuel Cell Power

Fuel_cell.jpeg
(Image retrieved from: www.ecofuss.com/hydrogen-fuel-cells-the-next-generation-energy-for-cell-phones/)

History of hydrogen fuel cells:

The first fuel cell was built in 1839 by Sir William Grove, a Welsh judge and gentleman scientist. Serious interest in the fuel cell as a practical generator did not begin until the 1960's, when the U.S. space program chose fuel cells over riskier nuclear power and more expensive solar energy. Fuel cells furnished power for the Gemini and Apollo spacecraft, and still provide electricity and water for the space shuttle.(http://www.bullnet.co.uk/shops/test/hydrogen.htm)[ajir3]

In 1839, the first fuel cell was conceived by Sir William Robert Grove, a Welsh judge, inventor and physicist. He mixed hydrogen and oxygen in the presence of an electrolyte, and produced electricity and water.
(http://inventors.about.com/od/fstartinventions/a/Fuel_Cells.html) [SWhi3]
The invention, which later became known as a fuel cell, didn't produce enough electricity to be useful.
(http://inventors.about.com/od/fstartinventions/a/Fuel_Cells.html) [SWhi3]
In the 1920s, fuel cell research in Germany paved the way to the development of the carbonate cycle and solid oxide fuel cells of today.(http://inventors.about.com/od/fstartinventions/a/Fuel_Cells.html) [SWhi3]

In October of 1959, Harry Karl Ihrig, an engineer for the Allis - Chalmers Manufacturing Company, demonstrated a 20-horsepower tractor that was the first vehicle ever powered by a fuel cell. (http://inventors.about.com/od/fstartinventions/a/Fuel_Cells.html) [SWhi3]

In 1932, engineer Francis T Bacon began his vital research into fuels cells. Early cell designers used porous platinum electrodes and sulfuric acid as the electrolyte bath. Using platinum was expansive and using sulfuric acid was corrosive. Bacon improved on the expensive platinum catalysts with a hydrogen and oxygen cell using a less corrosive alkaline electrolyte and inexpensive nickel electrodes.
(
http://inventors.about.com/od/fstartinventions/a/Fuel_Cells.htm) [SPet1]

The United States has dedicated more than one billion dollars to fuel cell research and development so far.
( http://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/alternative-fuels/fuel-cell.html) [SWhi3]


1889, the term "fuel cell" was first said by Ludwig Mond and Charles Langer, who tried to build a working fuel cell using air and industrial coal gas. Jaques was also the first researcher to use phosphoric acid in the electrolyte bath.
( http://inventors.about.com/od/fstartinventions/a/Fuel_Cells.htm) [mmat2]

1993
The administration of President Bill Clinton (D, 1993-2001) launches the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles, intended to reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency.
Ballard Power Systems, a Canadian company, creates a bus powered by hydrogen fuel cells. In subsequent years, a number of cities in various countries experiment with buses that run on hydrogen. [CPit3]
http://www.2facts.com/icof_story.aspx?PIN=ib900080&term=hydrogen+fuel+cells

2002
In January, the administration of President Bush (R) announces a plan to spend $1.7 billion on the development of hydrogen-powered cars over the next five years.
In June, DaimlerChrysler AG engineers driving a Mercedes powered by fuel cells complete a journey from California to Washington, D.C. DaimlerChrysler says the cross-country trip proves that hydrogen-powered vehicles are practical for everyday use.
In December, Japanese car makers Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. begin leasing small numbers of hydrogen-powered cars in California. Other car companies also pursue hydrogen-powered vehicles. [CPit3]
http://www.2facts.com/icof_story.aspx?PIN=ib900080&term=hydrogen+fuel+cells



During the 1970s, fuel cell technology was developed for systems on Earth. The oil embargos of 1973 and 1979 helped to push along the research effort of the fuel cell as the U.S. Government was looking for a way to become less dependent on petroleum imports.
(http://www.fctec.com/fctec_history.asp) [KSca1]

During the 1980s, fuel cell technology began to be tested by utilities and automobile manufacturers. Technical breakthroughs during the decade included the development of the first marketable fuel cell-powered vehicle in 1993 by the Canadian company, Ballard.
(http://www.fctec.com/fctec_history.asp) [KSca1]

Hydrogen and fuel cell research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory contributes to the growing role that advanced technologies play in addressing the nation's energy challenges. Our projects focus on hydrogen production, delivery, and storage; fuel cells; technology validation; safety, codes, and standards; analysis; education; and manufacturing.
(http://www.nrel.gov/hydrogen/) [SPet1]


This switch to hydrogen may finally take place in 2030 where hydrogen will be a fuel commonly used in transportation. Still, this information may be inaccurate. It is not know and probably will not be known when hydrogen or other alternative fuel sources will take over as the majority leader in energy for transportation. (http://library.thinkquest.org/05aug/00625/hydro5.html) [edalt1]

Sir William Grove developed the first fuel cell in England in 1839. His experiments during this time on electrolysis — the use of electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen — led to the first mention of a device that would later be termed the "fuel cell." (http://www.fctec.com/fctec_history.asp) [EBle3]

In the last few years, fuel cells have been installed in hospitals and schools. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) http://www.dodfuelcell.com/ Fuel Cell Program has supported the installation of 30 PAFC systems generating 200 kW each to demonstrate the technology in real-world environments, support further commercialization of this technology and learn the role of these systems in DoD facilities. In addition, most of the major automotive companies have unveiled prototype fuel cell-powered cars. Trials of fuel cell-powered buses have taken place in Chicago and Vancouver with other cities in North America and Europe looking to take delivery of these vehicles in the near future. (http://www.fctec.com/fctec_history.asp) [EBle3]

Beginning in the late 1950s and early 1960s, there was renewed interest in the fuel cell. NASA was looking for a way to power a series of upcoming manned space flights. Using batteries for power had already been ruled out due to weight considerations. Solar energy was too expensive at the time and nuclear power was determined to be too risky. In NASA's search for an alternative, the fuel cell was thought to be a possible solution. NASA sponsored efforts to develop practical working fuel cells that could be used during these space flights. These efforts led to the development of the first Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC). (http://www.fctec.com/fctec_history.asp) [EBle3]

In 2003, President Bush announced a program called the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative (HFI) during his State of the Union Address. This initiative, supported by legislation in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT 2005) and the Advanced Energy Initiative of 2006, aims to develop hydrogen, fuel cell and infrastructure technologies to make fuel-cell vehicles practical and cost-effective by 2020. (http://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/alternative-fuels/fuel-cell.htm) [KSca1]

A number of companies and government organizations began serious research into overcoming the obstacles to widespread commercialization of the fuel cell. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, a large research effort was dedicated to developing the materials needed, identifying the optimum fuel source and drastically reducing the cost of this technology. (http://www.fctec.com/fctec_history.asp) [EBle3]

The first bus powered by a fuel cell was completed in 1993, and several fuel-cell cars are now being built in Europe and in the United States. Daimler Benz and Toyota launched prototype fuel-cell powered cars in 1997. (http://inventors.about.com/od/fstartinventions/a/Fuel_Cells.htm) [MMcA3]

In 1955, while NASA was conducting research, a scientist working at General Electric (GE) modified the original fuel cell design. Willard Thomas Grubb used a sulphonated polystyrene ion-exchange membrane as the electrolyte. Three years later another GE chemist, Leonard Niedrach, devised a way of depositing platinum onto this membrane, which ultimately became known as the "Grubb-Niedrach fuel cell." GE and NASA developed this technology together resulting in its use on the Gemini space project. This was the first commercial use of a fuel cell. (http://www.fctec.com/fctec_history.asp) [GCut3]


Friedrich Wilhelm Ostwald, a founder of the field of physical chemistry, provided much of the theoretical understanding of how fuel cells operate. In 1893, he experimentally determined the interconnected roles of the various components of the fuel cell: electrodes, electrolyte, oxidizing and reducing agents, anions, and cations. Grove had speculated that the action in his gas battery occurred at the point of contact between electrode, gas, and electrolyte, but was at a loss to explain further. Ostwald, drawing on his pioneering work in relating physical properties and chemical reactions, solved the puzzle of Grove's gas battery. His exploration of the underlying chemistry of fuel cells laid the groundwork for later fuel cell researchers. (http://www.princeton.edu/~chm333/2002/spring/FuelCells/fuel_cells-history.shtml) [GCut3]

Francis Thomas Bacon (1904 -1992) began researching alkali electrolyte fuel cells in the late 1930s. In 1939, he built a cell that used nickel gauze electrodes and operated under pressure as high as 3000 psi. During World War II, Bacon worked on developing a fuel cell that could be used in Royal Navy submarines, and in 1958 demonstrated an alkali cell using a stack of 10-inch diameter electrodes for Britain's National Research Development Corporation. Though expensive, Bacon's fuel cells proved reliable enough to attract the attention of Pratt & Whitney. The company licensed Bacon's work for the Apollo spacecraft fuel cells. (http://www.princeton.edu/~chm333/2002/spring/FuelCells/fuel_cells-history.shtml) [GCut3]

The GM 1966 Electrovan was the automotive industry's first attempt at an automobile powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. The Electrovan, which weighed more that twice as much as a normal van, could travel up to 70 mph for 30 sec. (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_cell) [AFra2]

In 2005 the British firm Intelligent Energy produced the first ever working hydrogen fuel cell run motorcycle called the ENV ( Emission Neutral Vehicle). The motorcycle holds enough fuel to run for four hours, and to travel 100 miles in an urban area, at a top speed of 50 mph. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_cell) [AFra2]

In May 2009, The Obama Administration announced that it will "Cut Off Funds" for the development of fuel cell hydrogen vehicles, since other vehicle technologies will lead to quicker reduction in emissions in a shorter time. Nevertheless, the U.S. government will continue to fun research related to stationary fuel cells. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_cell) [AFra2]





How are hydrogen fuel cells used?:

Fuel cells have many potential shapes and sizes suited for diverse applications. The three main applications of fuel cells are: transportation (as in personal or commercial vehicles), portable uses (for backup generation and small electronics), and stationary installations (in large buildings and military bases).(http://www.masstech.org/cleanenergy/fuelcell/overview.htm)[ajir3]

The sun is basically a giant ball of hydrogen and helium gases. In the sun's core, hydrogen atoms combine to form helium atoms. This process — called fusion — gives off radiant energy.http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/kids/energy.cfm?page=hydrogen_home-basics [rwag1]

Fuel cells can also power our transportation, including personal vehicles, trucks, buses, and marine vessels, as well as provide auxiliary power to traditional transportation technologies. Hydrogen can play a particularly important role in the future by replacing the imported petroleum we currently use in our cars and trucks. (http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/doe_h2_fuelcell_factsheet.pdf)[ajir3]


The power produced by a fuel cell depends on several factors, including the fuel cell type,size, temperature at which it operates, and pressure at which gases are supplied. A single fuel cell produces approximately 1 volt or less — barely enough electricity for even the smallest applications. To increase the amount of electricity generated, individual fuel cells are combined in series to form a stack. (The term “fuel cell” is often used to refer to the entire stack, as well as to the individual cell.) Depending on the application, a fuel cell stack may contain only a few or as many as hundreds of individual cells layered together.

http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/doe_h2_fuelcell_factsheet.pdf [rwag1]
During the early 1960s, General Electric produced the fuel-cell-based electrical power system for NASA's Gemini and Apollo space capsules.
(http://inventors.about.com/od/fstartinventions/a/Fuel_Cells.html )[SWhi3]
General Electric used the principles found in the "Bacon Cell" as the basis of its design.
(http://inventors.about.com/od/fstartinventions/a/Fuel_Cells.html )[SWhi3]

Today, the Space Shuttle's electricity is provided by fuel cells, and the same fuel cells provide drinking water for the crew.
(http://inventors.about.com/od/fstartinventions/a/Fuel_Cells.html )[SWhi3]

Hydrogen fuel cells can be used for almost any end-use energy use because hydrogen is a versatile energy carrier. The fuel cell is an energy conversion that can efficiently use and capture the power of hydrogen. Most hydrogen is used for refining, treating metals, and processing foods. They also use hydrogen in vehicles by changing the hydrogen into electricity.[mmat2]

The hydrogen fuel cell operates similar to a battery. It has two electrodes, an anode and a cathode, separated by a membrane. Oxygen passes over one electrode and hydrogen over the other.http://inventors.about.com/od/sstartinventions/ss/Physics_Illustr_2.htm [rwag1]

The hydrogen reacts to a catalyst on the electrode anode that converts the hydrogen gas into negatively charged electrons (e-) and positively charged ions (H+).http://inventors.about.com/od/sstartinventions/ss/Physics_Illustr_2.htm [rwag1]

The electrons flow out of the cell to be used as electrical energy. The hydrogen ions move through the electrolyte membrane to the cathode electrode where they combine with oxygen and the electrons to produce water. Unlike batteries, fuel cells never run out.
http://inventors.about.com/od/sstartinventions/ss/Physics_Illustr_2.htm [rwag1]
If you want to be technical about it, a fuel cell is anelectrochemical energy conversion device. A fuel cell converts the chemicals hydrogen and oxygen into water, and in the process it produces electricity. (http://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/alternative-fuels/fuel-cell.html) [SWhi3]

Fuel cells are a promising technology for use as a source of heat and electricity for buildings,
(http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/tech/hydrogen) [SWhi3]
electrical power source for electric motors propelling vehicles. (http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/tech/hydrogen) [SWhi3]



Two plates are connected by a wire with an electrolyte sandwiched in between. Hydrogen is supplied to one plate, and oxygen to the other. The two elements are attracted to one another and try to bond, but only the proton of the hydrogen atom can pass through the membrane in the sandwich, so the accompanying electron of this proton has to go around the membrane, and passes through a coil to create electricity. The hydrogen proton and electron reunite with oxygen on the other side of the membrane, creating water and a small amount of heat. http://www.columbia.edu/~ajs120/hydrogen/web-pages/h-fuel-cell-how.html [rwag1]

In the future, hydrogen could also join electricity as an important energy carrier.
(http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/tech/hydrogen) [SWhi3]

An energy carrier moves and delivers energy in a usable form to consumers. (http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/tech/hydrogen) [SWhi3]

Similar to batteries, fuel cells electrochemically produce current at a voltage. Whereas batteries convert the electrodes, requiring recharging or replacement, fuel cells consume fuel and can run as long as it is supplied. (http://www.accessscience.com/content.aspx?searchStr=hydrogen+fuel+cells&id=YB080310) [GCut3]

All automotive fuel cells are of the PEM (proton exchange membrane, or polymer electrolyte membrane) type. Positive attributes include compactness, no moving parts, high power density, efficient and capable of starting and operating in cold conditions. (http://www.accessscience.com/content.aspx?searchStr=hydrogen+fuel+cells&id=YB080310) [GCut3]


Today, there are an estimated 200 to 300 hydrogen-fueled vehicles in the United States. Most of these vehicles are buses and automobiles powered by electric motors. They store hydrogen gas or liquid on board and convert the hydrogen into electricity for the motor using a fuel cell. Only a few of these vehicles burn the hydrogen directly (producing almost no pollution). (http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/kids/energy.cfm?page=hydrogen_home-basics) [SWol2]

Hydrogen fuel cells (batteries) make electricity. They are very efficient, but expensive to build. Small fuel cells can power electric cars. Large fuel cells can provide electricity in remote places with no power lines. (http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/kids/energy.cfm?page=hydrogen_home-basics) [SWol2]


Due in part to their low-temperature operation, hydrogen is the only practical fuel with sufficiently high kinetic activity. (
http://www.accessscience.com/content.aspx?searchStr=hydrogen+fuel+cells&id=YB080310
) [GCut3]

The commitment to developing hydrogen fuel cell technology is not limited to the U.S. In March 2003, the U.S. and the European Union (EU) agreed to jointly fund hydrogen fuel cell research. Some observers, however, see key differences between the U.S. and European approaches. [CPit3]
http://www.2facts.com/icof_story.aspx?PIN=i0900070&term=hydrogen+fuel+cells

In cars with hydrogen fuel cells, hydrogen and oxygen are mixed in the cells, producing electricity that powers the vehicles. The process produces no emissions except water, and hydrogen is abundant in nature. However, hydrogen in its pure form is hard to come by; it is generally extracted from natural gas either through a process known as steam reformation, or, in some instances, using electricity. In both cases, fossil fuels are burned and CO2 is emitted, challenging the idea of hydrogen fuel cells as a clean and renewable technology. In order to solve that problem, fuel cell proponents advocate the use of renewable energy sources to extract the hydrogen, but scientists are still trying to find a cost-efficient way to do that. [CPit3]
http://www.2facts.com/icof_story.aspx?PIN=ib130345&term=hydrogen+fuel+cells


In the last few years, fuel cells have been installed in hospitals and schools. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Fuel Cell Program has supported the installation of 30 PAFC systems generating 200 kW each to demonstrate the technology in real-world environments, support further commercialization of this technology and learn the role of these systems in DoD facilities.
(http://www.fctec.com/fctec_history.asp) [KSca1]

In addition, most of the major automotive companies have unveiled prototype fuel cell-powered cars.Trials of fuel cell-powered buses have taken place in Chicago and Vancouver with other cities in North America and Europe looking to take delivery of these vehicles in the near future.
(http://www.fctec.com/fctec_history.asp) [KSca1]

No other energy generation technology offers the combination of benefits that fuel cells do. In addition to low or zero emissions, benefits include high efficiency and reliability, multi-fuel capability, siting flexibility, durability, scalability and ease of maintenance. Fuel cells operate silently, so they reduce noise pollution as well as air pollution and the waste heat from a fuel cell can be used to provide hot water or space heating for a home or office.
(http://www.fuelcells.org/) [SPet1]

However, hydrogen in its pure form is hard to come by; it is generally extracted from natural gas either through a process known as steam reformation, or, in some instances, using electricity
(http://www.2facts.com/icof_story.aspx?PIN=ib130345&term=hydrogen+fuel+cell) [SPet1]


Yet, Asian automakers - the same automakers that have beat US automakers to every punch - are still aggressively pursuing fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen production, as are most major European producers. Moreover, to assume that science has nothing left to offer on this front is, well, not very scientific.
(http://www.hybridcarblog.com/2009/06/time-to-restore-hydrogen-and-fuel-cell.html) [SPet1]


The hydrogen cars that we have shown, combustion and fuel cell, will come out approximately in 2010. Honda, Toyota, and GM are planning to release fuel cell cars at that time, and BMW is planning the release of their H7 around 2010 also. At this time, there will probably only be limited usage of the hydrogen technology, and it will probably only be available to a private group of people. Currently, the Honda FCX is approximately $1,000,000.00 (USD). This price must decrease for the hydrogen car to become a success. (http://library.thinkquest.org/05aug/00625/hydro5.html) [edal1]

Currently, there are thousands of stationary fuel cell systems worldwide generating power for a wide variety of industrial and commercial applications, from utilities and hospitals to hotels and college campuses. (http://www.enviroliteracy.org/article.php/181.html) [KSca1]

Hydrogen fuel cells (batteries) make electricity. Small fuel cells can power electric cars. Large fuel cells can provide electricity in remote places with no power lines. (http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/kids/energy.cfm?page=hydrogen_home-basics) [MMcA3]

NASA uses hydrogen to launch Space Shuttles into space. There is even a working toy model car that runs on solar power, using a regenerative fuel cell to store energy in the form of hydrogen and oxygen gas. It can then convert the fuel back into water to release the solar energy. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_vehicle) [MMcA3]

A fuel cell works by catalysis, separating the component electrons and protons of the reactant fuel, and forcing the electrons to travel through a circuit, hence converting them to electrical power. The catalyst typically comprises a platinum group metal or alloy. Another catalytic process puts the electrons back in, combining them with the protons of oxidant to form waste products (typically simple compounds like water and carbon dioxide). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_cell ) [AFra2]

To deliver the desired amount of energy, the fuel cells can be combined in series and parallel circuits, where series yields higher voltage, and parallel allows a higher current to be supplied. Such a design is called a fuel cell stack. Further, the cell surface area can be increased, to allow stronger current from each cell. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_cell
) [AFra2]

Benefits of using hydrogen fuel cells:
Fuelled by pure “clean” hydrogen, fuel cells produce only pure water as exhaust. Even when powered by fossil fuels, they produce far less pollution than conventional technologies. Releasing the energy in a fuel through high-temperature combustion (as in an internal combustion engine) results in the creation of polluting nitrogenous and sulphurous oxides.(http://www.fuelcellmarkets.com/fuel_cell_markets/5,1,1,663.html)[ajir3]

The National Power Laboratory estimates that the typical computer location experiences 289 power disturbances a year that are outside the voltage limits of the computer equipment. U.S. businesses lose $29 billion annually from computer failures due to power outages and are quickly realizing that fuel cells may help prevent not only loss of power, but also loss of dollars. Fuel cells offer clean, high quality power, crucial to an economy that depends on increasingly sensitive computers, medical equipment and machines.http://www.fuelcells.org/basics/benefits.html [rwag1]

While hydrogen is a flammable and explosive gas, there are several reasons why it is often safer than gasoline. Since hydrogen is such a lightweight gas, it diffuses very quickly in air. If a tank develops a leak, the hydrogen is likely to diffuse out of the area so quickly that it cannot build up sufficient concentration to ignite in air. (http://www.princeton.edu/~chm333/2002/spring/FuelCells/H_storage.shtml#5) [GCut3]

The risk of ignition is further reduced by the fact that the concentration of hydrogen in air must be fairly high to sustain a flame, four times greater than the concentration required for gasoline, in fact. (http://www.princeton.edu/~chm333/2002/spring/FuelCells/H_storage.shtml#5) [GCut3]


Unlimited runtime
Batteries share many of the same properties as fuel cells, but have the disadvantage that they need to be recharged, and this is often a time-consuming process. Similar to internal combustion engines, fuel cells can produce electricity and heat as long as fuel is available. http://www.fuelcellmarkets.com/fuel_cell_markets/5,1,1,663.html [rwag1]
High Efficiency
Fuel cells extract more energy from a fuel due to the increase in efficiency of electrochemical conversion over combustion. There are no moving parts in a fuel cell stack itself so there are no mechanical inefficiencies (compared with the Carnot Efficiency that limits normal engine efficiency). However, it should be well noted that the balance of plant introduces a large parasitic load. Furthermore, the heat produced in a fuel cell stack can often be used rather than wasted – a process known as Combined Heat & Power (CHP) generation or Combined Heat, Cooling and Power (Tri-generation). Generation of electrical power close to the electrical load (this is called Distributed Generation) allows the more efficient use of electrons and heat energy. Fuel cells also provide high efficiencies at partial loadings and at small sizes – both are important advantages over traditional energy converters. Many of these efficiency benefits are due to the modular nature of fuel cell design. http://www.fuelcellmarkets.com/fuel_cell_markets/5,1,1,663.html [rwag1]

Pure hydrogen is the perfect fuel for fuel cells. Unfortunately, hydrogen is a very reactive element and is very rarely found in a pure form on earth. It is possible to produce hydrogen fuel from both renewable and traditional energy sources. In addition to hydrogen, it is also possible to run fuel cells on numerous other fuels, including fossil fuels and bio-fuels. Some fuel cell types, like Solid Oxide and Molten Carbonate fuel cells (SOFCs & MCFCs) can run directly on hydrocarbon fuels as their operating temperature allows internal reforming. Other fuel cells like Polymer Electrolyte Membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) require pure hydrogen and therefore need an auxiliary fuel processor to convert hydrocarbon fuels into pure hydrogen before being fed into the fuel cell. Internal combustion engines can also run on a wide variety of fuels, but lose out to fuel cells in terms of efficiency (fuel cells make fuels last longer). The electrochemical conversion process in fuel cells is very different to the combustion process in internal combustion engines, and in certain instances can have additional advantages. For example, using biogas (which often has a high carbon dioxide content) as a fuel can impair the performance of internal combustion engines, but is an advantage for MCFCs as it can actually increase overall efficiency. http://www.fuelcellmarkets.com/fuel_cell_markets/5,1,1,663.html [rwag1]

Design constraints imposed by conventional energy converters like combustion engines can be alleviated by switching to fuel cell systems. The specific effects of this change in design constraints are dependent on the particular application and requirement. In the case of Fuel Cell Vehicles for example, the removal of one central power plant can allow for more sophisticated and powerful electronic drive systems and new schools of design. http://www.fuelcellmarkets.com/fuel_cell_markets/5,1,1,663.html [rwag1]
Internal combustion engines in automobiles convert less than 20% of the energy in gasoline into power that moves the vehicle. Vehicles using electric motors powered by hydrogen fuel cells are much more energy efficient, utilitizing 40-60% of the fuel's energy. Even FCVs that reform hydrogen from gasoline can use about 40% of the energy in the gasoline.(http://www.fueleconomy.gov/FEG/fcv_benefits.shtml)[ajir3]


Stationary fuel cells can be used for backup power, power for remote locations, distributed power generation, and cogeneration (in which excess heat released during electricity generation is usedfor other applications.(http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/doe_h2_fuelcell_factsheet.pdf)[ajir3]

it runs quietly, and its sole tailpipe emission is water vapor. (http://www.futurecars.com/futurecars/hydrogen_fuellcell_cars2.html) [GCut3]

A fuel cell running on pure hydrogen is a zero-emission power source. Some stationary fuel cells use natural gas or hydrocarbons as a hydrogen feedstock, but even those produce far less emissions than conventional power plants. Fuel cell power plants are so low in emissions that some areas of the United States have exempted them from air permit requirements. Fuel cells are also very quiet, which reduces noise pollution.http://www.fuelcells.org/basics/benefits.html [rwag1]

In the future, hydrogen could also join electricity as an important energy carrier. An energy carrier moves and delivers energy in a usable form to consumers. Renewable energy sources, like the sun and wind, can't produce energy all the time. But they could, for example, produce electric energy and hydrogen, which can be stored until it's needed. Hydrogen can also be transported (like electricity) to locations where it is needed.(http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/tech/hydrogen)[ajir3]

Fuel cells can power almost any portable application that typically uses batteries, from hand-held devices to portable generators.(http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/doe_h2_fuelcell_factsheet.pdf)[ajir3]

Fuel cells can also power our transportation, including personal vehicles, trucks, buses, and marine vessels, as well as provide auxiliary power to traditional transportation technologies. Hydrogen can play a particularly important role in the future by replacing the imported petroleum we currently use in our cars and trucks.(http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/doe_h2_fuelcell_factsheet.pdf)[ajir3]

Batteries produce electricity until completely discharged, then they have to be replaced or recharged. A fuel cell continues to produce electricity as long as it is supplied with fuel and oxygen. In the typical fuel cell used in transportation, that's hydrogen and air. A battery produces essentially no emissions and little heat, while a hydrogen fuel cell emits water and more heat. (http://www.greencar.com/articles/hydrogen-fuel-cells-work.php) [EBle3]

Hydrogen has been called the "most alternative" of the alternative fuels: if it is made by electrolysis of water using electricity from a nonpolluting source like wind or solar power.
(http://www.altfuels.org/backgrnd/altftype/hydrogen.html) [SWhi3]

then no pollutants of any kind are generated by burning it in an internal combustion engine except for trace amounts of nitrogen oxides, and if it is used in a fuel cell then even these disappear.
(http://www.altfuels.org/backgrnd/altftype/hydrogen.html) [SWhi3]

Hydrogen is high in energy, yet an engine that burns pure hydrogen produces almost no pollution. NASA has used liquid hydrogen since the 1970s to propel the space shuttle and other rockets into orbit. Hydrogen fuel cells power the shuttle's electrical systems, producing a clean byproduct - pure water, which the crew drinks.
(http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/tech/hydrogen) [SPet1]

Fuel cells extract more energy from a fuel due to the increase in efficiency of electrochemical conversion over combustion. There are no moving parts in a fuel cell stack itself so there are no mechanical inefficiencies (compared with the Carnot Efficiency that limits normal engine efficiency). However, it should be well noted that the balance of plant introduces a large parasitic load. Furthermore, the heat produced in a fuel cell stack can often be used rather than wasted – a process known as Combined Heat & Power (CHP) generation or Combined Heat, Cooling and Power (Tri-generation). Generation of electrical power close to the electrical load (this is called Distributed Generation) allows the more efficient use of electrons and heat energy. Fuel cells also provide high efficiencies at partial loadings and at small sizes – both are important advantages over traditional energy converters. Many of these efficiency benefits are due to the modular nature of fuel cell design.
http://www.fuelcellmarkets.com/fuel_cell_markets/5,1,1,663.html [galex1]


FCVs have the potential to strengthen our national energy security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil. (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/FEG/fcv_benefits.shtml) [EBle3]

The U.S. uses about 20 million barrels of oil per day, at a cost of about $2 billion a week. In fact, half of the oil used to produce the gasoline you put in your tank is imported.
Hydrogen can be derived from many sources, such as methanol, natural gas, and gasoline, as well as renewable resources such as water. This flexibility would make us less dependent upon oil from foreign countries. (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/FEG/fcv_benefits.shtml) [EBle3]

Hydrogen fuel cells never run out of power. Hydrogen can also be transported (like electricity) to locations where it is needed. (http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/tech/hydrogen) [SWhi3]


Fuel cells generate electrical power quietly and efficiently, without pollution. Unlike power sources that use fossil fuels, the by-products from an operating fuel cell are heat and water. (http://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/alternative-fuels/fuel-cell.htm) [EBle3]

Burning fossil fuels such as gasoline or diesel adds greenhouse gases to the earth's atmosphere. Greenhouse gases trap heat and thus warm the earth because they prevent a significant proportion of infrared radiation from escaping into space. FCVs powered by pure hydrogen emit no greenhouse gases. If the hydrogen is generated by reforming fossil fuels, some greenhouse gases are released, but much less than the amount produced by conventional vehicles. (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/FEG/fcv_benefits.shtml) [SWol2]

Highway vehicles account for a significant share of the air pollutants that contribute to smog and harmful particulates. FCVs powered by pure hydrogen emit no harmful pollutants. FCVs that use a reformer to convert fuels such as natural gas, methanol, or gasoline to hydrogen do emit small amounts of air pollutants such as carbon monoxide (CO). (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/FEG/fcv_benefits.shtml) [SWol2]

Internal combustion engines in automobiles convert less than 20% of the energy in gasoline into power that moves the vehicle. Vehicles using electric motors powered by hydrogen fuel cells are much more energy efficient, utilitizing 40-60% of the fuel's energy. Even FCVs that reform hydrogen from gasoline can use about 40% of the energy in the gasoline. (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/FEG/fcv_benefits.shtml) [SWol2]

Fuel cell vehicles are much quieter than internal combustion engines although wind and road noise will still be present at higher speeds. (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/FEG/fcv_benefits.shtml) [SWol2]

The use of fuel cell stacks and electric motors affords automobile manufacturers a great deal of flexibility in designing vehicles.Fuel cell systems can be designed to fit almost any shape or body style. For example, the prototype on the right houses all of the vehicle's drivetrain components on a skateboard-shaped chassis. Also, instead of one large electric motor, it uses four smaller motors connected directly to each wheel. (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/FEG/fcv_benefits.shtml) [SWol2]

Fuel cells can provide much more electric power than the 12 volt batteries in conventional automobiles. Therefore, FCVs can be equipped with more sophisticated and powerful electronic systems than those found in conventional gasoline vehicles. For example, some vehicle manufacturers are designing vehicles that use electronic steering and braking. Eliminating the steering column and wheel may make these vehicles safer.
(http://www.fueleconomy.gov/FEG/fcv_benefits.shtml) [SWol2]

Advocates also say that, in the long run, hydrogen has the potential to make energy use more democratic. In addition to giving the U.S. more control over its energy, they argue, sources of hydrogen are abundant enough to empower consumers by making energy for cars and other applications more attainable. Ifhydrogen is produced through the use of renewable energy sources, they say, then energy access throughout the world could be equalized by allowing hydrogen to be produced locally and inexpensively. Less-expensive fuel would make it easier for people worldwide to own vehicles, supporters maintain. [CPit3]
http://www.2facts.com/icof_story.aspx?PIN=i0900070&term=hydrogen+fuel+cells

in addition, proponents say, hydrogen fuel
cell vehicles could lead to an improvement in air quality by reducing pollution. "Vehicles are a significant source of air pollution in America's cities and urban corridors," the Department of Energy states on its Web site. " Hydrogen fuel cells create electricity to power cars without producing any pollution." Supporters also note that hydrogen-powered cars are much quieter than gasoline-powered cars, even when traveling at high speeds. As a result, they say, noise pollution could be reduced. [CPit3]

http://www.2facts.com/icof_story.aspx?PIN=i0900070&term=hydrogen+fuel+cells

Hydrogen
fuel could also reduce U.S. consumption of foreign oil, supporters contend. The Department of Energy estimates that the U.S. imports between 10 million and 11 million barrels of oil per day. Such an arrangement puts the U.S. at the mercy of foreign events, supporters say, and makes it vulnerable to actions like those taken by Middle Eastern states during the 1970s. Some also argue that reliance on oil imports has unduly influenced U.S. foreign policy, encouraging the U.S. government to support undemocratic regimes in areas such as the Middle East to maintain stability. [CPit3]
http://www.2facts.com/icof_story.aspx?PIN=i0900070&term=hydrogen+fuel+cells

Hydrogen power has the potential to fuel cleaner cars, which would reduce air pollution and the emission of so-called greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Greater use of hydrogen power would also relieve the U.S. of its dependence on foreign oil. Existing problems with hydrogen will be worked out with enough money and effort. [MMcA3]
http://www.2facts.com/icof_story.aspx?PIN=i0900070&term=hydrogen+fuel+cells

Proponents acknowledge that obstacles to making
hydrogen -powered cars viable remain. But they point out that car makers have only recently begun to devote significant resources to developing hydrogen -powered cars, and they predict that the right amount of time and funding will solve the technical problems that exist. For instance, GM maintains that for $10 billion to $15 billion, there could be enough fuel ing stations in the U.S. to give 70% of the population convenient access to hydrogen for cars. [CPit3]
http://www.2facts.com/icof_story.aspx?PIN=i0900070&term=hydrogen+fuel+cells


Hydrogen fuel supporters cite its significant environmental benefits: unlike fossil fuels, hydrogen can be pollution-free and infinitely renewable through wind, solar and hydropower sources.
(http://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/hydrogen/environment.html) [KSca1]


New Markets. Fuel cell power system markets could exceed $3 billion worldwide by 2000, according to a recent Arthur D. Little, Inc., study. (http://www.bullnet.co.uk/shops/test/hydrogen.htm) [GCut3]

Fuel cells combine the best of batteries (quiet, no emissions) and internal combustion engines (easy refueling once the infrastructure is in place). [AFra2]
http://www.columbia.edu/~ajs120/hydrogen/web-pages/h-fuel-cell-adv.htm

In the future, hydrogen could also join electricity as an important energy carrier. An energy carrier moves and delivers energy in a usable form to consumers. Renewable energy sources, like the sun and wind, can't produce energy all the time. But they could, for example, produce electric energy and hydrogen, which can be stored until it's needed. Hydrogen can also be transported (like electricity) to locations where it is needed.
(http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/tech/hydrogen) [SPet1]

But, what critics and naysayers don’t speak of is that hydrogen cars are more efficient than gasoline-powered vehicles in burning fuel. For instance, hydrogen burned in an internal combustion engine (ICE) is 25 - 30 percent more efficient than a gasoline-powered vehicle and fuel cell vehicles are 100 - 200 percent (2 - 3 times) more efficient than gasoline-powered cars.
(http://www.hydrogencarsnow.com/blog2/index.php/competition/critics-arguments-against-hydrogen-fuel-debunked/) [SPet1]


Safety: You may think that hydrogen is not a save solution due to the Hindenburg's explosion. Well, it actually is one of the safest fuels that you can find! With the picture bellow, you can see that hydrogen compared to gasoline in an explosion is safer! The hydrogen rises to the top of the car and is on fire while the people are safe inside. With gasoline, the whole car explodes leaving the passengers and driver most likely dead or severely wounded. (http://library.thinkquest.org/05aug/00625/hydro2.html) [edal1]

A hydrogen economy would reduce the reliance on foreign oil reservations to provide our energy. This will allow countries to become more "energy independent." (http://library.thinkquest.org/05aug/00625/hydro2.html) [edal1]



  • A mere one percent of the global vehicle market, 450,000 vehicles, would mean an another $2 billion or more.
  • Another recent study projected global demand for transportation fuel cells in 2007 at $9 billion. (http://www.bullnet.co.uk/shops/test/hydrogen.htm) [SWol2]


Energy Security. U.S. energy dependence is higher today than it was during the "oil shock" of the 1970's, and oil imports are projected to increase. Passenger vehicles alone consume 6 million barrels of oil every single day, equivalent to 85% of oil imports. (http://www.bullnet.co.uk/shops/test/hydrogen.htm) [SWol2]

  • If just 20 percent of cars used fuel cells, we could cut oil imports by 1.5 million barrels every day.
  • If every new vehicle sold in the U.S. next year was equipped with a 60kw fuel cell, we would double the amount of the country's available electricity supply.
  • 10,000 fuel cell vehicles running on non-petroleum fuel would reduce oil consumption by 6.98 million gallons per year. (http://www.bullnet.co.uk/shops/test/hydrogen.htm) [SWol2]


Hydrogen can be produced from domestic sources, eliminating the need to import foreign oil. Passenger vehicles alone consume 6 million barrels of oil every single day, equivalent to 85 percent of oil imports. If just 20 percent of cars used fuel cells, we could cut oil imports by 1.5 million barrels every day.Because they don't have to be attached to the electric grid, fuel cells allow the country to move away from reliance on high voltage central station power generation which are the most likely terrorist targets in any attempt to cripple our energy infrastructure. http://www.fuelcells.org/basics/benefits.html [rwag1]
Clean and Efficient. Fuel cells could dramatically reduce urban air pollution, decrease oil imports, reduce the trade deficit and produce American jobs. (http://www.bullnet.co.uk/shops/test/hydrogen.htm) [SWol2]

The U.S. Department of Energy projects that if a mere 10% of automobiles nationwide were powered by fuel cells, regulated air pollutants would be cut by one million tons per year and 60 million tons of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide would be eliminated. DOE projects that the same number of fuel cell cars would cut oil imports by 800,000 barrels a day -- about 13 percent of total imports. (http://www.bullnet.co.uk/shops/test/hydrogen.htm) [SWol2]


Fuel cells running on hydrogen derived from a renewable source will be nothing but water vapor. In fact, the following chart shows a comparison of the water vapor and carbon monoxide emissions from fuel cells, running on a variety of fuels, as compared to an internal combustion engine. (http://www.bullnet.co.uk/shops/test/hydrogen.htm) [SWol2]

There are no moving parts in a fuel cell stack, making them more reliable and quieter than generators. Even the ancillary systems (fans, pumps, controls, etcetera) in a complete fuel cell unit are relatively mature and simple technologies that should prove extremely reliable. (http://www.altenergy.org/renewables/fuel_cells.html) [MMcA3]

Unlike batteries that must be disposed of once their chemicals are used up, fuel cell reactions do not degrade over time and can theoretically provide continuous electricity. (http://www.altenergy.org/renewables/fuel_cells.html) [MMcA3]

Traditional power plants must be large in order to gain efficiency, but fuel cells can achieve higher efficiencies at any scale, making them perfect for small portable, residential, and transportation uses. (http://www.altenergy.org/renewables/fuel_cells.html) [MMcA3]

In addition to low or zero emissions, benefits include high efficiency and reliability, multi-fuel capability, siting flexibility, durability, scalability and ease of maintenance. (http://www.fuelcells.org/) [MMcA3]

Fuel cells operate silently, so they reduce noise pollution as well as air pollution and the waste heat from a fuel cell can be used to provide hot water or space heating for a home or office. (http://www.fuelcells.org/) [MMcA3]


Produces no carbon emissions- Since a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car runs completely off of hydrogen, you don't have to worry about harmful emissions from gasoline. Instead, Hydrogen Fuel Cells emit clean water vapor into the atmosphere. (http://www.topwatercar.com/pros-and-cons-of-hydrogen-fuel-cell-cars.html) [AFra2]

More energy efficient- Typical gasoline powered cars only use about 20% of the fuel to power the car. With Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars, around 40-60% of the fuel is used to power the electric motor. (http://www.topwatercar.com/pros-and-cons-of-hydrogen-fuel-cell-cars.html) [AFra2]

Reduced dependency on foreign oil- The hydrogen used for powering hydrogen fuel cell cars can be made from a variety of sources including water. This means that there will be less dependence on foreign oil for gasoline. (http://www.topwatercar.com/pros-and-cons-of-hydrogen-fuel-cell-cars.html) [AFra2]

Disadvantages of using hydrogen fuel cells:
Hydrogen production can be energy intensive, and much of that energy is lost between production and conversion to electricity in a fuel cell. Transport and storage present their own challenges because hydrogen must be compressed, liquefied or combined with another element before it is distributed and stored.(http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5585525_hydrogen-fuel-cell-used_.html)[ajir3]


Prototype fuel cells last only 1/5th as long as would be needed to make fuel cells cost-effective. http://www.columbia.edu/~ajs120/hydrogen/web-pages/h-fuel-cell-disadv.html [rwag1]

It's big and cumbersome. Your gas tank already uses a nice portion of your car, but a hydrogen fuel cell will be three times bigger than a gas tank. ( http://ezinearticles.com/?3-Great-Disadvantages-Of-Hydrogen-Fuel-Cells&id=1656525) [GCut3]

Although abundant in the universe, hydrogen is fairly rare in our atmosphere, meaning that it has to be extracted (for example through electrolysis, as explained above) and currently, the process is cost prohibitive and inefficient. (http://www.futurecars.com/futurecars/hydrogen_fuellcell_cars2.html) [GCut3]

Its production at energy plants creates excessive carbon dioxide. (http://www.futurecars.com/futurecars/hydrogen_fuellcell_cars2.html) [GCut3]

Safety issues. Liquid hydrogen has the ability to freeze air. There have also been reports of accidents with the fuel cell itself. Sometimes a valve will get plugged up when there is too much pressure in the cell. The only place to go is out, and the cell explodes.(http://ezinearticles.com/?3-Great-Disadvantages-Of-Hydrogen-Fuel-Cells&id=1656525) [GCut3]

Fuel cell stacks are expensive to build and are subject to maintenance and reliability issues.(http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5585525_hydrogen-fuel-cell-used_.html)[ajir3]


Hydrogen is currently very expensive, not because it is rare (it's the most common element in the universe!) but because it's difficult to generate, handle, and store, requiring bulky and heavy tanks like those for compressed natural gas (CNG) or complex insulating bottles if stored as a cryogenic (super-cold) liquid like liquefied natural gas (LNG). It can also be stored at moderate temperatures and pressures in a tank containing a metal-hydride absorber or carbon adsorber, though these are currently very expensive. It is possible to store a hydrogen-bearing fuel like natural gas, methanol, or even gasoline aboard the vehicle and re-form it to get hydrogen as needed; this simplifies storage and refueling, but adds cost and complexity to the drivetrain (and reduces efficiency). It is not a very good fuel for an internal combustion engine, being prone to preignition, though BMW, Mazda, and Ford have done some tests; the most efficient way to use it is in fuel cell vehicles, but these are still in the demonstration stage.
(http://www.altfuels.org/backgrnd/altftype/hydrogen.html) [SWhi3]

One of the biggest disadvantages of hydrogen fuel cell cars is the way that hydrogen is produced. Currently, hydrogen is produced using coal, nuclear power, oil, or natural gas. These methods produce a substantial amount of pollution such as carbon dioxide. That means that the production of hydrogen fuel cells for cars would cause at least the same amount of pollution as existing cars do by burning gasoline.
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/250995/the_disadvantages_of_hydrogen_fuel.html [galex1]

Hydrogen power is too expensive to be a practical substitute for gasoline. Also, because the process of turning hydrogen into fuel creates pollution, the environmental benefits of the switch from traditional fuel sources would be negated. Other clean-car initiatives are more viable. [MMcA3]
http://www.2facts.com/icof_story.aspx?PIN=i0900070&term=hydrogen+fuel+cells

Prototype fuel cells last only 1/5 as long as would be needed to make fuel cells cost-effective.
(http://www.columbia.edu/~ajs120/hydrogen/web-pages/h-fuel-cell-disadv.html) [KSca1]

Another problem with PEM fuel cells is that impurities can poison the catalysts, resulting in reduced efficiency and activity so more dense catalysts are required and more platinum is used. Again, research is underway to solve the problem with various promising techniques being explored, like using a gold-palladium coating that may be less susceptible to poisoning. (http://www.greencar.com/articles/hydrogen-fuel-cells-work.php) [EBle3]

There are also concerns that, in a large-scale hydrogen economy where hydrogen is used to power fuel cells and related technologies in a variety of applications, manufacturing, storing, and transporting hydrogen would result in leaks that could accumulate in the upper atmosphere, and potentially deplete polar ozone layers. Infrastructure designs that carefully eliminate the potential for leaks can minimize this risk.
(http://www.masstech.org/cleanenergy/fuelcell/impactenv.htm) [SPet1]


  • Refueling: Right now, there are not enough refueling stations to be able to realistically provide hydrogen fuel for the masses. This should change, but it would not meet the demands of the hydrogen car. This is another downside to hydrogen fuel. ( http://library.thinkquest.org/05aug/00625/hydro2.html) [edal1]

While fuel cells have the potential to be a very clean source of energy if the hydrogen generation process uses renewable sources, current government-funded research requires the use of fossil fuels to produce the vast majority of hydrogen for fuel cells. Without a trend towards increased use of renewables for hydrogen production, the technology’s environmental benefits will continue to be somewhat offset by its reliance on fossil fuels.
(http://www.masstech.org/cleanenergy/fuelcell/impactenv.htm) [SPet1]

Scientists say the new technology could lead to greater destruction of the ozone layer that protects Earth from cancer-causing ultraviolet rays.
(http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/hydrogen_030613.html) [SPet1]


Cells generally only work in an environment with up to 95% humidity, so the cell may fail to function in climates that routinely have almost 100% humidity. (http://www.princeton.edu/~chm333/2002/spring/FuelCells/roadblocks.shtml) [GCut3]

They acknowledged that much is still unknown about the hydrogen cycle and that technologies could be developed to curtail hydrogen releases, mitigating the problem. But they say hydrogen's impact on ozone destruction should be considered when gauging the potential environmental downside of a hydrogen-fuel economy.
(http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/hydrogen_030613.html) [SPet1]

Storage: Storage is currently a problem with hydrogen technology in transportation. The hydrogen fuel must be heavily compressed to store enough to be suitable to drive within a 300 mile radius. This problem is currently being worked out by companies such as GM and Honda. (http://library.thinkquest.org/05aug/00625/hydro2.html) [edal1]

The United States Department of Energy states that the most widely marketed fuel cells cost about $4,500 per kilowatt. More conventional forms of power, such as a diesel generator, costs $800 to $1,500 per kilowatt, and a natural gas turbine costs even less. (http://www.princeton.edu/~chm333/2002/spring/FuelCells/roadblocks.shtml) [GCut3]

Early technology risks. Fuel cells are still in a relatively early stage of development and even the few commercially available models have limited fleet operating experience. This emerging technology requires risk-taking early adopters as end users in order to ultimately expose more consumers to the benefits of fuel cells. (http://www.masstech.org/cleanenergy/cells.htm) [GCut3]

Reliability and durability . In order to become widely accepted as a clean distributed generator, fuel cells must prove their adaptability for a variety of applications. Also, certain fuel cell system components—like the cell stack which can require a costly replacement every one to five years depending on the model—must be developed to have a longer lifespan or be easily and cheaply replaced. (http://www.masstech.org/cleanenergy/cells.htm) [GCut3]

Currently, hydrogen fuel cells are costly to produce and are fragile. Also, many designs require rare substances such as platinum as a catalyst in order to work properly. Such a catalyst can also become contaminated by impurities in the hydrogen supply. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_vehicle) [MMcA3]

Currently, there is no hydrogen infrastructure to supply coast-to-coast delivery of hydrogen fuel. (http://www.altenergy.org/renewables/fuel_cells.html) [MMcA3]

Cost of car and fuel- While a hydrogen fuel cell car might save the environment, it won't save you you any money. The Cars themselves are expensive and the fuel is not any cheaper. (http://www.topwatercar.com/pros-and-cons-of-hydrogen-fuel-cell-cars.html) [AFra2]

Travel Distance- A hydrogen fuel cell car will not be able to travel as far on a tank of fuel as a traditional powered car. The fuel cell cars are not equipped to store the amount of hydrogen needed for long distances, so you would need to fill up more often. (http://www.topwatercar.com/pros-and-cons-of-hydrogen-fuel-cell-cars.html) [AFra2]

Limited availability- There are very few hydrogen fuel cell cars available and only in particular areas. Also, you must go to a special hydrogen filling station to fuel your car, which is not convenient if you are very low on fuel.(http://www.topwatercar.com/pros-and-cons-of-hydrogen-fuel-cell-cars.html) [AFra2]

Possible winter risks- If you live in an area where the temperature gets down to the freezing, you might have a problem with your hydrogen fuel cell car. Since these cars have water in the fuel cell system constantly, there is a risk it could freeze. Also, the hydrogen fuel cell car has to be at a certain temperature to perform well. (http://www.topwatercar.com/pros-and-cons-of-hydrogen-fuel-cell-cars.html) [AFra2]

Escaped hydrogen could build up, depleting the ozone layer near the North and South poles and triggering an increase in global warming. (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/hydrogen/environment.html) [KSca1]

Hydrogen may further contribute to global warming by aiding other chemicals in producing increased amounts of water vapor in the upper atmosphere. (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/hydrogen/environment.html) [KSca1]

Researchers from the California Institute of Technology estimate that leaked hydrogen in a hydrogen economy could cause as much as a 10 percent decrease in the stratospheric zone. (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/hydrogen/environment.html) [KSca1)

If hydrogen replaces fossil fuels as the world's main energy source, the researchers believe that each year 60 trillion to 120 trillion grams of hydrogen could be released into the atmosphere. This is four to eight times the amount that is currently released. (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/hydrogen/environment.html) [KSca1]

Liquid hydrogen has the ability to freeze air. There have also been reports of accidents of the fuel cell itself. Sometimes a valve will get plugged up when there is too much pressure in the cell. (http://ezinearticles.com/?3-Great-Disadvantages-Of-Hydrogen-Fuel-Cells&id=1656525) [KSca1]

Economic costs of using hydrogen fuel cells:
Fuel cells are currently more expensive because of research and development costs, as well as the costs of the materials themselves. Some types of fuel cells require expensive catalysts like platinum, or are highly sensitive to chemical impurities in hydrogen and/or oxygen, which are costly to purify.(http://www.masstech.org/cleanenergy/fuelcell/impactcosts_mkts.htm)[ajir3]


To make Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles attractive to the general population fueling stations would need to be constructed nationwide to provide convenient filling. In September 2008, Dan O’Connell, Director of Fuel-Cell Commercialization for GM told Automotive Engineering International – the US will need 12, 000 fueling stations across the country and will cost between $10 and $15 billion to construct.(http://engineering.suite101.com/article.cfm/issues_and_costs_of_hydrogen_fuel_cell_vehicles)[ajir3]


Another major roadblock is the high costs of producing Fuel Cells - they use precious metals such as platinum in the production. The Infrastructure is not cheap either, California Fuel-Cell Partnership’s (CaFCP) goal is to create 40 hydrogen fueling stations in Los Angeles. This project will cost about $80 million plus the cost of the land where the fueling stations will be built.(http://engineering.suite101.com/article.cfm/issues_and_costs_of_hydrogen_fuel_cell_vehicles)[ajir3]

Reducing cost and improving durability are the two most significant challenges to fuel cell commercialization. Fuel cell systems must be cost-competitive with, and perform as well or better than, traditional power technologies over the life of the system. Ongoing research is focused on identifying and developing new materials that will reduce the cost and extend the life of fuel cell stack components including membranes, catalysts, bipolar plates, and membrane-electrode assemblies. Low cost, high volume manufacturing processes will also help to make fuel cell systems cost competitive with traditional technologies.
(http://www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/pdfs/doe_h2_fuelcell_factsheet.pdf) [SPet1]

Critics say that expenses associated with hydrogen itself would also be prohibitive. They predict that the cost of creating a national network of hydrogen fueling stations similar to today's gas stations would be prohibitively expensive. And they estimate that hydrogen produced as it is now could be as much as four times as expensive as gasoline. [CPit3]
http://www.2facts.com/icof_story.aspx?PIN=i0900070&term=hydrogen+fuel+cells

Some critics support the idea of hydrogen-powered cars but doubt the sincerity of the current proposals. Not enough money has been proposed to make significant progress, they say. They argue that the Bush administration and the car companies are undertaking the current initiatives not because they believe in the development of hydrogen power but because they want the positive public image that comes from pursuing alternative fuel sources. [CPit3]
http://www.2facts.com/icof_story.aspx?PIN=i0900070&term=hydrogen+fuel+cells


Electricity generated by fuel cells in cars costs thousands of dollars per kilowatt: this would have to fall by a factor of 10 for fuel cells to become economically viable.
(http://www.columbia.edu/~ajs120/hydrogen/web-pages/h-fuel-cell-disadv.html) [KSca1]

Hydrogen Fuel Cells are currently very expensive to make, but since they have simple construction, mass production costs would be extremely low. [AFra2}
http://www.columbia.edu/~ajs120/hydrogen/web-pages/h-fuel-cell-disadv.html

One company commercially offers fuel cell power plants for about $3,000 pwer kilowatt. At that price, the units are competitive in high value, "niche" markets, and in areas where electricity prices are high and natural gas prices low.
(http://www.bullnet.co.uk/shops/test/hydrogen.htm#cost) [SPet1]

Fuel cells will have to be much cheaper to become commercial in vehicles. Conventional car engines cost about $3,000 to manufacture. More research is needed to bring the cost of fuel cells down to that level, but officials at DaimlerChrysler have pledged to have a viable, commercial fuel cell vehicle available in 2004.
(http://www.bullnet.co.uk/shops/test/hydrogen.htm#cost) [SPet1]


The National Academy of Sciences/National research Council studied this question. Data provided in the NRC report show that the cost of
hydrogenper mile driven ought to be between 27% to 52% lower than the cost of gasoline at $1.80/gallon in a conventional car, and between
3% more to 32% less than the cost of gasoline used in a hybrid electric vehicle. (http://www.fuelcells.org/info/library/QuestionsandAnswers062404.pdf) [SWol2]

Even if hydrogen ultimately is more expensive by weight or volume, hydrogen cars are much more efficient than gasoline cars, thus making
hydrogen very competitive on a cost per mile basis. Fuel cell vehicles are 50 percent efficient, compared to perhaps 15 percent for gasoline combustion engines. On this basis, the per-mile costs for fuel cell vehicles are comparable to gasoline vehicles even with today’s prototypes.(http://www.fuelcells.org/info/library/QuestionsandAnswers062404.pdf) [SWol2]

Unfortunately, fuel cell vehicles still face a variety of obstacles in cost, infrastructure and hydrogen storage. Also important is the massive energy required to produce the hydrogen. (http://www.enviroliteracy.org/article.php/181.html) [KSca1]

The high capital cost for fuel cells is another limiting factor. In order to compete, fuel cells must continue to reduce both their capital and installed costs. (http://www.enviroliteracy.org/article.php/181.html) [KSca1]

Economic Growth: Fuel cells could create new markets for steel, electronics, electrical and control industries and other equipment suppliers. They could provide tens of thousands of high-quality jobs and reduce trade deficits. The consulting firm Arthur D. Little projects that fuel cell sales could reach $3 billion by the year 2000, with a market of 1,500-2,000 MW per year. The consultants estimate that each 1,000 MW will create 5,000 jobs. If just 20 percent of cars used fuel cells, 800,000 jobs would be created. (http://www.bullnet.co.uk/shops/test/hydrogen.htm) [GCut3]

Economically, fuel cells represent a prudent path to provide the country's electric power because they can be installed quickly, are fuel flexible, and can be put in place incrementally, mitigating the need for more costly and sweeping changes. (http://www.altenergy.org/renewables/fuel_cells.html) [MMcA3]


One company commercially offers fuel cell power plants for about $3,000 pwer kilowatt. At that price, the units are competitive in high value, "niche" markets, and in areas where electricity prices are high and natural gas prices low. (http://www.bullnet.co.uk/shops/test/hydrogen.htm) [MMcA3]
President Bush's 2004 budget asks for more than $22 million for hydrogen research and development to be devoted to coal, nuclear power and natural gas, and $17 million for renewable sources.
(http://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/hydrogen/environment.html) [KSca1]




Environmental impact of using hydrogen fuel cells (Both +/-):
Researchers said in a report Thursday saying that if hydrogen replaced fossil fuels to run everything from cars to power plants, large amounts of hydrogen would drift into the stratosphere as a result of leakage and indirectly cause increased depletion of the ozone.(http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/hydrogen_030613.html)[ajir3]


A conventional combustion-based power plant typically generates electricity at efficiencies of 33 to 35 percent, while fuel cell systems can generate electricity at efficiencies up to 60 percent (and even higher with cogeneration). http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/doe_h2_fuelcell_factsheet.pdf [rwag1]


Hydrogen-powered fuel cells are not only pollution- free, but also can have two to three times the efficiency of traditional combustion technologies. http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/doe_h2_fuelcell_factsheet.pdf [rwag1]

Because a fuel cell only consumes fossil fuels within its system, it does not release many gases into the environment. Gases that are released, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), are emitted in very low quantities. This environmental benefit may be enhanced if fuel cells can eventually use hydrogen produced by electrolysis from renewable energy sources.(http://www.masstech.org/cleanenergy/fuelcell/overview.htm)[ajir3]

There are also concerns that, in a large-scale hydrogen economy where hydrogen is used to power fuel cells and related technologies in a variety of applications, manufacturing, storing, and transporting hydrogen would result in leaks that could accumulate in the upper atmosphere, and potentially deplete polar ozone layers. Infrastructure designs that carefully eliminate the potential for leaks can minimize this risk.(http://www.masstech.org/cleanenergy/fuelcell/impactenv.htm)[ajir3]


Fuel cells are potentially a very clean, environmentally-friendly source of energy due to their super-efficient use of fuel for electricity and heat. However, reliance on fossil fuels should be reduced and hydrogen leakage concerns addressed for the technology to be as “green” as possible.(http://www.masstech.org/cleanenergy/fuelcell/impactenv.htm)[ajir3]


Possibility: The widespread use of hydrogen fuel cells could have hitherto unknown environmental impacts due to unintended emissions of molecular hydrogen, including an increase in the abundance of water vapor in the stratosphere (plausibly by as much as
~
~
1 part per million by volume). This would cause stratospheric cooling, enhancement of the heterogeneous chemistry that destroys ozone, an increase in noctilucent clouds, and changes in tropospheric chemistry and atmosphere-biosphere interactions. (
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/300/5626/1740?ijkey=CA.vaAF1afPGE) [AFra2]

No greenhouse gases are generated because there's no carbon in the fuel. All that comes out the vehicle's exhaust is drinkable water! (http://www.altfuels.org/backgrnd/altftype/hydrogen.html) [SWhi3]

Using hydrogen as the "battery" to store energy from a nonpolluting, renewable source would result in a truly unlimited supply of clean fuel.
(http://www.altfuels.org/backgrnd/altftype/hydrogen.html) [SWhi3]

The advantage of using hydrogen to store energy rather than a battery pack is that a hydrogen tank can be refilled in minutes rather than recharged in hours, and it takes less space and weight to store enough hydrogen to drive a given distance on a single refueling than it does to carry enough battery capacity to go the same distance on a single recharging. (http://www.altfuels.org/backgrnd/altftype/hydrogen.html) [SWhi3]


Fuel cells currently rely primarily on natural gas, a fossil fuel, to create the hydrogen need to produce electricity and heat. However, because this technology uses its fuel so efficiently, it is widely considered a clean energy technology. Current research into the use of solar, wind, and water power to create hydrogen may eventually make this technology completely renewable.
(http://www.masstech.org/cleanenergy/fuelcell/impactenv.htm) [SPet1]

Maybe the answer to "What's so great about fuel cells?" should be the question "What's so great about pollution, changing the climate or running out of oil, natural gas and coal?" As we head into the next millennium, it is time to put renewable energy and planet-friendly technology at the top of our priorities.http://inventors.about.com/od/fstartinventions/a/Fuel_Cells_2.htm [rwag1]

Hydrogen fuel cell technology seems poised to replace the internal combustion engine in the upcoming decade. Environmentalists tout the technology as environmentally friendly and stress its low tailpipe emissions resulting in cleaner urban air. At face value the technology should have a negligible impact because the major byproduct is water. What has not been considered is that it will take billions of liters of H2 to power the future national (and international) fleet offuel-cell vehicles and that the leading contenders to make that H2 are the very fossil fuels that cause smog and greenhouse gases.
(
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2002AGUFM.A72C0192T) [SPet1]

If that does happen, there will be two important consequences. First, the current fossil fuel pollutants will not disappear, rather they will be shifted from tailpipe sources to where the fossil fuels are extracted and the hydrogenis made. In addition, the fuel to make the cells work, H2, is an important trace constituent (~0.5 ppmv) of the atmosphere [Novelli et al., 1999] and participates in reactions involving pollutants and greenhouse gases [Crutzen, 1977]. Thus, anthropogenic H2 emissions could have significant indirect environmental consequences.
(
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2002AGUFM.A72C0192T) [SPet1]


We have examined the potential environmental impact of additional H2 release for several emission scenarios. We calculated the ODP of H2. Given that the oxidation of H2 is an important source of water vapor in the stratosphere, which is otherwise isolated from direct sources of H2O by the `cold trap' at the tropopause. We calculated what kind of elevated concentrations of stratospheric water vapor could occur for the different emission scenarios. Not only will additional water vapor cool the stratosphere, but also it will allow heterogeneous chemical reactions to occur when it forms PSCs in polar regions. H2 also reacts with atmospheric OH radicals, the premier oxidant in the earth's atmosphere. We will calculate how increasing fluxes of H2 to the atmosphere will shift the balance of the earth's oxidation chemistry, potentially increasing the lifetimes of other more harmful gases.
(http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2002AGUFM.A72C0192T) [SPet1]

If, in the long run, fuel cells could use hydrogen produced by electrolysis powered by electricity generated from renewable sources, the environmental benefits would be even greater. In that case, the outputs of fuel cells would be electricity, heat, and water vapor (produced when the hydrogen and oxygen combine in the fuel cell). (http://www.masstech.org/cleanenergy/cells.htm) [GCut3]

One of the biggest advantages of hydrogen fuel cell cars is the lack of emissions they give off. As you already know, the exhaust of cars powered by gasoline emit greenhouse gases like sulfur and carbon. Cars powered by a hydrogen fuel cell will only emit water vapor. (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/250431/the_advantages_of_hydrogen_fuel_cell.html) [EBle3]

Hydrogen cars would greatly improve the quality of the air and reduce the greenhouse emissions responsible for global warming. (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/250431/the_advantages_of_hydrogen_fuel_cell.html) [EBle3]

Another advantage of hydrogen fuel cell cars is that there are many sources of hydrogen. Hydrogen can be produced from oil, natural gas, and coal. (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/250431/the_advantages_of_hydrogen_fuel_cell.html) [EBle3]

Hydrogen can also be made from biomass such as waste from livestock, wastewater sludge, and landfill waste. Natural elements like water, sunlight, and wind can also be used to produce produce hydrogen for hydrogen fuel cell cars. (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/250431/the_advantages_of_hydrogen_fuel_cell.html) [EBle3]

Hydrogen is much more efficient as a source of fuel than gasoline is. (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/250431/the_advantages_of_hydrogen_fuel_cell.html) [EBle3]

Hydrogen has a higher energy density per unit mass than gasoline does, and also has a lower energy density per unit volume. This means that hydrogen fuel cell cars would need much less fuel to travel greater distances than cars powered by gasoline would be able to. (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/250431/the_advantages_of_hydrogen_fuel_cell.html) [EBle3]

Skeptics argue that the fuel source does have its environmental drawbacks, and are concerned about the Bush administration's plan to extract hydrogen. Instead of generating hydrogen from water and sunlight, the 2002 National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap requires that up to 90 percent of all hydrogen be refined from non-renewable resources, oil, natural gas and other fossil fuels. (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/hydrogen/environment.html) [AFra2]

Once the hydrogen is in a fuel cell car, only water vapor and heat will be expelled from the tailpipe, but the process of burning fossil fuels to obtain the hydrogen will release carbon dioxide, the primary cause of global warming. (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/hydrogen/environment.html) [AFra2]

Even though fossil fuels are consumed in the electrochemical reaction inside of a fuel cell, fuel cells do not do not produce the same unhealthy air pollution emissions that are generated by burning gasoline in cars or burning coal and other fossil fuels in power plants. With fuel cells, there is no combustion, so fewer gases are released into the environment. For example, almost no sulfur oxides (SOx) or nitrogen oxides (NOx) are emitted, and emissions do not include any particulate matter. The greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) is an additional byproduct, but the high electrical efficiency of fuel cells provides much more electricity per unit of carbon released than conventional generators of similar size. Because these emissions are so low, certifications and permits are rarely needed to install commercial fuel cell systems. (http://www.masstech.org/cleanenergy/fuelcell/impactenv.htm) [AFra2]

While fuel cells have the potential to be a very clean source of energy if the hydrogen generation process uses renewable sources, current government-funded research requires the use of fossil fuels to produce the vast majority of hydrogen for fuel cells. Without a trend towards increased use of renewables for hydrogen production, the technology’s environmental benefits will continue to be somewhat offset by its reliance on fossil fuels. (http://www.masstech.org/cleanenergy/fuelcell/impactenv.htm) [AFra2]

Fuel cells are potentially a very clean, environmentally-friendly source of energy due to their super-efficient use of fuel for electricity and heat. However, reliance on fossil fuels should be reduced and hydrogen leakage concerns addressed for the technology to be as “green” as possible. (http://www.masstech.org/cleanenergy/fuelcell/impactenv.htm) [AFra2]


Is there be any opposition to the use of hydrogen fuel cells? Why? Do you agree or disagree with those views?:
In THE HYPE ABOUT HYDROGEN, author Joseph Romm explains why hydrogen isn't the quick technological fix it's cracked up to be, and why business strategies like GM's that depend on fuel cells are likely to fail. Romm, who helped run the federal government's program on hydrogen and fuel cells during the Clinton administration provides a provocative primer on the politics, business, and technology of hydrogen and climate protection.
(
http://www.culturechange.org/hydrogen.htm) [SPet1]

Proponents of a world-scale hydrogen economy argue that hydrogen can be an environmentally cleaner source of energy to end-users, particularly in transportation applications, without release of pollutants (such as particulate matter) or greenhouse gases at the point of end use. A 2004 analysis asserted that "most of the hydrogen supply chain pathways would release significantly less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than would gasoline used in hybrid electric vehicles" and that significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions would be possible if carbon capture or carbon sequestration methods were utilized at the site of energy or hydrogen production.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_economy) [SWol2]

Critics of a hydrogen economy point at the following facts :
  • hydrogen is not freely available
  • hydrogen is a gas at most temperatures, and particularly difficult to handle
  • hydrogen is more dangerous than most substances ; equipment owned by consumers would have to be checked periodically
  • hydrogen production requires resources, and ultimately leads to energy loss.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_economy) [SWol2]

There are also concerns that, in a large-scale hydrogen economy where hydrogen is used to power fuel cells and related technologies in a variety of applications, manufacturing, storing, and transporting hydrogen would result in leaks that could accumulate in the upper atmosphere, and potentially deplete polar ozone layers. (http://www.masstech.org/cleanenergy/fuelcell/impactenv.htm) [MMcA3]

While fuel cells have the potential to be a very clean source of energy if the hydrogen generation process uses renewable sources, current government-funded research requires the use of fossil fuels to produce the vast majority of hydrogen for fuel cells. (http://www.masstech.org/cleanenergy/fuelcell/impactenv.htm) [MMcA3]

The widespread use of hydrogen fuel cells could have hitherto unknown environmental impacts due to unintended emissions of molecular hydrogen, including an increase in the abundance of water vapor in the stratosphere. (http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/300/5626/1740) [MMcA3]

Enhancement of the heterogeneous chemistry that destroys ozone, an increase in noctilucent clouds, and changes in tropospheric chemistry and atmosphere-biosphere interactions. ( http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/300/5626/1740) [MMcA3]

Hydrogen fuel supporters cite its significant environmental benefits: unlike fossil fuels, hydrogen can be pollution-free and infinitely renewable through wind, solar and hydropower sources. (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/hydrogen/environment.html) [KSca1]

Some scientists say that if hydrogen is only extracted from fossil fuels, the environmental impact of the carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels will outweigh the environmental benefits of a clean-burning energy provider. (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/hydrogen/environment.html) [KSca1]

Would there be any societal impacts to the use of hydrogen fuel cells?

The focus on building a national hydrogen distribution and fueling network to supply fuel cell powered cars ignores shorter term, less expensive and more rewarding strategies encouraged by recent technological developments. The most important of these is the successful commercialization of the hybrid electric vehicle (HEV).[CPit3]
http://www.newrules.org/energy/publications/better-way-get-here-there-commentary-hydrogen-economy


HEV establishes a new technological platform upon which to fashion transportation- related energy strategies. Its dual reliance on electric and gasoline propulsion systems allows and encourages us to develop a dual energy strategy that expands the electricity storage and propulsion capacity component while rapidly expanding the renewable fuels used both for the electricity and engine side of the vehicle. [CPit3]
http://www.newrules.org/energy/publications/better-way-get-here-there-commentary-hydrogen-economy

A crash program to switch to electricity/ biofuel powered vehicles should take into account social and economic issues. The transition should not only expand renewable energy use but do so in a way that maximizes the benefits to hard-pressed rural economies here and abroad. This is best accomplished by having the power plants locally owned. [CPit3]
http://www.newrules.org/energy/publications/better-way-get-here-there-commentary-hydrogen-economy

For a hydrogen economy to have any impact the nation must change virtually every aspect of its energy system, from production to distribution to the design of our gas stations and our cars. [CPit3]
http://www.newrules.org/energy/publications/better-way-get-here-there-commentary-hydrogen-economy

For the foreseeable future, even the hydrogen economy's most ardent supporters concede that theirs will be a high cost strategy ($2.50 to $12 per gallon of gasoline equivalent) based on nonrenewables and likely to increase the emissions of greenhouse gases. These advocates argue that in the long term these various costs can be reduced or eliminated. Technically that may be so. But hydrogen's high cost, poor energetics and scant environmental benefits for the near and medium term future must be taken into account when evaluating it against alternative fuels and strategies. [CPit3]
http://www.newrules.org/energy/publications/better-way-get-here-there-commentary-hydrogen-economy

Some foresee hydrogen fuel cells replacing batteries in devices such as cellular telephones and laptop computers. [CPit3]
http://www.2facts.com/icof_story.aspx?PIN=ib900090&term=hydrogen+fuel+cells

Hydrogen fuel cells could also be used in generators to provide power to locations such as homes, hospitals, businesses and construction sites. Fuel-cell generators are already being developed, some of which use hydrogen directly while others draw hydrogen from natural gas. Observers say that such devices could be most useful in developing countries that lack electrical power grids. [CPit3]
.http://www.2facts.com/icof_story.aspx?PIN=ib900090&term=hydrogen+fuel+cells

Some proposed fuel cell technology combines home generators with power for cars. For example, Honda Motor Co. of Japan., which has already developed a car that runs on fuel cells, has collaborated with the U.S. company Plug Power to develop a car fueling station that consumers would keep in their homes. The device would also provide indoor heating and hot water for consumers. [CPit3]
http://www.2facts.com/icof_story.aspx?PIN=ib900090&term=hydrogen+fuel+cells

Some experts say that hydrogen could eventually enable consumers to use their cars as power generators. Cars powered by fuel cells could be used to supply electricity for other purposes when they were not being driven, including selling it back to power grids, they maintain. In that way, they say, fuel cell technology could eventually change the relationship between consumers and commercial energy suppliers. [CPit3]
http://www.2facts.com/icof_story.aspx?PIN=ib900090&term=hydrogen+fuel+cells

Countries with a hydrogen economy will cut down on pollution and become "energy independent". Industrialized nations will be able to rely less on oil from the Middle East and start becoming independent providers of fuel for themselves. Pollution will become less of a problem for the whole world as nations stop using fossil fuels. It will be a matter of time, but this will help reduce global warming on our planet. (http://library.thinkquest.org/05aug/00625/hydro5.html)[edal1]


Hydrogen is high in energy, yet an engine that burns pure hydrogen produces almost no pollution. NASA has used liquid hydrogen since the 1970s to propel the space shuttle and other rockets into orbit. Hydrogen fuel cells power the shuttle's electrical systems, producing a clean byproduct - pure water, which the crew drinks. [CPit3]
(http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/tech/hydrogen)


Gasoline usage will not halt at the release of the hydrogen car. Hydrogen cars will be used, but gasoline will probably remain the main source of energy for quite a while. For hydrogen to become the fuel that the majority of the population will use for transportation there will have to be widespread availablility. Still, hydrogen may only be available in certain locations. (http://library.thinkquest.org/05aug/00625/hydro5.html) [edal1]

How do Hydrogen Fuel Cells work?

Hydrogen fuel is fed into the "anode" of the fuel cell. Oxygen (or air) enters the fuel cell through the cathode. Encouraged by a catalyst, the hydrogen atom splits into a proton and an electron, which take different paths to the cathode. The proton passes through the electrolyte. The electrons create a separate current that can be utilized before they return to the cathode, to be reunited with the hydrogen and oxygen in a molecule of water.(http://www.bullnet.co.uk/shops/test/hydrogen.htm)[ajir3]

A fuel cell continues to produce electricity as long as it is supplied with fuel and oxygen.(http://www.greencar.com/articles/hydrogen-fuel-cells-work.php)[ajir3]

The hydrogen fuel cell operates similar to a battery. It has two electrodes, an anode and a cathode, separated by a membrane. Oxygen passes over one electrode and hydrogen over the other.(http://inventors.about.com/od/sstartinventions/ss/Physics_Illustr_2.htm) [edal1]

The hydrogen reacts to a catalyst on the electrode anode that converts the hydrogen gas into negatively charged electrons (e-) and positively charged ions (H+).(http://inventors.about.com/od/sstartinventions/ss/Physics_Illustr_2.htm) [edal1]

The electrons flow out of the cell to be used as electrical energy. The hydrogen ions move through the electrolyte membrane to the cathode electrode where they combine with oxygen and the electrons to produce water. Unlike batteries, fuel cells never run out. [edal1]
(http://inventors.about.com/od/sstartinventions/ss/Physics_Illustr_2.htm)


external image moz-screenshot.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-1.pngexternal image fuelcell.gif[edal1]
(http://z.about.com/d/inventors/1/0/R/5/fuelcell.gif)


While there are several different types of fuel cells, they all work on the same basic principle. The proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell will be discussed here. With rare exception, this is the technology being developed for use in cars, trucks, and buses. PEM fuel cells appear to be the most promising for vehicles because the reactions are about the simplest of any fuel cell design. They also have a high kilowatts-per-cubic-inch power density. Their relatively low operating temperature of 140 to 176 degrees F means they start to produce electricity quickly and don't require expensive cooling systems. (http://www.greencar.com/articles/hydrogen-fuel-cells-work.php) [SWol2]

Fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, heat, and water. Fuel cells are often compared to batteries. Both convert the energy produced by a chemical reaction into usable electric power. However, the fuel cell will produce electricity as long as fuel (hydrogen) is supplied, never losing its charge. (http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/tech/hydrogen) [MMcA3]

Fuel cells are very efficient. If supplied with pure hydrogen they can convert 80 percent of the hydrogen's energy content to electric power. If the electricity is used by an electric motor and inverter in a fuel cell vehicle - which are about 80 percent efficient - the overall efficiency is 64 percent. This compares to the approximate 20 percent energy conversion efficiency of the typical gasoline-fueled vehicle, providing yet another reason why fuel cell vehicles hold such promise for the future.
(http://www.greencar.com/articles/hydrogen-fuel-cells-work.php) [SWol2]

A single hydrogen fuel cell delivers a low voltage, so manufacturers "stack" fuel cells together in a series, as in a dry-cell battery. The more layers, the higher the voltage. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/3210/01-fcw.html) [EBle3]

Electrical current, meanwhile, has to do with surface area. The greater the surface area of the electrodes, the greater the current. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/3210/01-fcw.html) [EBle3]

Fuel Cell Cooling System: This has several parts. Perched at an angle at the front part of the vehicle is a large radiator for the fuel cell system, while two radiators for the motor and transmission lie ahead of the front wheels below the headlights. The car also has a cooling pump located near the fuel stacks to stabilize temperature within the stacks. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/3210/01-car-flash.html) [EBle3]

A fuel cell converts the chemicals hydrogen and oxygen into water, and in the process it produces electricity. With a fuel cell, chemicals constantly flow into the cell so it never goes dead -- as long as there is a flow of chemicals into the cell, the electricity flows out of the cell. (http://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/alternative-fuels/fuel-cell.htm) [KSca1]

A typical fuel cell system for stationary power applications has three main parts: a fuel cell stack, a fuel processor, and the power electronics. The fuel cell stack is the heart of a fuel cell system. This is where the separate fuel streams of hydrogen and oxygen physically come together, react, and create electricity. This part of the fuel cell system is called the stack because layers of individual fuel cell modules are actually stacked next to or on top of each other in order to increase the power capacity of the system. ( http://www.masstech.org/cleanenergy/cells.htm ) [GCut3]

The fuel processor is the part of a commercial fuel cell system that produces a supply of hydrogen fuel. The other fuel, oxygen, is readily available in the air, and it is relatively simple to separate from nitrogen and other trace gases in the air. ( http://www.masstech.org/cleanenergy/cells.htm ) [GCut3]

Power electronics comprise the third main component of a fuel cell system. The electrochemical reaction that takes place in the fuel cell stack yields only direct current (DC) electricity. Because most residential and commercial applications use alternating current (AC), the power electronics convert the DC electricity to the more useable AC electricity. (http://www.masstech.org/cleanenergy/cells.htm) [GCut3]

Since a single fuel cell produces only about 0.7 volts, many separate fuel cells are combined to form a fuel cell stack. They can be connected in a parallel circuit for higher current and in series for higher voltage. (http://www.greencar.com/articles/hydrogen-fuel-cells-work.php) [EBle3]

The fuel cell is similar to a battery. It produces electricity using chemicals. The chemicals are usually very simple, often just hydrogen and oxygen. In this case the hydrogen is the "fuel" that the fuel cell uses to make electricity. ( http://www.bullnet.co.uk/shops/test/hydrogen.htm) [MMcA3]

A fuel cell system which includes a "fuel reformer" can utilize the hydrogen from any hydrocarbon fuel - from natural gas to methanol, and even gasoline. Since the fuel cell relies on chemistry and not combustion, emissions from this type of a system would still be much smaller than emissions from the cleanest fuel combustion processes. (http://www.bullnet.co.uk/shops/test/hydrogen.htm) [MMcA3]

With a fuel cell, chemicals constantly flow into the cell so it never goes dead -- as long as there is a flow of chemicals into the cell, the electricity flows out of the cell. Most fuel cells in use today use hydrogen and oxygen as the chemicals. (http://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/alternative-fuels/fuel-cell.htm) [EBle3]


====In principle, a fuel cell operates like a battery. Unlike a battery, a fuel cell does not run down or require recharging. It will produce energy in the form of electricity and heat as long as fuel is supplied. A fuel cell consists of two electrodes sandwiched around an electrolyte. Oxygen passes over one electrode and hydrogen over the other, generating electricity, water and heat.http://www.fuelcells.org/basics/how.html[rwag1]

Hydrogen fuel is fed into the "anode" of the fuel cell. Oxygen (or air) enters the fuel cell through the cathode. Encouraged by a catalyst, the hydrogen atom splits into a proton and an electron, which take different paths to the cathode. The proton passes through the electrolyte. The electrons create a separate current that can be utilized before they return to the cathode, to be reunited with the hydrogen and oxygen in a molecule of water. http://www.fuelcells.org/basics/how.html [rwag1] ||

A fuel cell system which includes a "fuel reformer" can utilize the hydrogen from any hydrocarbon fuel - from natural gas to methanol, and even gasoline. Since the fuel cell relies on chemistry and not combustion, emissions from this type of a system would still be much smaller than emissions from the cleanest fuel combustion processes. http://www.fuelcells.org/basics/how.html [rwag1]


A fuel cell harnesses the chemical energy of hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity without combustion or pollution. Fuel cell technology isn't new; NASA has used fuel cells for many years to provide power for space shuttles' electrical systems. In the near future, your vehicle may also be powered by fuel cells. The type of fuel cell typically used in automobiles is a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM), also called a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane fuel cell. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fuelcell8.swf [rwag1]

A single fuel cell consists of an electrolyte sandwiched between two electodes, an anode and a cathode. bipolar plates on either side of the cell help distribute gases and serve as current collecors.
http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/doe_h2_fuelcell_factsheet.pdf [bgre1]

Stationary fuel cells can be used for backup power, power for remote locations, distributed powergeneration, and cogneration.
http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/doe_h2_fuelcell_factsheet.pdf [bgre1]

Fuel cells can power almost any portable application that typically uses batteries, from hand held devices to portable generators.
http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/doe_h2_fuelcell_factsheet.pdf [bgre1]


Hydrogen is the most versatile of renewable energy resources -- a universal fuel that can be burned in an engine or used in a fuel cell to power vehicles, buildings and homes, utility power plants and anything else that uses electrical energy.http://www.america.gov/st/env-english/2008/March/20080304175603lcnirellep0.4716761.html [Bgre1]

DOE, car manufacturers and the National Hydrogen Association say consumers can expect to see hydrogen vehicles in auto showrooms by 2020, “but at least a few auto manufacturers have said that they will have a production-ready hydrogen vehicle as early as 2012,” he added. http://www.america.gov/st/env-english/2008/March/20080304175603lcnirellep0.4716761.html [Bgre1]

BMW’s Hydrogen 7 is the world’s first production-quality vehicle, and Honda is leasing its FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel-cell sedan to a limited number of drivers in southern California this summer -- a three-year, $600-per-month lease in an area that has operating hydrogen fueling stations and participating auto maintenance facilities.
http://www.america.gov/st/env-english/2008/March/20080304175603lcnirellep0.4716761.html [Bgre1]

In the United States, DOE’s National Hydrogen Learning Demonstration, which has about 70 hydrogen cars on the road, is a government-industry partnership created to test, demonstrate and validate hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and fueling stations.http://www.america.gov/st/env-english/2008/March/20080304175603lcnirellep0.4716761.html [Bgre1]

hydrogen can play a particularly important role in the future by replacing the imported petrolem we currently use in our cars in tucks.
http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/doe_h2_fuelcell_factsheet.pdf [bgre1]

hydogen-powered fuel cell are not only pollution-free, but also have more than two times the efficiency of traditional combustion tecnologies. in additon fuel cells operate quietly, have fewer moving parts, and are well suited to a variety of applications. http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/doe_h2_fuelcell_factsheet.pdf [bgre1]

A fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, heat, and water. Fuel cells are often compared to batteries. Both convert the energy produced by a chemical reaction into usable electric power. However, the fuel cell will produce electricity as long as fuel (hydrogen) is supplied, never losing its charge. http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/tech/hydrogen [Bgre1]

A conventional combustion-based power plant typically generates electricity at efficiencies of 33 to 35 percent, while fuel cell systems can generate electricity at efficiencies up to 60 percent (and even higher with cogeneration). http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/doe_h2_fuelcell_factsheet.pdf [bgre1]

hydogen is an energy carrier not an energy source, meaning that it stores and delivers energy in a usable form. http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/doe_h2_fuelcell_factsheet.pdf [bgre1]

Sir William Grove invented the first fuel cell in 1839. Grove knew that water could be split into hydrogen and oxygen by sending an electric current through it (a process called electrolysis). He hypothesized that by reversing the procedure you could produce electricity and water. He created a primitive fuel cell and called it a gas voltaic battery. it would later be changed to fuel cell buy ludwig mond and chales langer. http://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/alternative-fuels/fuel-cell1.htm [Bgre1]

Batteries are quite similar to hydrogen fuel cells. they have two electrodes, an anode and a cathode, separated by a membrane. oxygen passes over one electrode and hydrogen over the other.
http://inventors.about.com/od/sstartinventions/ss/Physics_Illustr_2.htm [Bgre1]

world powers are begining to power together to advance the research of fuel atoms. they all are geared towards the research and developmentj efforts. The International Partnership For The Hydrogen Economy includes: Australia, Brazil Canada, China, European Comission, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, and the United States. http://inventors.about.com/od/sstartinventions/ss/Physics_Illustr_2.htm [Bgre1]

The gasoline engine in a conventional car is less than 20% efficient in converting the chemical energy in gasoline into power that moves the vehicle, under normal driving conditions. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which use electric motors, are much more energy efficient and use 40-60 percent of the fuel’s energy — corresponding to more than a 50% reduction in fuel consumption, compared to a conventional vehicle with a gasoline internal combustion engine.
http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/doe_h2_fuelcell_factsheet.pdf [bgre1]

using hydrogen as a form of energy can not only reduce our dependence on imprted oil, but also benefit the environment by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and criteria.
http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/doe_h2_fuelcell_factsheet.pdf [bgre1]

unlike the previous and current forms of energy, hydrogen, does not produce that horrid polutions. Coal, oil, gas, uranium, sunshine, volcanic heat, and tides, are all energy sources, but hydrogen is not. All of the earth's hydrogen has been burned already and all that is left is hydrogen oxide, H2O, water. Saying water is a fuel, as some oil companies have, makes as much sense as saying burned up coal, carbon (di)oxide, CO2 is a fuel.
http://zfacts.com/p/285.html [Bgre1]

"Fuel cells that use hydrogen can be thought of as devices that do the reverse of the well known experiment where passing an electric current through water splits it up into hydrogen and oxygen. In the fuel cell hydrogen and oxygen are joined together to produce water and electricty. "
http://www.bullnet.co.uk/shops/test/hydrogen.htm [Bgre1]

Fuel cells could dramatically reduce urban air pollution, decrease oil imports, reduce the trade deficit and produce American jobs. The U.S. Department of Energy projects that if a mere 10% of automobiles nationwide were powered by fuel cells, regulated air pollutants would be cut by one million tons per year and 60 million tons of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide would be eliminated. DOE projects that the same number of fuel cell cars would cut oil imports by 800,000 barrels a day -- about 13 percent of total imports.
http://www.bullnet.co.uk/shops/test/hydrogen.htm [Bgre1]