Category Archives: Fuel Cell

Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells (PEFC) | Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells

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Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells—also called proton exchange membrane fuel cells—deliver high-power density and offer the advantages of low weight and volume, compared with other fuel cells. PEM fuel cells use a solid polymer as an electrolyte and porous carbon electrodes containing a platinum catalyst. They need only hydrogen, oxygen from the air, and water to operate and do not require corrosive fluids like some fuel cells. They are typically fueled with pure hydrogen supplied from storage tanks or on-board reformers.

PEM Technology:

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Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells operate at relatively low temperatures, around 80°C (176°F). Low-temperature operation allows them to start quickly (less warm-up time) and results in less wear on system components, resulting in better durability. However, it requires that a noble-metal catalyst (typically platinum) be used to separate the hydrogen’s electrons and protons, adding to system cost. The platinum catalyst is also extremely sensitive to CO poisoning, making it necessary to employ an additional reactor to reduce CO in the fuel gas if the hydrogen is derived from an alcohol or hydrocarbon fuel. This also adds cost. Developers are currently exploring platinum/ruthenium catalysts that are more resistant to CO.

PEM Fuel Cell Applications:

PEM fuel cells are used primarily for transportation applications and some stationary applications. Due to their fast startup time, low sensitivity to orientation, and favorable power-to-weight ratio, PEM fuel cells are particularly suitable for use in passenger vehicles, such as cars and buses.

Disadvantages of Fuel Cell:

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A significant barrier to using these fuel cells in vehicles is hydrogen storage. Most fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) powered by pure hydrogen must store the hydrogen on-board as a compressed gas in pressurized tanks. Due to the low-energy density of hydrogen, it is difficult to store enough hydrogen on-board to allow vehicles to travel the same distance as gasoline-powered vehicles before refueling, typically 300–400 miles. Higher-density liquid fuels, such as methanol, ethanol, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, and gasoline, can be used for fuel, but the vehicles must have an on-board fuel processor to reform the methanol to hydrogen. This requirement increases costs and maintenance. The reformer also releases carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas), though less than that emitted from current gasoline-powered engines.

Future Of Fuel Cells | Hydrogen Production

Future of Hydrogen Fuel cell oil powered cars extract hydrogen from water

Hydrogen Energy is alternative name for Fuel Cell. It’s a future renewable energy technology. Hydrogen (H element) usually called as the perfect fuel. It is a significant reserve on earth (Ex. Water) and it is exhaustible. The utilization of hydrogen is compatible with nature, instead of intrusive. We will never run out of Hydrogen. After all it’s not a primary energy supply like oil and coal. However rather a clean energy carrier like electricity. Hydrogen is attractive because it stored and transported over long distances by pipelines. Whereas power lines are costly to build and engender loss in transmission.

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The commercial production of Hydrogen by atmospheric friendly strategies using solar energy and water with the help of catalysts that are active and sturdy or durable, are being investigated. Systems investigated to use concentrated sunlight to create the heat that required to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen that has the potential for being economically viable. Another type of system uses concentric solar thermal energy to reform natural gas and steam into a mixture of carbon dioxide and hydrogen. The method will increase the energy content of natural gas by twenty percent with embodied solar energy.

Under certain conditions, microscopic green algae produce sufficient solar electricity in summer, use it to provide hydrogen and fuel of future. One plan is to produce sufficient solar electricity in summer, use it to produce hydrogen and oxygen from water by electrolysis, use an equivalent (hydrogen) to produce electricity in a fuel cell in winter and shut the cycle by recycling the water. A self reliant solar energy house (SSSH) has been inbuilt in this manner in Germany. Solar Energy house has produced the energy which has no grid connection.

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Fuel Cell Design

Fuel cells are electro chemical devices that combine hydrogen and oxygen, by setting up an electrical charge across a membrane. This design used to produce a steady flow of electricity with no moving parts. A fuel cell system which includes a ‘fuel reformer’ can utilize the hydrogen from any other source like gasoline, natural gas or methanol. Natural gas is more abundant than oil. Natural gases are less heavily exploited so far. Raising the prospect that it will be the dominant energy source this century. It could form a kind of ‘bridge’ to hydrogen till such time as a cheaper renewable source of energy found for splitting water to get hydrogen.

Fuel Cells Their Future

In space program hydrogen used to provide all of the shuttle’s electric power from on-board fuel cells. The fuel cells exhaust pure water used for drinking water by the crew.

The likely immediate application for the fuel cells will be a fuel cell battery combination known as a ‘hybrid’. The hydrogen fuel cell can constantly charge the battery, which is able to run the electrical motor powering the automobile. Fuel cells provides a lot of energy density, or the ability to travel long distances. While batteries provide power density, or the ability to accelerate quickly. A hybrid allows one to have both at the same time.

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Fuel cells hold out great prospects as a conduit through which electricity generated from hydrogen. Thus we have the option of ‘decarburising’ not only fossil fuels but even biogas and ‘sequestering’ the carbon dioxide from the earth.