Hydrogen AND Fuel Cell Technology

A Renewable Energy

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND INFO

The concept of fuel cell was presented by Humphry Davy in the early 19th century, but the invention credit was given to William Grove in 1839. Grove conducted more experiments with a gas voltaic battery, proving that electric current can be produced from an electromechanical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen.

Fuel cells were first used in space missions by NASA. As time passed by, it was used in submarines, as back-up power, and in electric vehicles.



WHAT IS A FUEL CELL

A fuel cell is an electrochemical device that combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, with water vapor and heat as by- products. These generate electrical power quietly, and efficiently, without creating pollution. A fuel cell converts the chemicals hydrogen, and oxygen into water, and resulting in the production of electricity.


HOW DOES IT WORK

The chemical reactions that produces this electrical current are the key to how a fuel cell works. First, hydrogen atoms enter the fuel cell at the node (negatively charged). Likewise, oxygen enters the cell at the cathode (positively charged), and combines with the hydrogen ions that have traveled through the electrolyte from the anode. The electrolyte only allow appropriate ions to pass between the node and the cathode, in order to obtain the right chemical reaction.


Since fuel cells create electricity chemically, and there is no form of combustion happening, they are more efficient than any other fuel. Also, the water that is produced following the reaction, can be chemically decomposed by passing electric current through the liquid.

How does a fuel cell work? - Naked Science Scrapbook

ADVANTAGES

Some of the advantages of using hydrogen and fuel cell technology include the following:-

  • Little noise produced.
  • Hydrogen can be produced anywhere.
  • Higher efficiency than diesel or gas engines: 80% efficient.
  • Reduced oil dependence: less importing of oil from foreign countries.
  • Less green house gas emissions: diesel and gasoline powered cars emit these gases, which is harmful to the atmosphere.

DISADVANTAGES

Some of the disadvantages of using a hydrogen and fuel cell technology include the following:-


  • Expensive.
  • Hydrogen is highly explosive.
  • More energy to be produced, than to provide.
  • Takes time: research in that field still continues.
  • Hydrogen storage: extra storage needed, if travelling far with car.


IN CONCLUSION...

In conclusion this energy that has been discussed above, can be a way to improve sustainability of electrical energy production in schools. The hydrogen and fuel cells technology is a great way to efficiently create electricity. It is a very easy concept to understand, and to apply. Nothing is perfect, and so this technology comes with its own challenges, one of them being that hydrogen is a very explosive gas. If this device is carefully used in school properties, there is no reason to why it should not be applied for the production of electricity efficiently.