Fuel Cells depending on the fuel substance

A fuel cell is a source of electricity. It works similar to a battery in that it converts the chemical energy between oxygen and hydrogen into electrical energy. But the difference is that the battery acts only as a storage and discharge electric charge. 

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Which will work only if the electricity is charged or supplied from an external power source into the system. But fuel cells can produce and supply their own electricity. In the chemical reaction of the fuel cell no toxic waste is released. But behind what was released was water. and more efficient Other generators NASA uses fuel cells to generate electricity on the space station. And water is a by-product that the space station needs a lot of water for the astronauts to drink. In addition, fuel cells are used to generate electricity in submarines. Because in submarines the heat engine cannot be used to generate electricity because the heat engine requires air and emits a lot of exhaust gasses.

At present, the world’s population has an increasing demand for energy every year in line with the progress of the global society. While the amount of fossil fuels is rapidly decreasing. and has a significantly higher price It is also an important factor that has a huge impact on the environment. such as causing global warming If humans can’t find new sources of energy To replace fossil fuels, it will cause the condition. severe global warming or cause energy shortage problems

The development of alternative energy is therefore essential. And energy from hydrogen and oxygen is very likely to be the energy that will replace fossil fuel energy in the future. Besides that, fuel cells are non-polluting energy sources. Because the waste product released from the hydrogen-oxygen reaction is water.

This energy transition will likely happen slowly and will eventually end the era of fossil fuels.

A fuel cell is a type of galvanic cell. that converts chemical energy into electrical energy without polluting the air The dog relies on an electrochemical process. between oxygen and hydrogen fuel cells It cannot store chemical energy, so it is a primary galvanic cell. Because the precursor must pass through the cells all the time. and product substances must pass through the cell all the time as well

9.1 History of fuel cells

In the year 1789, William Robert Grove, an Englishman, noticed that after he opened the circuit electricity to stop the electrolytic water separation experiment There would be reverse current.

Shows that hydrogen and oxygen gas can be used to generate electricity. And finally, Grove was able to build a battery using hydrogen gas. and oxygen successfully

Because Robert Grove found a way to generate electricity at a time close to the time Michael Faraday found a way to generate electricity by having a moving coil cut off a magnetic field. This makes Robert Grove’s method incompetent with Faraday’s method. Robert Grove’s method of generating electricity was therefore ignored and developed. Later, in the 1960s, NASA used fuel cells to generate electricity on board. space in the apollo project Because the waste from the chemical reaction of the fuel cell. is the water needed by astronauts

The key components of a fuel cell are:

Anode is an electrode that delivers a negative charge to a fuel cell. It is responsible for passing electron charges or negative electric charges through the electrodes when connecting the wires to the electrodes. Electric charge will flow away. Hydrogen gas that has been withdrawn from electrons. It shows a positive charge called a proton.

A cathode is an electrode that delivers a positive charge to the fuel cell. It is responsible for connecting to the external power cable. It accepts electrons and combines with oxygen and hydrogen atoms to form water molecules.

electrolyte (Electrolyte) is made of various materials such as a solution, a sheet of plastic whose job is to allow positive charges or protons to pass through.

Working principle of fuel cells

A fuel cell consists of two electrodes, an anode (negative electrode) and a cathode (positive electrode). Hydrogen gas diffuses through the anode. Hydrogen gas is accelerated by a catalyst to give hydrogen ions and electrons. Electrons are passed through wires. electric current and then moves towards the cathode as the equation

2H2 → 4H+ + 4e-

At the cathode, oxygen gas from air enters the cathode. When hydrogen ions and electrons moving to the cathode react with oxygen gas from the air that enters to form water molecules. By using a catalyst made of platinum. There will be a reduction reaction to produce pure water as the equation

4H+ + 4e- + O2 → 2H2O

The voltage per cell is about 1 volt and the output current is about 10 amperes. If 12 cells are connected in series, the voltage is 12 volts, just like a battery. The combined reaction of a fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to form water, as the equation

2H2 + O2 → 2H2O


NASA chose such a fuel cell for use in the space shuttle. Like the Apollo spacecraft Because it provides up to 70% energy efficiency and provides astronauts with drinking water.

There are different types of fuel cells depending on the fuel substance, such as hydrogen-oxygen, hydrogen-hydrazine, propane-oxygen fuel cells, etc., and the most commonly used types are Hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell because when the reaction in the cell has already occurred In addition to energy, you will get pure water. Fuel cells also do not contain atmospheric-damaging waste gasses like other fuels.

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