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Hydrogen Is the Fuel of the Future, Research Paper Example

Pages: 1

Words: 465

Research Paper

A fuel cell converts the chemical energy from a fuel (typically this fuel is Hydrogen, but other sources can be used just as efficiently) directly into electricity without the addition of any transitional thermal or automated processes (Nicu, 2012). The resultant electrical energy that is produced from a fuel cell can be used to perform any useful work or activity that it was designed for; from operating a small hand tool to providing the power to effectively run a vehicle.

There are many advantages of using fuel cells. The electrodes of fuel cells do not get exhausted during the process of electricity generation, as compared to a traditional cell; therefore it has a high efficiency conversion rate which is attractive to organizations’ wanting to use this form of power generation. Fuel cells are small in stature and therefore light in weight. This is an advantage where space constraints are required for certain applications. Lastly the process of generating electricity by a fuel cell is a relatively quiet process, thereby allowing such power generating devices to be used in areas where noise pollution is considered a hazard (Ang et al, 2011). The introduction of fuel cells into the market place, and therefore everyday life, is a slow process that must proceed with caution despite their obvious advantages over other power generating methods. Scientists are further exploring the process, experimenting with different fuel sources and the materials that make up the electrodes that generate the resultant electricity. Also Governments will not officially authorize fuel cell usage unless proper testing and due diligence are performed to ensure they are safe to both ourselves and the environment (Secanell et al, 2011).Within the fuel cell, Hydrogen atoms enter at the anode where a chemical reaction removes them of their electrons – the hydrogen atoms therefore become ionized, resulting in a positive electrical charge. A battery powered car requires a constant source of both fuel and oxygen in order to run – electricity can only be produced as long as these two elements are present. Fuel cell powered cars run much longer between refueling, and take considerably less time to refuel compared to a battery powered car (Wachsman and Lee, 2011)

References:

Ang, Sheila Mae C., Fraga, Eric S., Brandon, Nigel P., Samsatli, Nouri J., Brett, Daniel J.L., “Fuel cell systems optimisation – Methods and strategies”, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol.36 (22),(2011): 14678-14703.

Nicu, Bizon., “A new topology of fuel cell hybrid power source for efficient operation and high reliability”, Faculty of Electronics, Communication and Computers, University of Pitesti, 1 Targudin Vale, Arges, (2012): 110040.

Secanell, M., Wishart, J., Dobson, P., “Computational design and optimization of fuel cells and fuel cell systems: A review”, Journal of Power Sources, vol.196 (8), (2011): 3690-3704

Wachsman, Eric D., Lee, Kang Taek., “Lowering the temperature of solid oxide fuel cells”, Science, vol.334 (6058), (2011): 935.

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