Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-cnmwb Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-22T07:33:55.214Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

46 - Fuel cells

from Part 6 - Energy storage, high-penetration renewables, and grid stabilization

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Thomas Gennett
Affiliation:
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, USA
David S. Ginley
Affiliation:
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Colorado
David Cahen
Affiliation:
Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Get access

Summary

Focus

Over the last two decades the problem of limited oil and gas supply versus new emerging-nation demands has created an immediate need for new technologies to alleviate global dependence on a hydrocarbon-based energy policy. This requires significant changes in the way global energy-system policy is managed and the rapid adoption/introduction of an array of new technologies that produce and use energy more efficiently and more cleanly than in the past. Specifically, these energy policy changes have directly led to more focus on commercial applications of alternative, sustainable energy policy. This chapter is centered on the establishment of a hydrogen-based economy, specifically as it relates to fuel cells. The net result is the concept of hydrogen and fuel cells as a practical foundation for implementing public policies responding to growing uncertainties about the security and long-term price of oil and environmental concerns. With the expectation that fuel cells and hydrogen can play a significant role in the global energy economy, governments are committing funds for research, development, and demonstration of hydrogen and fuel cells as they strive to create programs for viable infrastructure to support their use.

Synopsis

Fuel cells generate energy from controlled, spontaneous oxidation–reduction (redox) reactions. A fuel cell is a multi-component device with two electrodes, separated by an ionic conductive membrane, the positive anode where the oxidation reaction (loss of electrons LEO) occurs and the negative cathode where the reduction reaction (gain of electrons GER) occurs (LEO goes GER, lose electrons oxidation, gain electrons reduction). As with battery systems, there are several kinds of fuel cells, and each operates a bit differently, but in general the fuel cell uses hydrogen (or hydrogen-rich fuel) at the anode and oxygen (air) at the cathode, to create electricity. As mentioned, the typical fuel cell consists of two electrodes: the negative electrode (or anode) and a positive electrode (or cathode), separated by an ion (charge)-conducting electrolyte. In a model system, the hydrogen is fed to the anode, and oxygen is fed to the cathode. Through the utilization of the catalyst, the activation energy barrier for the separation of hydrogen atoms into protons (H+) and electrons (e) is decreased substantially, making it kinetically viable at <80 °C, i.e., the catalyst lowers the activation barrier for the chemical reactions and increases the rate at which the reactions occur. The electrons generated are forced to go through an external circuit, which creates creating a flow of electrons (electricity). In order to complete the balance of charge required in redox reactions, the protons migrate through the electrolyte to the cathode, where they react with oxygen and the electrons to produce water and heat. So, as long as fuel (hydrogen) and air are supplied, the fuel cell will generate electricity. A single fuel cell generates a small amount of electricity so, in practice, similarly to what is done every day with loading multiple batteries to operate an electronic device, fuel cells are usually assembled into a stack of multiple cells to meet the specific power and energy requirements of the particular application.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Kocha, S. S. 2003 “Principles of MEA PreparationHandbook of Fuel Cells – Fundamentals, Technology and ApplicationsVielstich, W.Lamm, A.Gasteiger, H.New YorkJohn Wiley & Sons, Ltd538Google Scholar
Uchimura, M.Sugawara, S.Suzuki, Y.Zhang, J.Kocha, S. S. 2008 Electrocatalyst durability under simulated automotive drive cycles,”ECS Trans 16 225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ross, P. N. 2005 http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/review05/fc10_ross.pdf
Adzic, R. R. 2010 http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/review10/fc009_adzic_2010_o_web.pdf
Zhang, J.Lima, H. B.Shao, M. H. 2005 “Pt monolayer on noble metal–noble metal core core–shell nanoparticle electocatalysts for O2 reduction,”J. Phys. Chem. B 109 22701CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zhang, J.Mo, Y.Vukmirovic, M. B. 2004 “Pt–Pd core–shell,”J. Phys. Chem. B 108 10955CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Debe, M. K. 2003 “NSTF Catalysts,”Handbook of Fuel Cells – Fundamentals, Technology and ApplicationsVielstich, W.Lamm, A.Gasteiger, H.New YorkJohn Wiley & Sons, LtdGoogle Scholar
Pivovar, B. 2010 http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/review10/fc007_pivovar_2010_o_web.pdf
Savadogo, O. 1998
Kocha, S. S.Yang, D. J.Yi, J. S. 2006 “Characterization of gas crossover and its implications in PEM fuel cells,”AIChE J 52 1916CrossRefGoogle Scholar
US DOE 2007 http://www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/mypp
Honda 2010 http://world.honda.com/FuelCell/
Wang, H.Turner, J. A. 2010 “Reviewing metallic PEMFC bipolar plates,”Fuel Cells 10 510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
GreenCarCongress 2009 http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/09/gm-2gen-20090928.html
Uchimura, M.Kocha, S. S. 2008 http://www.electrochem.org/meetings/scheduler/abstracts/214/0914.pdf
Uchimura, M.Kocha, S. 2007 “The impact of cycle profile on PEMFC durability,”ECS Trans 11 1215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Uchimura, M.Kocha, S. S. 2007 “The impact of oxides on activity and durability of PEMFCs,”Annual AIChE MeetingUtahGoogle Scholar
Kocha, S. S.Gasteiger, H. A. 2004 “The use of Pt-alloy catalyst for cathodes of PEMFCs to enhance performance and achieve automotive cost targets,”2004 Fuel Cell SeminarSan Antonio, TXGoogle Scholar
Garsany, Y.Baturina, O. A.Swider-Lyons, K. E.Kocha, S. S. 2010 “Experimental methods for quantifying the activity of platinum electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction,”Anal. Chem 82 6321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Takahashi, I.Kocha, S. S. 2010 “Examination of the activity and durability of PEMFC catalysts in liquid electrolytes,”J. Power Sources 195 6312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Satyapal, S. 2009 http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/review09/program_overview_2009_amr.pdf
Satyapal, S. 2009 http://www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/pdfs/satyapal_doe_kickoff.pdf

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Fuel cells
  • Edited by David S. Ginley, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Colorado, David Cahen, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
  • Book: Fundamentals of Materials for Energy and Environmental Sustainability
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511718786.053
Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Fuel cells
  • Edited by David S. Ginley, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Colorado, David Cahen, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
  • Book: Fundamentals of Materials for Energy and Environmental Sustainability
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511718786.053
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Fuel cells
  • Edited by David S. Ginley, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Colorado, David Cahen, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
  • Book: Fundamentals of Materials for Energy and Environmental Sustainability
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511718786.053
Available formats
×