Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Fuel cells have uses the hydrogen that comes from the electrolysis of water driven by renewable energy, then using fuel cells eliminates green house gases over the whole cycle. A fuel cell is an electrochemical cell that converts the chemical energy of a hydrogen fuel to produce water and heat. The hydrogen atoms enter a fuel cell at the anode where a chemical reactions strips them of their electrons. The hydrogen atoms are now ionized and carry a positive electrical charge. The negatively charged electrons provide the current through wires to do work, the water created by sucking in the oxygen from the surrounding air bonds it to the hydrogen from the fuel tanks. The water is slightly acidic with a pH level around 5 or 6.

Oxygen is supplied either from pressurized tanks, an oxygen generator which can form oxygen from electrolysis of water contained in some from of oxygen canister releases oxygen by a very hot chemical reaction. The carbon dioxide is trapped in soda lime by a chemical reaction and removed from the air

In September, researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute for Technology published a paper in Nature detailing their success in creating a safe, clean, inexpensive, and ultra-efficient new method of splitting water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen fuel.

The team’s system, which uses their specialized E-TAC technology (electrochemical thermally activated chemical), splits water 30% faster than the traditional method of electrolysis, but doesn’t require rare, expensive earth minerals—and it can be manufactured at a 50% reduced cost. (Read more)