Hydrogen Fuel Cells. Ellie Frey Colleen Woidke Michael Rumsey 7A. History. In 1839 William Robert Grove invented the first hydrogen fuel cell. He mixed hydrogen and oxygen in an electrolyte to create electricity and water. It wasn ’ t until 1889 that the term “fuel cell” was used.
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Hydrogen Fuel Cells Ellie Frey Colleen Woidke Michael Rumsey 7A
History • In 1839 William Robert Grove invented the first hydrogen fuel cell. • He mixed hydrogen and oxygen in an electrolyte to create electricity and water. • It wasn’t until 1889 that the term “fuel cell” was used. • Many people tried to make fuel cells with air and coal, but failed. For example, Ludwig Mond and Charles Langer attempted this in 1889 but failed miserably.
How it works • Hydrogen atoms enter a fuel cell through the anode. • There is then a chemical reaction that strips them from their electrons. No the hydrogen atoms have a positive electrical charge. • Then the negative charged electrons create a current through the wires. • This current is the form of electricity that is produced by the fuel cell. • This current can be AC or DC.
How it Works • Now, oxygen enters the fuel cell through the cathode and it combines with the hydrogen atoms and the electrons. • Once these combine, exhaust is created which is water vapor. • As long as the fuel cell is supplied with hydrogen and oxygen, then it will create electricity.
Basic Diagram http://www.brainpop.com/technology/energytechnology/fuelcells/
How it’s Stored Metal Hydrogen • The hydrogen is absorbed into a metal at a low temperature and stored in stainless steel tanks. • These tanks are kept at a certain temperature and pressure for the hydrogen. • These tanks are surrounded by water to exchange heat during the absorption of the hydrogen.
How it’s Stored Liquid Hydrogen • To store liquid hydrogen it must be kept at a low temperature and there must be a great amount of energy. • If high temperatures are reached, the liquid hydrogen will explode. • Liquid hydrogen is kept in tanks that are doubled walled. • There are three ways that the transfer liquid hydrogen to the tanks. They are: conduction, convection, and radiation.
How it’s Stored Gaseous Hydrogen • This is the easiest way to store hydrogen. • Gaseous hydrogen is stored in steel cylinders with a high pressure. • Individual cylinders are frequently moved closer together to be filled and released with hydrogen. • Large amounts of gaseous hydrogen can be stored underground.
Advantages • They don’t produce carbon dioxide and the exhaust is only water vapor. • Hydrogen is renewable and clean. • Fuel cells operate quietly. • Hydrogen fuel cells have a simple construction so many can be made in little time. • There are not many moving parts so the maintenance cost is low. • Hydrogen is a very abundant element.
Disadvantages • Hydrogen is very flammable. • Fuel cells are very expensive because expensive materials such as platinum are used to in the making of fuel cells. • The operation of a fuel cell requires a lot of fuel. • When fuel cells are made, carbon dioxide is released. • It is hard to store hydrogen. • Even though hydrogen is abundant, it is hard to get to.
Fun Facts • Hydrogen is the first element on the periodic table. • It is the most abundant element on earth. • Fuel cells have been around for 150 years. • First bus completed with a fuel cell was in 1993. • Fuel cells never run out. • 75% of the world’s mass is hydrogen. • The fuel cell was invented 39 years after the battery.
Summary Hydrogen fuel cells are safe and clean. They never run out and their only exhaust is water vapor. Hydrogen is very abundant, but it is hard to get to. Because of its limited accessibility and its cost, hydrogen fuel cells are not very popular. One of the main disadvantages of hydrogen is that it is flammable. One main advantage of hydrogen fuel cells is that they are easy to make. All of these characteristics make hydrogen fuel cells an energy source of the future!
Bibliography • “Fuel Cells: Discovering the Science.” National Museum of American History Web. 29.Feb.2012 http://americanhistory.si.edu/fuelcells/orgins/orgins.htm. • “History of Fuel Cells.” Fuel Cell Technology Showcase-.Web. 1.Mar.2012. http://www.sae.org/fuelcells/fuelcells-history.htm. • “History of Fuel Cells.” History of Fuel Cells, How does a Fuel Cell work. Web.2.Mar.2012.http://www.altenergy.org/renewables/fuel_cells_history.html. • “Hydrogen Fuel Cells.” About.com Inventors. Web. 29.Feb.2012. http://inventors.about.com/od/fstartinventions/a/Fuel_Cells.htm. • “Hydrogen Storage.” ESRU Web Site. Web.08.Mar.2012. Http://www.ersu.strath.ac.uk/EandE/Web_sites/99-00/hybrid_PV_FC/hydrogenstorage.html. • Lew, Kristi. Goodbye, Gasoline: The Science of Fuel Cells. Mankato, MN: Compass Point, 2009. Print.