Hydrogen Fuel Cell Essay

989 Words Nov 28th, 2011 4 Pages
One of the biggest challenges facing the world today is the shortage of fossil fuels for energy production. Finding solutions to energy production that can be man made will benefit future generations and improve the quality of life in our country as well as the lives of those abroad. In America we use the greatest amount of energy per person of any country in the world. Even though we have tried to cut energy consumption and greenhouse gas emmission since the 1990’s we have steadily increased use. Since it is becoming more and more clear that American refuse to forgo creature comforts in order to help restore the environment we must find alternative energy sources that do not pollute the environment. Chemistry can provide …show more content…
The free electrons are then funneled around an electrolyte and used to provide the electrical current while the H+ ions travel through an electrolyte while passing through a membrane and are then returned to the cathode where the free electrons are rejoined with them. The cathode also acceptes oxygen molecules from the air whilch combine with the hydrogen to form pure water as a byproduct of the energy production. This is also a potentially life altering innovation for those in developing nations. Since these countries do not have an existing infastructure, if they could purchase cost-effective htydrogen fuel cells in conjction with a solar or wind energy system as their main fuel sources they would also be eliminating one of the challenges they face in obtaining clean drinking water, while reducing the emmissions produced by electric generators. The pure water produced also reduces the dependence on imported water or refining processes which indirectly also reduces emissions. In figure 1 a typical fuel cell is illustrated with all of its crucial parts identified. The chemical reaction that fuels the electricty production is detailed in figure 2. The question then arises if there are so many potential benefits in the use of a hydrogen fuel cell why is the use not more widespread? There are several obstacles to the inception of hydrogen fuel cell

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