Hydrogen fuel cells

Hydrogen fuel cells

Hydrogen fuel cells


“Is it possible to extract the energy from fuels without an internal combustion engine?”


Fuels are tremendously useful substances for portable energy storage. However, extracting said energy from them is typically a highly pollutive process. But instead of disposing of this technology altogether, could it be possible that we could use our engineering mindsets to create a pollutive free fuel extractive technology? Well, let’s think about it. We know that fuels are typically rich in hydrogen [H2] gas, and we know that the surrounding atmosphere (at least on earth) is filled with a copious amount of oxygen [O2] gas. Furthermore, hydrogen in its ionized state has a positive charge and oxygen has a negative one, and that a current can be created if positive and negative charged states were connected together in a circuit. So what if we were to create a contraption that would separate the hydrogen gas into hydrogen ions and the oxygen gas into oxygen ions, funnel the extra electrons from the hydrogen side into the negative oxygen side, and finally combine then dispose of the surplus hydrogen and oxygen by combining them into water and flushing them out? This is the exact operating principle behind hydrogen fuel cell technology. Hydrogen fuel cells are typically implemented in automobiles and their demand growing at an exponential rate, with a 65% increases in sales from 2014-2015

However, one must be cautious when using this technology. Because all fuels will be composed of more than hydrogen gas, those chemicals will be released as well, inducing pollution. In addition, these impurities can cause short circuiting. Since we all aspire to be scientific thinkers, we must be remember to be cautious of any new breakthroughs.

5 thoughts on “Hydrogen fuel cells

  1. You have to consider where the hydrogen comes from: The cheapest way is to get it from natural gas, in which case the dreaded CO2 is produced at the same time as the H2, and in the same amount as when the methane itself is used as fuel. This also releases a third of the energy as heat. Thus you end up with almost exactly the same CO2 emissions per kWh as if you used the natural gas itself as fuel.

    The other option is the hydrolyze water at about 70% efficiency. This of course requires a lot of electricity and if you do the math much less than half of the incoming electricity is available later on at the poles of the fuel cell. With the electricity often being produced (at least the last kWh for this new use) from coal, it is definitely negative for the environment.

    Frankly I don’t understand why anyone would bother with this expensive and hard to master technology. Note also that the life span of fuel cells is very short due to impurities in the incoming gases causing short circuits etc. inside.

    A more interesting technology is to produce fuel from CO2 and H2O which is an emerging technology where 70 % efficieny has been reported in lab scale. Imagine your off shore wind farm being connected by a tanker pumping gas made from wind! This also solves the problem with long power lines under the ocean.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am no longer positive where you are getting your info, but great topic. I must spend a while finding out more or figuring out more. Thanks for magnificent information I was looking for this information for my mission.

    Liked by 1 person

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