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Hydrogen Fuel Cell

Trends in the Use of Fuel

W ood

C oal

O il

N a tu r a l
G as

H y d ro g e n

P e rc e n ta g e o f h y d ro g e n c o n te n t in fu e l

19th century:
steam engine

20th century:
internal combustion engine

21st century: fuel cells

The History of Fuel Cells

Electrolyser

Groves Gas Battery


(first fuel cell, 1839)
(after Larminie and Dicks, 2000)

Photo courtesy of University of Cambridge

Bacons laboratory in 1955

Photo courtesy of NASA

NASA Space Shuttle fuel cell

Applications for Fuel Cells


Transportation vehicles

Photo courtesy of DaimlerChrysler

NECAR 5

ApplicationsDistributed
for Fuel Cells
power stations

Photo courtesy of Ballard Power Systems

250 kW distributed cogeneration power plant

Applications for Fuel


Cells
Home
power

Photo courtesy of Plug Power

7 kW home cogeneration power plant

Portable
power
Applications for Fuel
Cells

50 W portable fuel cell with metal hydride storage

The Science of Fuel Cells


Alkaline
(AFC)
Polymer
Polymer
Electrolyte
Electrolyte
Membrane
Membrane
(PEMFC)
(PEMFC)

Phosphoric
Acid
(PAFC)

Types of
Fuel Cells
Molten Carbonate
(MCFC)

Direct
DirectMethanol
Methanol
(DMFC)
(DMFC)

Solid
SolidOxide
Oxide
(SOFC)
(SOFC)

PEM Fuel Cell Electrochemical Reactions


Anode:
H2

2H+ + 2e- (oxidation)

Cathode:
1/2 O2 + 2e- + 2H+

H2O (l) (reduction)

Overall Reaction:
H2 + 1/2 02

H2O (l)

H = - 285.8 kJ/mole

A Simple PEM Fuel Cell


Hydrogen + Oxygen Electricity + Water

Water

Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA)


Catalysis

Oxidation
4e -

Transport
H2

Platinumcatalyst

2H2

Resistance

4H+
Nafion

O2
H2 O

Anode

H+

Cathode

Polymer
electrolyte
(i.e. Nafion)

PlatinumKcatalyst

Reduction

4e -

O2

Nafion
Carbon cloth

Carbon cloth

4H+
Nafion

2H2 O

Polymer Electrolyte Membrane

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) chains

Water collects
around the
clusters of
hydrophylic
sulphonate
side chains

Sulphonic Acid

50-175 microns
(2-7 sheets of paper)

(after Larminie and Dicks, 2000)

Thermodynamics of PEM Fuel Cells


Change in enthalpy (H)

= - 285,800 J/mole

Gibbs free energy (G)

= H - TS

G at 25 C:

= - 285,800 J - (298K)(-163.2J/K)
= - 237,200 J

Ideal cell voltage ( E)


E at 25 C

= - G/(nF)
= - [-237,200 J/((2)(96,487 J/V))]
= 1.23 V

G at operating temperature (80 C):

= - 285,800 J - (353K)(163.2 J/K)


= - 228,200 J

E at 80 C

= - [-228,200 J/((2)(96,487 J/V))]


= 1.18 V

Characteristic Curve

Power Curve

activation losses
+ internal currents

1.2
1
0.8

concentration
losses

V 0.6

1.5
1

0.2

0.5

0
1

0.4

MPP

2.5

ohmic
losses

Factors Affecting Curve:


activation losses
fuel crossover and
internal currents
ohmic losses
mass transport or
concentration losses

Max Power Point (MPP):

dP
0
dI

Hydrogen Storage

56 L
14 L
9.9 L

Compressed gas
(200 bar)

Liquid hydrogen

Liters to store 1 kg hydrogen

MgH2
metal hydride

Hydrogen: Energy Forever


H2

Fuel tank

Reformer

Hydrogen bottles

H2

H2

Algae

H2

Hydrogen bottles

Electrolyser

Solar panel

H2

H2

Hydrogen bottles

Renewable Energy Sources

O xygen
H 2
S to ra g e

S o la r C e ll

O xygen
Fuel
C e ll

E le c tr o ly z e r

W in d
W a te r

W a te r

M ic r o h y d r o

As long as the sun shines, the wind blows, or the rivers flow, there
can be clean, safe, and sustainable electrical power, where and
when required, with a solar hydrogen energy system

The Benefits of Fuel Cells


Clean

Modular

Quiet

Benefits of
Fuel Cells
Safe

Sustainable

Efficient

Our Fragile Planet.


We have the responsibility to mind the planet so
that the extraordinary natural beauty of the Earth
is preserved for generations to come.
Heliocentris: Science education through
fuel cells 22

Photo courtesy of NASA

Presentation courtesy of Heliocentris