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Engines

Fuelcell

Name:AbanoupMouneir

Section:1

Contents

1introduction..1

2StructureandFunctionofFuelCell...2:3

3AdvantagesofFuelcell.4

4DisadvantagesofFuelCells..5

5Applications..6

6References..7

Introduction

Fuelcellsareelectrochemicalcellsconsistingofelectrodesandan
electrolytewhichconvertthechemicalenergyofchemicalreaction
betweenfuelandoxidantdirectlyintoelectricalenergy.

Theprocessthattakesplaceinthefuelcelltoproduceelectricalenergy
fromchemicalenergyissimilartoacombustionengine.
Theenergyconversionfromfueltooutputismuchmoredirectwiththe
fuelcell.
Theefficiencyofafuelcellisgreaterthanacombustionengine.

Inacombustionengine,thechemicalenergythatiscontainedinthefuel
moleculesisconvertedintokineticenergybycombustion.
Thiscanthenbeusedtodriveatransmissionorsupplyanalternator.
Inacombustionengine,alargeamountofenergyisconvertedintoheat
duetofriction.Inthefuelcell,chemicalenergyis
convertedintoelectricalenergy.Noalternatorisrequiredtogenerate
electricalenergy.

Thefuelcellconvertshydrogentowaterusingoxygenfromtheair.
Hydrogendoeshavelessenergythanthehydrocarbonscontainedin
fuel,butitiseasiertocombustandthereareonlysmalllossesinthe
energyconversion.
Thereisnocombustionresidueorexhaustgases.

StructureandFunctionofFuelCell

Ahydrogen/oxygenfuelcellisaspecialformofgalvaniccell.
ThemaincomponentsaretwoElectrodes.
(1).Nanotubesmadefromcarbonwithaplatinumcoatingthatserves
asacatalyst.
(2).andaspecialmembrane.
(3).Variouscompoundscanbeusedastheelectrolyte.

Thespecialmembraneisgastight,nonconductiveforelectronsand
permeableforprotons(hydrogennucleiwithoutelectrons).
Theoxygen(O2)comesfromtheambientair.

Function

Electricalenergyisproduceddirectlyinthefuelcellfromtheconversion
ofhydrogenintowater.
Hydrogen(H2)andoxygen(O2)aresentseparatelytothetwo
electrodes:thehydrogentotheanodeandtheoxygentothecathode.
Thehydrogenreleasestwoelectronswiththehelpofthecatalystand
splitsintotwopositivelychargedhydrogennuclei(protons).
Thesecanpenetratethemembraneandpassthroughitbecausethere
arefewerprotonsintheelectrolyteontheothersideofthemembrane
(cathodeside)thanontheanodeside(diffusion).
Theoxygenabsorbselectronscatalyticallyatitselectrodeandthen
immediatelyreactswiththefreehydrogenprotonstoformwater(H2O).
Iftheanodeandcathodeareconnectedtoeachotherelectrically,a
currentflowsduetothisreaction.

AdvantagesofFuelcell

1.Highefficiencyofenergyconversion(approaching70%)from
chemicalenergytoelectricalenergy.
2.Lownoisepollution&lowthermalpollution.
3.Fuelcellpowercanreduceexpensivetransmissionlines&minimize
transmissionloseforadisturbedsystem.
4.Fuelcellsgivesexcellentmethodforefficientuseoffossilfuelshence
savesfossilfuels.
5.Fuelcellsarelesspolluting.Thechemicalprocessinvolvedinitis
clean.Itdoesnotproducepollutingexhaust.Mostlythebyproductsare
water&wasteheat,whichareenvironmentallyacceptablewhen
hydrogen&airareusedasreactants.
6.Incaseoffossilfuels,whenusedasreactants,environmentally
undesirableNOxarenotproducedsincethereisnocombustioninthe
process.
7.HydrogenOxygenfuelcellsproducedrinkingwaterofpotablequality.
8.Designingismodular,thereforethepartsareexchangeable.
9.Lowmaintenancecost.
10.Fuelcellperformanceisindependentofpowerplantsize.The
efficiencydoesnotdependonthesizeofpowerplant.Itremainssame
fortheplantsofMWorkWorWsize.
11.Faststartuptimeforlowtemperaturesystem.
12.Theheatiscogeneratedhenceincreasesefficiencyofhigh
temperaturesystem.
13.Thedemandforvariationsinpower&energydensitiesiseasilymet
asrequired.e.g.Laptop,computersrequireslowpowerdensity&high
energydensitywhereautomobilerequireshighpowerdensity,high
energydensity.Bothcanbepoweredbyfuelcells.
14.Fuelcellsautomotivebatteriescanrenderelectricvehicles,efficient
&refillable.

DisadvantagesofFuelCells

1Highinitialcost.Lifetimesofthecellsarenotaccuratelyknown.

2Largeweightandvolumeofgasfuelstoragesystem.

3Highcostofpurehydrogen.

4Hydrogencanbestoredinlesservolumebyliquefactionbut
liquefactionitselfrequire30%ofthestoredenergy.

5Lackofinfrastructurefordistributinghydrogen.

ApplicationsofFuelCells

ThefirstcommercialuseoffuelcellwasinNASAspaceprogram
togeneratepowerforsatellitesandspacecapsules.

Fuelsareusedforprimaryandbackuppowerforcommercial,
industrialandresidentialbuildingsinremoteandinaccessible
area.

Theyareusedtopowerfuelcellvehiclesincludingautomobiles,
aeroplanes,boatsandsubmarines.

References

1Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_cell

2VWBasicsofElectricVehicles