Hydrogen Fuel Cells Vs. Gasoline Essays

Hydrogen Fuel Cells Vs. Gasoline Essays

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Hydrogen Fuel Cells Vs. Gasoline: Who’s Down With HFC?

The world’s oil supply is a diminishing nonrenewable resource. Soon, a new fuel for
automobiles will be needed. Hydrogen fuel cells may very well become the chief replacement for
gasoline in our society.
In our busy world today, we often find ourselves surrounded by vehicles. But how often
do we ponder about by which means these vehicles are running? Vehicles are fueled by gasoline,
a gradually diminishing resource. As a replacement for this fuel, scientists have been
experimenting with a new technology called hydrogen fuel cells.
Swiss scientist Christian Friedrich Schönbein developed the principle behind the fuel cell
in 1838. Then in 1932, the first successful fuel cells were engineered by Francis Thomas Bacon
of Britain. The main type of hydrogen fuel cell is the Polymer Electrolyte Membrane, or Proton
Exchange Membrane (PEM). In a PEM, electrons are separated from hydrogen atoms (at the
anode), forming positively charged hydrogen atoms, or protons, and single electrons. Then the
protons are drawn toward the oxygen atoms (at the cathode) on the other side of the membrane,
where the electrons are forced to travel an alternate route to reach the hydrogen and oxygen. By
traveling this alternate route, the electrons form a current, ergo energy. Once the protons and
electrons meet with the oxygen, the byproducts created are water, heat, and some impurities
(depending on the purity of the applied hydrogen). See Diagram 1 below (How PEM Fuel Cells
Which fuel supply is more efficient: hydrogen fuel cells or gasoline? To help reach a
verdict, we will be comparing their availability, cost and efficiency, and pollution pot...

... middle of paper ...

...en Fuel: a Clean and Secure Energy Future, The White House,
Retrieved August 2, 2005, from
2. Fuel Cell, July 31, 2005, Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, Retrieved August 2, 2005,
from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_cell
3. How PEM Fuel Cells Work, Retrieved July 21, 2005, from
4. Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Infrastructure Technologies Program, U.S. Department of
Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Retrieved July 21, 2005, from
5. Hydrogen Production and Delivery, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Retrieved
July 21, 2005, from http://www.nrel.gov/hydrogen/proj_production_delivery.html
6. Tokyo Gas, Retrieved August 2, 2005, from http://www.tokyogas.

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