what is fuel cell,types and its work

what is fuel cell,types and its work


1 Answers

Raheema Javed
156 Points
9 years ago
A fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through a chemical reaction with oxygen or another oxidizing agent.

Hydrogen produced from the steam methane reforming of natural gas is the most common fuel, but for greater efficiency hydrocarbons can be used directly such as natural gas and alcohols like methanol. Fuel cells are different from batteries in that they require a continuous source of fuel and oxygen/air to sustain the chemical reaction whereas in a battery the chemicals present in the battery react with each other to generate an electromotive force (emf). Fuel cells can produce electricity continuously for as long as these inputs are supplied.

Types of fuel cell:

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs)
Proton exchange membrane fuel cells, also known as polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells (PEMFC), are a type of fuel cell being developed for transport applications as well as for stationary fuel cell applications and portable fuel cell applications. Their distinguishing features include lower temperature/pressure ranges (50 to 100°C) and a special polymer electrolyte membrane. PEMFCs operate on a similar principle to their younger sister technology PEM electrolysis. They are a leading candidate to replace the aging alkaline fuel cell technology, which was used in the Space Shuttle.


Phosphoric acid fuel cell
Phosphoric acid fuel cells (PAFC) are a type of fuel cell that uses liquid phosphoric acid as an electrolyte. Electrolyte is highly concentrated or pure liquid phosphoric acid (H3PO4) saturated in a silicon carbide matrix (SiC). Operating range is about 150 to 210 °C. The electrodes are made of carbon paper coated with a finely dispersed platinum catalyst.
Anode reaction: 2H2 → 4H+ + 4e‾

Cathode reaction: O2(g) + 4H+ + 4e‾ → 2H2O

Overall cell reaction: 2 H2 + O2 → 2H2O


Solid oxide fuel cell
A solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is an electrochemical conversion device that produces electricity directly from oxidizing a fuel. Fuel cells are characterized by their electrolyte material; the SOFC has a solid oxide or ceramic, electrolyte. Advantages of this class of fuel cells include high efficiency, long-term stability, fuel flexibility, low emissions, and relatively low cost. The largest disadvantage is the high operating temperature which results in longer start-up times and mechanical and chemical compatibility issues.
A solid oxide fuel cell is made up of four layers, three of which are ceramics (hence the name). A single cell consisting of these four layers stacked together is typically only a few millimeters thick. Hundreds of these cells are then connected in series to form what most people refer to as an "SOFC stack". The ceramics used in SOFCs do not become electrically and ionically active until they reach very high temperature and as a consequence the stacks have to run at temperatures ranging from 500 to 1,000°C. Reduction of oxygen into oxygen ions occurs at the cathode. These ions can then diffuse through the solid oxide electrolyte to the anode where they can electrochemically oxidize the fuel. In this reaction, a water byproduct is given off as well as two electrons. These electrons then flow through an external circuit where they can do work. The cycle then repeats as those electrons enter the cathode material again.

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