This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Fuel Cells (燃料電池):
Making power more efficiently and with less pollution.
- an electrochemical energy conversion device
To convert the chemicals hydrogen and oxygen into water, and in the process it produces electricity. Battery (電池): the other electrochemical device that we are all familiar. A battery has all of its chemicals stored inside, and it converts those chemicals into electricity too.
This means that a battery eventually "goes dead" and you either throw it away or recharge it.
For a fuel cell
Chemicals constantly flow into the cell so it never goes dead.
As long as there is a flow of chemicals into the cell, the electricity flows out of the cell.
Most fuel cells in use today use hydrogen and oxygen as the chemicals.
Fuel Cell Descriptions
Fuel Cells generate electricity through an electrochemical process which the energy stored in a fuel is converted directly into DC electricity. Because electrical energy is generated without combusting fuel, cells are extremely attractive from an environmental stand point.
Attractive characteristics of Fuel Cell
High energy conversion efficiency
Very low chemical and acoustical pollution
Fuel flexibility Cogeneration capability Rapid load response
A functioning cell in a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell stack .
an anode. The reacts with the methane fuel to form hydrogen (H2) & carbon dioxide (CO2). flows past the anode. Oxygen from the air flows through the cathode A fuel gas containing hydrogen. It consists of three components . such as methane.a cathode. Negatively charged oxygen ions migrate through the electrolyte membrane react with the hydrogen to form water. and an electrolyte sandwiched between the two. .
a final step that both completes the circuit and supplies electric power. . which flow from the anode to an external load and back to the cathode. several fuel cells are stacked together to form the heart of a clean power generator. To increase voltage output.This electrochemical reaction generates electrons.
but some types run too hot to be practical. NASA-funded research may have a solution. .Cool Fuel Cells Fuel cells promise to be the environmentallyfriendly power source of the future.
ions combine to create by-products. primarily water and CO2. At the electrode. All fuel cells have the same basic operating principle. different chemical reactions will occur. The input fuel passes over the anode (and oxygen over the cathode) where it catalytically splits into ions and electrons. . Depending on the input fuel and electrolyte. The electrons go through an external circuit to serve an electric load while the ions move through the electrolyte toward the oppositely charged electrode. An input fuel is catalytically reacted (electrons removed from the fuel elements) in the fuel cell to create an electric current. Fuel cells consist of an electrolyte material which is sandwiched in between two thin electrodes (porous anode and cathode).
Basic Configuration .
Animation of PEMFC .
With thousands of diaphragm compressor installations worldwide. PPI has the hydrogen compressor engineering and manufacturing experience you can count on. you can trust PPI to handle the difficult applications. .
SUSTAINAB LE Transport .
SOLID OXIDE FUEL CELL STACK PROVIDER HTceramix's SOFConnexTM based stack .
Applications of Fuel cells .
Woking Park Fuel Cell CHP schematic .
Four primary types of fuel cells They are based on the electrolyte employed: Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell .
The PAFC was selected for substantial development a number of years ago because of the belief that. It was the only technology which showed relative tolerance for reformed hydrocarbon fuels and thus could have widespread applicability in the near term.Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cells -PAFCs The most mature fuel cell technology in terms of system development and commercialization activities. . among the low temperature fuel cells. Has been under development for more than 20 years Has received a total worldwide investment in the development and demonstration of the technology in excess of $500 million.
Some acid may be entrained in the fuel or oxidant streams and addition of acid may be required after many hours of operation. The phosphoric acid is contained in a Teflon bonded silicone carbide matrix.PAFC Design and Operation The PAFC uses liquid phosphoric acid as the electrolyte. . The small pore structure of this matrix preferentially keeps the acid in place through capillary action. porous carbon electrodes are used on both the fuel (anode) and oxidant (cathode) sides of the electrolyte. Platinum catalyzed.
Fuel and oxidant gases are supplied to the backs of the porous electrodes by parallel grooves formed into carbon or carboncomposite plates. the product water will dissolve in the electrolyte and not be removed as steam. the phosphoric acid begins to decompose. while the other side supplies air or oxygen to the cathode of the adjacent cell. At lower temperatures. These plates are electrically conductive and conduct electrons from an anode to the cathode of the adjacent cell. At approximately 410oF (210oC). the plates are "bi-polar" in that they have grooves on both sides . In most designs. .one side supplies fuel to the anode of one cell. This water removal procedure requires that the system be operated at temperatures around 375oF (190oC). The byproduct water is removed as steam on the cathode (air or oxygen) side of each cell by flowing excess oxidant past the backs of the electrodes.
can be passed through these channels to remove excess heat. At lower temperatures. the product water will dissolve in the electrolyte and not be removed as steam. This water removal procedure requires that the system be operated at temperatures around 375oF (190oC). The byproduct water is removed as steam on the cathode (air or oxygen) side of each cell by flowing excess oxidant past the backs of the electrodes. the phosphoric acid begins to decompose. . Either air or a liquid coolant. Excess heat is removed from the fuel cell stack by providing carbon plates containing cooling channels every few cells. At approximately 410oF (210oC). such as water.
electrons and oxygen combine to form water. At the cathode: the hydrogen.Electrochemical reactions in PAFC At the anode: Hydrogen is split into two hydrogen ions (H+). and two electrons which pass through the external circuit (electric load) to the cathode. . which pass through the electrolyte to the cathode.
Electrochemical reactions in PAFC .
However. the majority of the thermal energy is supplied at ~150oF. The higher efficiency designs operate with pressurized reactants. PAFC Performance Characteristics PAFC power plant designs show electrical efficiencies in the range from 36% (HHV) to 42% (HHV). The higher efficiency pressurized design requires more components and likely higher cost. PAFC power plants supply usable thermal energy at an efficiency of 37% (HHV) to 41% (HHV). A portion of the thermal energy can be supplied at temperatures of ~ 250oF to ~ 300oF. The PAFC has a power density of 160-175 watts/ft2 of active cell area .
Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells . . The operation on coal-derived fuel gases or natural gas is viable. They evolved from work in the 1960's aimed at producing a fuel cell which would operated directly on coal. While direct operation on coal seems less likely today.MCFC A molten carbonate salt mixture is used as its electrolyte.
but usually consists of lithium carbonate and potassium carbonate. The electrolyte is suspended in a porous. the salt mixture is liquid and a good ionic conductor. The composition of the electrolyte (molten carbonate salt mixture) varies.Molten Carbonate Salt used as Electrolyte in MCFC A molten carbonate salt mixture is used as its electrolyte. . insulating and chemically inert ceramic (LiAlO3) matrix. At the operating temperature of about 650oC (1200oF).
The reaction produces water and carbon dioxide (CO2) while releasing electrons to the anode. The cathode process combines oxygen and CO2 from the oxidant stream with electrons from the cathode to produce carbonate ions which enter the electrolyte. The need for CO2 in the oxidant stream requires a system for collecting CO2 from the anode exhaust and mixing it with the cathode feed stream.Reactions in MCFC The anode process involves a reaction between hydrogen and carbonate ions (CO3=) from the electrolyte. .
Reactions in MCFC .
Description of reactions in MCFCs The anode process involves a reaction between hydrogen and carbonate ions (CO3=) from the electrolyte. The reaction produces water and carbon dioxide (CO2) while releasing electrons to the anode. The cathode process combines oxygen and CO2 from the oxidant stream with electrons from the cathode to produce carbonate ions which enter the electrolyte. . The need for CO2 in the oxidant stream requires a system for collecting CO2 from the anode exhaust and mixing it with the cathode feed stream.
. the theoretical operating voltage for a fuel cell decreases and with it the maximum theoretical fuel efficiency. As the operating temperature increases. The higher operating voltage of the MCFC means that more power is available at a higher fuel efficiency from a MCFC than from a PAFC of the same electrode area. increasing the operating temperature increases the rate of the electrochemical reaction and Thus increases the current which can be obtained at a given voltage. this suggests that a MCFC should be smaller and less expensive than a "comparable" PAFC. The net effect for the MCFC is that the real operating voltage is higher than the operating voltage for the PAFC at the same current density. On the other hand. As size and cost scale roughly with electrode area.
. As size and cost scale roughly with electrode area. The MCFC also produces excess heat at a temperature which is high enough to yield high pressure steam which may be fed to a turbine to generate additional electricity. electrical efficiencies in excess of 60% (HHV) have been suggested for mature MCFC systems. In combined cycle operation. The MCFC operates at between 1110°F (600°C) and 1200°F (650°C) which is necessary to achieve sufficient conductivity of the electrolyte. To maintain this operating temperature. this suggests that a MCFC should be smaller and less expensive than a "comparable" PAFC. a higher volume of air is passed through the cathode for cooling purposes.
the high operating temperature of the MCFC offers the possibility that it could operate directly on gaseous hydrocarbon fuels such as natural gas. Future systems may incorporate membrane separators to remove the hydrogen for recirculation back to the fuel stream. Before this can be done. As mentioned above. . any residual hydrogen in the spent fuel stream must be burned. The natural gas would be reformed to produce hydrogen within the fuel cell itself. The need for CO2 in the oxidant stream requires that CO2 from the spent anode gas be collected and mixed with the incoming air stream.
At cell operating temperatures of 650oC (1200oF) noble metal catalysts are not required. The electrolyte boil-off has an insignificant impact on cell stack life. . The cathode is a porous nickel oxide material doped with lithium. The anode is a highly porous sintered nickel powder. alloyed with chromium to prevent agglomeration and creep at operating temperatures. Significant technology has been developed to provide electrode structures which position the electrolyte with respect to the electrodes and maintain that position while allowing for some electrolyte boil-off during operation.
A change in cell temperature from 650oC (1200oF) to 600oC (1110oF) results in a drop in cell voltage of almost 15%. The cell performance is sensitive to operating temperature. At this temperature the salt mixture is liquid and is a good conductor. The reduction in cell voltage is due to increased ionic and electrical resistance and a reduction in electrode kinetics. . The MCFC operating temperature is about 650oC (1200oF). A more significant factor of life expectancy has to do with corrosion of the cathode.
internal reforming of carbonaceous fuels should be possible. At that temperature. . To achieve adequate ionic conductivity in such a ceramic. and the waste heat from such a device would be easily utilized by conventional thermal electricity generating plants to yield excellent fuel efficiency. however. the system must operate at about 1000oC (1830oF).Solid Oxide Fuel Cells The Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) uses a ceramic. solid-phase electrolyte which reduces corrosion considerations and eliminates the electrolyte management problems associated with the liquid electrolyte fuel cells.
. A fuel cell provides a DC (direct current) voltage that can be used to power motors. Batteries converted chemical energy back into electrical energy when needed. lights or any number of electrical appliances. Fuel cells should do both tasks more efficiently. the gasoline engine in your car and the battery in your laptop.The fuel cell will compete with many other types of energy conversion devices. Combustion engines like the turbine and the gasoline engine burn fuels and use the pressure created by the expansion of the gases to do mechanical work. including the gas turbine in city's power plant.
Some types of fuel cells work well for use in stationary power generation plants. The proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is one of the most promising technologies. . Fuel cells are usually classified by the type of electrolyte they use.. each using a different chemistry. Others may be useful for small portable applications or for powering cars.Classification of Fuel Cells There are several different types of fuel cells. Let's take a look at how they work.. This is the type of fuel cell that will end up powering cars. buses and maybe even your house.
A cell phone. The cell power is so limited There is no practical consumer use yet. . The fuel cells are 5 mm3 in volume and generate 10 mW of power with short pulses of up to 100 mW. The first use will be in sensors for the military. e.g.Tiny Fuel Cell to Power Sensors A fuel cell prototype that is the size of a pencil eraser and can deliver small amounts of electricity was developed at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU).. needs ~ 500 mW.
The hydrogen flows into the anode and the molecules are split into protons and electrons. . the only waste product produced by a fuel cell is water. The protons flow through the electrolyte. At the other end of the fuel cell. The hydrogen protons and electrons reunite in the cathode and chemically bond with the oxygen atoms to form water molecules. The electrolyte can be made of various materials or solutions. oxygen is pulled in from the air and flows into the cathode. using an anode and cathode.Microfuel cell The prototype microfuel cell uses an electrochemical process to directly convert energy from hydrogen into electricity. with an electrolyte. Theoretically. Fuel cells that extract hydrogen from natural gas or another hydrocarbon will emit some carbon dioxide as a byproduct. while the electrons take a different path. but in much smaller amounts than those produced by traditional energy sources. The fuel cell works like a battery. positive and negative electrodes (solid electrical conductors). creating an electrical current.
.PEMFC: Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Animation: fuel-cell-animation.swf The cell uses one of the simplest reactions of any fuel cell.
It has channels etched into it that disperse the hydrogen gas equally over the surface of the catalyst. . where they can recombine with the hydrogen ions and oxygen to form water. It also conducts the electrons back from the external circuit to the catalyst. Cathode: the positive post of the fuel cell. has several jobs. It conducts the electrons that are freed from the hydrogen molecules so that they can be used in an external circuit.Four Basic Elements in a PEMFC Anode: the negative post of the fuel cell. has channels etched into it that distribute the oxygen to the surface of the catalyst.
.Four Basic Elements in a PEMFC The electrolyte is the proton exchange membrane. The catalyst is rough and porous so that the maximum surface area of the platinum can be exposed to the hydrogen or oxygen. It is usually made of platinum powder very thinly coated onto carbon paper or cloth. The platinum-coated side of the catalyst faces the PEM. This specially treated material. only conducts positively charged ions. The catalyst is a special material that facilitates the reaction of oxygen and hydrogen. which looks something like ordinary kitchen plastic wrap. The membrane blocks electrons.
Chemistry of a Fuel Cell Anode side: 2H2 4H+ + 4eside: O2 + 4H+ + 4e. 2H2O reaction: 2H2 + O2 2H2O Cathode Net .
When an H2 molecule comes in contact with the platinum on the catalyst. where they make their way through the external circuit (doing useful work such as turning a motor) and return to the cathode side of the fuel cell.swf The pressurized hydrogen gas (H2) entering the fuel cell on the anode side. it splits into two H+ ions and two electrons (e-). This gas is forced through the catalyst by the pressure.Animation of a fuel cell working fuel-cell-animation. The electrons are conducted through the anode. .
This negative charge attracts the two H+ ions through the membrane.7 volts. on the cathode side of the fuel cell. many separate fuel cells must be combined to form a fuelcell stack (電池堆). where it forms two oxygen atoms. . To get this voltage up to a reasonable level. oxygen gas (O2) is being forced through the catalyst. This reaction in a single fuel cell produces only about 0. Meanwhile. Each of these atoms has a strong negative charge. where they combine with an oxygen atom and two of the electrons from the external circuit to form a water molecule (H2O).
PEMFCs operate at a fairly low temperature (about 176oF~80oC). . Constant improvements in the engineering and materials used in these cells have increased the power density to a level where a device about the size of a small piece of luggage can power a car. It means they warm up quickly and don't require expensive containment structures.
For instance. . however. A reformer turns hydrocarbon or alcohol fuels into hydrogen. The oxygen required for a fuel cell comes from the air. you don't have a hydrogen pipeline coming to your house. and you can't pull up to a hydrogen pump at your local gas station. Hydrogen is difficult to store and distribute.Problems with Fuel Cells The fuel cell uses oxygen and hydrogen to produce electricity. in the PEM fuel cell. ordinary air is pumped into the cathode. Hydrogen has some limitations that make it impractical for use in most applications. so it would be much more convenient if fuel cells could use fuels that are more readily available. which is then fed to the fuel cell. In fact. The hydrogen is not so readily available. This problem is addressed by a device called a reformer.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.