Hydrogen Fuel Cells: A Better Source of Energy?

Essay by vintagex3chanelHigh School, 10th gradeA+, June 2006

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Today oil is growing increasingly expensive and pollution is increasing due to the fumes coming from cars and factories. On the other hand, there are a few ways to decrease the pollution on this earth and use an alternative fuel for cars. One of the few ways is to use a hydrogen fuel cell, which is a catalyst that converts the chemical energy of a fuel, such as hydrogen, and an oxidant, such as oxygen, directly to electricity. Hydrogen fuel cells have the potential to power our cars in a more efficient way, which will lead to cleaner and less polluted air. The hydrogen fuel cells run on hydrogen, which is the most plentiful gas in the universe, but is never found alone on the earth. However, it may be extracted from any hydrogen compound and is very easy to manufacture. Nonetheless, the fuel cell is not that simple, it involves chemistry, which is how the fuel cell works.

The hydrogen fuel cells provide many benefits for the earth and cars, as well as losses.

The fuel cell was first invented in the 19th century by Sir William Robert Grove, a British judge and scientist. In 1839, William Grove experimented with electrolysis, which is the production of chemical energy by passing an electric current through a liquid used to break up a compound into elements. Grove conducted an experiment in which he placed two platinum strips in separate sealed bottles; one of the bottles contained hydrogen and the other contained oxygen. Then these containers were absorbed in dilute sulfuric acid, which allowed an electric current to flow between the two electrodes. In addition to the electric current, water had formed in the containers. Grove then combined numerous bottles containing hydrogen and oxygen together to increase the voltage and called...