A fuel cell works by passing hydrogen through the anode of a fuel cell and oxygen through the cathode. At the anode site, the hydrogen molecules are split into electrons and protons. Due to their high efficiency, fuel cells are very clean, with their only by-products being electricity, excess heat, and water.
Fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen gas to power an electric motor. Unlike conventional vehicles which run on gasoline or diesel, fuel cell cars and trucks combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, which runs a motor.
Likewise, how long does a hydrogen fuel cell last? The fuel cell stacks are designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle, about 150, 000–200, 000 miles. At the end of its lifespan, the fuel cell will be disassembled and the materials recycled, similar to what happens with vehicle components today. A fuel cell stack is about the size of a roll-aboard suitcase.
If the fuel cell is powered with pure hydrogen, it has the potential to be up to 80-percent efficient. That is, it converts 80 percent of the energy content of the hydrogen into electrical energy. So we have 80-percent efficiency in generating electricity, and 80-percent efficiency converting it to mechanical power.
Hydrogen vehicles are basically electric cars with a fuel tank. They boast the performance and instant torque of battery electric cars, while providing greater range than any pure EV on the market today.
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Hydrogen-burning cars are inefficient (because they rely on combustion engines, which are always inefficient, regardless of fuel), so they would cost a fair bit of money to operate. That would amount to the cost of wind or solar power used to generate the hydrogen.
Battery electric vehicles, or BEVs, are the electric vehicles that most of us are familiar with today, like Teslas. A hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, or FCEV, like Toyota's Mirai, combines hydrogen with oxygen to produce electricity, which then powers the electric motor that drives the car.
Electrolysers generate Hydrogen by splitting the water molecule H2O into its constituent elements Hydrogen and Oxygen in a process which is the reverse of the electrochemical action which takes place in a fuel cell. An electric current is passed through the water between two electrodes.
Yes, it's true, electric cars do have limited range and can take a little longer to recharge than a petrol or diesel powered vehicle. Improvements continue at a rapid pace, but it's not enough for some. To these diehards, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles may have some attractive benefits.
Currently, most hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels, specifically natural gas. Electricity—from the grid or from renewable sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, or biomass—is also currently used to produce hydrogen. In the longer term, solar energy and biomass can be used more directly to generate hydrogen.
Producing hydrogen fuel cells doesn't release pollution either, provided that renewable sources such as water or solar energy are used in the production process. The pressure issue compounds another issue with hydrogen energy; like gasoline, hydrogen is highly flammable, but unlike gas, it has no smell.
Build a hydrogen fuel cell.One foot of platinum coated nickel wire, or pure platinum wire. A popsickle stick or similar small piece of wood or plastic. A 9 volt battery clip. A 9 volt battery. Some transparent sticky tape. A glass of water. A volt meter.
Yes, it's possible to generate hydrogen in a science fair kind of way by electrolysing water. A liter of water will get you about 111 grams of hydrogen if you can capture it all. You would probably need one of these industrial electrolysis units to actually get pure enough hydrogen for your car.
The short answer is that hydrogen behaves differently from gasoline. But generally it is about as safe as the gasoline we now put in most vehicles' fuel tanks. So in most cases, hydrogen doesn't present as great a fire or explosive danger.
Hydrogen fuel prices range from $12.85 to more than $16 per kilogram (kg), but the most common price is $13.99 per kg (equivalent on a price per energy basis to $5.60 per gallon of gasoline), which translates to an operating cost of $0.21 per mile.
That's true to an extent, but hydrogen-powered cars are not expected to replace EVs. Instead, for makers such as Toyota, hydrogen will complement electric power, and there's a good reason for this: it is, and will be, the cleanest fuel possible.
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