Hydrogen: The Future
In chemistry classes, students learn about the simplest element called hydrogen. You can't see it, smell or taste it, but according to the National Hydrogen Association, it accounts for 90 percent of the universe by weight. Because hydrogen is so plentiful, some consider it the energy source of the future.
Hydrogen must be released from other elements before it can be used to generate electricity. Two methods are typically used:
burning fuels such as gasoline, natural gas or ethanol
using electric currents to extract hydrogen from water - electrolysis
Hydrogen Fuel Cells
Hydrogen fuel cells use natural gas to convert hydrogen into electricity. The process is environmentally safe because the resulting exhaust is water. Though the technology is expensive, it is beginning to be used to power buildings and manufacturing plants.
How the Fuel Cell Works
Hydrogen (H2) enters the fuel cell and the atom splits releasing electrons (e-). The electrons travel through the electricity wire to generate the electricity, while the remaining part of the hydrogen atoms travels through the cell's membrane.
The hydrogen atom and the electron meet again and oxygen (O2) is introduced creating exhaust of heat and water.
Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
The EERE mission is to strengthen America's energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality in public-private partnerships.
Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition - The Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition is a united group of industry, academic, and government leaders working collectively to strengthen Ohio's fuel cell industry and to accelerate the transformation of the industry to global leadership in fuel cell technology and applications.
Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Association - The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) is an advocacy organization dedicated to the commercialization of fuel cells and hydrogen energy technologies.
Information believed accurate but not guaranteed.
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