Fuel-cell cars, the future of the automobile?
With the technology revolution, our car motorisations are bound to change. Is the development of fuel cells interesting for the automobile industry? How does those "ecologic" cars with pure water as only by-product work ?
The principle of fuel cell was discovered in 1839 by the English physicist, Sir William Grove. Though it was first commercially used in the 50’s for NASA spatial projects. Fuel cell converts the chemical energy from a fuel to electricity. The most common fuel used is Hydrogen and less commonly hydrocarbons such as natural gas or alcohols like methanol.
This “fuel” is converted into electricity by an oxydo-reduction reaction, like in regular batteries.
Hydrogen “fuel” is the reductor and the dioxide present in the air is the oxidant; Platinum can be used to catalyse and accelerate the reaction but it is very expensive. Fuel cell is very ecologic there is no Green gas emission, only water Unfortunately it’s very expensive to produce because platinum is a rare metal. Nevertheless research keeps on going, hoping we can find a cheaper way to produce fuel cell.