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Hydrogen fuel cell technology - Essay Example

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In the paper “Hydrogen fuel cell technology” the author examines how hydrogen fuels cells operate, barriers to its production and usage, present applications and projections regarding its integration to widespread consumption. A fuel cell is a silently running battery that is continually refilling. …
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Hydrogen fuel cell technology
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Download file to see previous pages Because of this, hydrogen stored in tanks of any construction will evaporate at an approximate rate two percent per 24 hours. As hydrogen gas penetrates a container, it initiates structural changes which cause the metal to become increasingly brittle. Another concern is the size of fuel tanks necessary to carry hydrogen fuel.
To substitute the energy capability delivered by 20 gallons of gasoline would require approximately 62,000 gallons of hydrogen gas. To this point, low-density compressed hydrogen is used to power automobiles, which does not allow for the same range as does gasoline. Additionally, compressed hydrogen carries the risk of leaking through fuel tanks or escaping from the result of an accident thus causing an explosion. The Hindenburg incident is an example of the volatility of hydrogen gas. Liquefied hydrogen stores in a much smaller space, 60 gallons equates to 15 gallons of gasoline. However, there are the impediments to the storage of liquid hydrogen. It is a very cold substance, enough cold enough to freeze air (Romm, 2000). This frigidity quality plugs up valves in lines that carry the liquid hydrogen which has caused accidents in experimental vehicles. However, the rate of energy return is certain to improve as research continues. Other research has found that powdered metal hybrid compositions used for storage tanks allows for less volatility of hydrogen but are far heavier than conventional tanks (Romm, 2000). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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