The search, for this alternative power source fuel cell, started very early as of in 1838 by William Grove. Who first mentioned about it in his letter and it was published in The London and Edinburgh Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science. The fuel cell like this requires continuous fuel supply in order to generate electricity. Some hydrogen fuel cell cars are launched at some place but it is mostly on trial or for research purposes.
what is hydrogen fuel cell
Hydrogen fuel cell is a device that generates electricity by a chemical reaction. A hydrogen fuel cell has two electrodes called cathode and anode respectively. The reaction which produces electricity takes place at electrodes.
In general, every fuel cell has an electrode, which carries electrically charged particles from one electrode to another and a catalyst to speed up the reaction.
As you know hydrogen is one of the most combustible substance, but fuel cell also needs oxygen. All types of known fuel cells generate electricity with very little pollution but in case of hydrogen fuel cell as the by-product is H2O (water) so it is completely pollution free source of energy.
A single fuel cell generates very generates very little amount direct current (DC), so in practice, many fuel cells are assembled into stacks. If require an inverter is used to convert DC into Ac.
How hydrogen fuel cell cars work
In the car, Fuel cell is used to generate electricity that can be used to power the electric motor and other electronic equipment inside the car. Fuel cells used in the car is of the polymer exchange membrane (PEM) type. This type of fuel cell has the advantage of being light and small. They consist of two electrodes anode(-) and cathode(+), a catalyst and a membrane. Hydrogen molecules enter in the fuel cell at the anode in the form of H2, each of which contains two hydrogen atoms. A catalyst at anode breaks the molecules into hydrogen ions protons (+) and electrons (-). The negatively charged electrons goes through the wires of the circuit and as we know current is produced by the movement of electrons hence electricity is generated as shown in the picture below.
The protons pass through the membrane and oxygen enters from cathode into the reaction. The protons of hydrogen and electrons of oxygen combine together and the by-product comes in the form of water at exhaust.
Fuel cells are designed to be flat and thin, mainly so that they can be stacked. The more fuel cell in the stack, the greater the voltage of electricity. Here hydrogen is used as fuel and it can be filled at any hydrogen pump same as diesel or petrol.
what are electric cars
On the other hand in the electric cars there uses to be one or more than one motor to drive the vehicle, which is powered by rechargeable batteries. More commonly lithium ion batteries are used in it. These cars can have charging problems which are being overcome by setting up fats charging stations and also enabling wireless charging to make it more convenient and reliable. As the price of diesel and petrol is increasing and there is also chances in future that it will be finished in the coming future. so probably all automobile companies have shifted themselves towards this technology of electric vehicles which is more cheaper and pollution free.
A list of 7 best electric cars of 2018 which have been launched in the USA and soon will be launched in other countries too. And also the list of all the electric cars being developed with their overview is given in my other blog you can check it out by clicking here.
comparison between hydrogen fuel cell car and electric car
|Hydrogen fuel cell car||Electric car|
|1. Both of the cars run on electric motor, in hydrogen fuel cell electricity is generated via chemical reaction.||1. Here directly batteries are used to power the electric motors.|
|2.hydrogen is used as fuel||2. electricity is used to charge the battery|
|3. whenever fuel ends it can be instantly filled||3. it takes time to charge the battery. Thus it has distance limitation to travel in one charge.|
|4. extraction of hydrogen is not an easy process, it is produced from electrolysis in which again electricity is used.||4. electricity is generated at power plants.|
|5. storing of hydrogen is not so easy as it is more flammable than petrol and natural gas.||5. only high voltage transformers and normal electricity safety features are required.|
|6. it has not gained success in the market yet researches are going on it to make it more user-friendly.||6. it has already got popularity in market and researches are also going on it hand to hand in very catchy sped.|
which is going to be success in the future
It is not easy to say which one will get success, as both have its own pros and corns. But if we compare it with current scenario then we can say that electric car is leading but hydrogen fuel cell have also chances to come back as battery cars have some limitations due to its battery such as bulkiness and heavy cost.