Example Of Research Paper On Fuel Cells
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A fuel cell is a device for converting chemical energy into electricity ('Portable fuel cell systems', 2002). The electricity generation is by a chemical reaction between fuel and oxygen or any other oxidizing agent. Each fuel cell is made up of two electrodes, one negative and one positive, called, cathode and anode respectively. The chemical reaction in fuel cells takes place at this electrode. Fuel cells also contain an electrolyte which is responsible for carrying electrically charged particles between the electrodes. The reaction at the electrodes is fast tracked by a catalyst. Fuel cells are important in that they generate electricity with no emissions-much of the oxygen and hydrogen used in the electricity generation; ultimately combine resulting in water and heat as the byproduct. Fuel cells are quiet when in operation since they do not have many moving parts. Fuel cells are used in transportation, backup power application, transportation e.tc.
Both fuel calls and electrochemical cells use chemical reaction to generate electricity. However, in electrochemical cells the chemical reactants such as metal compounds e.g. zinc, lithium or manganese are stored. Once used up, the electrochemical cell has to be disposed. A fuel cell on the other hand, creates electricity via reactants (oxygen and hydrogen) which are externally stored (Schalkwijk & Scrosati, 2002). As long as there is fuel supply, a fuel cell will continue to produce electricity, however electrochemical cells get discharged when they are in use, and have to be recharged. In an electrochemical cell the negative electrode is the anode while the positive electrode is the cathode. Oxidation reaction takes place at the anode and the reduction reaction takes place at the cathode. In fuel cells, the positive electrode is the anode and the negative electrode is the cathode. Oxidation takes place at the anode and reduction at the cathode.
Portable fuel cell systems. (2002). Fuel Cells Bulletin, 2002(7), 8-12.
Schalkwijk, W., & Scrosati, B. (2002). Advances in lithium-ion batteries. New York, NY: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.
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