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Hydrogen: Fuel of the Future James Paulson Jack Stewart April 11, 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Hydrogen: Fuel of the Future James Paulson Jack Stewart April 11, 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hydrogen: Fuel of the Future James Paulson Jack Stewart April 11, 2006

2 A World Issue After fossil fuels, what will become the fuel of the future? The solution is simple, but the implementation may take some time.

3 Outline Fuel Cell Technology Fuel Cell History Future Development Q & A

4 Fuel Cell A hydrogen fuel cell works by converting the chemical energy of hydrogen and oxygen into direct current. Currently, many prototypes of fuel cells are being tested. The most promising model is the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM). The fuel cell’s primary components are the anode, cathode, electrolyte, and the catalyst.

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6 Anode The anode is the negative side of the cell. It attracts the nucleus of the hydrogen atoms.

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8 Cathode The cathode is the positive side of the cell. It attracts the electrons.

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10 Electrolyte The electrolyte is a thin sheet that separates the anode and cathode. It also blocks the electrons from passing through. This is sometimes referred to as the proton exchange membrane.

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12 Catalyst In general, a catalyst is a substance in which a chemical reaction takes place. The fuel cell catalyst is coated with platinum or ruthenium dust and set against the electrolyte and hosts the reaction.

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14 Fuel Cell History British scientists William Nicholson and Anthony Carlisle demonstrate that water could be divided into hydrogen and oxygen, using electricity British scientists William Nicholson and Anthony Carlisle demonstrate that water could be divided into hydrogen and oxygen, using electricity William Grove produces electricity in the world’s first fuel cell William Grove produces electricity in the world’s first fuel cell Ludwig Mond and Carl Langer develope a solid electrolyte. This was the first step in the development of the plastic membrane in the modern proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell Ludwig Mond and Carl Langer develope a solid electrolyte. This was the first step in the development of the plastic membrane in the modern proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. William Grove ( )

15 1950’s 1950s - Fuel cells were demonstrated in practical applications. 1950s - Fuel cells were demonstrated in practical applications Francis Bacon created a welding machine powered by a five kilowatt alkaline/nickel fuel cell Francis Bacon created a welding machine powered by a five kilowatt alkaline/nickel fuel cell Harry Karl Ihrig, of the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company builds the world’s first fuel cell vehicle Harry Karl Ihrig, of the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company builds the world’s first fuel cell vehicle. Ihrig’s 20-horsepower tractor

16 1960’s 1960s – Fuel cell innovations created speculation in the media about the possibilities of fuel cells and increased public knowledge of the technology. 1960s – Fuel cell innovations created speculation in the media about the possibilities of fuel cells and increased public knowledge of the technology NASA begins the Gemini program, using a new General Electric fuel cell system in Gemini’s crew capsule. This fuel cell system utilized a Teflon-based solid plastic electrolyte NASA begins the Gemini program, using a new General Electric fuel cell system in Gemini’s crew capsule. This fuel cell system utilized a Teflon-based solid plastic electrolyte. This was the second major step toward the modern proton exchange membrane. This was the second major step toward the modern proton exchange membrane. Gemini Spacecraft

17 1970’s 1970s – Environment degradation receives publicity. 1970s – Environment degradation receives publicity. The EPA begins requiring auto companies to reduce vehicle emissions. The EPA begins requiring auto companies to reduce vehicle emissions – Oil Crisis 1973 – Oil Crisis These events renew interest in fuel cell technology, especially in technologies to be used on Earth. These events renew interest in fuel cell technology, especially in technologies to be used on Earth. U.S. government increases research effort to decrease costs, increase efficiency, develop materials and find the best fuel source. U.S. government increases research effort to decrease costs, increase efficiency, develop materials and find the best fuel source.

18 1980’s 1980s – Research effort continues 1980s – Research effort continues Auto companies begin testing fuel cell systems in prototypes Auto companies begin testing fuel cell systems in prototypes Unable to overcome problems with inefficiency and high costs, they remained impractical and unpopular. Unable to overcome problems with inefficiency and high costs, they remained impractical and unpopular.

19 1990’s Ballard Power Systems created a revolutionary fuel cell bus. The bus showed that fuel cells were a clean alternative that could be useful in the real world Ballard Power Systems created a revolutionary fuel cell bus. The bus showed that fuel cells were a clean alternative that could be useful in the real world. Increased fuel cell research Increased fuel cell research More vehicle companies began investing in fuel cell technologies and creating prototype vehicles More vehicle companies began investing in fuel cell technologies and creating prototype vehicles Companies began copying and improving upon Ballard's design. Companies began copying and improving upon Ballard's design. Ballard’s Fuel Cell Bus

20 1990’s cont – Hydrogen Future Act of 1996 creates research program run by the Dept. of Energy (DOE) 1996 – Hydrogen Future Act of 1996 creates research program run by the Dept. of Energy (DOE) Goal is to explore hydrogen as a fuel and encourage private sector development Goal is to explore hydrogen as a fuel and encourage private sector development Daimler Benz and Toyota release prototype fuel cell cars Daimler Benz and Toyota release prototype fuel cell cars Iceland announces a 10-year plan to create a hydrogen economy Iceland announces a 10-year plan to create a hydrogen economy.

21 2000’s 2000’s – Proliferation of fuel cell technology among auto companies 2000’s – Proliferation of fuel cell technology among auto companies Improvements in Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) tech. allow fuel cells to operate at lower temperatures, with higher power densities. Improvements in Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) tech. allow fuel cells to operate at lower temperatures, with higher power densities. Prototype vehicles introduced Prototype vehicles introduced Fuel cell vehicles become more available to consumers Fuel cell vehicles become more available to consumers Toyota Volkswagen

22 Fuel Cell Conclusions No pollution caused by burning fossil fuels-- water is the only by-product Decreases dependence on foreign countries for energy Stationary fuel cells decentralize power grid More efficient than diesel and gas engines Quieter than diesel and gas engines Lower operating temperature Fueling fuel cells is problematic because transporting hydrogen is difficult Reforming hydrocarbons to get hydrogen creates pollution Expensive to produce Some fuel cells use very expensive materials (e.g. platinum).

23 The Future of Hydrogen Today, the prospect of fuel cells is being chased very rapidly. Today, the prospect of fuel cells is being chased very rapidly. Automakers worldwide are all attempting to be able to mass produce a vehicle that is powered by hydrogen. Automakers worldwide are all attempting to be able to mass produce a vehicle that is powered by hydrogen. Some industry leaders are even attempting to create a hydrogen hybrid vehicle. Some industry leaders are even attempting to create a hydrogen hybrid vehicle. Only time will tell where it all goes… Only time will tell where it all goes…


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