Fuel Cells

Part of the Mechanical Engineering Series book series (MECS)


Fuel cells, like primary dry cells and secondary batteries or accumulators, convert the energy of a chemical reaction directly into low voltage, d.c. electricity. All three devices contain three essential components, two electrodes — a cathode or positive electrode, an anode, which functions as the negative electrode — and an electrolyte. On discharge, that is, when the external circuit is closed, ionic chemical reactions take place at the electrode/electrolyte interfaces. The cathode is reduced and the anode or ‘fuel’ electrode is oxidised. As a result of these combined reduction-oxidation or ‘redox’ reactions, electrons are transferred from one electrode to another. In engineering parlance an electric current flows in the external circuit from the positive to the negative electrode.


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • M Barak

There are no affiliations available

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