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Fuel Cells, Introduction

Chapter

Abstract

Fuel cells are devices which electrochemically convert the chemical free energy of gaseous or liquid reactants into electrical energy in a continuous way. As in a battery the reactants are prevented from chemically reacting by separating them with an electrolyte, which is in contact with electro-catalytically active porous electrode structures. Apart from effectively separating the anode and cathode gases and/or liquids, in other words the fuel and air, the electrolyte mediates the electrochemical reactions taking place at the electrodes by conducting a specific ion at very high rates during the operation of the fuel cell. In the simplest case of a fuel cell, operating with hydrogen (fuel) and oxygen (air) as reacting gases, a proton or oxide ion current equivalent to the electronic current passing through the external load is driven through the electrolyte and parts of the heterogeneous electrode structures (Fig.1.1).

Keywords

Fuel Cell Life Cycle Assessment Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Fuel Cell System Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell 
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Notes

Acknowledgment

I thank Giuliano Gregori and Linas Vilciauskas (both from Max-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung) for reading the proofs.

Bibliography

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    Grove WR Esq.M.A.M.R.I. (1839) XLII. On a small voltaic battery of great energy; some observations on voltaic combinations and forms of arrangement; and on the inactivity of a copper positive electrode in nitro-sulphuric acid, Philosophical Magazine Series 3, 15:96, 287–293. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14786443908649881
  3. 3.
    Baur E, Preis H (1937) Über Brennstoff-Ketten Mit Festleitern, Ztschr. Elektrochem. Bd. 43, Nr. 9 727–732Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für FestkörperforschungStuttgartGermany

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