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philosopher's avatar

Could a new type of Fuel Cell provide us with clean energy?

Asked by philosopher (9152points) April 28th, 2010

Is this possible? See link.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100426113110.htm

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8 Answers

grumpyfish's avatar

Yes, but—still uses exotics like platinum for the catalyst which is the biggest problems with existing fuel cells.

Also, remember that hydrogen is only an energy storage medium. You have to put energy in (can be solar, wind, etc.) to split hydrogen from water, and then transport the hydrogen somewhere.

philosopher's avatar

@grumpyfish
At least research is going on.

grumpyfish's avatar

@philosopher Not opposed to the research, just pointing out that “OMG Hydrogen Economy” isn’t an instant answer.

The solution I like best is creating hydrocarbon chains (“somehow”), which we can then use to run fuel cells. Fuel cell spits out water & graphite dust (collected for re-use). This technology is a long way out (creating hydrocarbon chains, and getting a fuel cell to use them and not spit out CO2 are the tricky bits). This solves the density & transportation problems (we already have the infrastructure for distributing hydrocarbons).

Note that I’m all in favor of both directed and non-directed research. Just that we’re a long way off from anything close to replacing our fossil fuel with anything practical. Advances in engine/motor technologies, fuel cell technologies, battery technologies area ll getting us closer.

Ron_C's avatar

I worked on a couple projects that made fuel cells. You put natural gas or hydrogen in and you get water out. I have seen a system that the Canadian government buys that is about the size of a refridgerator. You input filtered natural gas (filters out sulphur) and electricity and hot water come out. You can run a whole house off the grid if you have a source of natural gas.

mattbrowne's avatar

Eventually. One lead among many. We need 1,000,000 more ideas like that.

philosopher's avatar

@mattbrowne
I agree that is why I post these studies.
I hope to inspire people to think about the possibilities.
I receive many emails on the subject.
The moderators do not seem particularly thrilled with theses questions.
One out of three they edit. I think Science is an important subject. I am too busy for endless rewrites.
I am a positive person and dislike focusing on negative arguments that ofter me little in return.

mattbrowne's avatar

@philosopher – I think it’s wonderful that you’re posting questions on these subjects! These topics are about our future. Keep at it. What might help a little is making the questions a bit more challenging or controversial, so that they don’t appear like posting information with hyperlinks. For example

How promising are the new types of fuel cells compared to hydrogen internal combustion engines? What are the pros and cons? And so forth.

philosopher's avatar

@mattbrowne
LOL I get so excited when I read this stuff. I forget not everyone shares my enthusiasm.

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