What is a fuel cell? And why don't we use fuel cells more?
The way that a fuel cell works is that there's a chemical reaction that releases electricity. The fuel cell was invented in the 1830's and was made to be used as a electrical source. The Polymer Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell is one of the most effective types of fuel cells we have today. The PEM fuel cell is very simple and will most likely power most of our houses or vehicles. The elements a PEM fuel cell is the anode, which conducts the electrons, the cathode, which delivers the electrons to the catalyst and forms water, the electrolyte, which only conducts positively charges ions, and the catalyst, which is where the reaction of oxygen and hydrogen occurs. How it works is that the pressurized hydrogen is moved going through the catalyst to the other side creating water. As it goes through the catalyst that is when the electricity is produced. Electrolysis of water is when you separate the hydrogen from the oxygen and it makes hydrogen gas. The hydrogen gas is good because it is what you need for a fuel cell and when you use a fuel cell it creates water which you can keep using the fuel cell over and over. We don't use fuel cells because of two main reasons. One, we are not advanced enough to use fuel cells in vehicles because the conditions outside are harmful to the fuel cell so they wouldn't work in vehicles. Second, it would take a lot of money to invest in fuel cells because the electricity needed to preform electrolysis is high so we use fossil fuels which doesn't help us. If were using fossil fuels then the point of fuel cells are pointless because we would be using electricity to make about the same amount of electricity.