Hydrogen vs Alkaline Fuel Cell Hydrogen vs Alkaline Fuel Cell
Both the hydrogen and alkaline fuel cell have unique features that make them desirable in certain applications. Here are the basics of hydrogen and alkaline fuel cells and what they are used for.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell
Hydrogen is the most commonly used type of fuel in fuel cells. This type of fuel cell is also called a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. Some people refer to them as PEM fuel cells. Hydrogen fuel cells are utilized in a number of different applications. As long as the hydrogen can continue to be supplied to the fuel cell, it can run almost indefinitely. Whenever a hydrogen fuel cell runs, the only emissions that it puts off is water. The hydrogen fuel cell will use hydrogen, oxygen, and water in order to work. Whenever the hydrogen fuel cell is working properly, it can create a steady electric current.
In order to run a hydrogen fuel cell, you have to utilize a hydrogen tank in most cases. In some cases, you can use a reformer to supply hydrogen to the fuel cell.
One of the major advantages of using hydrogen fuel cells is that they are light and compact. Because of this, you can take them with you wherever you go. This is one of the factors that drives many auto manufacturers to look for ways to implement hydrogen fuel cells into their vehicles. Currently, there are several types of hydrogen fuel cell cars in the works.
Another advantage of this type of fuel cell is that it can operate at lower temperatures. In order to work, it has to be approximately 176 degrees Fahrenheit. Compared to some of the other fuel-cell technologies out there, this is much more practical to be around. Because of this lower operating temperature, it takes less time for the fuel cell to warm up before can start generating electric power.
Alkaline Fuel Cell
The alkaline fuel cell is another commonly used type of fuel cell in the market today. The alkaline fuel cell is actually one of the first types of fuel cells available. Since it was one of the earlier fuel cells available, it found its way onto several missions of the space program.
In order to power the alkaline fuel cell, you will have to provide it with a potassium hydroxide solution instead of just hydrogen. There are some alkaline fuel cells that have to work at temperatures of nearly 250 degrees Fahrenheit. However, there are also some newer models of alkaline fuel cell that work at a similar temperature to that of a hydrogen fuel cell. Traditionally, these types of fuel cells are very efficient and can produce a large amount of electric power.
One of the problems with the alkaline fuel cell is that it can become easily contaminated by carbon dioxide. If even a small trace of carbon dioxide mixes with the potassium hydroxide, you will not be able to continue producing electricity.