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The positively charged hydrogen ions (protons) then pass through the proton exchange membrane to the catalyst on the cathode side, where they react with oxygen and the electrons from the electric circuit to form water vapour (Hhydrogen fuel cells in transportation and other applications.
While the technology has proven to be workable, efforts to make it commercially competitive have been less successful because of concern with the explosive power of hydrogen, the relatively low energy density of hydrogen, and the high cost of platinum catalysts used to create an electric current by separating electrons from hydrogen atoms.cathode, which absorbs electrons.
This is because a fuel cell is continuously supplied with fuel and air (or oxygen) from an external source, whereas a battery contains only a limited amount of fuel material and oxidant that are depleted with use.
For this reason fuel cells have been used for decades in space probes, satellites, and manned spacecraft.
Hydrogen gas under pressure is forced through a catalyst, typically made of platinum, on the anode (negative) side of the fuel cell.
A fuel cell, like a battery, is inherently a high-efficiency device.
Personal fuel cell vehicles were first sold in Germany in 2004.
Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell The proton exchange membrane is one of the most advanced fuel cell designs.
Such an “indirect” fuel cell system would still display an efficiency advantage as high as 20 percent.
Nonetheless, to be competitive with modern thermal generating plants, a fuel cell system must attain a good design balance with low internal electrical losses, corrosion-resistant electrodes, an electrolyte of constant composition, low catalyst costs, and ecologically acceptable fuels.