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Hydrogen Fuel Cell
With skyrocketing gasoline prices, alternate energy is really a hot topic. In this episode, we debated how hydrogen fuel cell works. I think we are just full of it when it comes to this technology. Perhaps, you can hear this out and tell us how hydrogen fuel cell really works.
[2:28, 581 KB, MP3]
Attached File: Hydrogen Fuel Cell [www.RealityTalkShow.com].mp3
What you guys were talking about was the Proton Exchange Membrane. More info can be found here. How Fuel Cells Work
However, you might want to look at more current technology. Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) solve many of the inherent issues with using a membrane. This biggest of this is cold temperatures. SOFCs use a ceramic type of material which can be reversed to achieve the opposite result - extracting hydrogen from water. Using the scenario you envisioned; it is certainly possible to take the water generated from the SOFC (which at this point is high temperature steam) and convert it into hydrogen that could then be used in the fuel cell.
The problem is in the yeild produced. But that could be augmented by the means you suggested - electrolysis using energy produced by solar energy. However, even better ways now exist to extract hydrogen from water. Purdue University has devised a process for making aluminum into a catalyst for seperating hydrogen from the water molecule. There is also a similar catalyst being researched by Argonne National Laboratory (of the DOE), but it seems a much more expensive route.
You aren't far off. The pieces of the puzzle are here in theory. It will be a matter of minds coming together to make it work together in a form factor that will work for transport. I do see the day coming soon when we won't have to fill up at all. We'll be generating our own hydrogen for our cars and our homes. Good bye energy behemoths. :)
PS, I'm going to start doing a weekly or bi-weekly podcast to keep people abreast of these and other supporting technologies that will change our economy and our lives forever.
Thanks for the details Jeff!
I definitely enjoy getting more details on the general topics we discuss. You may notice we're not experts, but we do have a high level of interest in many of the topics we discuss.
I'll be checking out the site you mentioned and please post the URL for your podcast and I'll start downloading them.
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