Sunday, January 11, 2015

Fuel Cells in Your Car

Image courtesy of ponsulak at
The Planet Sustainability TV Show covers great environmental topics including alternative forms of energy such as hydrogen fuel cells. It’s the first major television program devoted to sustainability and the conservation of natural resources.

According to the Drive Clean website “hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are zero emission and run on compressed hydrogen fed into a fuel cell "stack" that produces electricity to power the vehicle. A fuel cell can be used in combination with an electric motor to drive a vehicle – quietly, powerfully and cleanly.

You’ve probably heard of hydrogen fuel cells being used in commercial cars but did you know you can make your own fuel cells at home? The fuels cells convert the hydrogen into electricity and there is no odor or pollution produced since heat and water are the only byproducts. 

The U.S. Department of Energy mentions “a single fuel cell consists of an electrolyte sandwiched between two electrodes, an anode and a cathode. Bipolar plates on either side of the cell help distribute gases and serve as current collectors.”

Hobbyists are building small, home-built fuel cells for installation in their cars, trucks or vans for an increase in fuel efficiency. This effectively boosts the miles per gallon rating of your vehicle resulting in fewer trips to the gas station and less money out-of-pocket.

While building your own fuel cell might be out of your comfort range, vehicle manufactures are starting to offer fuel-efficient vehicles, which incorporate this technology. The Toyota Mirai FCV fuel cell vehicle, unveiled in November 2014, is one such vehicle.

Watch the latest episodes of the PlanetSustainability Television program, which focuses on people and businesses striving to live a cleaner, greener lifestyle.

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