Hydrogen fuel cell

Robert Stratton bob at stratton.NET
Mon May 15 16:24:43 CDT 2006

On 2006-05-14 23:23, "Bob Bruhns" <bbruhns at erols.com> wrote:

> This is interesting.  The catalyst would be the
> magic here.  Water can break down to hydrogen and
> oxygen easily, but recombining them efficiently in
> a battery-like cell of small size is a good trick.
> Hydrogen-oxygen combination would produce water
> vapor, and not CO2.  That is a good thing, because
> too much CO2 makes global warming, which we
> definitely do not need at this time.

There are a number of pretty serviceable PEM fuel cell plays out there right
now. I have seen one that can actually "print" sheets of membrane fairly
inexpensively. The problem with the PEMFCs is that they are extremely
intolerant of impurities in the fuel, and not necessarily all that durable.

Coleman (yes, that coleman) actually had licensed and sold a similar system
to this (from the looks Jadoo's website) under their "Powermate" brand,
complete with proprietary hydrogen canisters. I'm presuming they're probably
full of a hydride sponge material.

For smaller applications, this is a pretty reasonable design, but the
economics don't work when you get into greater desired power densities. I
wouldn't want to pay for those little cartridges, unless I had a safe
transfiller station outside my garage - It would likely get really expensive
really quickly. 

All that having been said, it's probably cleaner (and safer) than some of
the other PEMFC companies who want you to run your cell phone off of a fuel
containing methanol, high molarity sulfuric acid, and peroxide.

For the 10 kW and up class, there is some very spiffy solid-oxide technology
on the horizon.

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