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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Hydrogen Fuel Cell For the hydrogen fuel cell to function properly,it needs to have pure hydrogen. Hydrogen is never found alone in nature, it is commonly combined with O2 or CO2 but it can be extracted from virtually any hydrogen rich compound by steam reformation. Hydrogen fuel cell is a technically viable option for transportation. But the weight and size of a hydrogen fuel cell is challenging for automotive engineers considering the standards of vehicles today. Hydrogen is the lightest element yet it has the highest energy content per unit weight compared to all other fuel cells. It has an energy density of 52,000 btu/lb which is 3x greater than that of gasoline. In order for the hydrogen fuel cell to be competitively priced with gas, the systems must cost $35 per kilowatt. They currently are $75 per kilowatt. 70% of this cost is the material used to make the fuel cell. Hydrogen storage is very expensive. To store hydrogen in liquid form, it has to be cooled down to -423º F requiring a tremendous amount of energy. Therefore hydrogen is most commonly stored in gas form which takes up a lot of space. The distribution of hydrogen is also very expensive, the cost of a distribution network can be up to $500 billion. Hydrogen fuel cells are a renewable and alternative resource. It is sustainable and reduces/does not rely on fossil fuels. It is not weather dependent and does not produce CO2 as a waste product therefore reducing the greenhouse affect. It is 100% safe the environment. Hydrogen gas is similar to natural gas; it is non toxic and safe to breathe. The only waste products from hydrogen fuel cells are water and heat. Water can be recycled and transformed into separate hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Fuels Cells that have proton exchange membranes must be hydrated in order to transfer hydrogen protons.At around 80ºc, hydration is lost. Also, currently membranes tend to degrade while fuel cells cycle on and off particularly as operating temperatures rise. Fuel cells cannot die out unless there is not a flow of gases Theoreticaly a fuel cell's efficiency is relatively high, it can be 83% efficient operating in 25ºc. But it has so many factors that will affect this efficiency. For example, as the temperature increases, the efficiency will decrease. There is also hydrogen purity and catalyst life to take into consideration
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