What is a fuel cell?

Generating electricity through electro-chemical reaction!

Principle of generation

Electrolysis of water

Junior high school students experiment with the electrolysis of water, passing electricity through platinum electrodes to separate water (H2O) into its hydrogen and oxygen components.



How does a fuel cell generate electricity?

Using a process which is the reverse of water electrolysis, fuel cells produce water by combining hydrogen and oxygen, which generates electricity and heat.


Hydrogen is fed to the anode where catalysis releases hydrogen ions (H+) and electrons (e-). The electrolyte is a material which allows ions to pass through it, but blocks electrons. The hydrogen ions (H+) released in catalysis travel through the electrolyte to the cathode while electrons blocked by the electrolyte are taken out to generate electricity. Oxygen (O2) is fed to the cathode where catalysis separates it into two oxygen atoms. Those oxygen atoms, electrons (e-) travelling from the load and hydrogen ions (H+) passing through the electrolyte combine to produce water (H2O).

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