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About fuel cell and its uses

Definition and uses of fuel cell, scientists have developed some such cells in which chemical energy of fuel can be converted into electrical energy. This type of cell converts up to 74% of the chemical energy of the fuel into electrical energy.

converting fuel cell energy into electrical energy

We generate heat by burning the fuel to convert the chemical energy of the fuel cell into electrical energy. The heat that is received is used to make a part, from which electricity is generated by rotating the turbines and driving the generators, but this process is very expensive.

cell structure

The cell is designed in such a way that chemical energy can be converted directly into electrical energy. Chief among these is the H₂-O fuel cell, which uses H₂ and O₂ to provide electrical energy.

In this cell there are electrons of two carbons with holes on which the platinum wire is wrapped which acts as a catalyst. A mixture of acid or base is filled in the middle of the cell which acts as an electrolyte. Oxygen is passed through the electrodes on one side of the cell and hydrogen gas is passed through the other side.

When the two electrons are added together, the following electrode reaction occurs in the cell when electrolysis occurs.

Reduction at cathode- O₂ (g) + 4H⁺(aq) + 4e⁻ → 2H₂O

Oxidation at the anode- 2H₂ (g) → 4H⁺ (aq) + 4e⁻

Reaction on whole cell- 2H₂ + O₂ → 2H₂O

Similarly there is a man cell that was used in the Apollo space program. In which concentrated solution of NaOH is used as electrolyte.

Reduction at cathode- O₂ (g) + 2H₂O (l) + 4e⁻ → 4OH⁻ (aq)

Oxidation at the anode- 2H₂ (g) + 4OH⁻ (aq) → 4H₂O (l) + 4e⁻

Total Cell Reaction- 2H₂ (g) + O₂ (g) → 2H₂O (l)

Another hydrocarbon is the oxygen fuel cell. Hydrocarbons like methane and ethane are used in place of hydrogen in this cell.

At the anode- C₂H₆(g) + 14 OH⁻ (aq) → 2CO₂ + 10H₂O + 14e⁻

at cathode- [O₂(g) + 2H₂O (l) + 4e⁻ → 4OH⁻]

Complete Reaction- C₂H₆(g) + 7/2 O₂(g) → 2CO₂(g) + 3H₂O(l)

efficiency of the cell

The theoretical efficiency of a fuel cell is given by the following formula We can know.

Efficiency = G/∆H × 100, where free energy change, H = enthalpy change.

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