A fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through a chemical reaction with oxygen or another oxidizing agent.
Fossil fuels such as crude oil and bituminous coal can take more than a million years to form. On the other hand, wood and other types of biomass can be grown in a matter of years, and are available almost anywhere. Properly managed biomass constitutes an important, affordable, and renewable source of energy for the entire planet.
fuel cell innovation…
A metal-supported solid oxide fuel cell has been developed that can harness the chemical energy stored in plants to directly produce electricity through a reaction that is essentially a mirror of the plant’s natural process of photosynthesis.
M-SOFC cells are made primarily of low-cost stainless steel, with very thin layers of active materials. The M-SOFC is extremely rugged, capable of rapid thermal cycling and abusive thermal shock, and tolerant to all types of fuels with no fuel processing. This opens the door for durable, user-friendly products that produce electricity from locally-available fuels.
Plants convert sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into carbon compounds and oxygen. Solid oxide fuel cells are able to capture these carbon compounds to produce electricity.
“Photo” and “Voto” synthesis
the developing World…
A novel application of the technology is an ingenious fuel cell charger that obtains it’s chemical energy from burning wood or charcoal. The charger may be used to power an LED light, radio or even to recharge mobile telephones.
Just imagine no more long journeys to charge a cell phone or dealing with dangerous kerosene at night. The fuel cell easily integrates into any cooking stove, simply cook to charge the unit.
When cooking, the fuel cell generates electricity which is then stored inside the charging unit. The device can become fully charged in as few as two cooking sessions.
The potential of the fuel cell technology to markedly improve the quality of life for people living without grid electricity in the developing nations is difficult to overstate.
Further details of this remarkable development in fuel cell technology may be obtained from Point Source Power.