Hierarchical Nanostructures for Energy Devices
Chapter 5: Hierarchical Nanostructures for Fuel Cells and Fuel Reforming
Published:29 Oct 2014
Nico Hotz, 2014. "Hierarchical Nanostructures for Fuel Cells and Fuel Reforming", Hierarchical Nanostructures for Energy Devices, Seung H Ko, Costas P Grigoropoulos, Royal Society of Chemistry
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Fuel cells are a promising technology as alternatives to combustion engines for clean and efficient electricity generation. Since fuel cells can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, the environmental and geopolitical advantages of fuel cells are tremendous. Fuel cells can be seen as a hybrid between combustion engines and batteries in terms of their functional principle and they offer high fuel-to-electricity efficiencies and low emissions without noise pollution. Furthermore, fuel cell systems are perfect for distributed power generation due to their compact and modular design. Polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMFCs) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are the focus of this chapter. These fuel cell types eliminate the usage of corrosive liquids, as used in phosphoric acid, alkali, and molten carbonate fuel cells. The main topic is the application of hierarchical nanostructures in these fuel cells and in fuel reforming systems. Fuel reforming is the process of converting primary fuels, typically alcoholic or higher hydrocarbons, to a hydrogen-rich gas mixture, which can be effectively converted by fuel cells.