Fuel Cells • A PEM fuel cell extracts energy by converting Hydrogen and Oxygen to Water. • Fuel cells have a 40-60% efficiency, up to 85% if waste heat is used for heating. • Fuel cells are very stable. • Fuel cells produce next to no pollution.
Problems • Unless you have a very high temperature, platinum is needed as a catalyst, which is very expensive and 80% of which is found in South Africa • Hydrogen has a lower energy per volume than for example gasoline, which means that one requires a practical storage system
Graphene-Cobalt Catalyst • Cobalt nanoparticles on a single layer of graphene can be used instead of platinum • Lower costs due to cobalt being vastly less expensive than platinum • Slower degradation
Graphene Hydrogen Storage • Single sheets of graphene cannot store hydrogen well • Layers of graphene oxide can store large amounts of hydrogen • Also useful for releasing hydrogen when needed
Limited use as of now In the near future the efficiency of fuel cell cars could be improved In the future, it may replace traditional power sources Future
References • http://americanhistory.si.edu/fuelcells/basics.htm • http://news.brown.edu/pressreleases/2012/10/catalyst • http://phys.org/news188056335.html