What is a Fuel Cell?

A fuel cell is a device that converts chemical energy into electricity. Unlike batteries, these particular devices do not go “dead” unless the fuel source depletes. Fuel cells have a pretty high efficiency rate, usually between 40%- 60%, but some can even operate at 85% efficiency.

There are four different types of fuel cells and each of them follow the same basic design and have the same components:

  • Anode
  • Cathode
  • Electrolyte

They differ mainly by the energy sources used to fuel the cells. These sources can be hydrogen, methane, processed hydrocarbon and even carbon monoxide


Look at How Fuel Cells Work

Below is a PEMFC fuel cell, used in automobiles
The four different Fuel Types
PEMFC – Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell
PAFC   – Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell
MCFC  – Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell
SOFC   – Solid Oxide Fuel Cell