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Hydrogen Fuel Cells


Hydrogen Fuel Cells Hydrogen (H2) is a fuel not an energy source. It is the most abundant element but must be removed from larger molecules like water or petroleum. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Hydrogen Fuel Cells
Hydrogen (H2) is a fuel not an energy source. It
is the most abundant element but must be removed
from larger molecules like water or petroleum.
  • Hydrogen can be produced from
  • Fossil Fuels (currently 90 of 42 mtons/yr)
  • Water

Production Fossil Fuels
  • Coal
  • converted to mixture of hydrogen (50), methane
    (35), and carbon monoxide (8)
  • Steam Reforming Methane (SRM)
  • Most efficient, widely used, and cheapest
  • Partial Oxidation
  • Range of feed stocks, 75 SRM
  • Directly cracking Methane or other hydrocarbons

Production Fossil Fuels
  • The downside
  • All of these methods release CO2

Production Water Electrolysis
  • Electricity H2O ? H2 O H2O (steam)
  • Large-scale units using alkaline electrolyte can
    run at 7075 efficiency (EE - H2 )
  • Smaller systems with polymer electrolytes reach
    8085 efficiency (EE - H2 )
  • Steam electrolyzers in development may be able to
    reach 90 efficiency (EE - H2 )

Production Water Electrolysis
  • When using electricity generated from thermal
    power stations the overall efficiency of
    converting fossil fuel to hydrogen via
    electrolysis would, typically, be only about 30.
    (Rand, Dell, 2005)
  • CO2 is released at the power plant

Production Water Direct Methods
  • Thermochemical
  • Could utilize waste heat from a nuclear plant
  • Could be achieved with solar mirrors
  • Photoelectrolysis sunlight to H2
  • presently only 12 efficiency
  • new technique reporting 4.5 efficiency
  • Biophotolysis algae to H2

Production Review
Congressional Research Service
Hydrogen Storage
The Challenge store large amounts of hydrogen at
ambient temperature and pressure. -compressed
gas tanks -cryogenic liquid hydrogen tanks -metal
hydrides -chemical reactions (e.g.
hydrolysis) -nanomaterials One solution a
three-dimensional lattice of tiny hollow cubes,
each capable of storing eight hydrogen molecules
Jeff Long, UC-Berkeley
Hydrogen Storage
J.T.S. Irvine / Journal of Power Sources 136
(2004) 203207
Uses Ways to release the energy
  • Catalytic Combustion
  • High control, low temperatures possible
  • Heating, cooking
  • Direct Steam Generation
  • Burn it with pure oxygen to form pure steam
  • Peak load generation
  • Internal Combustion Engine
  • More efficient (20) less powerful (15) than
    gasoline ICE
  • Can be used in gas turbines and jets
  • Fuel Cells

Uses Fuel Cell
  • Inputs Hydrogen Oxygen
  • Outputs Electricity Water Heat

Uses Types of Fuel Cells
  • Alkaline fuel cells (AFC)
  • Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEMFC)
  • Phosphoric Acid fuel cells (PAFC)
  • Direct Methanol fuel cells (DMFC)
  • Molten Carbonate fuel cells (MCFC)
  • Solid Oxide fuel cells (SOFC)

Uses Types of Fuel Cells
  • Overall reaction is the same
  • H2 ½ O2 ? H2O
  • Low temperature fuel cells
  • High temperature fuel cells
  • Polymer Electrolyte Membrane
  • Vehicles
  • Small-scale distributed power generation

Uses Applications of Fuel Cells
Uses Applications of Fuel Cells
  • Portable Devices (Direct Methanol)
  • Cell Phone
  • Laptops
  • Field Equipment for military
  • Distributed Generation
  • Commercial and Residential stationary
  • Light Duty Vehicles

Uses Applications of Fuel Cells
V. Ananthachar, J.J. Duffy / Solar Energy 78
(2005) 687694
Why Fuel Cells and the Hydrogen Economy?
  • CA hydrogen highway action plan
  • Energy security
  • National security
  • Energy diversity
  • Environment
  • Climate change
  • Public health

Energy/National Security
Total U.S. primary energy production and
consumption, historical and projected, 1970 to
2025. SOURCE EIA (2003)
Energy Diversity
U.S. primary energy consumption, by fuel type,
historical and projected, 1970 to 2025. SOURCE
EIA (2003).
Environment/Climate Change
U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide, by sector and
fuels, 2000. SOURCE EIA (2002)
Environment/Climate Change
Estimated volume of carbon releases from
passenger cars and light-duty trucks current
hydrogen production technologies (fossil fuels),
20002050. Source NAS
Public Health
  • Particulate air pollution
  • Smog
  • Other air pollutants

Feasibility of a U.S. Hydrogen Economy Steven
Smriga Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Policy and Political Milestones
  • 2002 U.S. President Bush launches FreedomCAR, a
    partnership with automakers to advance research
    needed to increase practicality and affordability
    of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles
  • 2003 Bush State of the Union Address announces
    1.2 billion hydrogen fuel initiative to develop
    technologies for hydrogen production and
    distribution infrastructure needed to power fuel
    cell vehicles and stationary fuel cell power
  • 2004 Governor Schwarzenegger launches
    Californias Hydrogen Highway Network initiative
  • 2005 CA Senate Bill 76 6.5 million in funding
    for state-sponsored hydrogen demonstration
    projects through 2006

Hydrogen Production using Domestic Resources
Major driver Reduction in dependence on foreign
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the
hydrogen fuel initiative and FreedomCAR
initiatives may reduce our demand for petroleum
by over 11 million barrels per day by 2040
approximately the amount of oil America imports
America imports 55 percent of the oil it
consumes that is expected to grow to 68 percent
by 2025.
-www.whitehouse.gov, January 2003
Hydrogen Production using Domestic Resources
Resource Consumption factor
Coal 1.3
Natural gas 1.2
Biomass 2.4
Domestic oil ??
Wind 140
Solar gt740
Nuclear 3.2
Factor by which U.S. would need to increase
current consumption of this resource to produce
required hydrogen equivalent
Source U.S. Dept. of Energy, H2 Posture Plan,
Source National Fuel Cell Research Center,
Hydrogen Toward Zero Emissions
  • Combined heat and power systems
  • Carbon capture and storage
  • Future energy sources wave, geothermal, nuclear
  • Energy storage of renewables
  • Modules that couple wind and solar
  • with hydrogen production
  • Capture intermittent output
  • Batteries may be superior for short term
  • applications
  • Contributes to distributed generation

Making Fuel Cells Affordable
  • Barriers include
  • durability
  • fuel supply (some FCs require extremely pure
    fuel), and
  • raw materials (e.g. platinum and other precious
    metals used as a catalyst)

Making Fuel Cells Affordable
  • Factors toward weakening
  • these barriers
  • Widespread fuel cell vehicle demonstration
  • California Hydrogen Highway (e.g. Chula Vista)
  • Canada, Japan, EU, others
  • Fuel cells already used in stationary power
    backup systems
  • Public-private partnerships and alliances setting
  • Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA)

  • The overall U.S. hydrogen market is estimated at
    798.1 million in 2005 and is expected to rise to
    1,605.3 million in 2010.
  • The overall European hydrogen market is estimated
    to be about 368 million in 2005 and is expected
    to grow to 740 million in 2010.
  • Source Fuji-Keizai USA, Inc. 2005 Hydrogen
    Market, Hydrogen RD and Commercial Implication
    in The U.S. and E.U.

Reduction in Carbon Emissions
  • hydrogen fuel cell efficiency 40-60 combustion
    engine efficiency 35
  • potential for cleaner energy production

Source U.S. Dept. of Energy
Transition to Hydrogen Vehicles
Possible optimistic market scenario showing
assumed fraction of hydrogen fuel cell and hybrid
vehicles in the United States, 2000 to 2050.
Sales of fuel cell light-duty vehicles and their
replacement of other vehicles are shown. Source
The Hydrogen Economy Opportunities, Costs,
Barriers, and RD Needs (2004) National
Academies Press.
Source Dept. of Energy, Hydrogen Posture Plan

Source Dept. of Energy, Hydrogen Posture Plan
Challenges to the Hydrogen Economy
Ted Beglin
  • Two aspects
  • Feasibility
  • Misalignment with goals

Can it happen? Feasibility
  • Chicken and the Egg
  • Cost of infrastructure
  • Competition
  • Storage
  • Public Perception
  • Land Usage

Can it happen? Chicken and the Egg
  • The FCV market depends upon the availability of a
    hydrogen infrastructure
  • The hydrogen infrastructure must be promoted by
    hydrogen use
  • Neither serves any purpose without the other

Can it happen? Cost of Infrastructure
  • Replacement value of the current energy system
    and related end-use equipment would be in the
    multi-trillion-dollar range
  • Both the supply side (the technologies and
    resources that produce hydrogen) and the demand
    side (the technologies and devices that convert
    hydrogen to services desired in the marketplace)
    must undergo a fundamental transformation.
  • In no prior case has the government attempted to
    promote the replacement of an entire, mature,
    networked energy infrastructure before market
    forces did the job
  • Market pressures from lacking petroleum supplies
    and/or US participation in a CO2 credit-trade
    market are needed to push this forward

NAS, 2004
Can it happen? Competition
  • Incumbent technologies do not stand still, but
    continue to improve.
  • The cost of the current energy infrastructure is
    already sunk, favoring technologies that use it.
  • Gasoline, Diesel, and CNG Hybrid Vehicles
  • Bio-diesel and Ethanol

Can it happen? Competition
NCEP, 2004
Can it happen? Storage
Goals for Hydrogen On-Board Storage to Achieve
Minimum Practical Vehicle Driving Ranges
Energy Density General Motors Minimum Goals Compressed/Liquid Hydrogen (Currently) DOE Goal
Megajoules per kilogram 6 4/10 10.8
Megajoules per liter 6 3/4 9.72
NOTES Energy densities are based on total storage system volume or mass. Energy densities for compressed hydrogen are at pressures of 10,000 psi. SOURCES DOE (2002b, 2003b) NOTES Energy densities are based on total storage system volume or mass. Energy densities for compressed hydrogen are at pressures of 10,000 psi. SOURCES DOE (2002b, 2003b) NOTES Energy densities are based on total storage system volume or mass. Energy densities for compressed hydrogen are at pressures of 10,000 psi. SOURCES DOE (2002b, 2003b) NOTES Energy densities are based on total storage system volume or mass. Energy densities for compressed hydrogen are at pressures of 10,000 psi. SOURCES DOE (2002b, 2003b)
Can it happen? Storage
  • Compressed gas tanks
  • Lacks energy to volume ratio
  • For example, for more than a 200-mile driving
    range, todays natural gas vehicles usually
    require two 5,000 psi tanks or one 10,000 psi
    tank, taking up most of the trunk. (NAS)
  • Cryogenic liquid hydrogen tanks
  • About 30 of the energy in the hydrogen is wasted
    in the liquefaction and filling process
  • Emptying equipment is both complex and costly
  • Boil-off rate is such that the liquid can only be
    stored for a few days at most. (Rand, Dell 2005)

Can it happen? Storage
  • Advanced methods may have to provide the
    solution, but are still in development
  • metal hydrides
  • chemical reactions (e.g. hydrolysis)
  • nanomaterials

Can it happen? Public Perception
  • Public perception of safety is affected by
    Hindenburg Syndrome
  • However, it is not clear that H2 is any more
    dangerous than natural gas or gasoline
  • Irony Because of high diffusion, it may be safer
  • Addison Bain, NASA veteran presented compelling
    evidence in 1997 that the Hindenburgs cotton
    covering was coated by a substance with
    similarities to rocket fuel. The same ship
    filled with inert helium still would have burned.
  • Peter Hoffman, Tomorrows Energy, 2001

Can it happen? Land Usage
  • New transmission lines are increasingly difficult
    to build, largely because of public opposition.
  • The transmission system is being used for
    purposes for which it was not originally
    designed, and upgrades are not keeping pace with
    the increasing loads on it.
  • Unless this situation is corrected, it may hamper
    the use of electrolyzers in distributed hydrogen
    generation facilities.
  • Building pipelines to carry hydrogen may
    encounter some of the same sitting problems.

Should it happen?
  • Reliance on Natural Gas rather than Oil
  • Carbon Sequestration
  • Picking a winner

Should it happen? Recap the Goals
  • CA hydrogen highway action plan
  • Energy security
  • National security
  • Energy diversity
  • Environment
  • Climate change
  • Public health

Should it happen? Energy/National Security
  • We could be trading one foreign dependency for
  • The initial hydrogen economy would most likely
    depend upon the reforming of natural gas
  • If natural gas is used to produce hydrogen, and
    if, on the margin, natural gas is imported, there
    would be little if any reduction in total energy
    imports, because natural gas for hydrogen would
    displace petroleum for gasoline.

NAS, 2004
Should it happen? Environment/Climate Change
  • Two sources of carbon stand out
  • Coal burned for electricity
  • Petroleum burned in transportation fuels
  • Hydrogen must address both to benefit the

U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide, by sector and
fuels, 2000. SOURCE EIA (2002)
Should it happen? Environment/Climate Change
  • Successful carbon sequestration is necessary,
    otherwise CO2 from petroleum will come from
    fossil fuel reformation to produce hydrogen
  • Energy shifted from oil could result in massive
    coal mining to make up the difference
  • Energy/National security would be addressed but
    not greenhouse gases
  • Conservation, advancement of renewables, and
    nuclear power would be the only emission free
    hydrogen if CO2 sequestration is not realized

Should it happen? Public Health
  • Although fuel cells only emit water, internal
    combustion use produces NOx, leading to smog
  • Unintended consequences of H2 leakage may include
    reduction in global oxidative capacity, increase
    in tropospheric ozone, and increase in
    stratospheric water that would exacerbate halogen
    induced ozone losses (Dubey, Los Alamos National
    Laboratory, 2003)

Should it happen? Energy Diversity
  • Quite the opposite, it could reduce us to
    predominately rely on coal
  • The hydrogen economy needs support from some
    combination of increased renewable power,
    reinvigoration of nuclear power, and conservation
    to promote diversity

Should it happen? Energy Diversity
  • Picking winners?
  • The track record
  • 50s Nuclear power too cheap to meter
  • Late 70s, early 80s oil price assumptions to
    justify large amounts of spending
  • 90s battery powered cars
  • Other technologies, should funding favor H2?
  • Battery technology
  • Biomass based fuels

  • N.Z. Muradov, T.N. Veziro4glu / International
    Journal of Hydrogen Energy 30 (2005) 225 237
  • M.A.R. Sadiq Al-Baghdadi / Renewable Energy 29
    (2004) 22452260
  • J.T.S. Irvine / Journal of Power Sources 136
    (2004) 203207
  • S.A. Sherif et al. / Solar Energy 78 (2005)
  • B. Johnston et al. / Technovation 25 (2005)
  • W.W. Clark et al. / Utilities Policy 13 (2005)
  • D.A.J. Rand, R.M. Dell / Journal of Power
    Sources144 (2005) 568578
  • Manvendra K. Dubey, Science for sustainability,
    Los Alamos National Laboratory, 2003
  • Brent D. Yacobucci, Aimee E. Curtright, A
    Hydrogen Economy and Fuel Cells An Overview,
    Congressional Research Service, 2004
  • Hoffman, Peter Tomorrows Energy, 2001.
  • The Hydrogen Economy Opportunities, Costs,
    Barriers, and RD Needs (2004) National
    Academies of Science
    Strategy to Meet Americas Energy Challenges, Dec
  • www.hydrogenhighway.ca.gov
  • www.fuelcells.org
  • htttp//airnow.gov

  • alternatives to gasoline engines
  • clean diesels
  • gasoline-electric hybrids
  • hydrogen internal combustion engines (H2ICE)
  • hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCV)

  • Physical and regulatory infrastructure
  • Safety codes and standards
  • Public awareness about fueling systems
  • Training for fuel distribution personnel

  • FreedomCAR Partnership Plan identifies technology
    milestones to measure progress in 2010 and 2015
    (these can be downloaded from www.eere.energy.gov/
    vehicle.html). Some of the key 2010 milestones
  • Electric propulsion system with a 15-year life
    and capability to deliver at least 55 kW for 18
  • 30 kW continuously at a system cost of 125/kW
  • Internal combustion engine powertrain systems
    that cost 30/kW,have a peak brake engine
    efficiency of
  • 45,and meet or exceed emission standards.
  • Electric drivetrain energy storage with a
    15-year life at 300Wh and with a discharge power
    of 25 kW for
  • 18 seconds at a cost of 20/kW.
  • Material and manufacturing technologies for
    high-volume production vehicles that
    enable/support the
  • simultaneous attainment of affordability,increased
    use of recyclable/renewable materials,and a 50
  • reduction in the weight of the vehicle structure
    and subsystems.

  • Biological Biofuel cells have been reported (see
    Ref 6) achieving several hundred nanowatts of
    power, in which tethered biological enzymes at
    two electrodes first strip a hydrogen ion off
    glucose and then combine the H with oxygen to
    create both power and water.

Types of Fuel Cells
  • Alkaline Fuel Cell (AFC)
  • Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell (MCFC)
  • Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell (PAFC)
  • Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC)
  • Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC)
  • Direct Methanol Fuel Cell
  • Fuel cell types are generally characterized by
    electrolyte material. The electrolyte is the
    substance between the positive and negative
    terminals, serving as the bridge for the ion
    exchange that generates electrical current.

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