New and Future Developments in Catalysis: Batteries, Hydrogen Storage and Fuel Cells
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However, the more viable hydrogen sources are fossil fuels such as petroleum, coal and natural gas. This flexibility relative to its extraction permits each country to choose the best way of obtaining hydrogen according to its individual possibilities. Therefore the energy use of hydrogen is not a novelty.
Whenever one hears about hydrogen one immediately thinks of a renewable and clean energy source. It is not exactly that.
Book Review: New and Future Developments in Catalysis: Batteries, Hydrogen Storage and Fuel Cells
Therefore, one should be careful to arrive at hasty conclusions about the subject. The history of humanity shows different periods of various uses of primary energy sources. It is followed by the coal era that, associated with technological developments, made possible the industrial revolution in England. Its future is uncertain even though some specialists affirm with some reason that in large scale it is not possible to prevent this form of energy production in the near future.
Another interesting consideration regards geography. All natural resources of primary energy were or are located in certain regions of the planet and naturally benefiting these regions. This inevitable fact has generated political-economical conflicts and even wars. Natural gas, as the main hydrogen source, will certainly be the bridge between the non-fossil black and green hydrogen in this period. Is this future panorama just a dream? What are then the critical points regarding this development? The first one is the fact that hydrogen is an energy vector, that is, it is not available in nature and it must be obtained from a primary source that contains it and presently its costs are increasing to values that are not commercially competitive for energy ends in large scale.
Other critical points would be its safe handling, storage and transport and not less important, the development and price of fuel cells, the most adequate equipment for its conversion into electric and thermal energy. However, one can mention some consensus regarding the accomplished future of hydrogen economy. The fuel cells technology from hydrogen production to storage and transport exist even though not mature. Therefore what is missing to accelerate the introduction of this new technology in the planet? In summary, costs reduction both in hydrogen and fuel cell production, development of the same technologies for automotive applications, stationary and portable, and installation of adequate infrastructure for its use.
It is useful to make a comparison at this point. Imagine the initial times when cars were invented. There was no infrastructure for cars circulation which had prohibitive prices. Gasoline was neither cheap nor found at every corner. But approximately one hundred years later, cars became accessible, there are roads for its circulation and one can gas up anywhere, that is, we have learned to cope with the fuel, mass production and the market, prices have gone down.
However, the technological development should start early enough in order to harvest the fruits in the appropriate time.
Distributed electric energy generation means in loco generation independent of the network, using hydrogen or more adequately a hydrogen-rich primary source, to be locally reformed. One final observation: since hydrogen can be obtained in different ways, any country or region of the planet can obtain it see Hydrogen item in the present article. Therefore, considering cells that operate at low temperature in acid environment, hydrogen is oxidized to protons in the anode and liberating electrons, according to the reaction:.
In the opposite electrode, the cathode, one has the reaction:. The global reaction produces water and heat exothermic :.
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The electrodes are electronic conductors permeable to the reacting gases and are separated from each other by an electrolyte ionic conductor. The electrolyte can be a liquid, cation-conductor polymer generally saturated by a liquid or a solid.
The role of hydrogen and fuel cells in the global energy system
Unit cells present an open potential from 1 to 1. These values are very low from the practical point of view. One of the advantages inherent to fuel cells is its efficiency relative to the fuel. The maximum theoretical efficiency h of any process is the ratio between the Gibbs DG free energy and the total enthalpy DH , that is, the part of the total energy of the reagents that can be converted into electric energy:. Therefore, hydrogen fuel cells present a theoretical efficiency significantly higher than Carnot machines, mainly at low temperatures.
Electrodic reactions in fuel cells involve in a general way the rupture of chemical bonds between two hydrogen and oxygen atoms. This type of cell has presently an important role only regarding restricted applications such as spaceships or situations where ultra pure hydrogen is available.
This type of cell is the precursor of the more modern cells;. They are the most promising ones as alternative to electro-traction, to substitute internal combustion engines. These cells present the advantages of being robust and being easily turned on and of, and having high efficiency and low or zero polluting emissions. They can also be used in stationary units for local energy generation like cell telephones and laptops. The determining factor for its commercialization is still its cost.
His publications, 40 patents, and authorship on multiple books on the topic of catalysis is proof of this, as is his distinguished Professor status. He is also editor for Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, which puts him in a perfe Select Parent Grandparent Teacher Kid at heart. Age of the child I gave this to:.
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Institutional Subscription. Free Shipping Free global shipping No minimum order. Offers in-depth coverage of all catalytic topics of current interest and outlines future challenges and research areas A clear and visual description of all parameters and conditions, enabling the reader to draw conclusions for a particular case Outlines the catalytic processes applicable to energy generation and design of green processes. Introduction Contributors Chapter 1. Catalytic Batteries 1. Electrocatalysts for the Electrooxidation of Ethanol 3.