Fuel Cell Technology Alternative To Fossil Fuel Environmental Sciences Essay

The involvement in fuel cell engineering peculiarly in automotive industry has increased significantly since the past decennary due to the fact that the burning of fossil fuels for power coevals has resulted in many negative effects for environment and human life. At present, fuel cells have become one of the most promising engineerings for the following coevals energy production systems, because of their high energy efficiency, low pollutant emanations and limitless supply of fuel. The purpose of this essay is to analyse the usage of fuel cell propulsion as an option to conventional oil-based internal burning engines in footings of its advantages and disadvantages.

In comparing to internal burning engines, fuelled by fossil fuels, fuel cell driven systems could offer much more favourable benefits to mankind in regard to the recent planetary concerns on environment and quality of life due to their advantageous features including higher efficient, environmental friendly and more dependable.

Fuel cells, as electrochemical devices, produce electricity straight from chemical energy ; hence, they are far more efficient than those internal burning engines which require more transition procedure to power vehicles, from chemical to thermal energy so thermic to mechanical energy. Soon, the efficiency of fuel cell driven passenger autos is approximately 40 % compared to 25-30 % for the gasoline/diesel fuelled internal burning engines under existent drive conditions and it might be improved to around 50 % in the close hereafter ( Ball el al. , 2009 ) .

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Harmonizing to Li ( 2005 ) , another important advantage related to energy efficiency appears to be the fact that the energy transition efficiency of a conventional internal burning engine decreases markedly at partial burden, while the energy efficiency of a fuel cell evidently increases from the full to partial burden. As a consequence, this belongings would look good for applications in motor vehicles which are normally operated at partial burden, for illustration, during driving in urban countries ( Ball el al. , 2009 ; Li, 2005 ) .

With respect to environmental benefits, while there has been significantly increasing concern about pollution and the emanations of C dioxide and other nursery gases, chiefly from conveyance sector, fuel cells could extenuate all of unwanted effects to environment. Due to their direct energy transition from chemical into electrical energy without burning, doubtless, in a fuel cell, without firing procedure, its exhaust green goodss really low or zero emanations depending on fuel used. For illustration, when fuelled by H, H2O is the lone by-product from the procedure and this could stand for fuel cell as a clean and environmental-friendly engineering. In add-on, the operational temperature of fuel cell system is well lower than that in burning engine, therefore, no damaging merchandises such as nitride oxides ( NOx ) , sulpher oxides ( SOx ) , and particulate emanations are formed ( Li, 2005 ) . These of import benefits illustrate that fuel cells could be one of the cardinal solutions to decrease environmental and wellness concerns.

Another advantage might be the fact that fuel cell systems have no moving parts, so this contributes to extremely dependability and lastingness of the systems. In other word, they would hold longer life-time and necessitate minimum care than those internal burning engines ( Johnston, 2005 ) . Furthermore, without traveling parts, they operate mutely with no quivers or noise. As a consequence, the usage of fuel cell in automotive applications peculiarly in urban countries would be valuable for public wellness by cut downing non merely pollutions but besides route conveyance noise.

It would look that the usage of fuel cell could profit for both environment and public wellness by extenuating the effects on clime alteration and cut downing toxic pollutants and urban perturbations. Additionally, fuel cell would look to supply another great benefit to the states in regard to energy security and supply.

At present, the fact that around 81 % of universe energy supply is produced from fossil fuels, largely from crude oil and coal, ( IEA, 2010 ) would stand for that a big bulk of energy needed globally is met by the burning of fossil fuels and besides reflect the dependence on fossil fuels as primary beginnings of energy. However, the dodo fuel modesty is limited and would non be able to back up universe energy demand in the close hereafter. As a consequence, H fuel cell, with its limitless supply of fuel, as an option to fossil fuels could likely lend to a balanced energy mix to guarantee energy security for the states ( Neef, 2009 ) .

Undeniably, fuel cells present many great benefits for world, yet they besides have some serious barriers such as cost, fuel handiness and proficient restrictions. Obviously, cost seems to be a major job to do fuel cell commercially feasible. Fuel cells are presently expensive to manufacture because of the demand of extremely advanced engineering, specialise cognition and expertness. In add-on, some types of fuel cells use extremely expensive stuffs due to the demand for specific belongings, for illustration, utilizing Pt as a accelerator in Proton Exchange Membrane ( PEM ) fuel cells.

Fueling fuel cell besides poses another critical job because the production, storage and distribution of H are presently scarce. In 2009, there were merely approximately 230 H fuelling Stationss runing worldwide ( Neef, 2009 ) . Some types of fuel cells do non necessitate H as fuel ; seemingly, they could come in the market without the demand of H substructure. However, the status seems to be different for conveyance applications such as motor vehicles where the taking fuel cell type is PEM fuel cell, which merely works with pure H ( Ball, 2009 ) . Consequently, constructing up sufficient H substructure is highly needed to do them more widely used.

Since fuel cell engineering is still non to the full developed, there are many proficient jobs have to be solved to do it more economically feasible. Take on-board H storage for illustration, H as a gas has a low volumetric energy denseness therefore much larger volume of a storage armored combat vehicle is required for driving in the same scope as gasolene or Diesel fuelled vehicles ( Oaa‚¬a„?Hayre, 2008 ) . Such job would look to restrict the usage of fuel cell in automotive applications because the major consideration for motor vehicles is mobility. Incorporating a larger fuel armored combat vehicle in a modern auto would non look applicable. Therefore, much more development is desperately required before fuel cells are able to vie with traditional oil-based internal burning engines.

In decision, it would look that fuel cell engineering peculiarly in automotive applications could play an of import function as an option to fossil fuelaa‚¬ ” based systems for the hereafter energy by supplying many great benefits to human being in regard to environment and wellness every bit good as security for energy demands. However, fuel cell engineering is still in its early phase of development. Many scientifically disputing jobs need to be solved in order to do it be effectual and commercially feasible to be able to carry through all of the planetary power demands.


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