Instead of burning fuel like conventional engines, hydrogen fuel cells work through an electrochemical process. To produce electricity, hydrogen atoms are ionized on one side of an electrolyte membrane. While protons slip through, electrons must take the long way around through an external circuit, creating an electrical current as they move. Once the electrons reach the other side and pair off with the protons, the hydrogen combines with oxygen in the air, resulting in a little bit of heat and water as byproducts.
Ethanol production is deeply embedded in American history. But who could have known that those old moonshine stills just might be the answer to the current fuel crisis?
With fossil fuels in limited supply, the ever-increasing consumption of this commodity causes problems ranging from global warming to dependence on outside oil sources. Hydrogen is a possible fix, and the technology to take advantage of it is already out there. Find out the benefits of and hurdles facing a hydrogen economy.