Questions from concerned citizens about energy, hydrogen and fuel cells
answered by Hydrogenambassadors.com 
Vol. 3: From  anode and cathode humidification
to better understanding of the FC electrochemistry

Here you find answers to questions from concerned citizen
about sustainability, hydrogen and fuel cells. You are most welcome to
send in your own set of energy related questions.


9) What is the effect of anode and cathode humidification?

This question goes into the "physics of the chemical process" inside the
fuel cells, in this case PEM. As I understand it, you need a certain state
of wetness and/or dryness at both, cathode and anode. These correct states
are hard to reach and even harder to manage. There is also very little
literature about that.
When searching at Google (good, that we have them) for:  >>>effect of
anode and cathode humidification at pem fuel cell<<< you come to a number
of results, for example  this one:
http://www.fbe.gazi.edu.tr/dergi/tr/dergi/tam/23%281%29/10.pdf

Anyway, this is "only" basic research, but it shows, how far off
commercialization and how far off of mass production we in fact are. Market
penetration with hundreds of thousands of units produced in a day, or even
better: in an hour is far off reality. In fact, the effect of anode and
cathode humidification is not commercially valuable managed; it is all
more or less "trial and error". I remember once visiting the NIST, United
States Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and
Technology, Advanced Technology Program, Gaithersburg, MD, USA on December
10, 2004. Here I saw some research on Neutron Imaging for Fuel Cell Water
Management: http://www.hydrogenambassadors.com/meet-aae/h2ps2004/nist.php

They had, at least at that time, at NIST the best "picture of reality" inside
a fuel cell system. All others were only "pocking with a stick in the fog...".

10) Is the PEMFC the promising technology for automotive electro-mobility?

This question is to be answered with a clear: Yes, at this time and with
the knowledge of today. It might be, and that is in fact my big hope, some
other technology in the pipeline, which we even do not know about. This
new technology, which is not known (or better: not public known) may beat
all other technologies, which we think of today. The limitation is "only"
in the imagination of the people involved with it. That is an advantage,
but also a disadvantage. I personally think, the real progress in hydrogen
production (this is the most decisive question) and fuel cell applications
will come from other corners, from small but powerful new companies, lead
by powerful people, who will find their way for the benefit of mankind.
The good thing is: Those people are there, I even know some of them!!!! My
hope lies on them. And by reading these words, you are, in fact, one of
them...Here you can read my prescription of one idea first released in 2003:

Four steps to a new reliable, cleaner and decentralized Energy Supply

based on Hydrogen and Fuel Cells: http://www.hydrogenambassadors.com/background/four-steps-revolution-in-the-garage.php

11) Do you know any FC modeling packages?

Again, when you search with Google (it`s them again...) for:
 >>>Fuel cell modeling packages<<< you come to this scientific results:
http://www.scitopics.com/Fuel_Cell_Modelling.html with some hints for further readings.

All these publications are not really new, but that does not matter. I also know companies,
who are offering software for FC modeling package, like: Fluent, which is now part of ANSYS:
http://www.fluent.com/about/

But there are also a number of other companies like Aspen Systems:
http://www.aspsys.com/content/reference_center/hpcapplications/computational_fluid_dynamics_cfd

12) Do you have a recommendation book for better understanding of the FC
electrochemistry design and optimization?

Here I could recommend:
New Horizons in Electrochemical Science and Technology, a report of the Committee
on Electrochemical Aspects of Energy Conservation and Production, National Materials
Advisory Board, Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems, National Research
Council, ISBN: 978-0309037358, available at Amazon and your local bookstore 
Although it is from 1986, the facts are still valid:

http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=986

Should you have similar questions related to energy, hydrogen and fuel cells, please

post your comments here:

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