Technologies > Fuels > Fuel Cells

Fuel Cells

What is a fuel cell?

A fuel cell is a device that generates electricity that can be used to power lights, motors, and other appliances. The fuel cell has a positive electrode called an anode and a negative electrode called a cathode. The reaction that produces electricity involves oxygen and hydrogen, with heat released as a byproduct.

How does a fuel cell work?

Hydrogen is channeled into the anode of the fuel cell. Aided by a catalyst that increases the speed of the reaction at the electrode, the hydrogen atoms are split. The protons travel through the electrolyte membrane while electrons travel through a circuit to generate electricity. Naturally circulating oxygen in the air enters through the cathode and mixes with the protons and electrons. The result of this interaction is the production of electricity and the byproducts are water and heat.