Introduction to Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies and Their Contribution to a Sustainable Energy Future

Chapter
Part of the Integrated Science & Technology Program book series (ISTP, volume 2)

Abstract

Research and development of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies are motivated by the same drivers as for other new energy production/conversion/storage options, in particular the increase in greenhouse gas emissions and in sea and land mass temperatures, and peaking of oil production capacity and the technical difficulties and safety issues associated with extracting oil from offshore deep drilling below the seabed, which together lead towards a global requirement for use of lower fossil carbon energy sources. In this context, this chapter outlines actual and potential roles for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. It provides a short historical perspective of fuel cells and describes fuel cell types and their applications, in particular automotive and stationary fuel cell uses. Directions in fuel cell materials research on electrocatalysts and their supports and electrolyte membranes are described in a final section.

Keywords

Electrolysis Energy conversion Fuel cell Hydrogen 

List of Acronyms

AFC

Alkaline fuel cell

CO

Carbon monoxide

CO2

Carbon dioxide

DLR

Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (German Aerospace Centre)

e-

Symbol of electron

EU

European Union

EUCAR

European Council for Automotive R&D

FCHV

Fuel cell hydrogen vehicle

FCV

Fuel cell vehicle

Fe/N/C

Iron, nitrogen, carbon catalyst

H+

Proton (hydrogen nucleus)

H2

Hydrogen molecule

HOPG

Highly oriented pyrolytic graphite

Hyfleet CUTE

This is a European project comparing the advantages and disadvantages of hydrogen internal combustion engine (ICE) buses with fuel cell buses. CUTE stands for Clean Urban Transport for Europe and the goal of the project is to test and demonstrate hydrogen buses in 10 different cities in Europe, Asia, and Australia to reduce CO2 emissions and move away from fossil fuels.

IPCC

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

IPHE

International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy.

kW

Kilowatt (SI power unit)

mb/d

Million barrels per day

MCFC

Molten carbonate fuel cell

MEA

Membrane electrode assembly

OPEC

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries

PAFC

Phosphoric acid fuel cell

PCFC

Proton ceramic fuel cell

PEM

Polymer electrolyte membrane

PEMFC

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells, also known as polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC)

PFSA

Perfluorosulfonic acid

Pt/M

Alloy of platinium with a metal (M)

Pt

Symbol of platinum

PURE

Promoting Unst Renewable Energy (Unst is one of the North Isles of the Shetland Islands, Scotland)

SI

Système International d’unités (International System of units)

SOFC

Solid oxide fuel cell

WHFS

Worldwide hydrogen fueling stations

Notes

Acknowledgments

The author thanks Surya Subianto for his assistance with the graphics of this chapter. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2010-2013) under the call ENERGY-2010-10.2-1: Future Emerging Technologies for Energy Applications (FET) under contract 256821 QuasiDry.

References

  1. Arcella V, Ghielmi A, Tommasi G (2003) High performance perfluoropolymer films and membranes. Ann N Y Acad Sci 984:226–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aricò AS, Di Blasi A, Brunaccini G, Sergi F, Dispenza G, Andaloro L, Ferraro M, Antonucci V, Asher P, Buche S, Fongalland D, Hards GA, Sharman JDB, Bayer A, Heinz G, Zandonà N, Zuber R, Gebert M, Corasaniti M, Ghielmi A, Jones DJ (2010) High temperature operation of a solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell stack based on a new ionomer membrane. Fuel Cells 10:1013–1023CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bauer A, Song C, Ignaszak A, Hui R, Zhang J, Chevallier L, Jones D, Roziere J (2010) Improved stability of mesoporous carbon fuel cell catalyst support through incorporation of TiO2. Electrochimica Acta 55:8365–8370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cavaliere S, Subianto S, Savych I, Jones DJ, Roziere J (2011) Electrospinning: designed architectures for energy conversion and storage devices. Energy Environ Sci 4:4761–4785CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cavaliere-Jaricot S, Etcheberry A, Herlem M, Noel V, Perez H (2007) Electrochemistry at capped platinum nanoparticle Langmuir Blodgett films: a study of the influence of platinum amount and of number of LB layers. Electrochimica Acta 52:2285–2293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Joint Research Centre – EUCAR – CONCAWE (2008) Well to wheels analysis of future automotive fuels and powertrains in the European context. Retrieved 26 Jan 2012, from http://ies.jrc.ec.europa.eu/uploads/media/V3.1%20TTW%20Report%2007102008.pdf
  7. d’Arbigny JB, Taillades G, Marrony M, Jones DJ, Roziere J (2011) Hollow microspheres with a tungsten carbide kernel for PEMFC application. Chem Commun 47:7950–7952CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Debe MK, Schmoeckel AK, Vernstrom GD, Atanasoski R (2006) High voltage stability of nanostructured thin film catalysts for PEM fuel cells. J Power Sources 161:1002–1011CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. DLR (2010) Antares H3: DLR and Lange aviation develop the next generation of fuel-cell powered aircraft. Retrieved 26 Jan 2012, from http://www.dlr.de/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-6216/10226_read-26189/
  10. Earth Systems Research Laboratory (2011) Trends in atmospheric CO2 at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, 2011. Retrieved 26 Jan 2012, from http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/mlo.html
  11. Elezovic NR, Babic BM, Radmilovic VR, Vracar LM, Krstajic NV (2009) Synthesis and characterization of MoOx-Pt/C and TiOx-Pt/C nano-catalysts for oxygen reduction. Electrochimica Acta 54:2404–2409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Friedrich KA, Büchi FN (2008) Fuel cells using hydrogen. In: Züttel A, Borgschule A, Schlapbach L (eds) Hydrogen as a future energy carrier. WILEY-VCH, Weinheim, pp 335–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fuel Cells 2000 (2009) Worldwide hydrogen fueling stations. Retrieved 26 Jan 2012, from http://www.fuelcells.org/info/charts/h2fuelingstations.pdf
  14. Gancs L, Kobayashi T, Debe MK, Atanasoski R, Wieckowsk A (2008) Crystallographic characteristics of nanostructured thin-film fuel cell electrocatalysts: a HRTEM study. Chem Mater 20:2444–2454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gasteiger HA, Baker DR, Carter RN, Gu W, Liu Y, Wagner FT, Yu PT (2010) Electrocatalysis and catalyst degradation challenges in proton exchange membrane fuel cells. In: Stolten D (ed) Hydrogen and fuel cells. WILEY-VCH, Weinheim, pp 1–14Google Scholar
  16. Global Hydrogen Bus Platform. On-site steam reforming. Retrieved 26 Jan 2012, from http://www.global-hydrogen-bus-platform.com/Technology/HydrogenProduction/reforming
  17. Grohs JR, Li Y, Dillard DA, Case SW, Ellis MW, Lai Y-H, Gittleman CS (2010) Evaluating the time and temperature dependent biaxial strength of Gore-Select series 57 proton exchange membrane using a pressure loaded blister test. J Power Sources 195:527–531CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Grove WR (1839) On voltaic series and the combination of gases by platinum. Lond Edinb Philos Mag J Sci Ser 3 14:127–130Google Scholar
  19. Grove WR (1842) On a gaseous voltaic battery. Lond Edinb Philos Mag J Sci Ser 3 21:417–420Google Scholar
  20. HyFleet – Clean Urban Transport for Europe. Consulted 26 Jan 2012, from http://www.global-hydrogen-bus-platform.com/Home
  21. International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (2009) http://www.iphe.net/resources/demonstration.html
  22. IPCC (2007) IPCC fourth assessment report: climate change 2007 section 2.4: causes of climate change. Retrieved 26 Jan 2012, from http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/mains2-4.html
  23. IPCC (2009) IPCC expert meeting on detection and attribution related to anthropogenic climate change. Retrieved 26 Jan 2012, from http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/supporting-material/expert-meeting-detection-anthropogenic-2009-09.pdf
  24. Jaouen F, Proietti E, Lefevre M, Chenitz R, Dodelet J-P, Wu G, Chung HT, Johnston CM, Zelenay P (2011) Recent advances in non-precious metal catalysis for oxygen-reduction reaction in polymer electrolyte fuel cells. Energy Environ Sci 4:114–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jones DJ, Rozière J (2008) Advances in the development of inorganic/organic membranes for fuel cell applications. Adv Polym Sci 215:219–264Google Scholar
  26. Joo SH, Choi SJ, Oh I, Kwak J, Liu Z, Terasaki O, Ryoo R (2001) Ordered nanoporous arrays of carbon supporting high dispersions of platinum nanoparticles. Nature (Lond) 412:169–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Li QF, Jensen JO, Savinell RF, Bjerrum NJ (2009) High temperature proton exchange membranes based on polybenzimidazoles for fuel cells. Prog Polym Sci 34:449–477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Liu J, Suraweera N, Keffer DJ, Cui S, Paddison SJ (2010) On the relationship between polymer electrolyte structure and hydrated morphology of perfluorosulfonic acid membranes. J Phys Chem C 114:11279–11292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Neyerlin KC, Srivastava R, Yu C, Strasser P (1009) Electrochemical activity and stability of dealloyed Pt-Cu and Pt-Cu-Co electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). J Power Sources 186:261–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Park C-H, Lee C-H, Guiver MD, Lee Y-M (2011) Sulfonated hydrocarbon membranes for medium-temperature and low-humidity proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Prog Polym Sci 36:1443–1498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Peckham TJ, Yang Y, Holdcroft S (2010) Proton exchange membranes. In: Wilkinson DP, Zhang JJ, Hui R, Fergus J, Li X (eds) Proton exchange membrane fuel cells. CRC Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  32. Proietti E, Jaouen F, Lefevre M, Larouche N, Tian J, Herranz J, Dodelet J-P (2011) Iron-based cathode catalyst with enhanced power density in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. Nat Commun 2:1427/1–1427/9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pure Energy Centre (2007) Promoting Unst Renewable Energy (PURE) project – from wind to green fuel. Retrieved 26 Jan 2012, from http://www.pureenergycentre.com/pureenergycentre/Pureprojectcasestudy.pdf
  34. Rabat H, Brault P (2008) Plasma sputtering deposition of PEMFC porous carbon platinum electrodes. Fuel Cells 8:81–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rozière J, Jones DJ (2003) Non-fluorinated polymer materials for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Annu Rev Mater Res 33:503–555CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Saha MS, Banis MN, Zhang Y, Li R, Sun X, Cai M, Wagner FT (2009) Tungsten oxide nanowires grown on carbon paper as Pt electrocatalyst support for high performance proton exchange membrane fuel cells. J Power Sources 192:330–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Schönbein CF (1839) On the voltaic polarization of certain solid and fluid substances. Lond Edinb Philos Mag J Sci Ser 3 14:43–45Google Scholar
  38. Thompsett D (2010) Recent developments in electrocatalyst activity and stability for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. In: Wilkinson DP, Zhang JJ, Hui R, Fergus J, Li X (eds) Proton exchange membrane fuel cells. CRC Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  39. Tsuji M, Kubokawa M, Yano R, Miyamae N, Tsuji T, Jun M-S, Hong S, Lim S, Yoon S-H, Mochida I (2007) Fast preparation of PtRu catalysts supported on carbon nanofibers by the microwave-polyol method and their application to fuel cells. Langmuir 23:387–390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Vielstich W, Lamm A, Gasteiger H (eds) (2003) Handbook of fuel cells. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  41. Vielstich W, Harumi Y, Gasteiger HA (eds) (2009) Handbook of fuel cells. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  42. Wang J, Swain GM (2003) Fabrication and evaluation of platinum/diamond composite electrodes for electrocatalysis. J Electrochem Soc 150:E24–E32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Wieser C (2004) Novel polymer electrolyte membranes for automotive applications – requirements and benefits. Fuel Cells 4:245–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. World Energy Outlook (2011) World energy outlook executive summary. Retrieved 26 Jan 2012, from http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/docs/weo2011/executive_summary.pdf
  45. Wu B, Hu D, Kuang Y, Yu Y, Zhang X, Chen J (2011) High dispersion of platinum-ruthenium nanoparticles on the 3,4,9,10-perylene tetracarboxylic acid-functionalized carbon nanotubes for methanol electro-oxidation. Chem Commun 47:5253–5255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Xie Z, Song C, Wilkinson DP, Zhang JJ (2010) Catalyst layers and fabrication. In: Wilkinson DP, Zhang JJ, Hui R, Fergus J, Li X (eds) Proton exchange membrane fuel cells. CRC Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  47. Zhang YM, Li L, Tang JK, Bauer B, Zhang W, Gao HR, Taillades-Jacquin M, Jones DJ, Rozière J, Lebedeva N, Mallant RKAM (2009) Development of covalently cross-linked and composite perfluorosulfonic acid membranes. ECS Trans 25:1469–1472CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Zhao J, Jarvis K, Ferreira P, Manthiram A (2011) Performance and stability of Pd-Pt-Ni nanoalloy electrocatalysts in proton exchange membrane fuel cells. J Power Sources 196:4515–4523CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Zhou Y, Pasquarelli R, Holme T, Berry J, Ginley D, O’Hayre R (2009) Improving PEM fuel cell catalyst activity and durability using nitrogen-doped carbon supports: observations from model Pt/HOPG systems. J Mater Chem 19:7830–7838CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Züttel A (2008) Chapter 1: Introduction. In: Züttel A, Borgschule A, Schlapbach L (eds) Hydrogen as a future energy carrier. WILEY-VCH, Weinheim, pp 1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut Charles Gerhardt Montpellier, UMR CNRS 5253Université Montpellier 2Montpellier, Cedex 5France

Personalised recommendations