Fuel cell research

Fuel cell research

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Credit: PASQUALE SORRENTINO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fuel cell research. Researcher studying methods of producing hydrogen gas for fuel cells. In a fuel cell, hydrogen is combined with oxygen to produce water and electricity. One source of hydrogen is to produce it from hydrocarbons, such as methane gas. The particular methods being studied here are the steam-reforming reaction and water gas shift (WGS) reaction. The WGS reaction removes unwanted pollutants left after the steam-reforming stage, but requires catalysts unsuitable for commercial fuel cells. Analysing the products formed when different catalysts are used will help develop better fuel cell technologies. Because fuel cells produce water vapour, they are less polluting than fossil fuels.

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