Fuel Cell Dangers
i realize that the by products of hydrogen fuel cells
water and heat.
my question is where is all this heat directed to?
if it is released into the atmosphere, aren't there any dangers in
Less danger than with other electric power generation methods, because
cells are more efficient than other methods, that is, more of the
used goes into electricity and less goes into heat.
Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois
Fuel cells are more efficient than even the best internal combustion
engine. Little to no chemical pollution here -no greenhouse gases. Like
all energy conversions systems, yes, heat is released, but less of it
per unit of fuel used. Your question in the long-term is linked to a
question of global warming, from all sources. But remember, no greenhouse gases
are produced with THIS technology. What will be your mix of technologies?
How much blanket warming will occur? What mechanisms (and what are their
limits) does the earth have in its biosphere to dissipate excess heat
before effects become significant? This is a very complex
In the short-term, your question boils down to a question of scale -
fuel cell use is quite rare and will be for another 10+ years. So its
significance to earth warming is/will be negligible! FC technology is
obviously a step in the right direction, but costs are high.
Breakthrough materials are needed to lower the cost.
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Update: June 2012