10 Disadvantages and Advantages of Hydrogen Fuel Cells

One of the biggest problems that the world is facing in today’s day in age is a global energy crisis. Our dependency on non renewable fossil fuels is coming back to hurt us. This is why there has been a massive shift in focus to finding sustainable and efficient alternative energy sources. Hydrogen fuel cells is just one of these options that are getting quite a bit of attention. What these are is a combination of hydrogen and oxygen, that when mixed, create heat and electricity. The energy that is created is then stored in fuel cells which can be used for power. Hydrogen energy is being considered one of the most plausible and applicable choices for alternative energy, simply because of the abundance of it that we have on this planet. However, like anything, there are some drawbacks to it’s use.

Advantages of Hydrogen Fuel Cells

1. Available and Renewable
One of the biggest reasons that hydrogen is such a great choice for power is because of the abundance of it. There is no worry about running out of hydrogen anytime soon, unlike fossil fuels and other non renewable resources.

2. Non Toxic
All of the energy sources that we are currently utilizing are harmful and toxic. Not only for humans and animals, but for our environment as well. Hydrogen fuel cells are completely non toxic and pose no risk to our climate.

3. Very Powerful
Along with being renewable and non toxic, hydrogen fuel cells are also incredibly powerful. They are so powerful in fact that they are used as fuel in rockets that go into space!

4. Doesn’t Contribute To Climate Change
There are no green house gas emissions that are associated with hydrogen fuel cells. These gasses, which are released by other types of non renewable resources, are the cause of global warming and a massive climate change.

5. Cheap Maintenance
While the initial costs may be a bit high, once they are installed, hydrogen fuel cells are very affordable to maintain. This same idea would go if cars began running on hydrogen energy. Costly car repairs would be a thing of the past.

Disadvantages of Hydrogen Fuel Cells

1. Fossil Fuels Are Still Needed
In order to separate the atoms of the hydrogen and oxygen and actually generate hydrogen fuel, fossil fuels are needed. This completely defeats the purpose of an alternative energy source. If we ran out of fossil fuels we would no longer be able to produce hydrogen energy.

2. Costly To Produce
One of the biggest pitfalls of hydrogen fuel cells is the simple fact that it is very expensive to produce. As of now, the energy is not efficient enough to produce hydrogen energy in a cost effective way.

3. Flammable!
While it may not be toxic, it sure is flammable. The source of the hazard comes from the hydrogen itself, which is very prone to catching on fire, or even exploding. This would add unnecessarily and new risks into society.

4. Much Work To Be Done
The use of fuel cells is very new, and quite a bit of advancement and research still needs to be done before it can be used on a wide scale basis. The plausibility of it’s use isn’t even fully known yet, and many people believe it is just a fairy tale.

5. Cells Can’t Hold Much
The actual cells that the hydrogen energy is stored in can store only a small amount of power. This makes the process of maintaining reliable power sources with the use of hydrogen fuel cells very unlikely.

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Important Facts About Hydrogen Fuel Cells

  • NASA is the most famous supporter of hydrogen fuel cells, this is because they use them to power their rockets.
  • The United States has produced 19.8 billion pounds of hydrogen, this is enough hydrogen to power 20-30 million cars.
  • Hydrogen is 14 times as light as air.
  • The hydrogen power that is produced in today’s world is mostly used to refine gasoline.
  • During the Winter 2010 Olympics, hydrogen fuel cell buses where used as transportation for tourists and Olympic attendees.
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