Catalyst in fuel cell
For converting the fuel into energy completely, sometimes catalysts are needed to get the full benefit. In the absence of such catalysts, none can get complete use of fuels. In fact, not all of the hydrogen that is fed into the fuel cell is converted into electricity and water.
However, a portion is left in the exhaust gas and it can be used to heat the fuel reformer through the application of exhaust gas burner. In a similar way, with the help of catalyst in fuel cell, any other fuel can be fully burnt for realizing its full potential. To maximize the potential of hydrogen powered cars efforts are under way to develop nano-sized catalyst to further improve their performance. Though platinum is widely used as catalyst in fuel cell, now efforts are being made on use of other metals, including nano-nickel for this work.
Since the main focus on using fuel cells is working towards a cleaner environment, efforts are being made by several leading research groups to improve the efficiency of fuel cells. Besides transport sector, the energy needs of various other groups are also steadily increasing all over the world. To meet the growing demand for energy from various sectors, adoption of new technology for deriving maximum benefits in a short span of time is becoming a must. In this aspect, improving the designs and the catalyst in fuel cell to get better energy output is vital.
To maximize the output while using the fuel cells, research is going on to find out the most dependable catalyst for different categories of users. The application of proton-exchange membrane fuel cells is found to be more useful in automobiles as the cells operate at relatively low temperatures that suit the needs of vehicle users. However, if the output required is more than just for simple operations, then making use of other cells with good catalyst in fuel cell is necessary to generate more power. The catalyst makes the best use of fuel supplied to the cell in producing dependable power to meet the needs of housing complex or automobiles. The use of hydrogen in fuel cells is mainly aimed at finding alternative sources of power supply at times of crises and also for short durations. This has led to the use of catalyst in fuel cell to power the vehicles for getting good mileage and to reduce emissions that are fast increasing.
The heavy dependence on fuels like gasoline and diesel that found wide commercial use in vehicles is clearly proving to be a dangerous situation. Even after introduction of tight emission norms, the pollution levels have only come down marginally all over the world. However, the concern over the increase in green house gas effects has prompted a debate all over the world. This has made the research into new catalyst in fuel cell to improve the performance and thereby output of energy all the more important.