School Papers

Figure is that fossil fuel is not a

Figure
3: Combustion Process
Source:
http://www.aa1car.com/library/combustion.gif
 

Every day we use fossil fuels to power machines, buildings, and
mainly our vehicles that we use every day. The problem with this is that fossil
fuel is not a renewable energy source. At some time in the future, it will run
out because we are using it at a faster rate than the time it takes to produce
it. In order to solve this problem, we can only try to find an alternative to
fossil fuel since fossil fuel needs over hundreds of millions of years to be
produced. Fossil fuel is quickly being used up by all countries around the
world and will soon be non-existent. If fossil fuel runs out before we find an
alternative to it then we won’t be able to do our daily activities. Fossil fuel
also causes unwanted air pollution when it is burned. It releases nitrogen
oxides and carbon monoxide which causes air pollution and acid rain. The gasses
are then released to the air through the exhaust.

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Figure
3: Combustion Process
Source:
http://www.aa1car.com/library/combustion.gif
 

To reduce the combustion of fossil fuel in vehicles, we can replace
regular engines with a fuel cell. A hydrogen
fuel cell is a device that generates electricity by a chemical reaction
containing H2 and O2 as fuel. The products of the
reaction in the cell are water, electricity, and heat.2 A hydrogen
fuel cell is made up of a cathode, anode, electrolyte, and a catalyst. The
anode is the negative post of the fuel cell, It conducts the electrons that are
freed from the hydrogen molecules so that they can be used to power the motors
of the car. The cathode is the positive post of the fuel cell, it has channels
which distributes oxygen to the surface of the catalyst where then they will
recombine with the hydrogen ions and oxygen to form water. The water produced
will then go out through the exhaust of the car. The electrolyte is the proton
exchange membrane. It conducts only positively charged ions and blocks
electrons so that the negative ions will be used to power the motors which will
move the car. The reaction requites a platinum catalyst to maximize the
efficiency of the fuel cell. The platinum catalyst helps the oxidation of
hydrogen gas to protons to occur at a faster rate. This is due to the fact that
hydrogen gas (H2) sticks to platinum metal which will help maximize
the rate of reaction. The hydrogen attracts to the catalyst on the anode which
then the hydrogen will be separated from its electrons. The electrons will flow
to the motors to power them and goes back to the fuel cell while the positive
ion goes through the electrolyte to the cathode where it will then combine back
with the electrons which will react with oxygen (O2) to form water
(H2O). The function of the oxygen is to remove used hydrogen from
the fuel cell which will be brought out in the form of water.

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