One of the biggest problems that the world is facing today is the global energy crisis. The dependence of man to produce the energy from non-renewable energy sources has lead him to exhausting these sources. This is why there is a need to shift our focus on more sustainable and efficient sources of energy. The heavy use of the conventional sources has increased the level of pollution too. The emission of carbon dioxide (CO₂), nitrogen oxide (NOₓ), carbon monoxide had a severe impact over the health of human beings as well as the environment. The excessive emission of the carbon dioxide results in the greenhouse effect, and the heat generated in the process remains in the Earth’s atmosphere. Heat cannot escape because of this greenhouse effect, increasing the surface temperature of the Earth. This phenomenon, known as global warming, causes melting of glaciers, floods, storms, creating havoc over human beings and endangering agricultural wealth as well untimely rise in sea level, which may be a danger to the lives of 14.2% of India’s population which is living on the 7,517 km coastline and 1,238 Indian islands.

So how does hydrogen fit into this?
Hydrogen is a clean source of energy, particularly when used in transportation purpose and now being used in generating electricity. An atom of hydrogen consists of one electron and one proton. It has very high energy content, almost three times more than gasoline. It is available in plentiful amount in the universe. Despite its availability hydrogen is not available in free form as gas on Earth, as it’s always combined with other elements like water, for example, is a combination of hydrogen and oxygen.

Currently, 48% of hydrogen is produced from natural gas, 30% from oil, 10% from coal and 4% from water electrolysis. There are many challenges associated with hydrogen energy and fuel cell like hydrogen production, storage, transportation.

The Fuel Cell
Fuel cell combines hydrogen & oxygen to produce electricity, heat & water. They are often compared with batteries. Both convert the energy produced by a chemical reaction in to usable electric power. But fuel cell will produce electricity as long as fuel supplied. Fuel cell operates best on pure hydrogen. But fuel like natural gas, methanol or even gasoline can reformed to produce the hydrogen required for fuel cell. The various types of fuel cell are:

• Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell
• Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell
• Alkaline Fuel Cell
• Solid Oxide Fuel Cell
• Direct Ethanol/Methanol Fuel Cell
• Bio-Fuel Cell
• Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell
• Direct Carbon Fuel Cell
• Micro Fuel Cell.
In the near future, which is coming earlier than one imagines, fuel cells are going to be the next big thing. They already are on their way to do so. Even now, in places they are used, fuel cells requirepure hydrogen, as mentioned above, and a hydrogen generator or hydrogen plant and usually an oxygen generator too, is required to be present on the facility.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Gaurav Gautam, I am Graduate in English (Hons) from Delhi University. I am professional content writer but I am very enthusiastic for health & fitness industry. Above article is based on Hydrogen fuel cell