Fuel cells may become the energy-delivery devices of the 21st century. Although there are many types of fuel cells, polymer-electrolyte fuel cells are receiving the most attention for automotive and small stationary applications. In a polymer-electrolyte fuel cell, a fuel (e.g., hydrogen) and oxidant (e.g., oxygen) are combined electrochemically to produce water, electricity, and some waste heat. By reacting electrochemically, one can obtain efficiencies higher than those limited by thermal combustion, i.e., Carnot efficiency. Some other advantageous versus engines include quiet operation, modular design, and relatively clean emissions depending on the source of hydrogen. Fuel cell applications include transportation, commercial and residential stationary, materials handling, and even physiological.
At Berkeley Lab, we utilize a core team of electrochemists, chemical engineers, mechanical engineers, theorists, material scientists, and organic chemists. leverage LBNL facilities and core competencies and collaborate extensively with labs, industry, and academia thru CalCharge to focus on
- Synthesis and advanced diagnostics of fuel-cell components including membranes and diffusion media
- Analysis of total costs of ownership of stationary and early market fuel-cell devices
This work is coordinated by Adam Weber.