Hydrogen Ethanol Fuel Cells
Ethanol is the most appropriate fuel for fuel cells. When used by internal combustion engines, its efficiency is reduced to a mere fraction of its actual potential. On the other hand, ethanol's usage with Hydrogen results in its optimum usage. Hydrogen ethanol fuel cells help in the effective use of ethanol as a fuel. So what is ethanol? Chemically, ethanol is extracted from a substance called ethylene. Biologically, it is taken out from various agricultural products like corn, grain, and bamboo. It is the main element found in alcoholic beverages. It is a colorless substance and is highly inflammable.
So how do Hydrogen ethanol fuel cells help optimize the utility of ethanol as a fuel? First of all, it is important to know about a substance called "gasohol." Ethanol is blended with gasoline to from gasohol. It is made up of 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol. It is used as motor fuel. However, the efficiency of ethanol when blended with gasoline is very less (only about 15-20%). Research conducted to overcome this lack of efficiency, clearly points to Hydrogen ethanol fuel cells as the solution. By converting ethanol into hydrogen, its effectiveness can be raised multiple times.
Now the crucial question: why does ethanol work better with hydrogen than with gasoline? The answer is very simple to understand. To use ethanol with gasoline, all the water from the ethanol has to be removed. Now, this is a time-consuming as well as a difficult process. In contrast, hydrogen is an element that is derived from splitting water molecules. Hence, the need to remove water from ethanol does not arise at all. Hydrogen comes from ethanol as well as the water present in it. In this way, Hydrogen ethanol fuel cells triple the competency level of ethanol as a fuel.
There are many advantages of Hydrogen ethanol fuel cells.
- Foremost among them is the cost-cutting factor. The cost of ethanol is lowered because the time-consuming and difficult process of removing water from the ethanol is no longer necessary.
- Another advantage is that Hydrogen ethanol fuel cells, unlike gasoline or diesel, draw energy from a renewable resource.
- The emission of greenhouse gases is also cut down, as these fuel cells contain more oxygen. For example, ethanol contains 35% oxygen.
- Storage is also not a problem as ethanol is energy-dense, and can be stored compactly.
- Agricultural markets too stand to benefit from ethanol
- Hydrogen ethanol fuel cells are dependable sources of energy
Furthermore, the technology to make Hydrogen ethanol fuel cells is already well in place. Though it is not used as extensively as it ought to be used, big companies as well as a section of the public has realized the potential of this promising technology for clean and efficient running of homes and cars.