Fuel cells

The key to sustanainable energy conversion
by Dr. Jae-ha Myung

Fuel cells are electrochemical devices consisting of an electrolyte and two electrodes capable of converting directly any consumable fuels to electrical energy through the performance of a chemical reaction. The electrochemical process in the fuel cell can be efficient converting nearly 80% of the chemical energy of the fuel into electricity in contrast to the thermal power plants which give efficiency around 40 %. Recently, one technology with advanced potential to achieve the targets, which were included the environment, the energy security, and the radiation/explosion safety, and the advanced technology for electric power generating system and transportation, is strongly considered to the fuel cell technology. Among the various fuel cells, our groups have been focusing on Solid Oxide Fuel Cells and Direct Carbon Fuel Cells to enhance its high conversion efficiency, high power density, flexible choice of fuel such as carbon rich fuels and hydrogen.