Low-Carbon Technologies: Energy Supply Fuel Cells

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Fuel cells convert chemical energy to electricity via electrochemical reactions. When a fuel source and an oxidant are piped through a cell containing an active electrolyte, the reaction that occurs between the fuel and the oxidant in the presence of the electrolyte produces an outflowing electrical current. The electricity is produced without waste and has a much higher fuel-to-electricity ratio than combustion-based fossil fuel sources. It is estimated that fuel cells have twice the energy efficiency than electricity produced from common fossil fuel sources. Fuel cell research has focused on the use of certain fuel sources, such as biomass and hydrogen, as a means of further mitigating greenhouse gas emissions associated with fuel cell usage. There is an international push for research and development into the costs and durability of fuel cells.