Fuel cells are considered to be a likely alternative to
current fuel sources. All fuel cells require electrolytes for conducting
current. There are several types of fuel cells and they all have electrolytes
that determine how the fuel cell works. Phosphoric acid based fuel cells are
typically used in stationary applications, and higher power mobile applications.
However, these electrolytes are corrosive and require expensive platinum
Researchers at Arizona State University have developed
low-melting inorganic salt mixtures as electrolytes in fuel cells operating in
the temperate range 100-200°C, with cell performance comparable to that of
phosphoric acid fuel cells. The neutral or near-neutral electrolytes simplify
cell construction, and allow for the use of cheaper catalyst materials. The
performance of these new electrolytes is comparable to phosphoric acid fuel
- Automotive: Buses and Cars
- Back-up power generation
- Portable systems
Benefits and Advantages
- Pressure conditions ? There is no longer a need for
special pressure conditions in the fuel cell to achieve the expected output.
- Humidity ? No required special humidity conditions.
- Voltages ? This technology provides better voltages,
particularly at low current densities.
- Simple cell construction – Electrolytes can be neutral.
- Performance comparable to phosphoric acid fuel cells
- Alternative catalysts to Pt may be possible to