The Advantages And Disadvantages of Hydrogen Fuel Cells
If there’s one problem the world is facing today is the ever-looming energy crisis. And our over-dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels is undoubtedly coming back to haunt us. It is for this reason that there has been a significant shift towards finding an amicable, efficient, and sustainable energy source alternative. On such option that has been getting lots of attention in recent days, and that option is the use of hydrogen fuel cells.
But what are hydrogen fuel cells? These fuel cells are a combination of oxygen and hydrogen, which when mixed, create electricity and heat. The energy created is then stored in cells that can be used to power different things. This rather new form of energy is being considered as one of the most applicable and plausible alternative energy options simply because of the fact that hydrogen and oxygen are in abundance on our planet. But like everything else, there are some drawbacks that come with the use of this option.
The Benefits Of Using Hydrogen Fuel Cells
1. Renewable and Available
“One of the main reasons why hydrogen is an excellent way to create power is the fact that it is quite abundant” says power supply specialists Powerstax. As such, we can never worry about running out of it any time soon, which is not the case with most non-renewable and fossil fuel resources.
2. Hydrogen is Non-Toxic
Of all energy sources we utilize to produce energy, not a single one is non-toxic and harmless. And that is not only for us humans and animals but also to our environment. Hydrogen fuel cells, on the other hand, are non-toxic and pose no danger to the climate.
3. Hydrogen Fuel Cells Are Very Powerful
Apart from being non-toxic and renewable, this energy source option is also incredibly powerful. As a matter of fact, hydrogen fuel cells are so powerful, that they’re used to fuel space rockets.
4. This Option Does Not Contribute to Climate Changes
Unlike other energy sources, hydrogen fuel cells do not produce any greenhouse gas emissions. It is the gases released by non-renewable resources that are linked to the massive climate changes we are experiencing and are the main cause of global warming.
5. Cheap To Manage and Maintain
While the initial cost to set-up hydrogen fuel cells might be a bit high, the great thing is that once installed these cells are very easy to maintain. And the same would apply to cars if they were made to run on hydrogen energy – greenhouse gas emissions would considerably go down, and car repairs would no longer be so costly.
The Disadvantage of Using Hydrogen Fuel Cells
1. Fossil Fuels Still Play A Part
For hydrogen and oxygen atoms to be separated so that hydrogen fuel can be generated, fossil fuels will be required. As such, this completely downplays its role as an alternative energy source considering that if we were to run out of fossil fuels, then we no longer would be able to create hydrogen energy.
2. It Is Rather Costly To Produce
One of the main drawbacks of using hydrogen fuel cells to create energy is the fact that it’s very expensive to produce. As at the moment, the energy produced isn’t sufficient enough to warrant the production of hydrogen energy in a cost-effective way.
3. Highly Flammable
While hydrogen energy is not toxic, it is highly flammable. This hazard is presented by the hydrogen itself, which is highly prone to catching fire and exploding. At the end of the day, this presents new and unnecessary risks to the society.
4. Much Still Needs To Be Done
The use of hydrogen fuel cells is still very new, and more research and advancement is still required before this energy source alternative can be used on a large scale basis. The likelihood of it being used on such a scale is not yet known, and many believe it to be just a fairy tale.
5. The Fuel Cells Cannot Hold Much Energy At One Go
Currently, the cells used to store the hydrogen energy are only able to hold minuscule amounts of power at a go. As such, holding sustainable and reliable amounts of energy using hydrogen fuel cells is very unlikely at the moment.