For this post I wanted to discuss the efficiency of hydrogen fuel cells and their resulting impact on CO2 emissions. It’s important to know that the electrolysis of water does take a lot of energy to produce the hydrogen for the fuel cells. In places like America, this might have a detrimental effect overall due to our reliance on coal and natural gas to produce electricity. However, in places such as Iceland, they use geothermal power plants to produce their electricity. So the resulting energy spent to create the hydrogen from electrolysis does not add to it’s CO2 footprint.
But this still does not mean that hydrogen fuel cells can’t have a future in the US. I ran across an article today about how advances in nanotechnology can create more efficient hydrogen fuel cells. The fuel cells themselves can be smaller and lighter. They are also more efficient, allowing them greater power output than previous material, while remaining less expensive.
The article unfortunately does not get into the specifics about how it makes the process of hydrolysis more efficient through nano technology, but the project seems new so concrete information may take a while.