There are several different types of fuel cell but the most researched type is the **proton exchange membrane (PEM)** fuel cell, which contains platinum catalysts. PEM fuel cells are capable of being used in power generation for buildings, instead of batteries or generators in portable equipment and as replacements for the internal combustion engine
Fuel cells for transport
Daimler-Chrysler, Ford and Ballard Power Systems joined together in a consortium to build fuel cell engines and drive trains for cars. Recently, DaimlerChrysler, Ford, Honda and Toyota have confirmed that they expect to build tens of cars each by 2004, with the numbers increasing for every following year. Even before this, a total of 30 fuel cell buses built by DaimlerChrysler and Ballard, will go into service around Europe. This project will demonstrate the technology and increase public awareness of fuel cells.
Fuel cells for stationary power
Fuel cells can also provide electric power for homes and offices. In these applications, heat produced by the cell can be circulated like the heat from a conventional boiler. Using the combined heat and power in this way considerably raises the efficiency of the system. A small number of such units are already in use in the USA, Europe and Japan to power hospitals and industrial plant and to provide grid-independent, uninterrupted power supply.
Portable fuel cells
Fuel cells can compete with batteries and generators for portable use, from a few kilowatts to power a mobile home down to a few watts to power a laptop computer. Prototypes have been publicly shown of this type of technology and 2002 and 2003 should see the first few products entering the market.
Barriers to fuel cells
Today the biggest obstacle to fuel cell commercialisation is *cost*. Research is being focused on improving cell performance and developing low cost materials which will enable fuel cells to compete on price first against batteries and later against conventional engines and generating plant.
$$$$$$Major Cost is __ Platinum !!!$$$$$$
*****In Steps Pacific Fuel Cell Corp******
Pacific Fuel Cell Corp. Announces Development of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell with Carbon Nanotube-Based Electrodes
Pacific Fuel Cell Corp. expects that the use of multi-walled carbon nanotubes as a platinum support for proton exchange membrane fuel cells will **reduce the manufacturing cost** of fuel cells through an increased utilization of platinum.
A lot LESS Platinum will be Needed - if Any
So Who is Going to be taking a Good look at PFCE's new
NANO FUEL CELL??