This animation shows the process that goes on inside an individual fuel cell. The red Hs represent hydrogen molecules (H2) from a hydrogen storage tank. The orange H+ represents a hydrogen ion after it's electron is removed. The yellow e- represents an electron moving through a circut to do work (like lighting a light bulb or powering a car). The green Os represent an oxygen molecule (O2) from the air, and the blue drops at the end are for pure water--the only byproduct of hydrogen power.
To produce power in large amounts, many of these cells are combined into a fuel cell stack. The image at right shows a fuel cell stack composed of about 60 cells, with the arrows indicating an individual cell.
See a description of the process in chemical terms
Frequently Asked Questions about Fuel Cells