The Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell


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.

Animated illustration of reaction

A fuel cell stack 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

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This page was developed by Marc Marshall
Last updated: December 16, 1999