Fuel cells are self-contained power generation devices that are able to produce reliable electricity for residential, commercial, industrial and transportation applications. A fuel cell can convert hydrogen directly into electricity that can be used to power an electric car, for example, or a home.
What Are the Benefits?
In fuel cells, the use of hydrogen produces fewer greenhouse gases than does burning fossil fuels. Fuel cells convert energy efficiently, which helps conserve energy resources. And a byproduct of this electro-chemical process is pure water—a clear benefit for the environment.
However, hydrogen—a tasteless, odorless, colorless gas—is not found freely in nature. It must be extracted from other substances.
Before fuel cells can achieve widespread use in vehicle or stationary-power markets, hydrogen as a fuel will have to be readily available.
None of this will happen overnight. Hydrogen will become part of the world's energy supply step by step as technical challenges are overcome and market forces create new opportunities. This could take decades.