Imagine a device that could take the most abundant element in the universe and convert it into electricity, heat, and water, without emitting any harmful pollution. Sounds too good to be true? But, such a device exists -- the fuel cell.
A fuel cell is, in a way, a battery that can be refueled (as opposed to recharged). Fuel cells generate electricity by combining oxygen and hydrogen (or a hydrogen-rich fuel source) in a chemical reaction, and continue to operate so long as fuel is provided. When pure hydrogen is used, the only byproduct is heat and water -- there are no harmful emissions at all.
This fact sheet will give an overview of fuel cells, examining their strengths and challenges, applications, and the impact of federal and state clean energy policies on their commercialization and deployment in the marketplace.