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Hydrogen and fuel cell applications embrace concepts of molarity & solution chemistry, cathode and anode, flow of a current, flow of ions in a solution, chemical energy to electrical energy, chemical reaction rates, catalysis, free energy, current density, electro-motive force(EMF)-voltage and potential difference and the gas laws.Electrolysis and the production of hydrogen and oxygen are essential, for the PEM fuel cell by example is the exact ideal opposite. Hydrogen and Oxygen coming together in a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEMFC) produces electricity, heat and water.
The above diagrams show the processes I believe that are important for the understanding of a PEM fuel cell. Whilst the laws of thermodynamics need not be taught until university, many principles of chemistry are present.
Existing chemistry courses at high schools will most probably already have material on Fuels, Batteries and other Cells. Whilst there are other fuel cell types being Molten carbonate (MCFC), Phosphoric Acid (PAFC), and Solid Oxide (SOFC), the PEMFC I think should be referred to as the standard for high schools. The PEMFC can be referred to much more by name, to highlight with examples the principles of chemistry, so that the PEMFC becomes common and familiar. It’s subtle but by mentioning fuel cells much more frequently in chemistry classes, students will begin to develop awareness for them.
Gas law chemistry can facilitate hydrogen by demonstration where a small cylinder of H2 can be obtained from a gas supply company. Apart from the gas laws the safety of hydrogen as well can be taught by allowing students to create certain tests to detect the odourless and colourless gas in the atmosphere when released in small amounts. The energy density of hydrogen (calorific values) and the volume proportions can as well be taught. Next Page 3.2 Physics:
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