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A catalytic converter is a vehicle emissions control device that converts toxic

pollutants in exhaust gas to less toxic pollutants by catalyzing a redox reaction

(oxidation or reduction). Catalytic converters are used in internal combustion engines
fueled by either petrol (gasoline) or dieselincluding lean burn engines.
The first widespread introduction of catalytic converters was in the United States
automobile market. Manufacturers of 1975 model year equipped gasoline-powered
vehicles with catalytic converters to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency's stricter regulation of exhaust emissions.
These two-way
converters combined carbon monoxide (CO) with unburned hydrocarbons (HC) to
produce carbon dioxide (CO
) and water (H
O). In 1981, two-way catalytic converters
were rendered obsolete by three-way converters that also reduce oxides of nitrogen
however, two-way converters are still used for lean burn engines.
Although catalytic converters are most commonly applied to exhaust systems in
automobiles, they are also used on electrical generators, forklifts, mining equipment,
trucks, buses, locomotives, motorcycles, and airplanes. They are also used on some
wood stoves to control emissions.
This is usually in response to government
regulation, either through direct environmental regulation or through health and safety
A two-way (or "oxidation") catalytic converter has two simultaneous tasks:
1. Oxidation of carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide: 2CO + O

2. Oxidation of hydrocarbons (unburnt and partially burnt fuel) to carbon dioxide
and water: C
+ [(3x+1)/2] O
+ (x+1) H
O (a combustion
This type of catalytic converter is widely used on diesel engines to reduce
hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions. They were also used on gasoline
engines in American- and Canadian-market automobiles until 1981. Because of their
inability to control oxides of nitrogen, they were superseded by three-way converters.
Three-way catalytic converters (TWC) have the additional advantage of controlling
the emission of nitrogen oxides (NO
), in particular nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas
over three hundred times more potent than carbon dioxide,
a precursor to acid rain
and currently the most ozone-depleting substance.
Technological improvements
including three-way catalytic converters have led to motor vehicle nitrous oxide
emissions in the US falling to 8.2% of anthropogenic nitrous oxide emissions in 2008,
from a high of 17.77% in 1998.
Since 1981, "three-way" (oxidation-reduction) catalytic converters have been used in
vehicle emission control systems in the United States and Canada; many other
countries have also adopted stringent vehicle emission regulations that in effect
require three-way converters on gasoline-powered vehicles. The reduction and
oxidation catalysts are typically contained in a common housing, however in some
instances they may be housed separately. A three-way catalytic converter has three
simultaneous tasks:
1. Reduction of nitrogen oxides to nitrogen and oxygen: 2NO
+ N

2. Oxidation of carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide: 2CO + O

3. Oxidation of unburnt hydrocarbons (HC) to carbon dioxide and water: C

+ [(3x+1)/2]O
+ (x+1)H
These three reactions occur most efficiently when the catalytic converter receives
exhaust from an engine running slightly above the stoichiometric point. This point is
between 14.6 and 14.8 parts air to 1 part fuel, by weight, for gasoline. The ratio for
Autogas (or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)), natural gas and ethanol fuels is each
slightly different, requiring modified fuel system settings when using those fuels. In
general, engines fitted with 3-way catalytic converters are equipped with a
computerized closed-loop feedback fuel injection system using one or more oxygen
sensors, though early in the deployment of three-way converters, carburetors equipped
for feedback mixture control were used.
Three-way catalysts are effective when the engine is operated within a narrow band of
air-fuel ratios near stoichiometry, such that the exhaust gas oscillates between rich
(excess fuel) and lean (excess oxygen) conditions. However, conversion efficiency
falls very rapidly when the engine is operated outside of that band of air-fuel ratios.
Under lean engine operation, there is excess oxygen and the reduction of NO
is not
favored. Under rich conditions, the excess fuel consumes all of the available oxygen
prior to the catalyst, thus only stored oxygen is available for the oxidation function.
Closed-loop control systems are necessary because of the conflicting requirements for
effective NO
reduction and HC oxidation. The control system must prevent the NO

reduction catalyst from becoming fully oxidized, yet replenish the oxygen storage
material to maintain its function as an oxidation catalyst.
Three-way catalytic converters can store oxygen from the exhaust gas stream, usually
when the airfuel ratio goes lean.
When sufficient oxygen is not available from the
exhaust stream, the stored oxygen is released and consumed (see cerium(IV) oxide). A
lack of sufficient oxygen occurs either when oxygen derived from NO
reduction is
unavailable or when certain maneuvers such as hard acceleration enrich the mixture
beyond the ability of the converter to supply oxygen.
Unwanted reactions
Unwanted reactions can occur in the three-way catalyst, such as the formation of
odoriferous hydrogen sulfide and ammonia. Formation of each can be limited by
modifications to the washcoat and precious metals used. It is difficult to eliminate
these byproducts entirely. Sulfur-free or low-sulfur fuels eliminate or reduce
hydrogen sulfide.
For example, when control of hydrogen-sulfide emissions is desired, nickel or
manganese is added to the washcoat. Both substances act to block the absorption of
sulfur by the washcoat. Hydrogen sulfide is formed when the washcoat has absorbed
sulfur during a low-temperature part of the operating cycle, which is then released
during the high-temperature part of the cycle and the sulfur combines with HC.
Environmental impact
Catalytic converters have proven to be reliable and effective in reducing noxious
tailpipe emissions. However, they also have some shortcomings and adverse
environmental impacts in production:
An engine equipped with a three-way catalyst must run at the stoichiometric
point, which means more fuel is consumed than in a lean-burn engine. This
means approximately 10% more CO
emissions from the vehicle.
Catalytic converter production requires palladium or platinum; part of the
world supply of these precious metals is produced near Norilsk, Russia, where
the industry (among others) has caused Norilsk to be added to Time
magazine's list of most-polluted places.

A transfer case is a part of a four-wheel-drive system found in four-wheel-drive and
all-wheel-drive vehicles. The transfer case is connected to the transmission and also to
the front and rear axles by means of drive shafts. It is also referred to as a "transfer
gearcase", "transfer gearbox","transfer box", "jockey box", or simply "T-case".
1 Functions
2 Types
o 2.1 Drive type
2.1.1 Gear-driven
2.1.2 Chain-driven
o 2.2 Housing type
2.2.1 Married
2.2.2 Divorced/independent
o 2.3 Transfer case shift type
2.3.1 M.S.O.F.
2.3.2 E.S.O.F.
3 See also
4 References
The transfer case receives power from the transmission and sends it to both the
front and rear axles. This can be done with a set of gears, but the majority of
transfer cases manufactured today are chain driven.
On some vehicles, such
as four-wheel-drive trucks or vehicles intended for off-road use, this feature is
controlled by the driver. The driver can put the transfer case into either "two-
wheel-drive" or "four-wheel-drive" mode. This is sometimes accomplished by
means of a shifter, similar to that in a manual transmission. On some vehicles
this may be electronically operated by a switch instead. Some vehicles, such as
all-wheel-drive sports cars, have transfer cases that are not selectable. Such a
transfer case is permanently "locked" into all-wheel-drive mode.
An on-road transfer case synchronizes the difference between the rotation of
the front and rear wheels,
in much the same way the differential acts on a
given axle. This is necessary because the front and rear tires never turn at the
same speed when front and rear tire sizes differ.
Transfer cases designed for off-road use can mechanically lock the front and
rear axles when needed
(e.g. when one of the axles is on a slippery surfaces
or stuck in mud, whereas the other has better traction). This is the equivalent
to the differential lock.
The transfer case may contain one or more sets of low range gears (generally
for off-road vehicles). Low range gears are engaged with a shifter or electronic
switch. On many transfer cases, this shifter is the same as the one that selects
2WD or 4WD operation. Low range gears slow down the vehicle and increase
the torque available at the axles. Low-range gears are used during slow-speed
or extreme off road maneuvers, such as rockcrawling or when pulling a heavy
load. This feature is often absent on all-wheel-drive cars. Some very large
vehicles, such as heavy equipment or military trucks, have more than one low-
range gear. In the late 1970s, Mitsubishi installed a transfer case to its front
wheel drive products without equipping a second driveshaft to the rear wheels.
It was called Super Shift and allowed drivers to select from four gears in the
"Power" range, utilizing the torque from the engine, and four gears in the
"Economy" range, providing better fuel economy at higher speeds.
Those used on "part-time four-wheel-drive" system off-road vehicles such as trucks,
truggies, rock-crawling vehicles, and some military vehicles generally allow the
driver to select 2WD versus 4WD as well as high versus low gear ranges. Those used
in sports cars are usually "transparent" to the driver; there is no shifter or select lever.
Drive type
There are two different types of "internal workings" found in most transfer cases.
Gear-driven transfer cases can use sets of gears to drive either the front or both the
front and rear driveshafts. These are generally strong, heavy units that are used in
large trucks, but there are currently several gear drive cases in production for
passenger cars.
[citation needed]

Chain-driven transfer cases use a chain to drive most often only one axle, but can
drive both axles. Chain-driven transfer cases are quieter and lighter than gear-driven
ones. They are used in vehicles such as compact trucks, full size trucks, Jeeps and
SUVs. Some off-road driving enthusiasts modify their vehicles to use gear-driven
transfer cases, accepting the additional weight and noise to gain the extra strength
they generally provide.
Housing type
Transfer cases are also classified as either "divorced"/"independent" or "married".
"Married" transfer cases are bolted directly to the transmission. Sometimes a
"married" transfer case is an integral part of the transmission and the two components
share the same housing, as is commonly found on recent Subaru products and some
other four-wheel-drive cars.
An "independent" Transfer case is completely separate from the transmission; it is
bolted to the transmission output shaft and a short driveshaft travels from the transfer
case to the front and rear differentials. Independent transfer cases are used on very
long wheelbase vehicles, such as commercial trucks or military trucks.
Transfer case shift type
Manual Shift On-the-Fly transfer cases have a selector lever on the driver's side floor
transmission hump and may also have either two sealed automatic front axle locking
hubs or two manual front axle hub selectors of "LOCK" and "UNLOCK" or "FREE".
To engage the four-wheel-drive system the vehicle must be moving at a lower speeds,
the speed at which 4x4 can be engaged depends on the vehicle. This is only for the
four-wheel-drive high setting. To engage the four-wheel-drive low setting, the vehicle
must be stopped and the transmission must be shifted to neutral, then the four-wheel-
drive low can be selected.
Electronic Shift On-the-Fly (ESOF) transfer cases have a dash-mounted selector
switch or buttons with front sealed automatic locking axle hubs or drive flanges.
Some models also have what is called selec trac, which has a slider switch on the
center console. Unlike the manual transfer case, this system has a transfer case motor.
To engage the four-wheel-drive system the vehicle must be moving at a lower speeds,
the speed at which 4x4 can be engaged depends on the vehicle. This is only for the
four-wheel-drive high setting. To engage the four-wheel-drive low setting, the vehicle
must be stopped and the transmission must be shifted to neutral, then the four-wheel-
drive low can be selected..
A traction control system (TCS), in German known as Antriebsschlupfregelung
(ASR), is typically (but not necessarily) a secondary function of the anti-lock braking
system (ABS) on production motor vehicles, designed to prevent loss of traction of
driven road wheels. When invoked it therefore enhances driver control as throttle
input applied is mis-matched to road surface conditions (due to varying factors) being
unable to manage applied torque.
Intervention consists of one or more of the following:
Reduces or suppress spark sequence to one or more cylinders
Reduce fuel supply to one or more cylinders
Brake force applied at one or more wheels
Close the throttle, if the vehicle is fitted with drive by wire throttle
In turbo-charged vehicles, a boost control solenoid can be actuated to reduce
boost and therefore engine power.
Typically, traction control systems share the electro-hydraulic brake actuator (but
does not use the conventional master cylinder and servo), and wheel speed sensors
with ABS.
1 History
2 Overview
3 Operation
4 Components of traction control
5 Use of traction control
o 5.1 Controversy in motorsports
6 Traction control in cornering
7 See also
8 References
9 External links
The predecessor of modern electronic traction control systems can be found in high-
torque, high-power rear-wheel drive cars as a limited slip differential. A limited slip
differential is a purely mechanical system that transfers a relatively small amount of
power to the non-slipping wheel, while still allowing some wheel spin to occur.
In 1971, Buick introduced MaxTrac, which used an early computer system to detect
rear wheel spin and modulate engine power to those wheels to provide the most
A Buick exclusive item at the time, it was an option on all full-size models,
including the Riviera, Estate Wagon, Electra 225, Centurion, and LeSabre.
Cadillac introduced the Traction Monitoring System(TMS) in 1979 on the redesigned
The basic idea behind the need of a traction control system is the difference between
traction of different wheels evidencing apparent loss of road grip that compromise
steering control and stability of vehicles. Difference in slip may occur due to turning
of a vehicle or differently varying road conditions for different wheels. At high
speeds, when a car tends to turn, its outer and inner wheels are subjected to different
speed of rotation, that is conventionally controlled by using a differential. A further
enhancement of the differential is to employ an active differential that can vary the
amount of power being delivered to outer and inner wheels according to the need (for
example, if, while turning right, outward slip (equivalently saying, 'yaw') is sensed,
active differential may deliver more power to the outer wheel, so as to minimize the
yaw (that is basically the degree to which the front and rear wheels of a car are out of
line.) Active-differential, in turn, is controlled by an assembly of electromechanical
sensors collaborating with a traction control unit.
When the traction control computer (often incorporated into another control unit, like
the anti-lock braking system module) detects one or more driven wheels spinning
significantly faster than another, it invokes the ABS electronic control unit to apply
brake friction to wheels spinning with lessened traction. Braking action on slipping
wheel(s) will cause power transfer to wheel axle(s) with traction due to the
mechanical action within a differential. All-wheel drive (AWD) vehicles often have
an electronically controlled coupling system in the transfer case or transaxle engaged
(active part-time AWD), or locked-up tighter (in a true full-time set up driving all
wheels with some power all the time) to supply non-slipping wheels with (more)
This often occurs in conjunction with the powertrain computer reducing available
engine torque by electronically limiting throttle application and/or fuel delivery,
retarding ignition spark, completely shutting down engine cylinders, and a number of
other methods, depending on the vehicle and how much technology is used to control
the engine and transmission. There are instances when traction control is undesirable,
such as trying to get a vehicle unstuck in snow or mud. Allowing one wheel to spin
can propel a vehicle forward enough to get it unstuck, whereas both wheels applying a
limited amount of power can't get the same effect. Many vehicles have a traction
control shut off switch for just such circumstances.
Components of traction control
Generally, the main hardware for traction control and ABS are mostly the same. In
many vehicles traction control is provided as an additional option to ABS.
Each wheel is equipped with sensors which sense the change in their speed
due to loss of traction.
When the traction control is installed as a part of ABS system, an ATC valve
will be provided which initiates the ATC function.
The sensed speed from the individual wheels is given to a control unit, called
Electronic control Unit.
A cable connects the ECU with the ATC valve.
In all vehicles, traction control is automatically started when the sensors detect loss of
traction at any of the wheels.
Use of traction control
In road cars: Traction control has traditionally been a safety feature in
premium high-performance cars, which otherwise need sensitive throttle input
preventing spinning driven wheels when accelerating, especially in wet, icy or
snowy conditions. In recent years, traction control systems have become
widely available in non-performance cars, minivans, and light trucks.
In race cars: Traction control is used as a performance enhancement, allowing
maximum traction under acceleration without wheel spin. When accelerating
out of turn, it keeps the tires at optimal slip ratio.
In motorcycles: Traction control for a production motorcycle was first
available with the BMW K1 in 1988. By 2009, traction control was an option
for several models offered by BMW and Ducati, and the model year 2010
Kawasaki Concours 14 (1400GTR).
In off road vehicles: Traction control is used instead of, or in addition to the
mechanical limited slip or locking differential. It is often implemented with an
electronic limited slip differential, as well as other computerized controls of
the engine and transmission. The spinning wheel is slowed down with short
applications of brakes, diverting more torque to the non-spinning wheel; this is
the system adopted by Range Rover models in 1993, for example. ABS brake
traction control has several advantages over limited-slip and locking
differentials, such as steering control of a vehicle is easier, so the system can
be continuously enabled. It also creates less stress on powertrain and driveline
components, and increases durability as there are fewer moving parts to fail.

When programmed or calibrated for off road use, traction control systems like Fords
four-wheel electronic traction control (ETC) which is included with AdvanceTrac,
and Porsches four-wheel automatic brake differential (ABD), can send 100 percent of
torque to any one wheel or wheels, via an aggressive brake strategy or "brake
locking", allowing vehicles like the Expedition and Cayenne to keep moving, even
with two wheels (one front, one rear) completely off the ground.

Controversy in motorsports
Very effective yet small units are available that allow the driver to remove the traction
control system after an event if desired. In Formula One, an effort to ban traction
control has led to the change of rules for 2008: every car must have a standard (but
custom mappable) ECU, issued by FIA, which is relatively basic and does not have
traction control capabilities. NASCAR suspended a Whelen Modified Tour driver,
crew chief, and car owner for one race and disqualified the team after crossing the
finish line first in a September 20, 2008 race at Martinsville Speedway after finding
questionable wiring in the ignition system, which can often be used to implement
traction control.
Traction control in cornering
Traction control is not just used for improving acceleration under slippery conditions.
It can also help a driver to corner more safely. If too much throttle is applied during
cornering, the drive wheels will lose traction and slide sideways. This occurs as
understeer in front wheel drive vehicles and oversteer in rear wheel drive vehicles.
Traction control can prevent this from happening by limiting power to the wheels. It
cannot increase the limits of grip available and is used only to decrease the effect of
driver error or compensate for a driver's inability to react quickly enough to wheel
Automobile manufacturers state in vehicle manuals that traction control systems
should not encourage dangerous driving or encourage driving in conditions beyond
the drivers' control.
Anti-lock braking system (ABS) is an automobile safety system that allows the
wheels on a motor vehicle to maintain tractive contact with the road surface according
to driver inputs while braking, preventing the wheels from locking up (ceasing
rotation) and avoiding uncontrolled skidding. It is an automated system that uses the
principles of threshold braking and cadence braking which were practiced by skillful
drivers with previous generation braking systems. It does this at a much faster rate
and with better control than a driver could manage.
ABS generally offers improved vehicle control and decreases stopping distances on
dry and slippery surfaces for many drivers; however, on loose surfaces like gravel or
snow-covered pavement, ABS can significantly increase braking distance, although
still improving vehicle control.

Since initial widespread use in production cars, anti-lock braking systems have
evolved considerably. Recent versions not only prevent wheel lock under braking, but
also electronically control the front-to-rear brake bias. This function, depending on its
specific capabilities and implementation, is known as electronic brakeforce
distribution (EBD), traction control system, emergency brake assist, or electronic
stability control (ESC).
1 History
o 1.1 Early systems
o 1.2 Modern systems
2 Operation
3 Components
o 3.1 Crash avoidance with ABS
4 Use
5 Brake types
6 Effectiveness
7 Regulations
8 See also
9 References
Early systems
ABS was first developed for aircraft use in 1929 by the French automobile and
aircraft pioneer Gabriel Voisin,
[citation needed]
as threshold braking on airplanes is nearly
impossible. These systems use a flywheel and valve attached to a hydraulic line that
feeds the brake cylinders. The flywheel is attached to a drum that runs at the same
speed as the wheel. In normal braking, the drum and flywheel should spin at the same
speed. However, if a wheel were to slow down, then the drum would do the same,
leaving the flywheel spinning at a faster rate. This causes the valve to open, allowing
a small amount of brake fluid to bypass the master cylinder into a local reservoir,
lowering the pressure on the cylinder and releasing the brakes. The use of the drum
and flywheel meant the valve only opened when the wheel was turning. In testing, a
30% improvement in braking performance was noted, because the pilots immediately
applied full brakes instead of slowly increasing pressure in order to find the skid
point. An additional benefit was the elimination of burned or burst tires.

By the early 1950s, the Dunlop Maxaret anti-skid system was in widespread aviation
use in the UK, with aircraft such as the Avro Vulcan and Handley Page Victor,
Vickers Viscount, Vickers Valiant, English Electric Lightning, de Havilland Comet
2c, de Havilland Sea Vixen, and later aircraft, such as the Vickers VC10, Hawker
Siddeley Trident, Hawker Siddeley 125, Hawker Siddeley HS 748 and derived British
Aerospace ATP, and BAC One-Eleven being fitted with Maxaret as standard.

Maxaret, while reducing braking distances by up to 30% in icy or wet conditions, also
increased tyre life, and had the additional advantage of allowing take-offs and
landings in conditions that would preclude flying at all in non-Maxaret equipped
In 1958, a Royal Enfield Super Meteor motorcycle was used by the Road Research
Laboratory to test the Maxaret anti-lock brake.
The experiments demonstrated that
anti-lock brakes can be of great value to motorcycles, for which skidding is involved
in a high proportion of accidents. Stopping distances were reduced in most of the tests
compared with locked wheel braking, particularly on slippery surfaces, in which the
improvement could be as much as 30 percent. Enfield's technical director at the time,
Tony Wilson-Jones, saw little future in the system, however, and it was not put into
production by the company.

A fully mechanical system saw limited automobile use in the 1960s in the Ferguson
P99 racing car, the Jensen FF, and the experimental all wheel drive Ford Zodiac, but
saw no further use; the system proved expensive and unreliable.
The first fully electronic anti lock system was developed in the late 60s for the
Concorde aircraft.
Modern systems
Chrysler, together with the Bendix Corporation, introduced a computerized, three-
channel, four-sensor all-wheel
ABS called "Sure Brake" for its 1971 Imperial.
was available for several years thereafter, functioned as intended, and proved reliable.
In 1970, Ford added an antilock braking system called "Sure-track" to the rear wheels
of Lincoln Continentals as an option;
it became standard in 1971.
In 1971,
General Motors introduced the "Trackmaster" rear-wheel only
ABS as an option on
their rear-wheel drive Cadillac models
and the Oldsmobile Toronado.
In the
same year, Nissan offered an EAL (Electro Anti-lock System) as an option on the
Nissan President, which became Japan's first electronic ABS.

In 1972, four wheel drive Triumph 2500 Estates were fitted with Mullard electronic
systems as standard. Such cars were very rare however and very few survive today.
In 1985 the Ford Scorpio was introduced to European market with a Teves electronic
system throughout the range as standard. For this the model was awarded the coveted
European Car of the Year Award in 1986, with very favourable praise from motoring
journalists. After this success Ford began research into Anti-Lock systems for the rest
of their range, which encouraged other manufacturers to follow suit.
In 1988, BMW introduced the first motorcycle with an electronic-hydraulic ABS: the
BMW K100. Honda followed suit in 1992 with the launch of its first motorcycle ABS
on the ST1100 Pan European. In 2007, Suzuki launched its GSF1200SA (Bandit)
with an ABS. In 2005, Harley-Davidson began offering ABS as an option for police
The anti-lock brake controller is also known as the CAB (Controller Anti-lock

Typically ABS includes a central electronic control unit (ECU), four wheel speed
sensors, and at least two hydraulic valves within the brake hydraulics. The ECU
constantly monitors the rotational speed of each wheel; if it detects a wheel rotating
significantly slower than the others, a condition indicative of impending wheel lock, it
actuates the valves to reduce hydraulic pressure to the brake at the affected wheel,
thus reducing the braking force on that wheel; the wheel then turns faster. Conversely,
if the ECU detects a wheel turning significantly faster than the others, brake hydraulic
pressure to the wheel is increased so the braking force is reapplied, slowing down the
wheel. This process is repeated continuously and can be detected by the driver via
brake pedal pulsation. Some anti-lock systems can apply or release braking pressure
15 times per second.
Because of this, the wheels of cars equipped with ABS are
practically impossible to lock even during panic braking in extreme conditions.
The ECU is programmed to disregard differences in wheel rotative speed below a
critical threshold, because when the car is turning, the two wheels towards the center
of the curve turn slower than the outer two. For this same reason, a differential is used
in virtually all roadgoing vehicles.
If a fault develops in any part of the ABS, a warning light will usually be illuminated
on the vehicle instrument panel, and the ABS will be disabled until the fault is
Modern ABS applies individual brake pressure to all four wheels through a control
system of hub-mounted sensors and a dedicated micro-controller. ABS is offered or
comes standard on most road vehicles produced today and is the foundation for
electronic stability control systems, which are rapidly increasing in popularity due to
the vast reduction in price of vehicle electronics over the years.

Modern electronic stability control systems are an evolution of the ABS concept.
Here, a minimum of two additional sensors are added to help the system work: these
are a steering wheel angle sensor, and a gyroscopic sensor. The theory of operation is
simple: when the gyroscopic sensor detects that the direction taken by the car does not
coincide with what the steering wheel sensor reports, the ESC software will brake the
necessary individual wheel(s) (up to three with the most sophisticated systems), so
that the vehicle goes the way the driver intends. The steering wheel sensor also helps
in the operation of Cornering Brake Control (CBC), since this will tell the ABS that
wheels on the inside of the curve should brake more than wheels on the outside, and
by how much.
ABS equipment may also be used to implement a traction control system (TCS) on
acceleration of the vehicle. If, when accelerating, the tire loses traction, the ABS
controller can detect the situation and take suitable action so that traction is regained.
More sophisticated versions of this can also control throttle levels and brakes
There are four main components of ABS: speed sensors, valves, a pump, and a
Speed sensors
A speed sensor is used to determine the acceleration or deceleration of the
wheel.These sensors use a magnet and a coil of wire to generate a signal. The
rotation of the wheel or differential induces a magnetic field around the
sensor. The fluctuations of this magnetic field generate a voltage into the
sensor. Since the voltage inducted on the sensor is a result of the rotating
wheel, this sensor can become inaccurate at slow speeds. The slower rotation
of the wheel can cause inaccurate fluctuations in the magnetic field and thus
cause inaccurate readings to the controller.
There is a valve in the brake line of each brake controlled by the ABS. On
some systems, the valve has three positions:
In position one, the valve is open; pressure from the master cylinder is passed
right through to the brake.
In position two, the valve blocks the line, isolating that brake from the master
cylinder. This prevents the pressure from rising further should the driver push
the brake pedal harder.
In position three, the valve releases some of the pressure from the brake.
The majority of problems with the valve system occur due to clogged valves. When a
valve is clogged it is unable to open, close, or change position. An inoperable valve
will prevent the system from modulating the valves and controlling pressure supplied
to the brakes.
The pump in the ABS is used to restore the pressure to the hydraulic brakes
after the valves have released it. A signal from the controller will release the
valve at the detection of wheel slip. After a valve release the pressure supplied
from the user, the pump is used to restore a desired amount of pressure to the
braking system. The controller will modulate the pumps status in order to
provide the desired amount of pressure and reduce slipping.
The controller is an ECU type unit in the car which receives information from
each individual wheel speed sensor, in turn if a wheel loses traction the signal
is sent to the controller, the controller will then limit the brake force (EBD)
and activate the ABS modulator which actuates the braking valves on and off.
Crash avoidance with ABS
Crash avoidance behavior has significantly different outcomes for a vehicle
equipped with ABS and for a vehicle which is not. An ABS equipped vehicle
has a safe side during crashes particularly when emergency braking.
If a driver is too close to a vehicle ahead when it applies its brakes, they will
apply their own brakes suddenly and - realising they will not stop in time -
will turn the steering wheel in order to avoid a collision. If their vehicle is not
ABS equipped the wheels can then lock meaning the driver will lose control of
the vehicle, possibly leading to a collision. If the vehicle has been equipped
with ABS the wheels won't lock so the vehicle is always under control. ABS
may also reduce the braking distance enough such that there is no need to
There are many different variations and control algorithms for use in ABS. One of the
simpler systems works as follows:

1. The controller monitors the speed sensors at all times. It is looking for
decelerations in the wheel that are out of the ordinary. Right before a wheel
locks up, it will experience a rapid deceleration. If left unchecked, the wheel
would stop much more quickly than any car could. It might take a car five
seconds to stop from 60 mph (96.6 km/h) under ideal conditions, but a wheel
that locks up could stop spinning in less than a second.
2. The ABS controller knows that such a rapid deceleration is impossible, so it
reduces the pressure to that brake until it sees an acceleration, then it increases
the pressure until it sees the deceleration again. It can do this very quickly,
before the tire can actually significantly change speed. The result is that the
tire slows down at the same rate as the car, with the brakes keeping the tires
very near the point at which they will start to lock up. This gives the system
maximum braking power.
3. This replaces the need to manually pump the brakes while driving on a
slippery or a low traction surface, allowing to steer even in the most
emergency braking conditions.
4. When the ABS is in operation the driver will feel a pulsing in the brake pedal;
this comes from the rapid opening and closing of the valves. This pulsing also
tells the driver that the ABS has been triggered. Some ABS systems can cycle
up to 16 times per second.
Brake types
Anti-lock braking systems use different schemes depending on the type of brakes in
use. They can be differentiated by the number of channels: that is, how many valves
that are individually controlledand the number of speed sensors.

Four-channel, four-sensor ABS
This is the best scheme. There is a speed sensor on all four wheels and a
separate valve for all four wheels. With this setup, the controller monitors each
wheel individually to make sure it is achieving maximum braking force.
Three-channel, four-sensor ABS
There is a speed sensor on all four wheels and a separate valve for each of the
front wheels, but only one valve for both of the rear wheels. Older vehicles
with four-wheel ABS usually use this type.
Three-channel, three-sensor ABS
This scheme, commonly found on pickup trucks with four-wheel ABS, has a
speed sensor and a valve for each of the front wheels, with one valve and one
sensor for both rear wheels. The speed sensor for the rear wheels is located in
the rear axle. This system provides individual control of the front wheels, so
they can both achieve maximum braking force. The rear wheels, however, are
monitored together; they both have to start to lock up before the ABS will
activate on the rear. With this system, it is possible that one of the rear wheels
will lock during a stop, reducing brake effectiveness. This system is easy to
identify, as there are no individual speed sensors for the rear wheels.
Two-channel, four sensor ABS
This system, commonly found on passenger cars from the late 80's through
early 2000's (before government mandated stability control), uses a speed
sensor at each wheel, with one control valve each for the front and rear wheels
as a pair. If the speed sensor detect lock up at any individual wheel, the control
module pulses the valve for both wheels on that end of the car.
One-channel, one-sensor ABS
This system is commonly found on pickup trucks with rear-wheel ABS. It has
one valve, which controls both rear wheels, and one speed sensor, located in
the rear axle. This system operates the same as the rear end of a three-channel
system. The rear wheels are monitored together and they both have to start to
lock up before the ABS kicks in. In this system it is also possible that one of
the rear wheels will lock, reducing brake effectiveness. This system is also
easy to identify, as there are no individual speed sensors for any of the wheels.
A 2004 Australian study by Monash University Accident Research Centre found that

Reduced the risk of multiple vehicle crashes by 18 percent,
Increased the risk of run-off-road crashes by 35 percent.
On high-traction surfaces such as bitumen, or concrete, many (though not all) ABS-
equipped cars are able to attain braking distances better (i.e. shorter) than those that
would be possible without the benefit of ABS. In real world conditions, even an alert
and experienced driver without ABS would find it difficult to match or improve on
the performance of a typical driver with a modern ABS-equipped vehicle. ABS
reduces chances of crashing, and/or the severity of impact. The recommended
technique for non-expert drivers in an ABS-equipped car, in a typical full-braking
emergency, is to press the brake pedal as firmly as possible and, where appropriate, to
steer around obstructions. In such situations, ABS will significantly reduce the
chances of a skid and subsequent loss of control.
In gravel, sand and deep snow, ABS tends to increase braking distances. On these
surfaces, locked wheels dig in and stop the vehicle more quickly. ABS prevents this
from occurring. Some ABS calibrations reduce this problem by slowing the cycling
time, thus letting the wheels repeatedly briefly lock and unlock. Some vehicle
manufacturers provide an "off-road" button to turn ABS function off. The primary
benefit of ABS on such surfaces is to increase the ability of the driver to maintain
control of the car rather than go into a skid, though loss of control remains more likely
on soft surfaces such as gravel or on slippery surfaces such as snow or ice. On a very
slippery surface such as sheet ice or gravel, it is possible to lock multiple wheels at
once, and this can defeat ABS (which relies on comparing all four wheels, and
detecting individual wheels skidding). Availability of ABS relieves most drivers from
learning threshold braking.
A June 1999 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study found
that ABS increased stopping distances on loose gravel by an average of 27.2

According to the NHTSA,
"ABS works with your regular braking system by automatically pumping them. In
vehicles not equipped with ABS, the driver has to manually pump the brakes to
prevent wheel lockup. In vehicles equipped with ABS, your foot should remain firmly
planted on the brake pedal, while ABS pumps the brakes for you so you can
concentrate on steering to safety."
When activated, some earlier ABS systems caused the brake pedal to pulse
noticeably. As most drivers rarely or do not brake hard enough to cause brake lock-
up, and drivers typically do not read the vehicle's owners manual, this may not be
noticeable until an emergency. Some manufacturers have therefore implemented a
brake assist system that determines that the driver is attempting a "panic stop" (by
detecting that the brake pedal was depressed very fast, unlike a normal stop where the
pedal pressure would usually be gradually increased, Some systems additionally
monitor the rate at the accelerator was released)
[citation needed]
and the system
automatically increases braking force where not enough pressure is applied. Hard or
panic braking on bumpy surfaces, because of the bumps causing the speed of the
wheel(s) to become erratic may also trigger the ABS. Nevertheless, ABS significantly
improves safety and control for drivers in most on-road situations.
Anti-lock brakes are the subject of some experiments centred around risk
compensation theory, which asserts that drivers adapt to the safety benefit of ABS by
driving more aggressively. In a Munich study, half a fleet of taxicabs was equipped
with anti-lock brakes, while the other half had conventional brake systems. The crash
rate was substantially the same for both types of cab, and Wilde concludes this was
due to drivers of ABS-equipped cabs taking more risks, assuming that ABS would
take care of them, while the non-ABS drivers drove more carefully since ABS would
not be there to help in case of a dangerous situation.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a study in 2010 that found
motorcycles with ABS 37% less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than models
without ABS.

A fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy from a fuel into electricity
through a chemical reaction with oxygen or another oxidizing agent.
Hydrogen is
the most common fuel, but hydrocarbons such as natural gas and alcohols like
methanol are sometimes used. Fuel cells are different from batteries in that they
require a continuous source of fuel and oxygen/air to sustain the chemical reaction
whereas in a battery the chemicals present in the battery react with each other to
generate an emf. Fuel cells can produce electricity continuously for as long as these
inputs are supplied.
The first fuel cells were invented in 1838. The first commercial use of fuel cells came
more than a century later in NASA space programs to generate power for probes,
satellites and space capsules. Since then, fuel cells have been used in many other
applications. Fuel cells are used for primary and backup power for commercial,
industrial and residential buildings and in remote or inaccessible areas. They are also
used to power fuel-cell vehicles, including forklifts, automobiles, buses, airplanes,
boats, motorcycles and submarines.
There are many types of fuel cells, but they all consist of an anode, a cathode and an
electrolyte that allows charges to move between the two sides of the fuel cell.
Electrons are drawn from the anode to the cathode through an external circuit,
producing direct current electricity. As the main difference among fuel cell types is
the electrolyte, fuel cells are classified by the type of electrolyte they use followed by
the difference in startup time ranging from 1 sec for PEMFC to 10 min for SOFC.
Fuel cells come in a variety of sizes. Individual fuel cells produce relatively small
electrical potentials, about 0.7 volts, so cells are "stacked", or placed in series, to
increase the voltage and meet an application's requirements.
In addition to
electricity, fuel cells produce water, heat and, depending on the fuel source, very
small amounts of nitrogen dioxide and other emissions. The energy efficiency of a
fuel cell is generally between 4060%, or up to 85% efficient in cogeneration if waste
heat is captured for use.
The fuel cell market is growing, and Pike Research has estimated that the stationary
fuel cell market will reach 50 GW by 2020.

1 History
2 Types of fuel cells; design
o 2.1 Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs)
2.1.1 Proton exchange membrane fuel cell design issues
o 2.2 Phosphoric acid fuel cell (PAFC)
o 2.3 High-temperature fuel cells
2.3.1 SOFC
2.3.2 MCFC
o 2.4 Comparison of fuel cell types
o 2.5 Efficiency of leading fuel cell types
o 2.6 Theoretical maximum efficiency
o 2.7 In practice
3 Applications
o 3.1 Power
o 3.2 Cogeneration
o 3.3 Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs)
3.3.1 Automobiles
3.3.2 Buses
3.3.3 Forklifts
3.3.4 Motorcycles and bicycles
3.3.5 Airplanes
3.3.6 Boats
3.3.7 Submarines
o 3.4 Portable power systems
o 3.5 Other applications
o 3.6 Fueling stations
4 Markets and economics
5 Research and development
6 See also
7 References
8 Further reading
9 External links
Main article: Timeline of hydrogen technologies

Sketch of William Grove's 1839 fuel cell
The first references to hydrogen fuel cells appeared in 1838. In a letter dated October
1838 but published in the December 1838 edition of The London and Edinburgh
Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, Welsh physicist and barrister
William Grove wrote about the development of his first crude fuel cells. He used a
combination of sheet iron, copper and porcelain plates, and a solution of sulphate of
copper and dilute acid.
In a letter to the same publication written in December
1838 but published in June 1839, German physicist Christian Friedrich Schnbein
discussed the first crude fuel cell that he had invented. His letter discussed current
generated from hydrogen and oxygen dissolved in water.
Grove later sketched his
design, in 1842, in the same journal. The fuel cell he made used similar materials to
today's phosphoric-acid fuel cell.

In 1939, British engineer Francis Thomas Bacon successfully developed a 5 kW
stationary fuel cell. In 1955, W. Thomas Grubb, a chemist working for the General
Electric Company (GE), further modified the original fuel cell design by using a
sulphonated polystyrene ion-exchange membrane as the electrolyte. Three years later
another GE chemist, Leonard Niedrach, devised a way of depositing platinum onto
the membrane, which served as catalyst for the necessary hydrogen oxidation and
oxygen reduction reactions. This became known as the "Grubb-Niedrach fuel
GE went on to develop this technology with NASA and McDonnell
Aircraft, leading to its use during Project Gemini. This was the first commercial use
of a fuel cell. In 1959, a team led by Harry Ihrig built a 15 kW fuel cell tractor for
Allis-Chalmers, which was demonstrated across the U.S. at state fairs. This system
used potassium hydroxide as the electrolyte and compressed hydrogen and oxygen as
the reactants. Later in 1959, Bacon and his colleagues demonstrated a practical five-
kilowatt unit capable of powering a welding machine. In the 1960s, Pratt and Whitney
licensed Bacon's U.S. patents for use in the U.S. space program to supply electricity
and drinking water (hydrogen and oxygen being readily available from the spacecraft
tanks). In 1991, the first hydrogen fuel cell automobile was developed by Roger

UTC Power was the first company to manufacture and commercialize a large,
stationary fuel cell system for use as a co-generation power plant in hospitals,
universities and large office buildings.
UTC Power continues to be the sole
supplier of fuel cells to NASA for use in space vehicles, having supplied fuel cells for
the Apollo missions,
and the Space Shuttle program, and is developing fuel cells
for cell phone towers and other applications.
Types of fuel cells; design
Fuel cells come in many varieties; however, they all work in the same general
manner. They are made up of three adjacent segments: the anode, the electrolyte, and
the cathode. Two chemical reactions occur at the interfaces of the three different
segments. The net result of the two reactions is that fuel is consumed, water or carbon
dioxide is created, and an electric current is created, which can be used to power
electrical devices, normally referred to as the load.
At the anode a catalyst oxidizes the fuel, usually hydrogen, turning the fuel into a
positively charged ion and a negatively charged electron. The electrolyte is a
substance specifically designed so ions can pass through it, but the electrons cannot.
The freed electrons travel through a wire creating the electric current. The ions travel
through the electrolyte to the cathode. Once reaching the cathode, the ions are
reunited with the electrons and the two react with a third chemical, usually oxygen, to
create water or carbon dioxide.

A block diagram of a fuel cell
The most important design features in a fuel cell are
[citation needed]
The electrolyte substance. The electrolyte substance usually defines the type of
fuel cell.
The fuel that is used. The most common fuel is hydrogen.
The anode catalyst breaks down the fuel into electrons and ions. The anode
catalyst is usually made up of very fine platinum powder.
The cathode catalyst turns the ions into the waste chemicals like water or
carbon dioxide. The cathode catalyst is often made up of nickel but it can also
be a nanomaterial-based catalyst.
A typical fuel cell produces a voltage from 0.6 V to 0.7 V at full rated load. Voltage
decreases as current increases, due to several factors:
Activation loss
Ohmic loss (voltage drop due to resistance of the cell components and
Mass transport loss (depletion of reactants at catalyst sites under high loads,
causing rapid loss of voltage).

To deliver the desired amount of energy, the fuel cells can be combined in series and
parallel circuits to yield higher voltage, and parallel-channel of configurations allow a
higher current to be supplied. Such a design is called a fuel cell stack. The cell surface
area can be increased, to allow stronger current from each cell. In the stack, reactant
gases must be distributed uniformly over all of the cells to maximize the power

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs)
In the archetypical hydrogenoxide proton exchange membrane fuel cell design, a
proton-conducting polymer membrane (the electrolyte) separates the anode and
cathode sides.
This was called a "solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell" (SPEFC) in
the early 1970s, before the proton exchange mechanism was well-understood. (Notice
that the synonyms "polymer electrolyte membrane" and "proton exchange
mechanism" result in the same acronym.)
On the anode side, hydrogen diffuses to the anode catalyst where it later dissociates
into protons and electrons. These protons often react with oxidants causing them to
become what are commonly referred to as multi-facilitated proton membranes. The
protons are conducted through the membrane to the cathode, but the electrons are
forced to travel in an external circuit (supplying power) because the membrane is
electrically insulating. On the cathode catalyst, oxygen molecules react with the
electrons (which have traveled through the external circuit) and protons to form water.
In addition to this pure hydrogen type, there are hydrocarbon fuels for fuel cells,
including diesel, methanol (see: direct-methanol fuel cells and indirect methanol fuel
cells) and chemical hydrides. The waste products with these types of fuel are carbon
dioxide and water.

Construction of a high-temperature PEMFC: Bipolar plate as electrode with in-milled
gas channel structure, fabricated from conductive composites (enhanced with
graphite, carbon black, carbon fiber, and/or carbon nanotubes for more
Porous carbon papers; reactive layer, usually on the polymer
membrane applied; polymer membrane.

Condensation of water produced by a PEMFC on the air channel wall. The gold wire
around the cell ensures the collection of electric current.

The different components of a PEMFC are (i) bipolar plates, (ii) electrodes, (iii)
catalyst, (iv) membrane, and (v) the necessary hardware.
The materials used for
different parts of the fuel cells differ by type. The bipolar plates may be made of
different types of materials, such as, metal, coated metal, graphite, flexible graphite,
CC composite, carbonpolymer composites etc.
The membrane electrode
assembly (MEA) is referred as the heart of the PEMFC and is usually made of a
proton exchange membrane sandwiched between two catalyst-coated carbon papers.
Platinum and/or similar type of noble metals are usually used as the catalyst for
PEMFC. The electrolyte could be a polymer membrane.
Proton exchange membrane fuel cell design issues
Costs. In 2013, the Department of Energy estimated that 80-kW automotive
fuel cell system costs of US$67 per kilowatt could be achieved, assuming
volume production of 100,000 automotive units per year and US$55 per
kilowatt could be achieved, assuming volume production of 500,000 units per
In 2008, professor Jeremy P. Meyers estimated that cost reductions
over a production ramp-up period will take about 20 years after fuel-cell cars
are introduced before they will be able to compete commercially with current
market technologies, including gasoline internal combustion engines.
companies are working on techniques to reduce cost in a variety of ways
including reducing the amount of platinum needed in each individual cell.
Ballard Power Systems has experimented with a catalyst enhanced with
carbon silk, which allows a 30% reduction (1 mg/cm to 0.7 mg/cm) in
platinum usage without reduction in performance.
Monash University,
Melbourne uses PEDOT as a cathode.
A 2011 published study

documented the first metal-free electrocatalyst using relatively inexpensive
doped carbon nanotubes, which are less than 1% the cost of platinum and are
of equal or superior performance.
Water and air management
(in PEMFCs). In this type of fuel cell, the
membrane must be hydrated, requiring water to be evaporated at precisely the
same rate that it is produced. If water is evaporated too quickly, the membrane
dries, resistance across it increases, and eventually it will crack, creating a gas
"short circuit" where hydrogen and oxygen combine directly, generating heat
that will damage the fuel cell. If the water is evaporated too slowly, the
electrodes will flood, preventing the reactants from reaching the catalyst and
stopping the reaction. Methods to manage water in cells are being developed
like electroosmotic pumps focusing on flow control. Just as in a combustion
engine, a steady ratio between the reactant and oxygen is necessary to keep the
fuel cell operating efficiently.
Temperature management. The same temperature must be maintained
throughout the cell in order to prevent destruction of the cell through thermal
loading. This is particularly challenging as the 2H
+ O
-> 2H
O reaction is
highly exothermic, so a large quantity of heat is generated within the fuel cell.
Durability, service life, and special requirements for some type of cells.
Stationary fuel cell applications typically require more than 40,000 hours of
reliable operation at a temperature of 35 C to 40 C (31 F to 104 F),
while automotive fuel cells require a 5,000-hour lifespan (the equivalent of
240,000 km (150,000 mi)) under extreme temperatures. Current service life is
7,300 hours under cycling conditions.
Automotive engines must also be
able to start reliably at 30 C (22 F) and have a high power-to-volume ratio
(typically 2.5 kW per liter).
Limited carbon monoxide tolerance of some (non-PEDOT) cathodes.
Phosphoric acid fuel cell (PAFC)
Main article: Phosphoric acid fuel cell
Phosphoric acid fuel cells (PAFC) were first designed and introduced in 1961 by G.
V. Elmore and H. A. Tanner. In these cells phosphoric acid is used as a non-
conductive electrolyte to pass positive hydrogen ions from the anode to the cathode.
These cells commonly work in temperatures of 150 to 200 degrees Celsius. This high
temperature will cause heat and energy loss if the heat is not removed and used
properly. This heat can be used to produce steam for air conditioning systems or any
other thermal energy consuming system.
Using this heat in cogeneration can
enhance the efficiency of phosphoric acid fuel cells from 4050% to about 80%.

Phosphoric acid, the electrolyte used in PAFCs, is a non-conductive liquid acid which
forces electrons to travel from anode to cathode through an external electrical circuit.
Since the hydrogen ion production rate on the anode is small, platinum is used as
catalyst to increase this ionization rate. A key disadvantage of these cells is the use of
an acidic electrolyte. This increases the corrosion or oxidation of components exposed
to phosphoric acid.

High-temperature fuel cells
Main article: Solid oxide fuel cell
Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) use a solid material, most commonly a ceramic
material called yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ), as the electrolyte. Because SOFCs are
made entirely of solid materials, they are not limited to the flat plane configuration of
other types of fuel cells and are often designed as rolled tubes. They require high
operating temperatures (8001000 C) and can be run on a variety of fuels including
natural gas.

SOFCs are unique in that negatively charged oxygen ions travel from the cathode
(positive side of the fuel cell) to the anode (negative side of the fuel cell) instead of
positively charged hydrogen ions travelling from the anode to the cathode, as is the
case in all other types of fuel cells. Oxygen gas is fed through the cathode, where it
absorbs electrons to create oxygen ions. The oxygen ions then travel through the
electrolyte to react with hydrogen gas at the anode. The reaction at the anode
produces electricity and water as by-products. Carbon dioxide may also be a by-
product depending on the fuel, but the carbon emissions from an SOFC system are
less than those from a fossil fuel combustion plant.
The chemical reactions for the
SOFC system can be expressed as follows:

Anode Reaction: 2H
+ 2O
O + 4e

Cathode Reaction: O
+ 4e


Overall Cell Reaction: 2H
+ O
SOFC systems can run on fuels other than pure hydrogen gas. However, since
hydrogen is necessary for the reactions listed above, the fuel selected must contain
hydrogen atoms. For the fuel cell to operate, the fuel must be converted into pure
hydrogen gas. SOFCs are capable of internally reforming light hydrocarbons such as
methane (natural gas),
propane and butane.
These fuel cells are at an early stage
of development.

Challenges exist in SOFC systems due to their high operating temperatures. One such
challenge is the potential for carbon dust to build up on the anode, which slows down
the internal reforming process. Research to address this "carbon coking" issue at the
University of Pennsylvania has shown that the use of copper-based cermet (heat-
resistant materials made of ceramic and metal) can reduce coking and the loss of
Another disadvantage of SOFC systems is slow start-up time, making
SOFCs less useful for mobile applications. Despite these disadvantages, a high
operating temperature provides an advantage by removing the need for a precious
metal catalyst like platinum, thereby reducing cost. Additionally, waste heat from
SOFC systems may be captured and reused, increasing the theoretical overall
efficiency to as high as 80%85%.

The high operating temperature is largely due to the physical properties of the YSZ
electrolyte. As temperature decreases, so does the ionic conductivity of YSZ.
Therefore, to obtain optimum performance of the fuel cell, a high operating
temperature is required. According to their website, Ceres Power, a UK SOFC fuel
cell manufacturer, has developed a method of reducing the operating temperature of
their SOFC system to 500600 degrees Celsius. They replaced the commonly used
YSZ electrolyte with a CGO (cerium gadolinium oxide) electrolyte. The lower
operating temperature allows them to use stainless steel instead of ceramic as the cell
substrate, which reduces cost and start-up time of the system.

Main article: Molten carbonate fuel cell
Molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs) require a high operating temperature, 650 C
(1,200 F), similar to SOFCs. MCFCs use lithium potassium carbonate salt as an
electrolyte, and this salt liquefies at high temperatures, allowing for the movement of
charge within the cell in this case, negative carbonate ions.

Like SOFCs, MCFCs are capable of converting fossil fuel to a hydrogen-rich gas in
the anode, eliminating the need to produce hydrogen externally. The reforming
process creates CO
2 emissions. MCFC-compatible fuels include natural gas, biogas and gas produced
from coal. The hydrogen in the gas reacts with carbonate ions from the electrolyte to
produce water, carbon dioxide, electrons and small amounts of other chemicals. The
electrons travel through an external circuit creating electricity and return to the
cathode. There, oxygen from the air and carbon dioxide recycled from the anode react
with the electrons to form carbonate ions that replenish the electrolyte, completing the
The chemical reactions for an MCFC system can be expressed as

Anode Reaction: CO
+ H
O + CO
+ 2e

Cathode Reaction: CO
+ O
+ 2e


Overall Cell Reaction: H
+ O
As with SOFCs, MCFC disadvantages include slow start-up times because of their
high operating temperature. This makes MCFC systems not suitable for mobile
applications, and this technology will most likely be used for stationary fuel cell
purposes. The main challenge of MCFC technology is the cells' short life span. The
high-temperature and carbonate electrolyte lead to corrosion of the anode and
cathode. These factors accelerate the degradation of MCFC components, decreasing
the durability and cell life. Researchers are addressing this problem by exploring
corrosion-resistant materials for components as well as fuel cell designs that may
increase cell life without decreasing performance.

MCFCs hold several advantages over other fuel cell technologies, including their
resistance to impurities. They are not prone to "carbon coking", which refers to
carbon build-up on the anode that results in reduced performance by slowing down
the internal fuel reforming process. Therefore, carbon-rich fuels like gases made from
coal are compatible with the system. The Department of Energy claims that coal,
itself, might even be a fuel option in the future, assuming the system can be made
resistant to impurities such as sulfur and particulates that result from converting coal
into hydrogen.
MCFCs also have relatively high efficiencies. They can reach a
fuel-to-electricity efficiency of 50%, considerably higher than the 3742% efficiency
of a phosphoric acid fuel cell plant. Efficiencies can be as high as 65% when the fuel
cell is paired with a turbine, and 85% if heat is captured and used in a Combined Heat
and Power (CHP) system.

FuelCell Energy, a Connecticut-based fuel cell manufacturer, develops and sells
MCFC fuel cells. The company says that their MCFC products range from 300 kW to
2.8 MW systems that achieve 47% electrical efficiency and can utilize CHP
technology to obtain higher overall efficiencies. One product, the DFC-ERG, is
combined with a gas turbine and, according to the company, it achieves an electrical
efficiency of 65%.

Comparison of fuel cell types
Fuel cell
d power
re (C)
y (cell)
fuel cell

> -20
(50% P

@ 0 C)

al /

fuel cell

< 40

al /

formic acid
fuel cell
< 50 W < 40

al /


< 40

fuel cell
e or

< 40


fuel cell

< 40


Regenerati Polymer < 50 Commerci

Fuel cell
d power
re (C)
y (cell)
ve fuel cell membran
al /
e fuel cell


fuel cell
10 100
< 80 6070% 62%
al /

fuel cell
100 mW
1 kW
90120 2030% 1020%
al /
fuel cell
5 W
100 kW
5060% 2540%
al /

fuel cell
< 140
> 25
? 90120


fuel cell
100 W
500 kW

5070% 3050%
al /
es with
1 kW
10 MW


acid fuel
c acid
< 10
150-200 55%
al /
fuel cell
600650 55% 47%
al /

solid oxide
< 100
8501100 6065% 5560%
al /
Fuel cell
d power
re (C)
y (cell)
fuel cell
g ceramic
fuel cell
g ceramic



carbon fuel

700850 80% 70%
al /

Solid oxide
fuel cell
g ceramic
< 100
5001100 6065% 5560%
al /

Any that
will not

< 40


m-Air Fuel
Salt water

20 to 55 90%

al /

Efficiency of leading fuel cell types

Glossary of Terms in table:
Anode: The electrode at which oxidation (a loss of electrons) takes place. For
fuel cells and other galvanic cells, the anode is the negative terminal; for
electrolytic cells (where electrolysis occurs), the anode is the positive

Aqueous solution: a: of, relating to, or resembling water b : made from, with,
or by water.

Catalyst: A chemical substance that increases the rate of a reaction without
being consumed; after the reaction, it can potentially be recovered from the
reaction mixture and is chemically unchanged. The catalyst lowers the
activation energy required, allowing the reaction to proceed more quickly or at
a lower temperature. In a fuel cell, the catalyst facilitates the reaction of
oxygen and hydrogen. It is usually made of platinum powder very thinly
coated onto carbon paper or cloth. The catalyst is rough and porous so the
maximum surface area of the platinum can be exposed to the hydrogen or
oxygen. The platinum-coated side of the catalyst faces the membrane in the
fuel cell.

Cathode: The electrode at which reduction (a gain of electrons) occurs. For
fuel cells and other galvanic cells, the cathode is the positive terminal; for
electrolytic cells (where electrolysis occurs), the cathode is the negative

Electrolyte: A substance that conducts charged ions from one electrode to the
other in a fuel cell, battery, or electrolyzer.

Fuel Cell Stack: Individual fuel cells connected in a series. Fuel cells are
stacked to increase voltage.

Matrix: something within or from which something else originates, develops,
or takes form.

Membrane: The separating layer in a fuel cell that acts as electrolyte (an ion-
exchanger) as well as a barrier film separating the gases in the anode and
cathode compartments of the fuel cell.

Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell (MCFC): A type of fuel cell that contains a
molten carbonate electrolyte. Carbonate ions (CO
) are transported from the
cathode to the anode. Operating temperatures are typically near 650 C.

Phosphoric acid fuel cell (PAFC): A type of fuel cell in which the electrolyte
consists of concentrated phosphoric acid (H
). Protons (H+) are
transported from the anode to the cathode. The operating temperature range is
generally 160220 C.

Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM): A fuel cell incorporating a solid
polymer membrane used as its electrolyte. Protons (H+) are transported from
the anode to the cathode. The operating temperature range is generally 60
100 C.

Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC): A type of fuel cell in which the electrolyte is a
solid, nonporous metal oxide, typically zirconium oxide (ZrO
) treated with
, and O
is transported from the cathode to the anode. Any CO in the
reformate gas is oxidized to CO
at the anode. Temperatures of operation are
typically 8001,000 C.

Solution: a: an act or the process by which a solid, liquid, or gaseous
substance is homogeneously mixed with a liquid or sometimes a gas or solid,
b : a homogeneous mixture formed by this process; especially : a single-phase
liquid system, c : the condition of being dissolved

For more information see Glossary of fuel cell terms
Theoretical maximum efficiency
The energy efficiency of a system or device that converts energy is measured by the
ratio of the amount of useful energy put out by the system ("output energy") to the
total amount of energy that is put in ("input energy") or by useful output energy as a
percentage of the total input energy. In the case of fuel cells, useful output energy is
measured in electrical energy produced by the system. Input energy is the energy
stored in the fuel. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, fuel cells are
generally between 4060% energy efficient.
This is higher than some other systems
for energy generation. For example, the typical internal combustion engine of a car is
about 25% energy efficient.
In combined heat and power (CHP) systems, the heat
produced by the fuel cell is captured and put to use, increasing the efficiency of the
system to up to 8590%.

The theoretical maximum efficiency of any type of power generation system is never
reached in practice, and it does not consider other steps in power generation, such as
production, transportation and storage of fuel and conversion of the electricity into
mechanical power. However, this calculation allows the comparison of different types
of power generation. The maximum theoretical energy efficiency of a fuel cell is
83%, operating at low power density and using pure hydrogen and oxygen as
reactants (assuming no heat recapture)
According to the World Energy Council,
this compares with a maximum theoretical efficiency of 58% for internal combustion
While these efficiencies are not approached in most real world
applications, high-temperature fuel cells (solid oxide fuel cells or molten carbonate
fuel cells) can theoretically be combined with gas turbines to allow stationary fuel
cells to come closer to the theoretical limit. A gas turbine would capture heat from the
fuel cell and turn it into mechanical energy to increase the fuel cell's operational
efficiency. This solution has been predicted to increase total efficiency to as much as

In practice
The tank-to-wheel efficiency of a fuel-cell vehicle is greater than 45% at low loads

and shows average values of about 36% when a driving cycle like the NEDC (New
European Driving Cycle) is used as test procedure.
The comparable NEDC value
for a Diesel vehicle is 22%. In 2008 Honda released a demonstration fuel cell electric
vehicle (the Honda FCX Clarity) with fuel stack claiming a 60% tank-to-wheel

It is also important to take losses due to fuel production, transportation, and storage
into account. Fuel cell vehicles running on compressed hydrogen may have a power-
plant-to-wheel efficiency of 22% if the hydrogen is stored as high-pressure gas, and
17% if it is stored as liquid hydrogen.
Fuel cells cannot store energy like a
except as hydrogen, but in some applications, such as stand-alone power
plants based on discontinuous sources such as solar or wind power, they are combined
with electrolyzers and storage systems to form an energy storage system. Most
hydrogen, however, is produced by steam methane reforming, and so most hydrogen
production emits carbon dioxide.
The overall efficiency (electricity to hydrogen
and back to electricity) of such plants (known as round-trip efficiency), using pure
hydrogen and pure oxygen can be "from 35 up to 50 percent", depending on gas
density and other conditions.
While a much cheaper leadacid battery might return
about 90%, the electrolyzer/fuel cell system can store indefinite quantities of
hydrogen, and is therefore better suited for long-term storage.
Solid-oxide fuel cells produce exothermic heat from the recombination of the oxygen
and hydrogen. The ceramic can run as hot as 800 degrees Celsius. This heat can be
captured and used to heat water in a micro combined heat and power (m-CHP)
application. When the heat is captured, total efficiency can reach 8090% at the unit,
but does not consider production and distribution losses. CHP units are being
developed today for the European home market.
Professor Jeremy P. Meyers, in the Electrochemical Society journal Interface in 2008,
wrote, "While fuel cells are efficient relative to combustion engines, they are not as
efficient as batteries, due primarily to the inefficiency of the oxygen reduction
reaction (and ... the oxygen evolution reaction, should the hydrogen be formed by
electrolysis of water).... [T]hey make the most sense for operation disconnected from
the grid, or when fuel can be provided continuously. For applications that require
frequent and relatively rapid start-ups ... where zero emissions are a requirement, as in
enclosed spaces such as warehouses, and where hydrogen is considered an acceptable
reactant, a [PEM fuel cell] is becoming an increasingly attractive choice [if
exchanging batteries is inconvenient]".
In 2013 military organisations are
evaluating fuel cells to significantly reduce the battery weight carried by soldiers.


Type 212 submarine with fuel cell propulsion of the German Navy in dry dock
Stationary fuel cells are used for commercial, industrial and residential primary and
backup power generation. Fuel cells are very useful as power sources in remote
locations, such as spacecraft, remote weather stations, large parks, communications
centers, rural locations including research stations, and in certain military
applications. A fuel cell system running on hydrogen can be compact and lightweight,
and have no major moving parts. Because fuel cells have no moving parts and do not
involve combustion, in ideal conditions they can achieve up to 99.9999%
This equates to less than one minute of downtime in a six-year

Since fuel cell electrolyzer systems do not store fuel in themselves, but rather rely on
external storage units, they can be successfully applied in large-scale energy storage,
rural areas being one example.
There are many different types of stationary fuel
cells so efficiencies vary, but most are between 40% and 60% energy efficient.

However, when the fuel cell's waste heat is used to heat a building in a cogeneration
system this efficiency can increase to 85%.
This is significantly more efficient than
traditional coal power plants, which are only about one third energy efficient.

Assuming production at scale, fuel cells could save 2040% on energy costs when
used in cogeneration systems.
Fuel cells are also much cleaner than traditional
power generation; a fuel cell power plant using natural gas as a hydrogen source
would create less than one ounce of pollution (other than CO
2) for every 1,000 kW h produced, compared to 25 pounds of pollutants generated by
conventional combustion systems.
Fuel Cells also produce 97% less nitrogen oxide
emissions than conventional coal-fired power plants.
One such pilot program is operating on Stuart Island in Washington State. There the
Stuart Island Energy Initiative
has built a complete, closed-loop system: Solar
panels power an electrolyzer, which makes hydrogen. The hydrogen is stored in a
500-U.S.-gallon (1,900 L) tank at 200 pounds per square inch (1,400 kPa), and runs a
ReliOn fuel cell to provide full electric back-up to the off-the-grid residence. Another
closed system loop was unveiled in late 2011 in Hempstead, NY.

Fuel cells can be used with low-quality gas from landfills or waste-water treatment
plants to generate power and lower methane emissions. A 2.8 MW fuel cell plant in
California is said to be the largest of the type.

Combined heat and power (CHP) fuel cell systems, including Micro combined heat
and power (MicroCHP) systems are used to generate both electricity and heat for
homes (see home fuel cell), office building and factories. The system generates
constant electric power (selling excess power back to the grid when it is not
consumed), and at the same time produces hot air and water from the waste heat. As
the result CHP systems have the potential to save primary energy as they can make
use of waste heat which is generally rejected by thermal energy conversion
A typical capacity range of home fuel cell is 13 kW
/ 48 kW

CHP systems linked to absorption chillers use their waste heat for refrigeration.

The waste heat from fuel cells can be diverted during the summer directly into the
ground providing further cooling while the waste heat during winter can be pumped
directly into the building. The University of Minnesota owns the patent rights to this
type of system

Co-generation systems can reach 85% efficiency (4060% electric + remainder as
Phosphoric-acid fuel cells (PAFC) comprise the largest segment of
existing CHP products worldwide and can provide combined efficiencies close to
Molten Carbonate (MCFC) and Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) are also
used for combined heat and power generation and have electrical energy efficiences
around 60%.
Disadvantages of co-generation systems include slow ramping up and
down rates, high cost and short lifetime.
Also their need to have a hot water
storage tank to smooth out the thermal heat production was a serious disadvantage in
the domestic market place where space in domestic properties is at a great

Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs)
Main articles: Fuel cell vehicle, Hydrogen vehicle and List of fuel cell vehicles

Configuration of components in a fuel cell car.

The Toyota FCV concept, unveiled at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, is a practical
concept of the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle Toyota plans to launch around 2015.

Element One fuel cell vehicle.
Although there are currently no Fuel cell vehicles available for commercial sale, over
20 FCEVs prototypes and demonstration cars have been released since 2009.
Demonstration models include the Honda FCX Clarity, Toyota FCHV-adv, and
Mercedes-Benz F-Cell.
As of June 2011 demonstration FCEVs had driven more
than 4,800,000 km (3,000,000 mi), with more than 27,000 refuelings.

Demonstration fuel cell vehicles have been produced with "a driving range of more
than 400 km (250 mi) between refueling".
They can be refueled in less than 5
The U.S. Department of Energy's Fuel Cell Technology Program claims
that, as of 2011, fuel cells achieved 5359% efficiency at one-quarter power and 42
53% vehicle efficiency at full power,
and a durability of over 120,000 km
(75,000 mi) with less than 10% degradation.
In a Well-to-Wheels simulation
analysis, that "did not address the economics and market constraints", General Motors
and its partners estimated that per mile traveled, a fuel cell electric vehicle running on
compressed gaseous hydrogen produced from natural gas could use about 40% less
energy and emit 45% less greenhouse gasses than an internal combustion vehicle.

A lead engineer from the Department of Energy whose team is testing fuel cell cars
said in 2011 that the potential appeal is that "these are full-function vehicles with no
limitations on range or refueling rate so they are a direct replacement for any vehicle.
For instance, if you drive a full sized SUV and pull a boat up into the mountains, you
can do that with this technology and you can't with current battery-only vehicles,
which are more geared toward city driving."

Some experts believe, however, that fuel cell cars will never become economically
competitive with other technologies
or that it will take decades for them to
become profitable.
In July 2011, the chairman and CEO of General Motors,
Daniel Akerson, stated that while the cost of hydrogen fuel cell cars is decreasing:
"The car is still too expensive and probably won't be practical until the 2020-plus
period, I don't know."

In 2012, Lux Research, Inc. issued a report that stated: "The dream of a hydrogen
economy ... is no nearer." It concluded that "Capital cost ... will limit adoption to a
mere 5.9 GW" by 2030, providing "a nearly insurmountable barrier to adoption,
except in niche applications". The analysis concluded that, by 2030, PEM stationary
market will reach $1 billion, while the vehicle market, including forklifts, will reach a
total of $2 billion.
Other analyses cite the lack of an extensive hydrogen
infrastructure in the U.S. as an ongoing challenge to Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle
commercialization. In 2006, a study for the IEEE showed that for hydrogen produced
via electrolysis of water: "Only about 25% of the power generated from wind, water,
or sun is converted to practical use." The study further noted that "Electricity obtained
from hydrogen fuel cells appears to be four times as expensive as electricity drawn
from the electrical transmission grid. ... Because of the high energy losses [hydrogen]
cannot compete with electricity."
Furthermore, the study found: "Natural gas
reforming is not a sustainable solution".
"The large amount of energy required to
isolate hydrogen from natural compounds (water, natural gas, biomass), package the
light gas by compression or liquefaction, transfer the energy carrier to the user, plus
the energy lost when it is converted to useful electricity with fuel cells, leaves around
25% for practical use."

Despite this, several major car manufacturers have announced plans to introduce a
production model of a fuel cell car in 2015. In 2013, Toyota has stated that it plans to
introduce such a vehicle at a price of less than US$100,000.
announced that they would move the scheduled production date of their fuel cell car
from 2015 up to 2014, asserting that "The product is ready for the market technically.
... The issue is infrastructure."
At the Paris Auto Show in September 2012,
Hyundai announced that it plans to begin producing a commercial production fuel cell
model (based on the ix35) in December 2012 and hopes to deliver 1,000 of them by
Other manufacturers planning to sell fuel cell electric vehicles commercially
by 2016 or earlier include General Motors (2015),
Honda (2015 in Japan),
Nissan (2016).

The Obama Administration sought to reduce funding for the development of fuel cell
vehicles, concluding that other vehicle technologies will lead to quicker reduction in
emissions in a shorter time.
Steven Chu, the United States Secretary of Energy,
stated in 2009 that hydrogen vehicles "will not be practical over the next 10 to 20
In 2012, however, Chu stated that he saw fuel cell cars as more
economically feasible as natural gas prices have fallen and hydrogen reforming
technologies have improved.


Toyota FCHV-BUS at the Expo 2005.
As of August 2011, there were a total of approximately 100 fuel cell buses deployed
around the world. Most buses are produced by UTC Power, Toyota, Ballard,
Hydrogenics, and Proton Motor. UTC Buses had accumulated over 970,000 km
(600,000 mi) of driving by 2011.
Fuel cell buses have a 39141% higher fuel
economy than diesel buses and natural gas buses.
Fuel cell buses have been
deployed around the world including in Whistler, Canada; San Francisco, United
States; Hamburg, Germany; Shanghai, China; London, England; So Paulo, Brazil; as
well as several others.
The Fuel Cell Bus Club is a global cooperative effort in
trial fuel cell buses. Notable Projects Include:
12 Fuel cell buses are being deployed in the Oakland and San Francisco Bay
area of California.

Daimler AG, with thirty-six experimental buses powered by Ballard Power
Systems fuel cells completed a successful three-year trial, in eleven cities, in
January 2007.

A fleet of Thor buses with UTC Power fuel cells was deployed in California,
operated by SunLine Transit Agency.

The first Brazilian hydrogen fuel cell bus prototype in Brazil was deployed in So
Paulo. The bus was manufactured in Caxias do Sul and the hydrogen fuel will be
produced in So Bernardo do Campo from water through electrolysis. The program,
called "nibus Brasileiro a Hidrognio" (Brazilian Hydrogen Autobus), includes
three additional buses.

A fuel cell forklift (also called a fuel cell lift truck) is a fuel cell powered industrial
forklift truck used to lift and transport materials. Most fuel cells used for material
handling purposes are powered by PEM fuel cells.
[citation needed]

In 2013 there were over 4,000 fuel cell forklifts used in material handling in the
of which only 500 received funding from DOE (2012).
Fuel cell
fleets are operated by a large number of companies, including Sysco Foods, FedEx
Freight, GENCO (at Wegmans, Coca-Cola, Kimberly Clark, and Whole Foods), and
H-E-B Grocers.
Europe demonstrated 30 Fuel cell forklifts with Hylift and
extended it with HyLIFT-EUROPE to 200 units,
with other projects in France
and Austria.
Pike Research stated in 2011 that fuel-cell-powered forklifts
will be the largest driver of hydrogen fuel demand by 2020.

PEM fuel-cell-powered forklifts provide significant benefits over both petroleum and
battery powered forklifts as they produce no local emissions, can work for a full 8-
hour shift on a single tank of hydrogen, can be refueled in 3 minutes and have a
lifetime of 810 years. Fuel cell-powered forklifts are often used in refrigerated
warehouses, as their performance is not degraded by lower temperatures. Many
companies do not use petroleum powered forklifts, as these vehicles work indoors
where emissions must be controlled and instead are turning to electric forklifts.
design the FC units are often made as drop-in replacements.

Motorcycles and bicycles
In 2005 a British manufacturer of hydrogen-powered fuel cells, Intelligent Energy
(IE), produced the first working hydrogen run motorcycle called the ENV (Emission
Neutral Vehicle). The motorcycle holds enough fuel to run for four hours, and to
travel 160 km (100 mi) in an urban area, at a top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph).
2004 Honda developed a fuel-cell motorcycle that utilized the Honda FC

Other examples of motorbikes
and bicycles
that use hydrogen fuel cells
include the Taiwanese company APFCT's scooter
using the fueling system from
Italy's Acta SpA
and the Suzuki Burgman scooter with an IE fuel cell that
received EU Whole Vehicle Type Approval in 2011.
Suzuki Motor Corp. and IE
have announced a joint venture to accelerate the commercialization of zero-emission

Boeing researchers and industry partners throughout Europe conducted experimental
flight tests in February 2008 of a manned airplane powered only by a fuel cell and
lightweight batteries. The fuel cell demonstrator airplane, as it was called, used a
proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell/lithium-ion battery hybrid system to
power an electric motor, which was coupled to a conventional propeller.
In 2003,
the world's first propeller-driven airplane to be powered entirely by a fuel cell was
flown. The fuel cell was a unique FlatStack
stack design, which allowed the fuel
cell to be integrated with the aerodynamic surfaces of the plane.

There have been several fuel-cell-powered unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). A
Horizon fuel cell UAV set the record distance flown for a small UAV in 2007.

The military is especially interested in this application because of the low noise, low
thermal signature and ability to attain high altitude. In 2009 the Naval Research
Laboratory's (NRL's) Ion Tiger utilized a hydrogen-powered fuel cell and flew for 23
hours and 17 minutes.
Fuel cells are also being used to provide auxiliary power in
aircraft, replacing fossil fuel generators that were previously used to start the engines
and power on board electrical needs.
[141][not in citation given]
Fuel cells can help airplanes
reduce CO
2 and other pollutant emissions and noise.

The world's first certified Fuel Cell Boat (HYDRA), in Leipzig/Germany
The world's first fuel-cell boat HYDRA used an AFC system with 6.5 kW net output.
Iceland has committed to converting its vast fishing fleet to use fuel cells to provide
auxiliary power by 2015 and, eventually, to provide primary power in its boats.
Amsterdam recently introduced its first fuel-cell-powered boat that ferries people
around the city's famous and beautiful canals.

The Type 212 submarines of the German and Italian navies use fuel cells to remain
submerged for weeks without the need to surface.
The U212A is a non-nuclear submarine developed by German naval shipyard
Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft.
The system consists of nine PEM fuel cells,
providing between 30 kW and 50 kW each. The ship is silent giving it an advantage in
the detection of other submarines.

Portable power systems
Portable power systems that use fuel cells can be used in the leisure sector (i.e. RV's,
Cabins, Marine), the industrial sector (i.e. power for remote locations including
gas/oil wellsites, communication towers, security, weather stations etc.), and in the
military sector. SFC Energy is a German manufacturer of direct methanol fuel cells
for a variety of portable power systems.
Ensol Systems Inc. is an integrator of
portable power systems, using the SFC Energy DMFC.

Other applications
Providing power for base stations or cell sites

Distributed generation
Emergency power systems are a type of fuel cell system, which may include
lighting, generators and other apparatus, to provide backup resources in a
crisis or when regular systems fail. They find uses in a wide variety of settings
from residential homes to hospitals, scientific laboratories, data centers,

equipment and modern naval ships.
An uninterrupted power supply (UPS) provides emergency power and,
depending on the topology, provide line regulation as well to connected
equipment by supplying power from a separate source when utility power is
not available. Unlike a standby generator, it can provide instant protection
from a momentary power interruption.
Base load power plants
Solar Hydrogen Fuel Cell Water Heating
Hybrid vehicles, pairing the fuel cell with either an ICE or a battery.
Notebook computers for applications where AC charging may not be readily
Portable charging docks for small electronics (e.g. a belt clip that charges your
cell phone or PDA).
Smartphones, laptops and tablets.
Small heating appliances

Food preservation, achieved by exhausting the oxygen and automatically
maintaining oxygen exhaustion in a shipping container, containing, for
example, fresh fish.

Breathalyzers, where the amount of voltage generated by a fuel cell is used to
determine the concentration of fuel (alcohol) in the sample.

Carbon monoxide detector, electrochemical sensor.
Fueling stations
Main articles: Hydrogen station and Hydrogen highway

Hydrogen fueling station.
There were over 85 hydrogen refueling stations in the U.S. in 2010.

As of June 2012 California had 23 hydrogen refueling stations in operation.

Honda announced plans in March 2011 to open the first station that would generate
hydrogen through solar-powered renewable electrolysis.
[citation needed]
South Carolina
also has two hydrogen fueling stations, in Aiken and Columbia, SC. The University of
South Carolina, a founding member of the South Carolina Hydrogen & Fuel Cell
Alliance, received 12.5 million dollars from the United States Department of Energy
for its Future Fuels Program.

The first public hydrogen refueling station in Iceland was opened in Reykjavk in
2003. This station serves three buses built by DaimlerChrysler that are in service in
the public transport net of Reykjavk. The station produces the hydrogen it needs by
itself, with an electrolyzing unit (produced by Norsk Hydro), and does not need
refilling: all that enters is electricity and water. Royal Dutch Shell is also a partner in
the project. The station has no roof, in order to allow any leaked hydrogen to escape
to the atmosphere.
[citation needed]

The current 14 stations nationwide in Germany are planned to be expanded to 50 by
through its public private partnership Now GMBH.
Japan also has a
hydrogen highway, as part of the Japan hydrogen fuel cell project. Twelve hydrogen
fueling stations have been built in 11 cities in Japan, and additional hydrogen stations
could potentially be operational by 2015.
Canada, Sweden and Norway also have
hydrogen highways being implemented.
[citation needed]

Markets and economics
Main article: Hydrogen economy
In 2012, fuel cell industry revenues exceeded $1 billion market value worldwide, with
Asian pacific countries shipping more than 3/4 of the fuel cell systems worldwide.

However, as of October 2013, no public company in the industry had yet become
There were 140,000 fuel cell stacks shipped globally in 2010, up from
11 thousand shipments in 2007, and from 2011 to 2012 worldwide fuel cell shipments
had an annual growth rate of 85%.
Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K. expanded its
production facilities for fuel cell catalysts in 2013 to meet anticipated demand as the
Japanese ENE Farm scheme expects to install 50,000 units in 2013
and the
company is experiencing rapid market growth.

Approximately 50% of fuel cell shipments in 2010 were stationary fuel cells, up from
about a third in 2009, and the four dominant producers in the Fuel Cell Industry were
the United States, Germany, Japan and South Korea.
The Department of Energy
Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance found that, as of January 2011, stationary fuel
cells generated power at approximately $724 to $775 per kilowatt installed.
2011, Bloom Energy, a major fuel cell supplier, said that its fuel cells generated
power at 911 cents per kilowatt-hour, including the price of fuel, maintenance, and

Industry groups predict that there are sufficient platinum resources for future
and in 2007, research at Brookhaven National Laboratory suggested that
platinum could be replaced by a gold-palladium coating, which may be less
susceptible to poisoning and thereby improve fuel cell lifetime.
Another method
would use iron and sulphur instead of platinum. This would lower the cost of a fuel
cell (as the platinum in a regular fuel cell costs around US$1,500, and the same
amount of iron costs only around US$1.50). The concept was being developed by a
coalition of the John Innes Centre and the University of Milan-Bicocca.
cathodes are immune to monoxide poisoning.