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Homework Help: Is there a difference between how pem fuel cells work and typical batteries work?

  1. May 29, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    hi i've got to do a project for college and need some direction I want to know a few things more so if you can help let me know.

    some of the things include (if you could answer any it would be useful):

    why can't we make a longer electric current to harness all the electricity produced in a certain current (please see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_cell and image 'scheme of proton...')
    what happens to the hydrogen if we don't allow it to mix with the oxygen (and instead forward it for a combustion process, can we do this? I mean can ionised hydrogen be lit, I know hydrogen and oxygen can be burned but how come this doesn't make water straight upon introduction to each other such as in a typical hydrogen fuel cell and instead after the combustion, it doesn't make sense)
    is electricity made on hydrogen and oxygen reacting together to make water or is it made through the electrons being passed through the circuit (or both)

    please don't mind if these questions don't make any sense I'm really trying to learn and ask the questions which don't make sense to me. thanks in advance
  2. jcsd
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