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1957 - drawing illustrates the basic operation of the fuel cell



Fuel Cells

September 20, 1957

PARMA, Ohio - A greatly simplified drawing illustrates the basic operation of the fuel cell. Hydrogen and oxygen gases enter the cell through specially-treated, hollow porous carbon electrodes, and diffuse to the surface, where they come in contact with the electrolyte, a solution of potassium hydroxide. At the hydrogen electrode, electrochemical reaction releases an electron, which flows through the external circuit and is accepted at the oxygen electrode. This flow of electrons is the current that powers electrical equipment. Ionic conductivity through the electrolyte completes the circuit, and the water formed in the reaction passes from the cell in the hydrogen stream.

Original Caption by Science Service
Union Carbide

National Museum of American History


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