Fuel cells


  • Fuel cells are supplied by an external source of fuel (eg hydrogen) and oxygen or air. The fuel is oxidised electrochemically within the fuel cell to produce a potential difference.

The overall reaction in a hydrogen fuel cell involves the oxidation of hydrogen to produce water.

Hydrogen fuel cells offer a potential alternative to rechargeable cells and batteries.

Students should be able to:

  • evaluate the use of hydrogen fuel cells in comparison with rechargeable cells and batteries
  • (HT only) write the half equations for the electrode reactions in the hydrogen fuel cell.