Fire Prevention & Protection, Firefighting, Tech Zone

Green Energy: Fuel-Cell Technology

Issue 5 and Volume 170.

By Ronald R. Spadafora Green energy includes the production of electricity with very little or no polluting by-products. Environmental impact and the dispersal of greenhouse (global warming) gases into the atmosphere are negligible. The country’s primary industrial source of air pollution is based on conventional electricity generation, whereby fossil fuels are burned. Green electrical power is generated from solar, wind, geothermal, and biogas. Unlike conventional technologies, fuel cells do not burn fossil fuels; rather, they are combined in a chemical process that converts hydrogen from fuel and oxygen in the air into direct current (DC) voltage. The fuel cell uses biogas as well as hydrogen and hydrocarbons to produce electricity and heat. In the past, fuel cells were large and extremely expensive to manufacture. With the support of federal government legislation as well as state initiatives, fuel-cell development is now moving to the forefront in clean energy technology. Some laws…

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