Chapter 9

Fuel Cells

9.1 Introduction

It is said that the 19th was the century of mechanical engineering, the 20th, that of electronics, and the 21st, that of biology. In fact, the 20th century could just as well be known as the century of the mechanical heat engine. Counting cars, trucks, and buses, the United States alone, built, from 1900 to 1999, slightly more than 600 million vehicles. If one adds the rest of the world’s automotive production, and includes lawn mowers, motorcycles, motorboats, railroad locomotives, airplanes, and heavy construction machinery, the production of internal combustion engines in the 20th century probably reached the 2 billion mark!

Mechanical heat engines generally use the heat released by the reaction of a chemical ...

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