Fuel cells introduction
Fuel cells (FC) are known since the 19th century, meaning they are one of the oldest sources of energy conversion technologies. The study of FCs was dramatically increased in the last decades due to changes of population and economics. FC's are a great source of alternative energy especially for transportation. The use of FCs in electric vehicles has huge potential; compared to internal combustion engines (15% efficiency) FC's have higher efficiency due to co-generation (50-60%).
The emission from FC's is only H2O, by using this application for energy consumption the environmental effect of FCs will be reduced as well. FC's may help us to reduce the dependence of fossil fuels and eliminate emissions, as Sox, NOx and CO, emitted next to population.
There are many kinds of fuel cells, different FC's work in different operation conditions as different pH, temperatures, reactions etc. In cars, it is common to use PEMFC( Proton-exchange membrane fuel cells ) in acidic environment.
PEMFC's contain Pt catalysts, which are considered as precious metal, the catalyst is the most expensive part of the FC. The cost of 1 oz of Pt is 907.90 $, In order to make FC's commonly used the total cost of the system must be reduced, creating high interest of research and industry in Pt free catalysts.
recycling of spent catalyst
The recycling of the spent catalyst is essential due to its high prices. Some catalysts contain precious metals and some non-precious, Sutok is working with the biggest catalyst recycling facilities in the world and exports waste of her clients all over the world.
The export of spent catalysts might be on the green list after cleaning with steam. In some cases of exceeding values above the threshold the spent catalysts will be exported under the amber list regulations including the notification process.
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