EXHIBITS: Fuel Cell Future?

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Science  06 Jul 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5527, pp. 19
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5527.19c

Just in time for a hot summer of high gas prices and rolling blackouts, an online exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution investigates the history and potential of hydrogen-powered fuel cells, a possible clean alternative to filthy coal and oil. Surprisingly, research on the cells—which emit mainly just water—stretches back more than 150 years. However, high costs and practical difficulties (such as the sizzling operating temperatures of some designs) have confined them to use in spacecraft, the occasional power plant, and a few prototype vehicles.


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