After decades of development work by engineers concerned about air pollution and climate change, there is now more support for the change from combustion to electrochemical conversion with fuel cells. Electrochemical conversion is very efficient and there are no harmful emissions. If natural gas or biofuels are utilised, fuel cells have been developed to separate the carbon dioxide and make it available for use by industry or agriculture.
There is now more investment in fuel cells powered by natural gas and renewable hydrogen, in order that countries can meet their targets under the Paris Agreement. Engineers have also developed advanced fuel cells powered by organic waste. Many communities, particularly in developing countries, cannot afford large scale energy infrastructures, but they have agricultural and forestry waste from which they could make net zero emission electricity, heat and transport fuel. As the waste is not burnt there are valuable residues, including organic fertiliser and potable water.
The latest issue of Fuel Cell Power outlines the role of fuel cells in stopping air pollution and meeting net zero targets for global warming gases.