Cells. Chemical cells and fuel cells

Would you like to know more about chemical cells and fuel cells?

The online cells simulations on this page will help you to better understand how a chemical cell and a fuel cell work and what are the differences between them.

The online cells simulations on this page will help you to better understand how a chemical cell and a fuel cell work and what are the differences between them.

Chemical cells and fuel cells are two technologies that allow electricity to be generated from chemical processes. While they have some similarities, they also have important differences in their operation, applications and advantages. Each has its own advantages and challenges, and their use is determined by the specific application. In general, electric cells are more common in portable and electronic applications, while fuel cells are more suitable for power generation and long-distance transportation systems.

Chemical cells

Chemical cells, also known as batteries, are devices that convert the chemical energy stored inside them into electrical energy. They consist of two electrodes, one positive and one negative, and an electrolyte. When the electrodes are connected to an electrical circuit, electrons flow from the negative to the positive electrode through the circuit, generating electricity. Electric batteries are very common in electronic devices such as cell phones, laptops and cameras.

Fuel cells

Fuel cells, on the other hand, convert the chemical energy of a reaction between a fuel and an oxidant into electrical energy. Fuel cells consist of two electrodes, an anode and a cathode, separated by an electrolyte. The fuel, which can be hydrogen, methane or even alcohol, is fed to the anode and the oxidant, usually oxygen from the air, is fed to the cathode. The chemical reaction between the fuel and oxidant produces electrons that flow from the anode to the cathode through an electrical circuit, generating electricity and water as a by-product.

Fuel cells have some advantages over electric cells, such as higher efficiency and lower pollutant emissions. In addition, they can be powered by a wide variety of fuels, such as hydrogen, methane, ethanol, natural gas and biofuels. This gives them great versatility in terms of their use, from portable applications to power generation systems in large facilities.

However, fuel cells also present some challenges. Although they are more efficient than electric cells, their production cost is still high. In addition, they require fuel storage and supply systems, which can be complicated and expensive. Moreover, the production of hydrogen, one of the most common fuels for fuel cells, still relies heavily on fossil fuels, which limits its use as a renewable energy source.

Below are several simulations and other educational resources, which can also serve as very illustrative examples. In addition, a selection of books and courses is included to help you broaden your knowledge of this subject.

Chemical cell

A chemical cell is a device that generates electricity through a chemical reaction. This animation represents Volta's and Daniel's electric cells.
Click here to start the simulation

Fuel cell

A fuel cell is a device that converts chemical energy into electricity through a reaction between oxygen and hydrogen that results in water.
Click here to start the simulation

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