Which is more efficient way to generate energy using hydrogen: direct hydrogen combustion or through fuel cell? Please explain so that even a primary school student can understand.

  • $\begingroup$ Note that efficiency is just one of important parameters, when it comes to electrochemical cells. There are at least 6 other important parameters like (available power or stored energy (cycle or lifetime) per ( volume or mass or price(cycle or lifetime) ) $\endgroup$
    – Poutnik
    Jun 17 '21 at 9:48
  • $\begingroup$ This is mostly an engineering question. To generate heat energy, direct combustion. To generate electrical energy, perhaps a fuel cell. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Jun 17 '21 at 14:59

If you want energy as heat, the best way to generate energy is combustion. If you want energy as electricity, the best way is a fuel cell (which also produce some heat). If you want mechanical work, using hydrogen like gas or oil in a usual combustion engine, the yield would be a maximum of $30$%. The best yield would be to produce electricity in a fuel cell, then use this electricity to run an electric motor. Here the yield is of the order of $60$%, twice as much as the combustion engine.


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