Engineering >> Chemical & Biomedical Engineering

Maximum Efficiency of a Hydrogen-Oxygen Fuel Cell

by Sophia Hymes


Submitted : Fall 2016

In order to determine the possible functions of a hydrogen-oxygen fuel, the maximum efficiency and voltage must be calculated. This is done through using integrals to find the entropy and enthalpy of the reaction at the specified temperature that the fuel cell is being ran. Due to the integrals of heat capacity used to calculate these values, it is possible to then calculate the Gibbs free energy, which is what will determine the maximum voltage produced and the maximum efficiency of the cell.


Typically, fuel cells will have efficiencies from 60 to 80 percent, but under specific conditions may have higher efficiencies to produce more reactions that meet the wanted objective. In order to control the maximum voltage and efficiency temperature and moles in the reaction may be manipulated to produce the desired outcome. This may make the hydrogen oxygen reaction produce the desired amount of electricity or the desired way of working in a system to benefit the environment and add to green energy alternatives. 

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Advisors :
Arcadii Grinshpan, Mathematics and Statistics
Wally Pagan, Chemistry
Suggested By :
Gene Hymes