Fuel Cell research and development is booming, not least because of the numbers of potential applications fuel cells have. They are an ideal way to supply energy remotely (i.e. not from national networks) so have immediately been linked to transport applications (including aerospace) and use in rural areas. Fuel cells carry and supply energy efficiently and cleanly and if the original energy source is also environmentally friendly they may well prove to be a fantastic alternative to traditional fossil fuel power.
Within fuel cells polymers are most commonly used as the proton-conducting, electrically-insulating membrane (the electrolyte) which forces the electrons into an external circuit, thereby creating a current. However, polymeric composites can also be involved, forming the tough tanks which hold the pressurised gases required for the reaction to occur.
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