A fuel cell uses the chemical energy of hydrogen or other fuels to cleanly and efficiently produce electricity. If hydrogen is the fuel, the only products are electricity, water and heat. Fuel cells are unique in terms of the variety of their potential applications; they can use a wide range of fuels and feedstocks and can provide power for systems as large as a utility power station and as small as a laptop computer.

With approximately 10 million metric tons of hydrogen currently produced annually in the U.S., the primary demand for hydrogen today is for petroleum refining and ammonia production. However, hydrogen can be harnessed across multiple sectors to enable zero or near-zero emissions in other chemical and industrial processes, integrated clean energy systems and transportation. Emerging hydrogen markets within these sectors include data centers, ports, steel manufacturing, and medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

Are you aware of the two most common ways to produce hydrogen gas used in fuel cells? Which state has the most hydrogen fueling stations? How much of the known universe mass is made up of hydrogen?

Test your knowledge of these expanding clean energy sources by taking this quiz provided by the U.S. Department of Energy.

To contact the author of this article, email shimmelstein@globalspec.com