Standard Article

Introduction to fuel-cell types

Fundamentals and Survey of Systems

Thermodynamics and kinetics of fuel cell reactions

  1. A. Hamnett

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470974001.f101005m

Handbook of Fuel Cells

Handbook of Fuel Cells

How to Cite

Hamnett, A. 2010. Introduction to fuel-cell types. Handbook of Fuel Cells. .

Author Information

  1. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


This chapter reviews the difficulties encountered in the use of hydrogen as the main fuel in modern fuel cells, and then considers in turn five major types of hydrogen/oxygen fuel cells: the alkaline cell, the phosphoric acid cell, the molten carbonate cell, the solid-oxide cell, and the solid-polymer-electrolyte cell. The direct methanol cell is also described as one using an alternative fuel. The limitations and advantages of each of these cells are described.


  • hydrogen;
  • oxygen;
  • air;
  • alkaline;
  • phosphoric acid;
  • molten carbonate;
  • solid oxide;
  • solid-polymer electrolyte;
  • polymer-electrolyte membrane;
  • direct methanol fuel cell