Renewable and Alternative Energy

Who invented the fuel cell?

The earliest fuel cell, known as a “gas battery,” was invented by Sir William Grove (1811–1896) in 1839. Grove’s fuel cell incorporated separate test tubes of hydrogen and oxygen, which he placed over strips of platinum. It was later modified by Francis Thomas Bacon (1904–1992) with nickel replacing the platinum. A fuel cell is equivalent to a generator—it converts a fuel’s chemical energy directly into electricity.


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