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Renewable energy science fair project:
The effects of water type, distilled or tap, and temperature on an hydrogen fuel cell efficiency

Science Fair Project Information
Title: The effects of water type, distilled or tap, and temperature on an hydrogen fuel cell efficiency
Subject: Renewable Energy
Grade level: Elementary School - Grades 4-6
Academic Level: Ordinary
Project Type: Experimental
Cost: Low
Awards: 2nd place, Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair ($25)
Affiliation: Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair (VSF)
Year: 2010
Description: A homemade fuel cell was built by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen gases and allowing them to recombine. The next step was to test the effect of water type (distilled, tap), different additions and temperature on the efficiency of the cell (voltage).
Link: http://www.virtualsciencefair.org/2010/munsxk2
Short Background

Hydrogen Production by Water Splitting

Water splitting is the general term for a chemical reaction in which water is separated into oxygen and hydrogen. Efficient and economical water splitting would be a key technology component of a hydrogen economy. Various techniques for water splitting have been issued in water splitting patents in the United States.

Electrolysis of water is the decomposition of water (H2O) into oxygen (O2) and hydrogen gas (H2) due to an electric current being passed through the water. In chemistry and manufacturing, electrolysis is a method of separating chemically bonded elements and compounds by passing an electric current through them. One important use of electrolysis of water is to produce hydrogen.

This hydrogen when employed in a fuel cell, can produce electricity. However, production of hydrogen from water requires large amounts of energy and is uncompetitive with production from coal or natural gas.

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_splitting

Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

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