Fuel cell

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A hydrogen fuel cell is a type of electrochemical cell where hydrogen and oxygen are combined across a membrane, resulting the formation of water and producing an electrical charge across this membrane. The first of any type of fuel cells were designed in the early 1900s. Supporters of a hydrogen economy look to fuel cells as the principle means of generating power from stored hydrogen; however, the current technologies underlying hydrogen fuel cells require an extremely pure source of hydrogen and oxygen to operate efficiently and for extended periods of time (see hydrogen fuel cells employed on the Space Shuttle). The most inexpensive source of hydrogen comes from natural gas, but hydrogen obtained from this source tends to come with too many impurities to be used extensively in current hydrogen fuel cells.