Hydrogen fuel could be replaced by natural gas in the Bloom BoxMay 20, 2013
Bloom Energy shows off its new hydrogen fuel cell
The relationship between hydrogen fuel cells and natural gas has been heating up for some time. Fuel cells need hydrogen to operate, but just because hydrogen is the most abundant chemical in the universe does not mean that it is easily found on earth. Most of the world’s hydrogen is tied to other chemicals, such as oxygen. As such, hydrogen must be extracted from the substances that it helps create, such as water. To do this, energy is needed and natural gas has become one of the most popular energy sources for hydrogen fuel production.
Bloom Box can use natural gas to produce energy
Bloom Energy, a leading developer of fuel cells, has been working to promote its Bloom Box recently. The Bloom Box is a type of stationary hydrogen fuel cell that has become relatively popular in industries like telecommunications. Though it is very similar to other stationary fuel cells, the Bloom Box is not restricted to one fuel resource. Rather than using natural gas as an energy source for hydrogen fuel production, the Bloom Box can use natural gas as a replacement for hydrogen.
Natural gas continues to become more affordable
With the price of natural gas continuing to fall, the Bloom Box may soon become much more attractive in several industries. The fact that the energy system can use natural gas to generate electrical power sets it apart from other products offered by the fuel cell industry. There is a small problem, however, concerning the emissions linked to natural gas. Natural gas is a fossil-fuel and produces carbon dioxide when it is used to produce energy. This fuel is significantly cleaner than other fossil-fuels, but the fact that it is associated with emissions may make it less popular to those that are showing interest in fuel cells.
Fuel cell industry sees strong growth
The fuel cell industry has been seeing a great deal of growth over the past few years. Several companies within the industry are inching closer to profitability as hydrogen fuel cells continue to gain exposure. Currently, mobile fuel cells are the most popular type of these energy systems, as they can be efficiently used in transportation. Stationary fuel cells, however, have been gaining traction in the IT sector and in telecommunications.