PHOTO CAPTION: Ballard Fuel Cell

PEM Fuel Cells Deemed Unsustainable

Technology viewed as suitable in selected niche markets only.

Published: 05-May-2011

PEM fuel cells are not energy and environmentally sustainable. In their current state they are not practical and economically viable for mass use. However, there are niche areas, such as stationary fuel cells (with integrated hydrogen generation system) for institutional or industrial power generation and as back-up power generation systems for remote and emergency applications. Direct methanol fuel cell could find applications in small energy usage applications.


I have my reservations on the potential of fuel cell technology to play any significant role in the economic or environmental sustainability for years to come. I will support my statement on three points:

1. Fuels for the fuel cell
2. Materials needed for making a fuel cell
3. Economics of fuel cell


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Range is more than 250 miles on full tank of hydrogen.

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Vehicle is first phase that will eventually lead to H2-powered car.


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