Engineering Book from C.H.I.P.S.

Fuel Cell Fundamentals
by Ryan O'Hayre

Fuel Cell Fundamentals covers the basic science and engineering behind fuel cell technology.

Focusing on the fundamentals, Fuel Cell Fundamentalst provides straightforward descriptions of:

  • how fuel cells work
  • why they offer the potential for high efficiency
  • how their unique advantages can best be used

Designed to be accessible to fuel cell beginners, it is suitable for any engineering or science professional with a background in calculus, basic physics, and elementary thermodynamics. The book is divided in two parts: The first (and largest part), "Fuel Cell Principles" focuses on basic fuel cell physics. The second part: "Fuel Cell Technology" provides a brief discussion of the practical applications of fuel cell technology. Fuel Cell Fundamentals provides examples, problems, and pedagogy for classroom use.


Fuel Cell Principles


  • What Is a Fuel Cell?
  • A Simple Fuel Cell
  • Fuel Cell Advantages
  • Fuel Cell Disadvantages
  • Fuel Cell Types
  • Basic Fuel Cell Operation
  • Fuel Cell Performance
  • Characterization and Modeling
  • Fuel Cell Technology
  • Fuel Cells and the Environment
Fuel Cell Thermodynamics

  • Thermodynamics Review
  • Heat Potential of a Fuel: Enthalpy of Reaction
  • Work Potential of a Fuel: Gibbs Free Energy
  • Predicting Reversible Voltage of a Fuel Cell under Non-Standard-State Conditions
  • Fuel Cell Efficiency

Fuel Cell Reaction Kinetics

  • Introduction to Electrode Kinetics
  • Why Charge Transfer Reactions Have an Activation Energy
  • Activation Energy Determines Reaction Rate
  • Calculating Net Rate of a Reaction
  • Rate of Reaction at Equilibrium: Exchange Current Density
  • Potential of a Reaction at Equilibrium: Galvani Potential
  • Potential and Rate: Butler–Volmer Equation
  • Exchange Currents and Electrocatalysis: How to Improve Kinetic Performance
  • Simplified Activation Kinetics: Tafel Equation
  • Different Fuel Cell Reactions Produce Different Kinetics
  • Catalyst–Electrode Design
  • Quantum Mechanics: Framework for Understanding Catalysis in Fuel Cells

Fuel Cell Charge Transport

  • Charges Move in Response to Forces
  • Charge Transport Results in a Voltage Loss
  • Characteristics of Fuel Cell Charge Transport Resistance
  • Physical Meaning of Conductivity
  • Review of Fuel Cell Electrolyte Classes
  • More on Diffusivity and Conductivity (Optional)
  • Why Electrical Driving Forces Dominate Charge Transport (Optional)

Fuel Cell Mass Transport

  • Transport in Electrode versus Flow Structure
  • Transport in Electrode: Diffusive Transport
  • Transport in Flow Structures: Convective Transport

Fuel Cell Modeling

  • Putting It All Together: A Basic Fuel Cell Model
  • A 1D Fuel Cell Model
  • Fuel Cell Models Based on Computational Fluid Dynamics (Optional)

Fuel Cell Characterization

  • What Do We Want to Characterize?
  • Overview of Characterization Techniques
  • In Situ Electrochemical Characterization Techniques
  • Ex Situ Characterization Techniques

Fuel Cell Technology

Overview of Fuel Cell Types

  • Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell
  • Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell
  • Alkaline Fuel Cell
  • Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell
  • Solid-Oxide Fuel Cell
  • Summary Comparison

Overview of Fuel Cell Systems

  • Fuel Cell Stack (Fuel Cell Subsystem)
  • The Thermal Management Subsystem
  • Fuel Delivery/Processing Subsystem.
  • Power Electronics Subsystem
  • Case Study of Fuel Cell System Design: Sizing a Portable Fuel Cell

Fuel Cell System Integration and Subsystem Design

  • Integrated Overview of Four Primary Subsystems
  • External Reforming: Fuel Processing Subsystems
  • Thermal Management Subsystem

Environmental Impact of Fuel Cells

  • Life Cycle Assessment
  • Important Emissions for LCA
  • Emissions Related to Global Warming
  • Emissions Related to Air Pollution
  • Analyzing Entire Scenarios with LCA


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Fuel Cell Fundamentals
by Ryan O'Hayre
2006 • 409 pages • $139.00 + shipping
Texas residents please add 6.75 % sales tax

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