Fuel Cells

1st Edition

Current Technology Challenges and Future Research Needs

Authors: Noriko Hikosaka Behling
Hardcover ISBN: 9780444563255
eBook ISBN: 9780444563262
Imprint: Elsevier
Published Date: 29th October 2012
Page Count: 704
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Fuel Cells: Current Technology Challenges and Future Research Needs is a one-of-a-kind, definitive reference source for technical students, researchers, government policymakers, and business leaders. Here in a single volume is a thorough review of government, corporate, and research institutions’ policies and programs related to fuel cell development, and the effects of those programs on the success or failure of fuel cell initiatives. The book describes specific, internal corporate and academic R&D activities, levels of investment, strategies for technology acquisition, and reasons for success and failure.

This volume provides an overview of past and present initiatives to improve and commercialize fuel cell technologies, as well as context and analysis to help potential investors assess current fuel cell commercialization activities and future prospects. Crucially, it also gives top executive policymakers and company presidents detailed policy recommendations on what should be done to successfully commercialize fuel cell technologies.

Key Features

  • Provides a clear and unbiased picture of current fuel cell research programs
  • Outlines future research needs
  • Offers concrete policy recommendations


Students, scientists, and engineers at universities, graduate schools, research institutions, and corporate and government officials who are engaged in fuel cell R&D worldwide.  Top government policymakers worldwide, Corporate executives in fuel cell related industries and researchers working at fuel cell related industries worldwide.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Introduction

1.1 William Grove Invents the Fuel Cell

1.2 Fuel Cells: Commercial Success Remains Elusive

1.3 The Unfulfilled Promise


Chapter 2. Fuel Cells and the Challenges Ahead

2.1 What Is A Fuel Cell?

2.2 Types Of Fuel Cells: Distinct Technologies

2.3 Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

2.4 Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

2.5 Alkaline Fuel Cells

2.6 Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cells

2.7 Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells

2.8 Solid Oxide Fuel Cells


Chapter 3. History of Alkaline Fuel Cells

3.1 Overview

3.2 Francis T. Bacon Builds The First Alkaline Fuel Cell

3.3 AFC Development in the United States

3.4 AFC Development in Europe: Decades of Work With No Significant Consequence….But Some Field Tests Continue

3.5 AFC Development in Russia: Sustained Effort, But With Little Commercial Success

3.6 AFC Development in Japan: Limited Activities of No Consequence….But A New Effort Emerges


Chapter 4. History of Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cells

4.1 Overview

4.2 PAFC Development in the United States: 25 Years of Government Programs Fail to Produce a Cost-Competitive PAFC System

4.3 PAFC Development in Japan

4.4 PAFC Development in Other Countries: Primarily Test-Operating US and Japanese PAFC Power Plants


Chapter 5. History of Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells

5.1 MCFC Effort Starts in the Netherlands in the 1950S

5.2 MCFC Development in the United States

5.3 MCFC Development in Japan

5.4 MCFC Development in Europe

5.5 MCFC Development in South Korea


Chapter 6. History of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

6.1 Introduction

6.2 US Department of Energy Initiates SOFC R&D


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About the Author

Noriko Hikosaka Behling

Ms. Behling graduated from Tokyo University of Education in Japan with a BA in philosophy. As a Fulbright scholar, she studied linguistics at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Hawaii, where she earned an MA degree and undertook graduate work toward a PhD. She worked for the Central Intelligence Agency as a senior analyst and information officer for 20 years. She produced research papers and current assessments in many policy areas, including defense, science and technology, economic policy, and trade issues. Ms. Behling analyzed functional and technical issues, including program analysis, risk assessment, program cost estimation, and global science and technology developments. She also worked in the private sector for ten years, providing consulting services and analytic support to the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community in the areas of information technology, nuclear energy, and global environmental technology policy issues, including fuel cell technology, low emission vehicles, and hydrogen energy technology. She assisted the National Security Council to formulate two major R&D policy initiatives implemented by the Department of Energy, the FreedomCar Initiative and the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative.

Affiliations and Expertise

Retired from the US Government. Senior Analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency and CENTRA Technology, Inc.


"Behling investigates why the fuel cell…is still not a commercial product in wide use. The topics are fuel cells and the challenges ahead, the history of the alkaline fuel cell, phosphoric acid fuel cells, molten carbonate fuel cells, solid oxide fuel cells, proton exchange membrane and direct methanol fuel cells, strengths and weaknesses of major government fuel cell research and development programs, and policy recommendations."--Reference & Research Book News, December 2013
"In the book…Noriko Behling provides a comprehensive history of each major type of fuel cell technology and proposes a bold course of action to address current difficulties in commercialising fuel cells…The book culminates in a set of policy recommendations, which Behling builds towards throughout."--FuelCellToday.com, January 31, 2013
"Behling…a science and technology analyst for 30 years, provides a detailed history of the development of fuel cells, emphasizing policy-making aspects. The book starts with two introductory chapters and continues with five chapters (more than 85 percent of the book) on the history of different fuel cell technologies…It is well suited for researchers and policy makers with years of experience and a long-term interest in fuel cells…"--CHOICE, November 2013
"Behling (formerly, Central Intelligence Agency), a science and technology analyst for 30 years, provides a detailed history of the development of fuel cells, emphasizing policy-making aspects…It is well suited for researchers and policy makers with years of experience and a long-term interest in fuel cells…Summing Up: Recommended."--Choice Reviews Online, November 2013
"This effort is monumental and erudite.  It is a tour de force.  While presenting the analysis of fuel cell technology that had to be done, the book lays out a research