Demand for fuel cell technology is growing rapidly. Fuel cells are being commercialized to provide power to buildings like hospitals and schools, to replace batteries in portable electronic devices, and as replacements for internal combustion engines in vehicles. PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) fuel cells are lighter, smaller, and more efficient than other types of fuel cell. As a result, over 80% of fuel cells being produced today are PEM cells.

This new edition of Dr. Barbir’s groundbreaking book still lays the groundwork for engineers, technicians and students better than any other resource, covering fundamentals of design, electrochemistry, heat and mass transport, as well as providing the context of system design and applications. Yet it now also provides invaluable information on the latest advances in modeling, diagnostics, materials, and components, along with an updated chapter on the evolving applications areas wherein PEM cells are being deployed. 

Key Features

  • Comprehensive guide covers all aspects of PEM fuel cells, from theory and fundamentals to practical applications
  • Provides solutions to heat and water management problems engineers must face when designing and implementing PEM fuel cells in systems
  • Hundreds of original illustrations, real-life engineering examples, and end-of-chapter problems help clarify, contextualize, and aid understanding


Renewable Energy Engineers, Chemical Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Civil Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Government Researchers and Policy Makers, Engineering Students

Table of Contents

Foreward Preface and Acknowledgements 1. Introductions 1.1 What is a Fuel Cell? 1.2 A Very Brief History of Fuel Cells 1.3 Types of Fuel Cells 1.4 How does a PEM Fuel Cell Work 1.5 Why do we Need Fuel Cells 1.6 Fuel Cell Applications 2. Fuel Cell Basic Chemistry and Thermodynamics 2.1 Basic Reactions 2.2 Heat of Reaction 2.3 Higher and Lower Heating Value of Hydrogen 2.4 Theoretical Electrical Work 2.5 Theoretical Fuel Cell Potential 2.6 Effect of Temperature 2.7 Theoretical Fuel Cell Efficiency 2.8 Carnot Efficiency Myth 2.9 Effect of Pressure 2.10 Summary 3. Fuel Cell Electrochemistry 3.1 Electrode Kinetics 3.2 Voltage Losses 3.3 Cell Potential – Polarization Curve 3.4 Distribution of Potential Across a Fuel Cell 3.5 Sensitivity of Parameters in Polarization Curve 3.6 Fuel Cell Efficiency 3.7 Implications and Use of Fuel Cell Polarization Curve 4. Main Cell Components, Materials Properties and Processes 4.1 Cell Description 4.2 Membrane 4.3 Electrode 4.4 Gas Diffusion Layer 4.5 Bipolar Plates 5. Fuel Cell Operating Conditions 5.1 Operating Pressure 5.2 Operating Temperature 5.3 Reactants Flow Rates 5.4 Reactants Humidity 5.5 Fuel Cell Mass Balance 5.6 Fuel Cell Energy Balance 6. Stack Design 6.1 Sizing of a Fuel Cell Strack 6.2 Stack Configuration 6.3 Uniform Distribution of Reactants to Each Cell 6.4 Uniform Distribution of Reactants Inside Each Cell 6.5 Heat Rem


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Academic Press
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"Of the numerous books on fuel cells I have seen come through our lab in the past few years, I find this one the most useful…I’m already planning to incorporate many items I have gleaned from this book into my public and classroom presentations on hydrogen energy." – Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Letter, September 2005
PEM Fuel Cells "are the primary candidates for light-duty vehicles, for buildings, and potentially for much smaller applications such as replacements for rechargeable batteries in video cameras." – United States Department of Energy