Can you really drink the water?
Published by Lisa Nguyen on Monday, June 25, 2012
Yes…and no. Water is the exhaust product from the fuel cell. Hydrogen enters one side of the fuel cell and oxygen from the other. The hydrogen is naturally drawn to the oxygen. To get to the oxygen molecule, the hydrogen passes through a catalyst that separates the proton and electron. After the electron does its work providing power, it meets up with the proton and oxygen to form H2O. It’s clean, distilled water, but it will have traces of the catalyst. Plus, the tailpipe is a little dirty.
A fuel cell doesn’t produce enough water to fill your glass. When we drink tailpipe water for a camera, like Ben is doing in the picture, it’s not more than a few drops. In fact, fuel cells produce about the same amount of water as gasoline vehicle—about 1/3 cup for a full day of driving.
How about what doesn’t come from the tailpipe? No smog-forming compounds, no particulate matter, no greenhouse gases. That’s why fuel cell electric vehicles are ZEVs—zero emission vehicles.