Dr Haridas Chandran 2
Students will use Hoffman’s electrolysis apparatus to understand the fundamental concept of splitting water into H2 and O2 gases. They will connect one end of the proton exchange membrane (PMC) fuel cell to run a few electrical appliances (small fan and light bulb). Students will use Brennstoffzelle fuel cell from their lab that produces H2 gas only by the electrolysis of distilled water–and with the combination of PMC–run the electrical appliances. They will compare their output voltage from these two experimental arrangements. Since the above mentioned experiments produce H2 gas through electrolysis of distilled water, students will build their own electrolysis apparatus that produces H2 gas through chemical reactions of chloride salts with distilled water. They will repeat the experiment by varying different parameters, namely, concentration of the chloride salts and cascading PEM fuel cell to increase the output voltage to run high voltage equipment. Students will use vernier probes to measure the temperature and the pH value of the chemical reaction. From the known volume of the H2 gas, students will determine the pressure by using Boyle’s law and concentration of the gas produced. From these parameters, they can determine which reaction is capable of producing the highest voltage that can be used to produce large amounts of electricity. Students will present their data at a conference and publish their findings in a journal to demonstrate that they are looking for alternate energy sources in our region, which depends only on coal seams.