Instructables

Is it possible to convert a catalytic converter to a hydrogen fuel cell?

I've read that catalytic covnerters use platinum and hydrogen fuel cell required platinum.
So is it possible?
and is it a cheaper/more affective way to make a fuel cell then by buy platinum to build the fuel cell or buying an actual fuel cell?

One way or another you'll end up paying a lot of money. Platnum isn't cheap no matter where you get it from. Have you seen what a new catalytic converter goes for? And yes you will need a new one. Old ones have platinum still in them but not as much as a new one. Not to mention all the dirt and corrosion in used ones would make it unusable. You also gotta consider the work that will be involved in reclaiming the platinum or converting the catalytic converter so you can use it in a fuel cell.

If there was a cheap way of making fuel cells then every home in the country would have them. But the problem is it cost over $500000 for one that can power a single family home. Then you have the maintenance cost of the system. The platinum plates don't last forever and will have to be replaced every 5 to 10 years or so. Then you have the cost of the liquid hydrogen to run the system. In the end if your looking to save money and get off the grid this is not a good option. It will cost you more to maintain and run a fuel cell then it would to stay on the current electrical grid.
 "If there was a cheap way of making fuel cells then every home in the country would have them..."

So why not try to find a cheaper catalyst?
Cheaper Hydrogen Fuel Cells: Utility of Non-Precious-Metal Catalysts Documented
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110421141628.htm

Of course cost is not the only barrier to bringing a new product to market.
This is one good example of good ideas that are impractical or costly.
verence1 year ago
No.

A catalytic converter is a ceramic foam with some platinum as reaction starter. You might press hydrogen and oxygen through them but there is no internal structure to attach the electrical contacts.

Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!