Fuel Cells
by reesfilms

Price at time of review: $140.00
reesfilms pty ltd
Blackburn, Australia,

Grade Level: 11-College

Reviewed by Thomas Brown
Retired Science Teacher

The Fuel Cells video provides a thorough discussion of the operation and possible value of fuel cells in our society. The DVD covers all aspects of fuel cells, from their history to the different types of cells in present use, to the challenges that will be faced in further developing this technology.

This video would provide any chemistry class with an excellent example of how redox reactions are used in our everyday world. Teachers would especially find this program to be useful as a way to reinforce the concept of redox reactions. But it would also give them many opportunities to discuss the pros and cons that society must consider when making a decision about whether to utilize a new technology or not. The film begins with a brief history of the fuel cell, highlighting the importance of fuel cells on the Apollo missions of the 1960s. The chemistry of different types of fuel cells–alkaline fuel cells, phosphoric acid and solid oxide–is discussed in detail. Specific uses for each type of fuel cell are also examined.

The viewer is taught that fuel cells can provide an alternative means of powering our cars, our homes, and even the multitude of electronic devices so widespread in today’s society. Finally the film exams society’s challenge in bringing each type of fuel cell into widespread use as well as compares the environmental impact of fuel cells relative to other sources of energy. The film presents a very balanced approach to the carbon footprint created by the use of each fuel cell.

Fuel Cells is a comprehensive overview of a technology that is likely to get more common in the future as our society continues to seek out ways to maintain our present standard of living in a world with limits on the fuels needed to accomplish that. This DVD could help teachers introduce fuel cells while reviewing redox reactions. It could also be used to discuss the role of science and technology in society as well as provide ideas for further student research. Fuel Cells is one of a series of DVDs about Redox Reactions (see www.reesfilms.com for details).

Review posted on 8/21/2013

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