Synopses & Reviews
It sounds so simple. Just combine oxygen and hydrogen in an electrochemical reaction that produces water and electricity, and youandrsquo;ll have a clean, efficient power source. But scientists have spent decadesandmdash;and billions of dollars in government and industry fundingandmdash;developing the fuel cell. There have been successes and serendipitous discoveries along the way, but engineering a fuel cell that is both durable and affordable has proved extraordinarily difficult.
Overpotential charts the twists and turns in the ongoing quest to create the perfect fuel cell. By exploring the gap between the theory and practice of fuel cell power, Matthew N. Eisler opens a window into broader issues in the history of science, technology, and society after the Second World War, including the sociology of laboratory life, the relationship between academe, industry, and government in developing advanced technologies, the role of technology in environmental and pollution politics, and the rise of utopian discourse in science and engineering.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 275-282) and index.
About the Author
MATTHEW N. EISLER is a historian of science and technology, and is a lecturer at the University of Virgina. His research focuses on the political economy, culture, and discourse of science-based innovation, particularly in the energy and transportation sectors.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Fuel Cell Futurism
1 Device in Search of a Role
2 Military Miracle Battery
3 Fuel Cells and the Final Frontier
4 Dawn of the Commercial Fuel Cell
5 Fueling Hydrogen Futurism
6 Green Automobile Wars
7 Electrochemical Millennium