From a Simple Battery to the PEM Fuel Cell
For Student Groups

Primary and rechargeable batteries are indispensable in our daily lives. However, not everybody knows how a battery works. Why does it provide electricity?

Book Batteries and PEM Fuel Cell

16 to 20 years
1 day
Maximum number of participants


  • Investigation of the voltage series of the metals
  • Measurement of standard electrode potentials with a simplified hydrogen electrode
  • Construction of a DANIELL cell
  • Voltage measurements on concentration cells
  • Construction of a zinc-bromine battery, a rechargeable battery
  • Construction of a simple hydrogen fuel cell
  • Voltage measurements on a PEM fuel cell

This course provides an experimental introduction to electrochemistry and thus the basics to understand the principle of batteries and modern PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) fuel cells. Based on a simple galvanic cell, the voltage series of the metals is developed, finding its application in the DANIELL cell. Measurements with concentration cells allow calculations of the electric potential difference using the Nernst equation. Experiments with a rechargeable battery and a simple fuel cell lead on to the PEM fuel cell. The course can be supplemented by examining a non-metal cell.