A fuel cell is an electrochemical device that combines hydrogen fuel with oxygen to produce electricity, heat and water. The fuel cell is similar to a battery in that an electrochemical reaction takes place as long as fuel is available. The hydrogen fuel is stored in a pressurized container and oxygen is taken from the air. Because of the absence of a burning process, there are no harmful emissions, and the only by-product is pure water.
The supercapacitor, also known as ultracapacitor or double-layer capacitor, differs from a regular capacitor in that it has a very high capacitance. A capacitor stores energy by means of a static charge as opposed to an electrochemical reaction. Applying a voltage differential on the positive and negative plates charges the capacitor. This is similar to the buildup of electrical charge when walking on a carpet.
As part of ongoing research to examine performance degradation caused by cycling, Cadex tested a large volume of portable batteries for wireless communication devices. The population consists of nickel-cadmium, nickel-metal-hydride and lithium‑ion. The batteries were prepared by applying an initial charge, followed by a regime of full discharge/charge cycles.
Pioneer work with the lithium battery began in 1912 under G.N. Lewis, but it was not until the early 1970s that the first non-rechargeable lithium batteries became commercially available. Attempts to develop rechargeable lithium batteries followed in the 1980s but the endeavor failed because of instabilities in the metallic lithium used as anode material.
Lithium is the lightest of all metals, has the greatest electrochemical potential and provides the largest specific energy per weight.