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Fuel Cell Pioneers

Fuel Cell Pioneers

A Look Back Beyond the Horizon

The development of hydrogen fuel cell technology is a story full of incredible pioneers and innovators – giants on whose shoulders we stand as we strive to make the hydrogen economy a reality. There are a few names that shine particularly brightly, a few scientists and inventors whose contributions were truly revolutionary. There is Christian Schonbein who developed the first crude fuel cell in 1838. William Robert Grove is one of them, of course, as the inventor of the 'gas voltaic battery'. So is Francis Thomas Bacon, whose experiments with electrolytes and electrodes resulted in the 50kW Alkali fuel cell. Also, it's impossible to overlook George Heise and Erwin Schumacher's groundbreaking research that paved the way for the hydrogen powered machines of today.

Then there's the small team of engineers who built on Heise's and Schumacher's work to create some of the first ever fuel cell vehicles for Union Carbide and later for NASA's Apollo missions. Led by Karl Kordesch and Carl A. Grulke, this extraordinary group laid the foundations for companies like Horizon, half a century later, to bring this technology onto our roads and into our homes and schools.

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