Comparative fuel cell sustainability assessment with a novel approach

Canan Acar*, Ahmet Beskese, Gul Tekin Temur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


Fuel cells have been attracting many researchers and industry partners' attention due to their clean, quiet, modular, and flexible operation characteristics. As Power-to-Gas technologies evolve and get more sustainable, well-developed fuel cells will be needed to convert the chemical energy stored in the gas form to useful products such as power and heat. For that reason, a comprehensive sustainability investigation of fuel cells is conducted by taking their economic, environmental, social, and technical performance into account. The selected fuel cells are polymer electrolyte membrane, alkaline, phosphoric acid, molten carbonate, and solid oxide. These fuel cells’ performance is comparatively investigated based on four primary and 15 sub-criteria. The selected performance criteria are economic (initial and running costs), environmental (GHG emissions, land use, solid waste generation, and water discharge quality), social (employment and training opportunities, impact on public health, and public acceptance), and technical (energy and exergy efficiencies, process control, start-up time, and scalability). This study is the first in the literature to conduct an in-detail and very inclusive sustainability evaluation of fuel cells. It is expected to guide many professionals from academia and industry towards developing cleaner, safer, more affordable, and efficient fuel cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-594
Number of pages20
JournalInternational journal of hydrogen energy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Clean energy
  • Fuel cells
  • Hydrogen
  • Multi-criteria decision making
  • Spherical fuzzy AHP
  • Sustainability
  • 2023 OA procedure


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