The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion

Recognising the contribution of Wales in contemporary society

The Transactions

home > Transactions > Volume 23 - 2017 > W. R. GROVE, THE FUEL CELL AND THE HYDROGEN ECONOMY

W. R. GROVE, THE FUEL CELL AND THE HYDROGEN ECONOMY

William Robert Grove (1811–1896), the inventor of the ‘Grove cell’, was born in Swansea and trained for the law. As a gifted mathematician and scientist, he played a pioneering role in the development of fuel- cell technology in the nineteenth century, alongside contemporaries such as Michael Faraday. This article surveys Grove’s life and accomplishments, in particular his invention of the first-ever fuel cell and his award of the Royal Society Medal in 1847. The article assesses the scale of Grove’s contribution to modern physics and the development of the emerging hydrogen economy.

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