BOUND FIRST EDITIONS OF GROVE’S DESCRIPTION AND DEMONSTRATION OF THE INVENTION OF THE FIRST FUEL CELL – an improved form of voltaic cell which Faraday used in his demonstrations before the Royal Society. Simply put, fuel cell technology generates electricity within the chemical reaction created via the combination of hydrogen and oxygen. Together the two papers trace the evolution of Grove’s fuel cell. Two volumes.
William Grove was a Welsh barrister turned scientist. “While investigating the electrolysis of water, Grove observed that when the current was switched off, a small current flowed through the circuit in the opposite direction, as a result of a reaction between the electrolysis products, hydrogen and oxygen, catalyzed by the platinum electrodes. Grove recognized the possibility of combining several of these in series to form a gaseous voltaic battery, also [making] the crucially important observation that there must be a ‘notable surface of action’ between the gas, the electrolyte, and the electrode phases in a cell” (Stolten, Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, 63).
“After relating [in the first paper] a number of experiments using different metals and electrolytes as well as different containers, Grove describe[s] [in the second paper] what was to become the standard form of his battery, consisting of zinc in dilute sulfuric acid and platinum in concentrated nitric acid (or a mixture of nitric and sulfuric acids), giving an emf of nearly two volts” (Dictionary of Scientific Biography, V, 559).
ALSO INCLUDED: Michael Faraday’s “Experimental Researches in Electricity, Eleventh Series,” 1839, Volume 13, pp. 281-299; pp. 355-367; pp. 412-430. “Dr. Faraday’s Supplementary Note to Experimental Researches in Electricity, Eleventh Series,” 1839, Volume 14, pp. 34-37. First printed in the Philosophical Transactions in the same year, the eleventh series presents Faraday’s researches on electro-statical induction. This series was “undertaken with a view to test an idea which he had long possessed, that the forces of attraction and repulsion exercised by free electricity are not the resultant of actions exercised at a distance, but are propagated by means of molecular action among the contiguous particles of the insulating medium surrounding the electrified bodies, which he therefore calls the dielectric. By this idea he [was] led to some very remarkable views upon induction, or in fact upon electrical action in general” (Thomson, Phil Mag, July 1854, p. 50).
NOTE: In a separate listing we are also offering a separate collection of seven important first editions related to the invention and development of the fuel cell. Item #668
CONDITION & DETAILS: 2 Volumes. London: Richard and John E. Taylor. (8.5 x 5.5 inches; 213 x 138mm). Volume XIII: [viii], 486, . Volume 14: [viii], 552, [58 index], 4. Ex-libris bearing only a small paper label at the spine and a discreet stamp on the title page. Bound in three quarter polished black calf over marbled paper boards. GIlt-ruled and lettered at the spine. Minor rubbing and scuffing; tightly and solidly bound. Slight age toning and foxing. Both volumes are in very good condition.