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A PEM fuel cell (Polymer Electrolyte Membrane) is an electrochemical device that combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, with water and heat as its by-product. As long as fuel is supplied, the fuel cell will continue to generate power. Since the conversion of the fuel to energy takes place via an electrochemical process (not combustion) the process is clean, quiet and highly efficient--two to three times more efficient than fuel burning.
Of course there are other types of fuel cells besides PEM, including direct methanol, alkaline, phosphoric acid, molten carbonate and solid oxide. Fuel cells are currently being used in the transportation industry, as main or backup power for homes or companies and to power small electronic devices.