Francis Thomas Bacon (1904-1992), British engineer who developed the first practical hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells. Building on the work of Sir William Grove, who discovered the principles behind the operation of fuel cells in 1839, Bacon made a number of breakthroughs. These included using potassium hydroxide (KOH) instead of acid electrolytes, or using porous "gas-diffusion electrodes" rather than solid electrodes and pressurized gases to keep the electrolyte from "flooding" the tiny pores of the electrodes. In 1932, these advances resulted in the first successful fuel cell devices. In 1959, a quarter of a century later, Bacon and his coworkers demonstrated a practical five-kilowatt system capable of powering a welding machine.
Eisler, Mathew, March 2005. Francis Thomas Bacon and the Fuel Cell. IEEE-USA Today's Engineer Online.
Francis Bacon (Oregon State University)