Identification of performance degradations in catalyst layer and gas diffusion layer in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

Xu Zhang, Yupeng Yang, Xuyang Zhang, Hongtan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Degradations occur in both the catalyst layer (CL) and gas diffusion layer (GDL) in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) due to different mechanisms. Identification of the locations and mechanisms of degradations is critical in mitigating them. In this study, performance degradation of a PEMFC is examined using an accelerated stress test (AST) protocol. Using a novel methodology of combining fresh and aged MEAs with either fresh or aged GDLs, the origins of losses in either CL or GDL are identified. Increase in mass transport resistance caused by increases in water saturation and in oxygen transport resistance are further isolated. The results show although kinetic degradation accounts for the primary performance decay, mass transport losses increase significantly due to the deterioration in water transport and increase in oxygen transport resistances. The increase in mass transport resistance in CL is greater than in GDL. The aged CL tends to retain more liquid water, causing significant decrease in actual porosity. Water transport in aged GDL also deteriorates and leads to increase in mass transport loss, especially under high relative humidity (RH). Oxygen transport resistance increases significantly in aged CL. However, there is no apparent increase in oxygen transport resistance in aged GDLs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number227580
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume449
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 15 2020

Keywords

  • Catalyst layer
  • Degradation
  • Gas diffusion layer
  • Mass transport loss
  • Oxygen transport resistance
  • Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of performance degradations in catalyst layer and gas diffusion layer in proton exchange membrane fuel cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this