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The membrane electrode assembly (MEA) of a PEM fuel cell can be recycled by contacting the MEA with a lower alkyl alcohol solvent which separates the membrane from the anode and cathode layers of the assembly. The resulting solution containing both the polymer membrane and supported noble metal catalysts can be heated under mild conditions to disperse the polymer membrane as particles and the supported noble metal catalysts and polymer membrane particles separated by known filtration means.
Process for recycling components of a PEM fuel cell membrane electrode assembly
The membrane electrode assemblies of fuel cells are recycled to recover the catalyst precious metals from the assemblies. The assemblies are cryogenically embrittled and pulverized to form a powder. The pulverized assemblies are then mixed with a surfactant to form a paste which is contacted with an acid solution to leach precious metals from the pulverized membranes.
Simplified process for leaching precious metals from fuel cell membrane electrode assemblies
A method is provided for measuring the concentration of a catalytic clement in a fuel cell powder. The method includes depositing on a porous substrate at least one layer of a powder mixture comprising the fuel cell powder and an internal standard material, ablating a sample of the powder mixture using a laser, and vaporizing the sample using an inductively coupled plasma. A normalized concentration of catalytic element in the sample is determined by quantifying the intensity of a first signal correlated to the amount of catalytic element in the sample, quantifying the intensity of a second signal correlated to the amount of internal standard material in the sample, and using a ratio of the first signal intensity to the second signal intensity to cancel out the effects of sample size.
Method for measuring recovery of catalytic elements from fuel cells
A method for recovering catalytic elements from a fuel cell membrane electrode assembly is provided. The method includes converting the membrane electrode assembly into a particulate material, wetting the particulate material, forming a slurry comprising the wetted particulate material and an acid leachate adapted to dissolve at least one of the catalytic elements into a soluble catalytic element salt, separating the slurry into a depleted particulate material and a supernatant containing the catalytic element salt, and washing the depleted particulate material to remove any catalytic element salt retained within pores in the depleted particulate material.
Method for recovering catalytic elements from fuel cell membrane electrode assemblies
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