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Title: Analysis of the Durability of PEM FC Membrane Electrode Assemblies in Automotive Applications through the Fundamental Understanding of Membrane and MEA Degradation Pathways

The Project focused on mitigation of degradation processes on membrane electrode assemblies. The approach was to develop a model to improve understanding of the mechanisms, and to use it to focus mitigation strategies. The detailed effects of various accelerated stress tests (ASTs) were evaluated to determine the best subset to use in model development. A combination of ASTs developed by the Fuel Cell Commercialization Conference of Japan and the Fuel Cell Tech Team were selected for use. The ASTs were compared by measuring effects on performance, running in-situ diagnostics, and performing microscopic analyses of the membrane electrode assemblies after the stress tests were complete. Nissan ran FCCJ AST protocols and performed in situ and ex-situ electrochemical testing. DuPont ran FCTT and USFCC AST protocols, performed scanning and transmission electron microscopy and ran in-situ electrochemical tests. Other ex-situ testing was performed by IIT, along with much of the data analysis and model development. These tests were then modified to generate time-dependent data of the degradation mechanisms. Three different catalyst types and four membrane variants were then used to generate data for a theoretically-based degradation model. An important part of the approach was to use commercially available materials in the electrodes andmore » membranes made in scalable semiworks processes rather than lab-based materials. This constraint ensured all materials would be practicable for full-scale testing. The initial model for the electrode layer was tested for internal consistency and agreement with the data. A Java-based computer application was developed to analyze the time-dependent AST data using polarization curves with four different cathode gas feeds and generate model parameters. Data showed very good reproducibility and good consistency as cathode catalyst loadings were varied. At the point of termination of the project, a basic electrode model was in hand with several areas identified for improvement. Time dependence and the membrane portion of the model were not addressed due to cancellation of Phase 2 of the Project.« less
  1. DuPont
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
E. I. duPond de Nemours, Wilmington, DE
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; USDOE EE Office of Fuel Cell Technologies (EE-2H)
Contributing Orgs:
Nissan Technical Center North America, farmington Hills, MI; Illinois Institute Of Technology, Chicago, IL
Country of Publication:
United States
08 HYDROGEN Fuel Cell; Fuel Cell Durability; Accelerated Stress Test; Fuel Cell Model