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Title: Influence of ionomer content on the structure and performance of PEFC membrane electrode assemblies

Abstract

Nafion ionomer content of the cathode catalyst-layer of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC), made by the decal hot pressing method, has been investigated for its effect on performance and structure of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA). Varying Nafion content was shown to have an effect on performance within the entire range of polarization curves (i.e. kinetic, ohmic, and mass-transport regions) as well as on the structure. AFM analysis shows the effect of Nafion on the dispersion of carbon aggregates. Further analysis using TEM demonstrates the effect of Nafion on both the dispersion of carbon aggregates and the distribution and thickness of the Nafion ionomer films surrounding the catalyst/carbon aggregates. The MEA structure change correlates well with the MEA performance on both kinetics and mass-transport region. The determining factors on the performance of MEA are the interfacial zone (between the ionomer and catalyst particle), the dispersion of catalyst/carbon aggregates and the distribution/thickness of Nafion films. An optimized Nafion content in the range of 27 6 wt.% for the cathode was determined for an E-TEK 20% Pt3Cr/C catalyst at a loading of 0.20mg Pt/cm2.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [2]
  1. Indiana University and Purdue University
  2. Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)
  3. ORNL
  4. Case Western Reserve University
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1023340
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Electrochimica Acta
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 55; Journal Issue: 24; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4686
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; CARBON; CATALYSTS; CATHODES; DISTRIBUTION; ELECTRODES; HOT PRESSING; KINETICS; MEMBRANES; PERFORMANCE; POLARIZATION; PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE FUEL CELLS; THICKNESS; Ionomer content; Membrane electrode assembly; MEA; Catalyst-layer structure; Polymer electrolyte fuel cell; PEFC

Citation Formats

Xie, Jian, Xu, Fan, WoodIII, David L, More, Karren Leslie, Zawodzinski, Thomas, and Smith, Wayne H. Influence of ionomer content on the structure and performance of PEFC membrane electrode assemblies. United States: N. p., 2010. Web. doi:10.1016/j.electacta.2010.06.067.
Xie, Jian, Xu, Fan, WoodIII, David L, More, Karren Leslie, Zawodzinski, Thomas, & Smith, Wayne H. Influence of ionomer content on the structure and performance of PEFC membrane electrode assemblies. United States. doi:10.1016/j.electacta.2010.06.067.
Xie, Jian, Xu, Fan, WoodIII, David L, More, Karren Leslie, Zawodzinski, Thomas, and Smith, Wayne H. Fri . "Influence of ionomer content on the structure and performance of PEFC membrane electrode assemblies". United States. doi:10.1016/j.electacta.2010.06.067.
@article{osti_1023340,
title = {Influence of ionomer content on the structure and performance of PEFC membrane electrode assemblies},
author = {Xie, Jian and Xu, Fan and WoodIII, David L and More, Karren Leslie and Zawodzinski, Thomas and Smith, Wayne H},
abstractNote = {Nafion ionomer content of the cathode catalyst-layer of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC), made by the decal hot pressing method, has been investigated for its effect on performance and structure of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA). Varying Nafion content was shown to have an effect on performance within the entire range of polarization curves (i.e. kinetic, ohmic, and mass-transport regions) as well as on the structure. AFM analysis shows the effect of Nafion on the dispersion of carbon aggregates. Further analysis using TEM demonstrates the effect of Nafion on both the dispersion of carbon aggregates and the distribution and thickness of the Nafion ionomer films surrounding the catalyst/carbon aggregates. The MEA structure change correlates well with the MEA performance on both kinetics and mass-transport region. The determining factors on the performance of MEA are the interfacial zone (between the ionomer and catalyst particle), the dispersion of catalyst/carbon aggregates and the distribution/thickness of Nafion films. An optimized Nafion content in the range of 27 6 wt.% for the cathode was determined for an E-TEK 20% Pt3Cr/C catalyst at a loading of 0.20mg Pt/cm2.},
doi = {10.1016/j.electacta.2010.06.067},
journal = {Electrochimica Acta},
issn = {0013-4686},
number = 24,
volume = 55,
place = {United States},
year = {2010},
month = {1}
}