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Title: Hybrid approach combining multiple characterization techniques and simulations for microstructural analysis of proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrodes

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1397407
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357; AC-02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Publisher's Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Power Sources
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 344; Journal Issue: C; Related Information: CHORUS Timestamp: 2017-10-04 21:10:06; Journal ID: ISSN 0378-7753
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
Netherlands
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Cetinbas, Firat C., Ahluwalia, Rajesh K., Kariuki, Nancy, De Andrade, Vincent, Fongalland, Dash, Smith, Linda, Sharman, Jonathan, Ferreira, Paulo, Rasouli, Somaye, and Myers, Deborah J. Hybrid approach combining multiple characterization techniques and simulations for microstructural analysis of proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrodes. Netherlands: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2017.01.104.
Cetinbas, Firat C., Ahluwalia, Rajesh K., Kariuki, Nancy, De Andrade, Vincent, Fongalland, Dash, Smith, Linda, Sharman, Jonathan, Ferreira, Paulo, Rasouli, Somaye, & Myers, Deborah J. Hybrid approach combining multiple characterization techniques and simulations for microstructural analysis of proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrodes. Netherlands. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2017.01.104.
Cetinbas, Firat C., Ahluwalia, Rajesh K., Kariuki, Nancy, De Andrade, Vincent, Fongalland, Dash, Smith, Linda, Sharman, Jonathan, Ferreira, Paulo, Rasouli, Somaye, and Myers, Deborah J. Wed . "Hybrid approach combining multiple characterization techniques and simulations for microstructural analysis of proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrodes". Netherlands. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2017.01.104.
@article{osti_1397407,
title = {Hybrid approach combining multiple characterization techniques and simulations for microstructural analysis of proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrodes},
author = {Cetinbas, Firat C. and Ahluwalia, Rajesh K. and Kariuki, Nancy and De Andrade, Vincent and Fongalland, Dash and Smith, Linda and Sharman, Jonathan and Ferreira, Paulo and Rasouli, Somaye and Myers, Deborah J.},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.1016/j.jpowsour.2017.01.104},
journal = {Journal of Power Sources},
number = C,
volume = 344,
place = {Netherlands},
year = {Wed Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Wed Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2017.01.104

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 2works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

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  • The cost and performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells strongly depend on the cathode electrode due to usage of expensive platinum (Pt) group metal catalyst and sluggish reaction kinetics. Development of low Pt content high performance cathodes requires comprehensive understanding of the electrode microstructure. In this study, a new approach is presented to characterize the detailed cathode electrode microstructure from nm to μm length scales by combining information from different experimental techniques. In this context, nano-scale X-ray computed tomography (nano-CT) is performed to extract the secondary pore space of the electrode. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is employed to determinemore » primary C particle and Pt particle size distributions. X-ray scattering, with its ability to provide size distributions of orders of magnitude more particles than TEM, is used to confirm the TEM-determined size distributions. The number of primary pores that cannot be resolved by nano-CT is approximated using mercury intrusion porosimetry. An algorithm is developed to incorporate all these experimental data in one geometric representation. Upon validation of pore size distribution against gas adsorption and mercury intrusion porosimetry data, reconstructed ionomer size distribution is reported. In addition, transport related characteristics and effective properties are computed by performing simulations on the hybrid microstructure.« less
  • Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) electrodes were fabricated using a plasma-sputtering technique that deposits platinum directly on the surface of the Nafion electrolyte. This thin catalyst layer showed remarkable improvement in utilization efficiency, defined as the utilizable portion of the total deposited catalyst. This efficiency, equivalent to 0.043 mg Pt cm{sup {minus}2} loading of platinum, is about ten times higher than that of the electrodes produced by conventional methods. Application of carbon/Nafion ink on the bare Nafion surface prior to the initial sputtering, and repetition of the sputtering followed by the application of the ink on the treated surfacemore » after each sputtering, greatly enhanced the utilization efficiency of the loaded platinum.« less
  • The United States (U.S.) Department of Energy (DOE)’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is spearheading a program with industry to deploy and independently monitor five kilowatt-electric (kWe) combined heat and power (CHP) fuel cell systems (FCSs) in light commercial buildings. This publication discusses results from PNNL’s research efforts to independently evaluate manufacturer-stated engineering, economic, and environmental performance of these CHP FCSs at installation sites. The analysis was done by developing parameters for economic comparison of CHP installations. Key thermodynamic terms are first defined, followed by an economic analysis using both a standard accounting approach and a management accounting approach. Keymore » economic and environmental performance parameters are evaluated, including (1) the average per unit cost of the CHP FCSs per unit of power, (2) the average per unit cost of the CHP FCSs per unit of energy, (3) the change in greenhouse gas (GHG) and air pollution emissions with a switch from conventional power plants and furnaces to CHP FCSs; (4) the change in GHG mitigation costs from the switch; and (5) the change in human health costs related to air pollution. From the power perspective, the average per unit cost per unit of electrical power is estimated to span a range from $15–19,000/ kilowatt-electric (kWe) (depending on site-specific changes in installation, fuel, and other costs), while the average per unit cost of electrical and heat recovery power varies between $7,000 and $9,000/kW. From the energy perspective, the average per unit cost per unit of electrical energy ranges from $0.38 to $0.46/kilowatt-hour-electric (kWhe), while the average per unit cost per unit of electrical and heat recovery energy varies from $0.18 to $0.23/kWh. These values are calculated from engineering and economic performance data provided by the manufacturer (not independently measured data). The GHG emissions were estimated to decrease by one-third by shifting from a conventional energy system to a CHP FCS system. The GHG mitigation costs were also proportional to the changes in the GHG gas emissions. Human health costs were estimated to decrease significantly with a switch from a conventional system to a CHP FCS system.« less
  • Thermal (gas) nitridation of stainless steel alloys can yield low interfacial contact resistance (ICR), electrically conductive and corrosion-resistant nitride containing surface layers (Cr{sub 2}N, CrN, TiN, V{sub 2}N, VN, etc.) of interest for fuel cells, batteries, and sensors. This paper presents results of proton exchange membrane (PEM) single-cell fuel cell studies of stamped and pre-oxidized/nitrided developmental Fe-20Cr-4V weight percent (wt.%) and commercial type 2205 stainless steel alloy foils. The single-cell fuel cell behavior of the stamped and pre-oxidized/nitrided material was compared to as-stamped (no surface treatment) 904L, 2205, and Fe-20Cr-4V stainless steel alloy foils and machined graphite of similar flowmore » field design. The best fuel cell behavior among the alloys was exhibited by the pre-oxidized/nitrided Fe-20Cr-4V, which exhibited {approx}5-20% better peak power output than untreated Fe-20Cr-4V, 2205, and 904L metal stampings. Durability was assessed for pre-oxidized/nitrided Fe-20Cr-4V, 904L metal, and graphite plates by 1000+ h of cyclic single-cell fuel cell testing. All three materials showed good durability with no significant degradation in cell power output. Post-test analysis indicated no metal ion contamination of the membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) occurred with the pre-oxidized and nitrided Fe-20Cr-4V or graphite plates, and only a minor amount of contamination with the 904L plates.« less
  • Hydrodynamics of gases in the cathode of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell that is contacted to an interdigitated gas distributor are investigated using a steady-state multicomponent transport model. The model describes the two-dimensional flow patterns and the distributions of the gaseous species in the porous electrode and predicts the current density generated t the electrode and membrane interface as a function of various operating conditions and design parameters. Results from the model show that, with the forced flow-through condition created by the interdigitated gas distributor design, the diffusion layer is greatly reduced. However, even with a much thinner diffusionmore » layer, diffusion still plays a significant role in the transport of oxygen to he reaction surface. The results also show that the average current density generated at an air cathode increases with higher gas flow-through rates, thinner electrodes, and narrower shoulder widths between the inlet and outlet channels of the interdigitated gas distributor.« less