skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Performance Enhancement of PEM Electrolyzers Through Iridium-Coated Titanium Porous Transport Layers

Abstract

Titanium-based porous transport layers (PTL) used in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) water electrolyzers suffer from surface passivation (titanium oxidation), which increases the interface resistance between the PTL and electrode. For long-term operation, PTLs are typically coated with considerable amounts of platinum or gold to ensure reasonable performance profiles over time. Moreover, it is well known that the oxide forms of platinum and gold are not stable under electrolysis conditions. In this study, an easy and scalable method is introduced to protect the titanium PTL from passivation by sputtering very thin layers of iridium onto commercially-available titanium PTLs. The iridium layer reduces the overall ohmic resistance of the PTL/catalyst layer interface and improves the cell's performance to that achieved with carbon-based PTLs. The coating process homogeneously deposited iridium throughout the inner structure of the PTL. The findings of this study may lead to the use of iridium as a protective layer for titanium PTLs, potentially enable operation at increased cell voltages and lead to increased electrolyzer durability.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ORCiD logo; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fuel Cell Technologies Office (EE-3F)
OSTI Identifier:
1485561
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5900-72433
Journal ID: ISSN 1388-2481
DOE Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Electrochemistry Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 97; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 1388-2481
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; iridium; porous transport layer; PTL; plasma sputtering; hydrogen; PEM water electrolyzers

Citation Formats

Liu, Chang, Carmo, Marcelo, Bender, Guido, Everwand, Andreas, Lickert, Thomas, Young, James L., Smolinka, Tom, Stolten, Detlef, and Lehnert, Werner. Performance Enhancement of PEM Electrolyzers Through Iridium-Coated Titanium Porous Transport Layers. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1016/j.elecom.2018.10.021.
Liu, Chang, Carmo, Marcelo, Bender, Guido, Everwand, Andreas, Lickert, Thomas, Young, James L., Smolinka, Tom, Stolten, Detlef, & Lehnert, Werner. Performance Enhancement of PEM Electrolyzers Through Iridium-Coated Titanium Porous Transport Layers. United States. doi:10.1016/j.elecom.2018.10.021.
Liu, Chang, Carmo, Marcelo, Bender, Guido, Everwand, Andreas, Lickert, Thomas, Young, James L., Smolinka, Tom, Stolten, Detlef, and Lehnert, Werner. Sat . "Performance Enhancement of PEM Electrolyzers Through Iridium-Coated Titanium Porous Transport Layers". United States. doi:10.1016/j.elecom.2018.10.021.
@article{osti_1485561,
title = {Performance Enhancement of PEM Electrolyzers Through Iridium-Coated Titanium Porous Transport Layers},
author = {Liu, Chang and Carmo, Marcelo and Bender, Guido and Everwand, Andreas and Lickert, Thomas and Young, James L. and Smolinka, Tom and Stolten, Detlef and Lehnert, Werner},
abstractNote = {Titanium-based porous transport layers (PTL) used in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) water electrolyzers suffer from surface passivation (titanium oxidation), which increases the interface resistance between the PTL and electrode. For long-term operation, PTLs are typically coated with considerable amounts of platinum or gold to ensure reasonable performance profiles over time. Moreover, it is well known that the oxide forms of platinum and gold are not stable under electrolysis conditions. In this study, an easy and scalable method is introduced to protect the titanium PTL from passivation by sputtering very thin layers of iridium onto commercially-available titanium PTLs. The iridium layer reduces the overall ohmic resistance of the PTL/catalyst layer interface and improves the cell's performance to that achieved with carbon-based PTLs. The coating process homogeneously deposited iridium throughout the inner structure of the PTL. The findings of this study may lead to the use of iridium as a protective layer for titanium PTLs, potentially enable operation at increased cell voltages and lead to increased electrolyzer durability.},
doi = {10.1016/j.elecom.2018.10.021},
journal = {Electrochemistry Communications},
issn = {1388-2481},
number = C,
volume = 97,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {12}
}