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Title: The contamination mechanism and behavior of amide bond containing organic contaminant on PEMFC

In this paper, a study is presented of the effects of an organic contaminant containing an amide bond (-CONH-), ε-caprolactam, on polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The ε-caprolactam has been detected in leachates from polyphthalamide materials that are being considered for use as balance-of-plant structural materials for PEMFCs. Contamination effects from ε-caprolactam in Nafion membranes are shown to be controlled by temperature. A possible explanation of the temperature effect is the endothermic ring-opening reaction of the amide bond (-NHCO-) of the cyclic ε-caprolactam. UV-vis and ATR-IR spectroscopy studies confirmed the presence of open ring structure of ε-caprolactam in membranes. The ECSA and kinetic current for the ORR of the Pt/C catalyst were also investigated and were observed to decrease upon contamination by the ε-caprolactam. By comparison of the CVs of ammonia and acetic acid, we confirmed the adsorption of carboxylic acid (-COOH) or carboxylate anion (-COO-) onto the surface of the Pt. In conclusion, a comparison of in situ voltage losses at 80°C and 50°C also revealed temperature effects, especially in the membrane, as a result of the dramatic increase in the HFR.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia, SC (United States). Dept. of Chemical Engineering
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States). Chemical and Materials Science Center
  3. Univ. of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL (United States). Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4651
Grant/Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308; ZGB-0-99180-1
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of the Electrochemical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 162; Journal Issue: 4; Related Information: Journal of the Electrochemical Society; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4651
The Electrochemical Society
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia, SC (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fuel Cell Technologies Office (EE-3F)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; caprolactam; absorption; organic contaminant; amide bond
OSTI Identifier: