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Title: Thinning of Cathode Catalyst Layer in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells Due to Foreign Cation Contamination

Abstract

Four hundred hour fuel cell tests were performed on commercial, as-received and Ca2+ contaminated catalyst coated membranes (CCMs) to evaluate the effects of long term exposure of foreign cations on fuel cell performance and degradation. Following testing, significant thinning of the cathode catalyst layer was observed across the entire active area in the contaminated cell, while only localized thinning was observed in the as-received baseline CCM. Analysis of the elemental maps and line intensity profiles of platinum (Pt) obtained from energy dispersive X-ray spectrum (EDX) shows minimal change in total platinum content across the thickness of the catalyst layer, and hence loss of carbon is suspected to be the cause of the thinning. A numerical model is employed to show the foreign cation redistribution during testing, which shows proton depletion in the cathode catalyst layer when the CCM is contaminated with foreign cations. We hypothesize that this lack of protons leads to accelerated carbon corrosion in the cathode to supply protons to oxygen reduction where foreign cations block transport of protons. Here, a carbon corrosion scheme is presented which shows that under the operating potentials of the cell, carbon oxidation can occur, leading to the observed thinning.

Authors:
ORCiD logo; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1420205
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1509896
Grant/Contract Number:  
EE0000467
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of the Electrochemical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Journal of the Electrochemical Society Journal Volume: 165 Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4651
Publisher:
The Electrochemical Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
25 ENERGY STORAGE; Carbon Corrosion; Catalyst Layer Thinning; Cation Contamination

Citation Formats

Banas, Charles J., Uddin, Md. Aman, Park, Jaehyung, Bonville, Leonard J., and Pasaogullari, Ugur. Thinning of Cathode Catalyst Layer in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells Due to Foreign Cation Contamination. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1149/2.0021806jes.
Banas, Charles J., Uddin, Md. Aman, Park, Jaehyung, Bonville, Leonard J., & Pasaogullari, Ugur. Thinning of Cathode Catalyst Layer in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells Due to Foreign Cation Contamination. United States. doi:10.1149/2.0021806jes.
Banas, Charles J., Uddin, Md. Aman, Park, Jaehyung, Bonville, Leonard J., and Pasaogullari, Ugur. Fri . "Thinning of Cathode Catalyst Layer in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells Due to Foreign Cation Contamination". United States. doi:10.1149/2.0021806jes.
@article{osti_1420205,
title = {Thinning of Cathode Catalyst Layer in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells Due to Foreign Cation Contamination},
author = {Banas, Charles J. and Uddin, Md. Aman and Park, Jaehyung and Bonville, Leonard J. and Pasaogullari, Ugur},
abstractNote = {Four hundred hour fuel cell tests were performed on commercial, as-received and Ca2+ contaminated catalyst coated membranes (CCMs) to evaluate the effects of long term exposure of foreign cations on fuel cell performance and degradation. Following testing, significant thinning of the cathode catalyst layer was observed across the entire active area in the contaminated cell, while only localized thinning was observed in the as-received baseline CCM. Analysis of the elemental maps and line intensity profiles of platinum (Pt) obtained from energy dispersive X-ray spectrum (EDX) shows minimal change in total platinum content across the thickness of the catalyst layer, and hence loss of carbon is suspected to be the cause of the thinning. A numerical model is employed to show the foreign cation redistribution during testing, which shows proton depletion in the cathode catalyst layer when the CCM is contaminated with foreign cations. We hypothesize that this lack of protons leads to accelerated carbon corrosion in the cathode to supply protons to oxygen reduction where foreign cations block transport of protons. Here, a carbon corrosion scheme is presented which shows that under the operating potentials of the cell, carbon oxidation can occur, leading to the observed thinning.},
doi = {10.1149/2.0021806jes},
journal = {Journal of the Electrochemical Society},
number = 6,
volume = 165,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {2}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1149/2.0021806jes

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