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Title: Carbon Corrosion in PEM Fuel Cells and the Development of Accelerated Stress Tests

Here, carbon corrosion is an important degradation mechanism that can impair PEMFC performance through the destruction of catalyst connectivity, collapse of the electrode pore structure, loss of hydrophobic character, and an increase of the catalyst particle size. In this study, carbon corrosion was quantified in situ by measurement of carbon dioxide in the fuel cell exhaust gases through non-dispersive infrared spectroscopy during simulated drive cycle operations consisting of potential cycling with varying upper and lower potential limits. These studies were conducted for three different types of carbon supports. A reduction in the catalyst layer thickness was observed during a simulated drive cycle operation with a concomitant decrease in catalyst layer porosity, which led to performance losses due to increased mass transport limitations. The observed thickness reduction was primarily due to compaction of the catalyst layer, with the actual mass of carbon oxidation (loss) contributing only a small fraction (< 20%). The dynamics of carbon corrosion are presented along with a model that simulates the transient and dynamic corrosion rates observed in our experiments. Accelerated carbon corrosion stress tests are presented and their effects are compared to those observed for the drive cycle test.
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  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
  3. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); General Motors, Detroit, MI (United States)
  4. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4651
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396; AC02-06CH11357; AC05-00OR22725
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of the Electrochemical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 165; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4651
The Electrochemical Society
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fuel Cell Technologies Office (EE-3F); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22). Scientific User Facilities Division
Contributing Orgs:
Ion Power, New Castle, DE (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
25 ENERGY STORAGE; automotive application; carbon support corrosion; polymer electrolyte fuel cells
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1435535; OSTI ID: 1437377; OSTI ID: 1460173