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Title: Electrolyzer Durability at Low Catalyst Loading and with Dynamic Operation

Abstract

Membrane electrode assembly durability is explored for polymer electrolyte membrane electrolyzers, focusing on catalyst (iridium, Ir) degradation at low loading and dynamic operation. Low catalyst loading and high cell potential are critical to observing durability losses over reasonably short experiments, regardless of test profile. While small losses are seen during steady operation, cycling greatly accelerates performance decreases. Ir dissolution mechanistically drives performance loss, thinning the anode catalyst layer and resulting in increasing kinetic losses during extended operation. While morphological changes to the catalyst layer are found, increasing polarization resistance suggests that degradation at the catalyst/ionomer/membrane interface may also contribute. Electrolyzer operation with model wind and solar profiles results in less severe performance losses compared to triangle- and square-wave potential cycling due to the lower cycling frequency of the renewable profiles. However, in both cases kinetics dominated the loss, indicating that higher cycling rates accelerate loss and can be used to project the impact of intermittency on device lifetime. These results suggest that performance losses impact electrolyzers' abilities to operate with low catalyst loading and intermittent inputs, and that a combination of component development and system controls are needed to limit potential and performance loss.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (United States)
  3. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
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:
1571705
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1573203
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5900-75144
Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4651
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of the Electrochemical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 166; Journal Issue: 15; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4651
Publisher:
The Electrochemical Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; electrocatalysis; energy conversion

Citation Formats

Alia, Shaun M., Stariha, Sarah, and Borup, Rod L. Electrolyzer Durability at Low Catalyst Loading and with Dynamic Operation. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1149/2.0231915jes.
Alia, Shaun M., Stariha, Sarah, & Borup, Rod L. Electrolyzer Durability at Low Catalyst Loading and with Dynamic Operation. United States. doi:10.1149/2.0231915jes.
Alia, Shaun M., Stariha, Sarah, and Borup, Rod L. Thu . "Electrolyzer Durability at Low Catalyst Loading and with Dynamic Operation". United States. doi:10.1149/2.0231915jes.
@article{osti_1571705,
title = {Electrolyzer Durability at Low Catalyst Loading and with Dynamic Operation},
author = {Alia, Shaun M. and Stariha, Sarah and Borup, Rod L.},
abstractNote = {Membrane electrode assembly durability is explored for polymer electrolyte membrane electrolyzers, focusing on catalyst (iridium, Ir) degradation at low loading and dynamic operation. Low catalyst loading and high cell potential are critical to observing durability losses over reasonably short experiments, regardless of test profile. While small losses are seen during steady operation, cycling greatly accelerates performance decreases. Ir dissolution mechanistically drives performance loss, thinning the anode catalyst layer and resulting in increasing kinetic losses during extended operation. While morphological changes to the catalyst layer are found, increasing polarization resistance suggests that degradation at the catalyst/ionomer/membrane interface may also contribute. Electrolyzer operation with model wind and solar profiles results in less severe performance losses compared to triangle- and square-wave potential cycling due to the lower cycling frequency of the renewable profiles. However, in both cases kinetics dominated the loss, indicating that higher cycling rates accelerate loss and can be used to project the impact of intermittency on device lifetime. These results suggest that performance losses impact electrolyzers' abilities to operate with low catalyst loading and intermittent inputs, and that a combination of component development and system controls are needed to limit potential and performance loss.},
doi = {10.1149/2.0231915jes},
journal = {Journal of the Electrochemical Society},
number = 15,
volume = 166,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {10}
}

Journal Article:
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DOI: 10.1149/2.0231915jes

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