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Title: Impact of Polyvinylidene Fluoride on Nanofiber Cathode Structure and Durability in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

Abstract

The impact of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) as a binder component on the durability of Pt/C cathodes in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell membrane-electrode-assembly (MEA) during a carbon corrosion accelerated stress test (AST) was examined using electrochemical fuel cell data and visual inspection/analysis of the cathode morphology via electron-microscopy. Electrospun nanofiber cathode mat MEAs with a Nafion*/PVDF or Nafion/poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) binder or a slurry cathode MEA with neat Nafion or a Nafion/PVDF binder were investigated. The presence of PVDF had profound effects on the structure and chemical/electrochemical properties of a fuel cell cathode; its hydrophobic properties slowed the rate of carbon loss and its robust mechanical properties added strength to the binder. Thus, the extent of carbon loss during an AST was inversely proportional to the PVDF content of the binder and there was no observable cathode thinning nor any change in cathode porosity after the AST, when the cathode binder contained at least 50 wt.% PVDF. In terms of long-term durability, these beneficial structural effects outweighed the lower Nafion/PVDF binder conductivity and the associated lower initial power output of a Nafion/PVDF cathode MEA. For hydrophilic slurry and nanofiber cathodes with neat Nafion or Nafion/PAA fibers, low power aftermore » the carbon corrosion AST was due to greater carbon losses, cathode thinning and the collapse of cathode pores, which dominated MEA performance even though the initial cathode ECSA and mass activity were high for these two MEAs.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [3]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4]
  1. Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN (United States); Nikola Motor Company, Phoenix, AZ (United States)
  2. Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN (United States); Helmholtz Inst. for Renewable Energy, Erlangen (Germany)
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  4. Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Sustainable Transportation Office. Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1604833
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1602439
Grant/Contract Number:  
EE0007653; EE000765
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of the Electrochemical Society (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Journal of the Electrochemical Society (Online); Journal Volume: 167; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 1945-7111
Publisher:
IOP Publishing
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
08 HYDROGEN; fuel cells; electrospinning; nanofibers; durability; carbon corrosion

Citation Formats

Slack, John J., Brodt, M., Cullen, David A., Reeves, Kimberly S., More, Karren L., and Pintauro, Peter N. Impact of Polyvinylidene Fluoride on Nanofiber Cathode Structure and Durability in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1149/1945-7111/ab77fb.
Slack, John J., Brodt, M., Cullen, David A., Reeves, Kimberly S., More, Karren L., & Pintauro, Peter N. Impact of Polyvinylidene Fluoride on Nanofiber Cathode Structure and Durability in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells. United States. https://doi.org/10.1149/1945-7111/ab77fb
Slack, John J., Brodt, M., Cullen, David A., Reeves, Kimberly S., More, Karren L., and Pintauro, Peter N. Mon . "Impact of Polyvinylidene Fluoride on Nanofiber Cathode Structure and Durability in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells". United States. https://doi.org/10.1149/1945-7111/ab77fb.
@article{osti_1604833,
title = {Impact of Polyvinylidene Fluoride on Nanofiber Cathode Structure and Durability in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells},
author = {Slack, John J. and Brodt, M. and Cullen, David A. and Reeves, Kimberly S. and More, Karren L. and Pintauro, Peter N.},
abstractNote = {The impact of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) as a binder component on the durability of Pt/C cathodes in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell membrane-electrode-assembly (MEA) during a carbon corrosion accelerated stress test (AST) was examined using electrochemical fuel cell data and visual inspection/analysis of the cathode morphology via electron-microscopy. Electrospun nanofiber cathode mat MEAs with a Nafion*/PVDF or Nafion/poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) binder or a slurry cathode MEA with neat Nafion or a Nafion/PVDF binder were investigated. The presence of PVDF had profound effects on the structure and chemical/electrochemical properties of a fuel cell cathode; its hydrophobic properties slowed the rate of carbon loss and its robust mechanical properties added strength to the binder. Thus, the extent of carbon loss during an AST was inversely proportional to the PVDF content of the binder and there was no observable cathode thinning nor any change in cathode porosity after the AST, when the cathode binder contained at least 50 wt.% PVDF. In terms of long-term durability, these beneficial structural effects outweighed the lower Nafion/PVDF binder conductivity and the associated lower initial power output of a Nafion/PVDF cathode MEA. For hydrophilic slurry and nanofiber cathodes with neat Nafion or Nafion/PAA fibers, low power after the carbon corrosion AST was due to greater carbon losses, cathode thinning and the collapse of cathode pores, which dominated MEA performance even though the initial cathode ECSA and mass activity were high for these two MEAs.},
doi = {10.1149/1945-7111/ab77fb},
journal = {Journal of the Electrochemical Society (Online)},
number = 5,
volume = 167,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {3}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
https://doi.org/10.1149/1945-7111/ab77fb

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