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Title: Effects of the Transport/Catalyst Layer Interface and Catalyst Loading on Mass and Charge Transport Phenomena in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Water Electrolysis Devices

Abstract

The properties of porous transport layers (PTL) in electrolysis devices and their effects on cell performance have been studied extensively in recent literature. This paper provides a detailed analysis with regards to the transport in the catalyst layer (CL). The work demonstrated that the catalyst loading affects the sensitivity of electrolysis performance to PTL properties, particularly those of the PTL surface in contact with the CL. It was demonstrated that upon reducing catalyst loading, PTL properties had an increased effect on the performance of PEMWE cells. While we observed mild performance variations among PTLs when using a high anode catalyst loading, strong correlations between PTL surface properties and cell performance existed at a low catalyst loading. PTL properties affected performance by influencing the in-plane conductivity and permeability of the CL. The variation of apparent exchange current density and apparent CL bubble coverage with the stoichiometric flow rate was studied at low anode feed rates. This led to the emergence of a PTL grain size effect on apparent bubble coverage at high catalyst loading. We provide a descriptive analysis of the phenomena causing voltage losses in PEMWE devices. These findings are important for electrochemical modeling and designing the PTL/CL interface.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ORCiD logo
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office
OSTI Identifier:
1605957
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1660004
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5900-76035
Journal ID: ISSN 1945-7111
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO308; AC36-08GO28308
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: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 1945-7111
Publisher:
IOP Publishing
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; PEM; electrolysis; transport layers; catalyst layers

Citation Formats

Lopata, J., Kang, Z., Young, J., Bender, G., Weidner, J. W., and Shimpalee, S. Effects of the Transport/Catalyst Layer Interface and Catalyst Loading on Mass and Charge Transport Phenomena in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Water Electrolysis Devices. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. https://doi.org/10.1149/1945-7111/ab7f87.
Lopata, J., Kang, Z., Young, J., Bender, G., Weidner, J. W., & Shimpalee, S. Effects of the Transport/Catalyst Layer Interface and Catalyst Loading on Mass and Charge Transport Phenomena in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Water Electrolysis Devices. United States. https://doi.org/10.1149/1945-7111/ab7f87
Lopata, J., Kang, Z., Young, J., Bender, G., Weidner, J. W., and Shimpalee, S. Wed . "Effects of the Transport/Catalyst Layer Interface and Catalyst Loading on Mass and Charge Transport Phenomena in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Water Electrolysis Devices". United States. https://doi.org/10.1149/1945-7111/ab7f87.
@article{osti_1605957,
title = {Effects of the Transport/Catalyst Layer Interface and Catalyst Loading on Mass and Charge Transport Phenomena in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Water Electrolysis Devices},
author = {Lopata, J. and Kang, Z. and Young, J. and Bender, G. and Weidner, J. W. and Shimpalee, S.},
abstractNote = {The properties of porous transport layers (PTL) in electrolysis devices and their effects on cell performance have been studied extensively in recent literature. This paper provides a detailed analysis with regards to the transport in the catalyst layer (CL). The work demonstrated that the catalyst loading affects the sensitivity of electrolysis performance to PTL properties, particularly those of the PTL surface in contact with the CL. It was demonstrated that upon reducing catalyst loading, PTL properties had an increased effect on the performance of PEMWE cells. While we observed mild performance variations among PTLs when using a high anode catalyst loading, strong correlations between PTL surface properties and cell performance existed at a low catalyst loading. PTL properties affected performance by influencing the in-plane conductivity and permeability of the CL. The variation of apparent exchange current density and apparent CL bubble coverage with the stoichiometric flow rate was studied at low anode feed rates. This led to the emergence of a PTL grain size effect on apparent bubble coverage at high catalyst loading. We provide a descriptive analysis of the phenomena causing voltage losses in PEMWE devices. These findings are important for electrochemical modeling and designing the PTL/CL interface.},
doi = {10.1149/1945-7111/ab7f87},
journal = {Journal of the Electrochemical Society (Online)},
number = 6,
volume = 167,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {1}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
https://doi.org/10.1149/1945-7111/ab7f87

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