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Research Papers

Development of Production Technology for Membrane-Electrode Assemblies With Radical Capturing Layer

[+] Author and Article Information
Toshiro Kobayashi

e-mail: t-koba@tsuyama-ct.ac.jp

Etsuro Hirai

e-mail: etsuro_hirai@mhi.co.jp

Hideki Itou

e-mail: Hideki_itou@mhi.co.jp

Takuya Moriga

e-mail: Takuya_moriga@mhi.co.jp
Hiroshima R&D Center,
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.,
Hiroshima 733-8553, Japan

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FUEL CELL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received August 1, 2012; final manuscript received September 10, 2012; published online January 15, 2013. Editor: Nigel M. Sammes.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 10(1), 011005 (Jan 15, 2013) (5 pages) Paper No: FC-12-1070; doi: 10.1115/1.4023218 History: Received August 01, 2012; Revised September 10, 2012

This paper describes the development of mass-production technology for membrane-electrode assemblies (MEA) with a radical capturing layer and verifies its performance. Some of the authors of this paper previously developed an MEA with a radical capturing layer along the boundaries between the electrode catalyst layer and the polymer membrane to realize an endurance time of 20,000 h in accelerated daily start and daily stop (DSS) deterioration tests. Commercialization of these MEAs requires a production technology that suits mass production lines and provides reasonable cost performance. After developing a water-based slurry and selecting a gas diffusion layer (GDL), a catalyst layer forming technology uses a rotary screen method for electrode formation. Studies confirmed continuous formation of the catalyst layer, obtaining an anode/cathode thickness of 55 μm (+10/−20)/50 μm (+10/−20) by optimizing the opening ratio and thickness of the screen plate. A layer-forming technology developed for the radical capturing layer uses a two-fluid spraying method. Continuous formation of an 8 μm thick (±3 μm) radical capturing layer proved feasible by determining the appropriate slurry viscosity, spray head selection, and optimization of spraying conditions.

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References

Matsubayashi, T., Kawanabe, T., Yoshimoto, Y., and Karakane, M., 2004, “Durable PEFC Stack for Residential Co-Generation System,” Sanyo Tech. Rev., 36(2), pp. 65–71.
Hori, M., Yu, J., Kobayashi, K., and Kato, M., 2005, “Control of Degradation by Water Management,” Proceedings of the 12th FCDIC Fuel Cell Symposium, pp. 89–92.
Itou, H., Tsurumaki, S., Moriga, T., Yamada, A., Inoue, G., Matsukuma, Y., and Minemoto, M., 2009, “Study on Deterioration Mechanism of Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell,” J. Chem. Eng. Jpn., 35, pp. 184–190. [CrossRef]
Itou, H., Tsurumaki, S., Moriga, T., Yamada, A., Nojima, S., Inoue, G., Matsukuma, Y., and Minemoto, M., 2009, “Prevention of Degradation of a Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell,” J. Chem. Eng. Jpn., 35, pp. 304–311. [CrossRef]
Itou, H., 2007, “Research and Development of Manufacturing Technology for Long Life Membrane Electrode Assembly,” New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, Report No. 100010347.
Ruffa, S. A., and Perozziello, M. J., 2000, Breaking the Cost Barrier: A Proven Approach to Managing and Implementing Lean Manufacturing, John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Figures

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Fig. 1

An example of the wetting test result for anode

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Fig. 2

Appearance of coated slurry after strain vibration

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Fig. 3

Relationship between blade-GDL gap and loaded catalyst

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Fig. 4

Influence of the control factors on the S/N ratio for generated cell voltage

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Fig. 5

Comparison of die coater method and rotary screen method

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Fig. 6

Optimization of electrode slurry viscosity

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Fig. 7

Thickness distributions of the coated layers (cathode)

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Fig. 8

Thickness distributions of the coated layers (anode)

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Fig. 9

Appearance of the coated surface at the outlet of drying furnace

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Fig. 10

Tow-fluid spray method

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Fig. 11

Relationship among the amount of coating, the concentration of sprayed slurry, the viscosity of spraying the slurry, and spray

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Fig. 12

Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of the substrate the radical capturing layer. (Left: after optimizing, right: cohesion.)

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Fig. 13

An image of the coating process of the radical capturing layer

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