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Research Papers

Performance Degradation Tests of Phosphoric Acid Doped Polybenzimidazole Membrane Based High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

[+] Author and Article Information
Fan Zhou

Department of Energy Technology,
Aalborg University,
Pontoppidanstræde 101,
Aalborg East 9220, Denmark
e-mail: fzh@et.aau.dk

Samuel Simon Araya

Department of Energy Technology,
Aalborg University,
Pontoppidanstræde 101,
Aalborg East 9220, Denmark
e-mail: ssa@et.aau.dk

Ionela Florentina Grigoras

Department of Energy Technology,
Aalborg University,
Pontoppidanstræde 101,
Aalborg East 9220, Denmark
e-mail: ifg@et.aau.dk

Søren Juhl Andreasen

Department of Energy Technology,
Aalborg University,
Pontoppidanstræde 101,
Aalborg East 9220, Denmark
e-mail: sja@et.aau.dk

Søren Knudsen Kær

Department of Energy Technology,
Aalborg University,
Pontoppidanstræde 101,
Aalborg East 9220, Denmark
e-mail: skk@et.aau.dk

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FUEL CELL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received August 5, 2014; final manuscript received October 30, 2014; published online December 17, 2014. Editor: Nigel M. Sammes.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 12(2), 021002 (Apr 01, 2015) (9 pages) Paper No: FC-14-1093; doi: 10.1115/1.4029081 History: Received August 05, 2014; Revised October 30, 2014; Online December 17, 2014

Degradation tests of two phosphoric acid (PA) doped polybenzimidazole (PBI) membrane based high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane (HT-PEM) fuel cells were reported in this paper to investigate the effects of start/stop and the presence of methanol in the fuel to the performance degradation. Continuous tests with H2 and simulated reformate which was composed of H2, water steam and methanol as the fuel were performed on both single cells. 12-h-startup/12-h-shutdown dynamic tests were performed on the first single cell with pure dry H2 as the fuel and on the second single cell with simulated reformate as the fuel. Along with the tests electrochemical techniques such as polarization curves and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) were employed to study the degradation mechanisms of the fuel cells. Both single cells showed an increase in the performance in the H2 continuous tests, because of a decrease in the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) kinetic resistance probably due to the redistribution of PA between the membrane and electrodes. EIS measurement of first fuel cell during the start/stop test showed that the mass transfer resistance and ohmic resistance increased which can be attributed to the corrosion of carbon support in the catalyst layer and degradation of the PBI membrane. During the continuous test with simulated reformate as the fuel the ORR kinetic resistance and mass transfer resistance of both single cells increased. The performance of the second single cell experienced a slight decrease during the start/stop test with simulated reformate as the fuel.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Scheme of the experimental test bench for the degradation test

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Fig. 2

Voltage profile of the first MEA over time during the degradation test

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Fig. 3

Voltage profile of the first MEA in the startup time during the start/stop test

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Fig. 4

Voltage profile of the first MEA over time during reformate continuous test

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Fig. 5

Voltage profile of the second MEA over time during the degradation test

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Fig. 6

Voltage profile of the second MEA over time during the reformate start/stop test

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Fig. 7

Polarization curves (a) and Tafel plots (b) of the first MEA over time during the H2 continuous test

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Fig. 8

Polarization curves (a) and Tafel plots (b) of the first MEA over time during the H2 start/stop

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Fig. 9

Polarization curves (a) and Tafel plots (b) of the second MEA during the continuous test

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Fig. 10

Polarization curves (a) and Tafel plots (b) of the second MEA during the reformate start/stop dynamic test

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Fig. 11

Evolution of Nyquist plots (a) and all the internal resistance (b) of the first MEA throughout the H2 continuous test

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Fig. 12

Evolution of Nyquist plots (a) and all the internal resistance (b) of the first MEA throughout the H2 start/stop test

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Fig. 13

Evolution of Nyquist plots (a) and all the internal resistance (b) of the first MEA throughout the reformate continuous test

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Fig. 14

EC model used to fit the measured impedance spectra

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