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Research Papers

Understanding of Nafion Membrane Additive Behaviors in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Conditioning

[+] Author and Article Information
Nana Zhao

Energy, Mining & Environment Research Centre,
National Research Council Canada,
4250 Wesbrook Mall,
Vancouver V6T 1W5, BC, Canada

Zhong Xie

Energy, Mining & Environment Research Centre,
National Research Council Canada,
4250 Wesbrook Mall,
Vancouver V6T 1W5, BC Canada

Zhiqing Shi

Energy, Mining & Environment Research Centre,
National Research Council Canada,
4250 Wesbrook Mall,
Vancouver V6T 1W5, BC, Canada
e-mail: ken.shi@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

Manuscript received April 19, 2018; final manuscript received July 3, 2018; published online August 6, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Dirk Henkensmeier.

J. Electrochem. En. Conv. Stor. 16(1), 011011 (Aug 06, 2018) (5 pages) Paper No: JEECS-18-1035; doi: 10.1115/1.4040827 History: Received April 19, 2018; Revised July 03, 2018

Durability and cost are the two major factors limiting the large-scale implementation of fuel cell technology for use in commercial, residential, or transportation applications. The conditioning cost is usually negligible for making proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) at R&D or demo stage with several tens of stacks each year. However, with industry's focus shifting from component development to commercial high-volume manufacturing, the conditioning process requires significant additional capital investments and operating costs, thus becomes one of the bottlenecks for PEMFC manufacturing, particularly at a high production volume (>1000 stack/year). To understand the mechanisms behind PEMFC conditioning, and to potentially reduce conditioning time or even to eliminate the conditioning process, the conditioning behaviors of commercial Nafion™ XL100 and Nafion® NRE 211 membranes were studied. The potential effects of the membrane additive on fuel cell conditioning were diagnosed using in situ electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). It was found that the membrane additive led to the significant variation of the charge transfer resistance in EIS during conditioning, which affected the conditioning behavior of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA).

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References

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Comparisons of in situ EIS between NRE-211 membrane and XL-100 membrane-based MEAs with conditioning time at (a) 5 min, (b) 30 min, (c) 4 h, and (d) 16 h

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

H2/air conditioning curve of XL-100 membrane based MEA

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Fig. 3

(a) Simulated charge transfer resistance (Rct) and (b) simulated mass transfer resistance (Rms) of MEAs during conditioning at a current density of 0.8 A cm−2

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

In situ electrochemical impedance spectra of NRE-211 membrane based MEA over conditioning time at a current density of 0.8 A cm−2

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

H2/air-conditioning curve of NRE-211 membrane based MEA

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

In situ electrochemical impedance spectra of XL-100 membrane based MEA over conditioning time at a current density of 0.8 A cm−2

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Infrared-compensated conditioning curves of the MEAs at a current density of 0.8 A cm−2

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