Design Considerations for a Robust Electrode of PEMFC Under H2 Starvation

Wednesday, 31 May 2017: 15:00
Grand Salon B - Section 7 (Hilton New Orleans Riverside)
H. Lee, J. Choi, and B. Roh (Hyundai Motor Company)
In PEMFC stacks for automotive applications, the insufficient reactants (hydrogen and air) can be resulted from the undesirable conditions such as water flooding in electrodes or gas channel, ice formation in subzero temperature, and unexpected defects in gas diffusion layer or in gas channel of bipolar plates. Particularly, the lack of hydrogen gas can lead to the carbon oxidation at anode, resulting in the severe cell degradation, which is called as cell voltage reversal. In order to prevent this unexpected performance degradation of fuel cells, we developed a new anode with excellent reversal voltage tolerance by introducing a known water electrolysis catalyst into anode system (Pt/C-based catalyst). As a result, a membrane-electrode-assembly (MEA) with very high resistance to cell voltage reversal was achieved with the new anode. The effect of relative humidity (RH) of supplied gas to the behaviors of cell voltage under reversal voltage condition was investigated. Also, the importance of RH for the supplied gases to anode and cathode was demonstrated. Lastly, the effect of cell reversal exposed time and the number of voltage reversal tolerance cycle for the anode.