Effect of Cationic Contaminants on Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Performance

J. Qi, X. Wang, O. Ozdemir, M. A. Uddin, L. J. Bonville, U. Pasaogullari, T. Molter
2013 ECS Transactions  
The effect of cationic contaminants on polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) performance is investigated via in-situ injection of dilute cationic salt solutions. Four foreign cations (K + , Ba 2+ , Ca 2+ , Al 3+ ) are chosen as contaminants in this study due to their prevalence and chemical structure (e.g. valence), however contaminants that have already received extensive coverage in the literature like sodium and iron are excluded. It is found that the cells with Ba(ClO 4 ) 2 and Ca(ClO 4 ) 2
more » ... 2 and Ca(ClO 4 ) 2 injection exhibit little cell performance change during the current hold test, and the cells with Al(ClO 4 ) 3 and KClO 4 injection show larger cell performance changes, i.e. decreasing cell voltage and increasing cell resistance. These cells with in-situ contaminant injection have a tendency to recover a portion of the lost performance after the recovery test when switched back to supersaturated air. The degradation in cell performance with the presence of cationic contaminants is mainly due, in addition to the membrane resistance increase associated with replacing protons on the sulfonate groups, to the increase in mass transport resistance and decrease in electrochemical surface area.
doi:10.1149/05801.0537ecst fatcat:k6sx45e54feqfaupdyqpahfvxe