Anode bleeding experiments to improve the performance and durability of proton exchange membrane fuel cells
Eskin, Murat Gökhan and Yeşilyurt, Serhat (2019) Anode bleeding experiments to improve the performance and durability of proton exchange membrane fuel cells. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 44 (21). pp. 11047-11056. ISSN 0360-3199 (Print) 1879-3487 (Online)
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2019.02.152
Cost, durability, efficiency and fuel utilization are important issues that remain to be resolved for commercialization of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). Anode flow mode, which includes recirculation, dead-ended and exit bleeding operation, plays an important role in fuel utilization, durability, performance and the overall cost of the fuel cell system. Depending on the flow mode, water and nitrogen accumulation in the anode leads to voltage transients and local fuel starvation, which causes cell potential reversal and carbon corrosion in the cathode catalyst layers. Controlled anode exit bleeding can avoid the accumulation of nitrogen and water and improve fuel utilization. In this study, we present a method to control the bleed rate with high precision in experiments and demonstrate that hydrogen utilization as high as 0.9988 for a 25 cm2 single cell and 0.9974 for an 8.17 cm2 single cell can be achieved without significant performance loss. In the experiments, anode pressure is kept at 1 bar higher than the cathode pressure to decrease nitrogen crossover from the cathode, decreasing the crossover from the cathode. Moreover, four load cycle profiles are applied to observe the cumulative loss in the electrochemical surface area (ECSA), which are acquired from cyclic voltammetry (CV) analysis. Experiments confirm that the ECSA loss and severe voltage transients are indicative of fuel starvation induced by prolonged dead-ended or low exit-bleed operation modes whereas bleed rates that are larger than the predicted crossover rate are sufficient to operate the fuel cell without voltage transients and detrimental ECSA loss.
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