A Semi-Empirical Two Step Carbon Corrosion Reaction Model in PEM Fuel Cells

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The cathode CL of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) was exposed to high potentials, 1.0 to 1.4 V versus a reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE), that are typically encountered during start up/shut down operation. While both platinum dissolution and carbon corrosion occurred, the carbon corrosion effects were isolated and modeled. The presented model separates the carbon corrosion process into two reaction steps; (1) oxidation of the carbon surface to carbon-oxygen groups, and (2) further corrosion of the oxidized surface to carbon dioxide/monoxide. To oxidize and corrode the cathode catalyst carbon support, the CL was subjected to an accelerated stress ... continued below

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F381 - F388

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Young, Alan; Colbow, Vesna; Harvey, David; Rogers, Erin & Wessel, Silvia January 1, 2013.

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The cathode CL of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) was exposed to high potentials, 1.0 to 1.4 V versus a reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE), that are typically encountered during start up/shut down operation. While both platinum dissolution and carbon corrosion occurred, the carbon corrosion effects were isolated and modeled. The presented model separates the carbon corrosion process into two reaction steps; (1) oxidation of the carbon surface to carbon-oxygen groups, and (2) further corrosion of the oxidized surface to carbon dioxide/monoxide. To oxidize and corrode the cathode catalyst carbon support, the CL was subjected to an accelerated stress test cycled the potential from 0.6 VRHE to an upper potential limit (UPL) ranging from 0.9 to 1.4 VRHE at varying dwell times. The reaction rate constants and specific capacitances of carbon and platinum were fitted by evaluating the double layer capacitance (Cdl) trends. Carbon surface oxidation increased the Cdl due to increased specific capacitance for carbon surfaces with carbon-oxygen groups, while the second corrosion reaction decreased the Cdl due to loss of the overall carbon surface area. The first oxidation step differed between carbon types, while both reaction rate constants were found to have a dependency on UPL, temperature, and gas relative humidity.

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F381 - F388

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  • Journal Name: Journal of the Elecrochemical Society; Journal Volume: 160; Journal Issue: 4

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  • Report No.: DOE/E0000466-13
  • Grant Number: EE0000466
  • DOI: 10.1149/2.061304jes | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1084698
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc842437

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  • January 1, 2013

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  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • July 22, 2016, 4:26 p.m.

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Young, Alan; Colbow, Vesna; Harvey, David; Rogers, Erin & Wessel, Silvia. A Semi-Empirical Two Step Carbon Corrosion Reaction Model in PEM Fuel Cells, article, January 1, 2013; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc842437/: accessed November 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.