Study of the degradations induced by start-up/shut-down operations in PEMFC

Abstract : This works contributes to the identification of the various degradation mechanisms in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell during start-up and shut-down operations. Single start-ups and shut-downs are first analysed using a cell with segmented cathode current collectors. Thus, internal currents which occur during these operations can be measured. Carbon dioxide measured in the cathode exhaust gas reveals that they result partially from carbon oxidation. Another contribution is the reversible or non reversible redox reactions involving platinum. The heterogeneity of the non reversible platinum oxidation between the inlet and outlet of the cathode is evidenced by the in-situ monitoring of the Electrochemical Surface Area during long-term start-up and shut-down aging protocols. Post-mortem analysis reveals another level of heterogeneity, which concerns also carbon oxidation, between land and channel. From these experiments, it appears also that degradations are more important when gases are injected with a low velocity in the anode compartment and when air is used instead of nitrogen to flush the anode compartment during shut-down. The influence of the MEA characteristics on the extent of the degradation observed during these aging protocols is also analyzed. High platinum loading in the anode and high surface carbon electrodes accelerate the drop of the electrical performances, while increasing the cathode platinum loading limits their decay. Finally, numerical simulations of start-ups complete the experimental results. Reversible platinum oxidation was found to be one of the main contribution to the internal currents
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Adrien Lamibrac. Study of the degradations induced by start-up/shut-down operations in PEMFC. Other. Université de Lorraine, 2013. English. ⟨NNT : 2013LORR0117⟩. ⟨tel-01750103⟩

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