Characterization of PEM fuel cell degradation by polarization change curves

TitleCharacterization of PEM fuel cell degradation by polarization change curves
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBezmalinovic D, Simic B, Barbir F
JournalJournal of Power Sources

Published on October 30th, 2015.
Polarization change curves, defined as a difference between the polarization curve at the beginning of life and the actual polarization curve after the cell has been operational for some time, were used to analyze degradation of a PEM fuel cell exposed to voltage cycling as an accelerated stress test for electrocatalyst degradation. Degradation, i.e., loss of voltage was due to increase of activation losses and increase of resistance in the catalyst layer, both most likely due to the loss of catalyst electrochemically active area. The results of the polarization change curves analysis correspond to the findings of the periodic individual tests performed during the accelerated stress test, such as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry and linear sweep voltammetry. Therefore, this method has potential to be used as a relatively quick and simple, yet effective, degradation diagnostic tool.


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