Cyclic voltammetry analysis of the cathode active catalyst area of a power generating polymer electrolyte fuel cell

Hironori Nakajima, Toshiaki Konomi, Tatsumi Kitahara, Takenori Ikeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

To maintain stable and high performance of a PEFC, sufficient three-phase boundary at the electrode catalyst of the cathode is necessary so that the catalyst works effectively. Measurement of the active electrode catalyst area of the cathode of an operating PEFC allows to detect the performance degradation. We have therefore investigated the area by cyclic voltammetry. Relation between peak current for the oxygen reduction reaction and square root of scan rate of an unconventionally fast scan and large current cyclic voltammogram is found to give the active area under power generation. We thereby observe decreases in the area due to catalyst degradation associated with operating duration of a cell and due to a decrease in humidity of fed air. This information under power generation cannot be obtained from the conventional method that measures the charge of underpotential deposition (UPD) of hydrogen at the catalyst. Taking into account diffusion of dissolved oxygen in liquid water layer adjacent to the catalyst layer, more reasonable area is estimated than that calculated with the conventional gas-phase oxygen diffusion model. The area estimated is one order of magnitude larger than that from the conventional UPD method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2068-2075
Number of pages8
JournalNihon Kikai Gakkai Ronbunshu, B Hen/Transactions of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Part B
Volume75
Issue number758
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering

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