Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/7707
Proton exchange membrane fuel cells with PtRu anode catalyst and Pt cathode suffer from severe performance degradation due to ruthenium dissolution from the anode, migration through Nafion® membrane, and deposition on the surface of cathode catalyst where it inhibits ORR. A detailed analysis of ruthenium crossover mechanism for a 5 cm2 active area direct methanol fuel cell was performed to quantify the contamination rate and degree starting from contamination during manufacturing process, through initial humidification and ending with severe degradation due to operation. The change of ruthenium content on the cathode was defined with the use of CO stripping voltammetry and X-ray fluorescence. The fuel cell performance loss due to severe cathode contamination with ruthenium was measured to be 0.1 A/cm2 at 0.5 V cell voltage for methanol-air operating mode. The air cathode performance loss was determined to be 80 mV. The ORR kinetics degradation was investigated by using platinum RDE contaminated with ruthenium via spontaneous deposition from 1.0 mM RuCl3 in 0.1M HClO4. The half-wave potential showed a negative shift by 20 mV just after 10 seconds deposition time. The CO stripping results obtained from RDE experiments show great similarity to results obtained from fuel cell tests. Initial anode cleaning was found out to greatly decrease the ruthenium contamination rate and thus enhance DMFC durability.
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