A review on performance degradation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells during startup and shutdown processes : causes, consequences, and mitigation strategies

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2012.01.059
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TypeArticle
Journal titleJournal of Power Sources
Volume205
Pages1023; # of pages: 14
Subjectproton exchange membrane fuel cell; startup and shutdown process; hydrogen/air interface; reverse current; system strategies
AbstractPerformance degradation during startup and shutdown is considered an important issue affecting the durability and lifetime of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Due to the high potentials experienced by the cathode during startup and shutdown, the conventional carbon support for the cathode catalyst is prone to oxidation by reacting with oxygen or water. This paper presents an overview of the causes and consequences of performance degradation after frequent startup shutdown cycles. Mitigation strategies are also summarized, including the use of novel catalyst supports and the application of system strategies to prevent performance degradation in PEMFCs. It is found from the literature review that improvements in catalyst supports to prevent oxidation come at the expense of high cost, and the novel supports developed to date are not sufficient to completely prevent carbon oxidation in fuel cell engines. System strategies, including potential control and reaction gas control, have been developed and applied in fuel cell engines to alleviate or even avoid performance decay. This review aims to provide a clear understanding of the mechanisms related to degradation behaviors during the startup and shutdown processes, thereby helping fuel cell material or system developers in their efforts to prevent performance degradation and prolong the lifetime of PEMFCs.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNRC Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number19547534
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Record identifier9fa1f4d8-9104-47e3-9e85-eb2eb58d372b
Record created2012-02-24
Record modified2016-05-09
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