Influence of FEP nanoparticles in catalyst layer on water management and performance of PEM fuel cell with high Pt loading

Avcioglu, Gokce S.
Eroğlu, İnci
In this study, fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) nanoparticles were added to catalyst layer (CL) to facilitate excess water removal from the triple phase boundary in high Pt loading (1.2 mg/cm(2)) proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) electrodes. The loading of PEP in the catalyst ink was varied from zero to 30 weight percentage. High-performance electrodes for anode and cathode were prepared by ultrasonic spray coating technique with a commercial catalyst containing 70 wt. % Pt on carbon. Different membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) were prepared in order to differentiate the influence of hydrophobic nanoparticles on water transport and cell performance. In the first configuration (MEA1), FEP nanoparticles were added to both anode and cathode catalyst layers (cCLs). In the second configuration (MEA2), FEP nanoparticles were added only to cCL. PEM fuel cell tests were carried out at both H-2/O-2 and H-2/Air gas-feeding modes. Impedance spectroscopy results have revealed the influence of FEP nanoparticles on reaction kinetics and mass transport limitations. The addition of FEP nanoparticles decreased Pt utilization due to the isolation of Pt particles, therefore, cell performance decreased. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy results have shown increasing back diffusion rate of water, and diminishing flooding at cathode GDL at high airflow rate. FEP nanoparticles in the cCLs of 10FEP_C, 5FEP_C at H-2/O-2 feeding mode and in the CLs of 5FEP_AC, 5FEP_C at H-2/Air feeding mode provide meso-macro hydrophobic channeling, which mitigates flooding compared to conventional catalyst layers. For anode and cathode catalyst layer including 30 wt. % FEP nanoparticles (30FEP_AC), capillary pressure increased due to high hydrophobicity, accordingly, liquid water concentration at anode catalyst layer/membrane interface decreased and this caused membrane dehydration. (C) 2016 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


High performance PEM fuel cell catalyst layers with hydrophobic channels
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Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell performance has been enhanced with efficient water management by modification of the structure of the catalyst layer. Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) was added to the catalyst layer structure by using two-step catalyst ink preparation method. Physical and electrochemical characterization of catalyst layers with hydrophobic nanoparticles were investigated via TGA-DTA, XRD, nitrogen physisorption, SEM, TEM, EDX analysis, and cyclic voltammetry technique. In addition, perf...
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ÖZTÜRK, Ayşenur; FIÇICILAR, BERKER; Eroğlu, İnci; BAYRAKÇEKEN YURTCAN, Ayşe (2017-08-17)
Microporous layers (MPLs) were prepared with different hydrophobic polymers to establish water management in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Besides conventionally used polymers polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP), two different molecular weights (MW) of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) polymer were used as hydrophobic materials in MPL. Membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) having MPLs with low MW PDMS polymer exhibited the best fuel cell performance compared to ...
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Citation Formats
G. S. Avcioglu, B. FIÇICILAR, and İ. Eroğlu, “Influence of FEP nanoparticles in catalyst layer on water management and performance of PEM fuel cell with high Pt loading,” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HYDROGEN ENERGY, pp. 496–506, 2017, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: