Journal of Power Sources, Vol.396, 345-354, 2018
A rejuvenation process to enhance the durability of low Pt loaded polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells
An effective method to enhance the durability of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) is reported. PEMFC performance loss is mitigated by exposing the electrodes of fuel cells to dry nitrogen gas periodically at high temperature. This method extends the lifetime of fuel cells significantly compared to their non-treated counterparts. The impact of treatment temperature and exposure time on PEMFC durability is reported, using potential cycling accelerated stress tests. The enhanced durability is attributed to the suppression of "ionomer relaxation" that occurs under the nearly water saturated operating conditions of a PEMFC cathode.