International Journal of Energy Research, Vol.45, No.5, 7974-7986, 2021
The synergetic effect of air pollutants and metal ions on performance of a 5 kW proton-exchange membrane fuel cell stack
Large-scale commercialization of the proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is primarily hindered by cost and availability. In the presence of acidic air pollutants, metal ions impact on the durability of PEMFC. This study aimed at determining the effects of metal ions such as Al3+ and Fen+ that originate from the corrosion of aluminum alloy end plate or other metal components, on the performance of a 5 kW PEMFC stack under the synergetic effect of air pollutants. Results obtained from the 500 hours durability test indicated that performance decreased from an initial of 0.682 V to a final 0.623 V at a current density of 1000 mA cm(-2). Findings of the energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) characterization revealed that corrosion was predominant at the air inlet and outlet of the end plate. Metal ions were detected in both the anode and cathode catalyst layer (CL) and proton-exchange membrane by EDS-mapping. Compared to the control, it was found that the synergetic effect of metal ions and air pollutants accelerated the degradation of stack performance. This synergetic effect can be mitigated by improving the adsorption performance of filters or avoiding the use of materials with poor corrosion resistance in fuel cell systems.