Development and electrochemical studies of membrane electrode assemblies for polymer electrolyte alkaline fuel cells using FAA membrane and ionomer

Marcelo Carmo, Gustavo Doubek, Ryan C. Sekol, Marcelo Linardi, André D. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper provides guidelines on the fabrication and operation of alkaline fuel cells using quaternary ammonium hydroxide anion exchange membrane (FAA-3-fumatech), and includes a discussion of the electrode kinetic parameters based on the composition of the catalytic layer. The best peak power density performance, 223 mW cm-2 was obtained with an electrode formed from Pt/C, 0.8 mgPt cm-2 and 25% of FAA-3 ionomer in the catalyst layer for both the cathode and the anode. We demonstrate that the platinum loading can be lowered to values close to 0.5 mgPt cm -2, without appreciably affecting the fuel cell performance characteristics. The experimental fuel cell data were analyzed using theoretical models of the electrode structure and its kinetics studied over the assembling parameters. We show that most of the electrode systems present limiting currents, with some showing diffusion limitations in the gas channels and/or in the ionomer film covering the catalyst nanoparticles. We also provide some general strategies using Tafel slopes on evaluating the ionomer interaction with the electrode kinetics for the oxygen reduction reaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-175
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume230
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Alkaline fuel cell
  • FAA
  • Membrane electrode assembly
  • Solid polymer electrolyte
  • Tafel study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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