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The effect of chloride as an air impurity and as a catalyst contaminant on the performance and durability of polybenzimidazole (PBI)-based high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell (HT-PEMFC) was studied. The ion chromatographic analysis reveals the existence of chloride contaminations in the Pt/C catalysts. Linear sweep voltammetry was employed to study the redox behavior of platinum in 85% phosphoric acid containing chloride ions, showing increase in oxidation and decrease in reduction current densities during the potential scans at room temperature. The potential scans at high temperatures in 85% phosphoric acid containing chloride ions showed both increase in oxidation and reduction current densities. The fuel cell performance, i.e. the current density at a constant voltage of 0.4 V and 0.5 V was found to be degraded as soon as HCl was introduced in the air humidifier. The performance loss was recovered when switching from the HCl solution back to pure water in the air humidifier. Under an accelerated aging performance test conducted through potential cycling between 0.9 V and 1.2 V, the PBI-based fuel cell initially containing 0.5 NaCl mg cm−2 on the cathode catalyst layer exhibited a drastic degradation in the performance as compared to the chloride free MEAs. The mechanisms of the chloride effect on the fuel cell performance and durability were further discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)1628-1636
StatePublished - 2011
EventThe 3rd Annual Korea-USA Joint Symposium on Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Technologies - Yonsei University, Seoul


ConferenceThe 3rd Annual Korea-USA Joint Symposium on Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Technologies
CityYonsei University, Seoul
Period01/01/2008 → …
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 14


  • Catalyst, Chloride impurities, Durability, Acid-doped polybenzimidazole, Proton exchange membrane fuel cell
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ID: 5564092