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Using operando techniques to understand and design high performance and stable alkaline membrane fuel cells

Peng, Xiong, Kulkarni, Devashish, Huang, Ying, Omasta, Travis J., Ng, Benjamin, Zheng, Yiwei, Wang, Lianqin, LaManna, Jacob M., Hussey, Daniel S., Varcoe, John R. , Zenyuk, Iryna V. and Mustain, William E. (2020) Using operando techniques to understand and design high performance and stable alkaline membrane fuel cells Nature Communications, 11 (1).

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There is a need to understand the water dynamics of alkaline membrane fuel cells undervarious operating conditions to create electrodes that enable high performance and stable,long-term operation. Here we show, via operando neutron imaging and operando micro X-raycomputed tomography, visualizations of the spatial and temporal distribution of liquid waterin operating cells. We provide direct evidence for liquid water accumulation at the anode,which causes severe ionomer swelling and performance loss, as well as cell dryoutfrom undesirably low water content in the cathode. We observe that the operating conditionsleading to the highest power density during polarization are not generally the conditions thatallow for long-term stable operation. This observation leads to new catalyst layer designs andgas diffusion layers. This study reports alkaline membrane fuel cells that can be operatedcontinuously for over 1000 h at 600 mA cm−2with voltage decay rate of only 32-μVh−1–the best-reported durability to date.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Chemistry
Authors :
Peng, Xiong
Kulkarni, Devashish
Omasta, Travis J.
Ng, Benjamin
Zheng, Yiwei
Wang, Lianqin
LaManna, Jacob M.
Hussey, Daniel S.
Varcoe, John
Zenyuk, Iryna V.
Mustain, William E.
Date : 16 July 2020
Funders : U.S. Department of Energy
DOI : 10.1038/s41467-020-17370-7
Grant Title : U.S. Department of Energy
Copyright Disclaimer : © The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Additional Information : Embargo OK Metadata OK No Further Action
Depositing User : James Marshall
Date Deposited : 16 Jul 2020 15:19
Last Modified : 16 Jul 2020 15:19

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