Dynamic Neutron Imaging and Modeling of Cationic Impurities in Polymer Electrolyte Water Electrolyzer
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
The high operation and capital costs of polymer electrolyte water electrolyzers (PEWE) are the major obstacles that have to be tackled for hydrogen to penetrate the market as a solution for renewable energy storage. Commercial stacks often suffer from cationic contamination of catalyst-coated membranes (CCMs) that comes from impure feed water and corrosion of system components, which can result in increasing operation costs and lowered lifetime. This study describes the behavior of the contaminants in the CCMs and their impact on performance under various operating conditions using Gd3+ as model contaminant imaged with neutron with a combination of high effective temporal (2 s) and spatial (30 μm) resolutions. The presence of electric field directly affects the position of cations in the CCM leading to their accumulation near the cathode catalyst layer. The cationic impurities trigger multiple loss mechanisms, as the ohmic resistance increase does not scale linearly with the amount of occupied exchange groups in the membrane (10% resistance increase caused by 2.5% exchange groups occupation). A model has been developed that predicts the movement of the ions in the CCM under intermittently operating PEWE and was used as a basis to explain the hysteresis observed in the polarization curve of contaminated PEWEs. Show more
Journal / seriesJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Pages / Article No.
PublisherThe Electrochemical Society
Organisational unit03910 - Schmidt, Thomas J. / Schmidt, Thomas J.
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