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Relating the N-shaped polarization curve of a PEM fuel cell to local oxygen starvation and hydrogen evolution

: Zamel, N.; Bhattarai, A.; Gerteisen, D.; Groos, U.; Hebling, C.

Fulltext urn:nbn:de:0011-n-2984238 (649 KByte PDF)
MD5 Fingerprint: dd8c4e1cec194884974bd696c927388e
Created on: 16.8.2014

20th World Hydrogen Energy Conference, WHEC 2014. Vol.1 : Gwangju, South Korea, 15 - 20 June 2014
Red Hook, NY: Curran, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-63439-655-4
World Hydrogen Energy Conference (WHEC) <20, 2014, Gwangju/Korea>
Conference Paper, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer ISE ()
Energietechnik; Wasserstoff- und Brennstoffzellentechnologie; Brennstoffzellensystem; evolution reaction; negative differential resistance; polarization curve; oxygen depletion

In this work, we use the polarization curve of a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell to investigate the inter-connected transport processes in its electrodes. The investigation is based on a segmented (7 by 7) PEM fuel cell. A local N-shaped negative differential resistance (N-NDR) branch was measured in the steady state polarization curve of the cell near its oxygen outlet. This phenomenon was also observed in a much more pronounced manner for highly-transient polarization curves on all segments. In this study, we show that even despite the cell running under normal conditions, in the case of oxygen starvation, a hydrogen evolution takes place in the cathode catalyst layer. This theory is illustrated through experimental measurements.