High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Essay

1485 Words Oct 24th, 2016 6 Pages
High temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFCs) are a promising clean technology, especially for automobile applications.1 These devices generate electricity from the chemical reactions that occur in the anode side of the cell, using H2 as a fuel and generating heat and water as by-products.2, 3 However, experimental studies using HT-PEMFCs show that degradation of the cell can occur after certain hours of operation (around 500 hours).4 Some of the factors that contribute to the degradation of the HT-PEMFCs are rupture of the bulk polymer backbone of the membrane, H3PO4 loss and poisoning of the catalyst layer.5 These degradation problems must be overcome in order to commercialize this type of fuel cells.5 Consequently, extensive experimental studies have been performed, in order to understand the causes of the degradation.3, 6, 7 Computational models have also been developed to assess a more in-depth understanding of what are the causes of degradation that takes place in the catalyst and gas diffusion layer of the HT-PEMFCs.1, 8, 9

Fossil fuels have constituted the principal source of energy for industrial, transportation, residential and commercial applications since the beginning of the last century with liquid fuels, coal and natural gas being the most consumed.10, 11 However, the actual dependence of mankind upon fossil fuels11 represents a topic of high concern; one of the reasons for this is because these type of fuels are finite, which means…

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