Proton- Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) Essay

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A H2/O2 proton−exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is a clean, sustainable energy source and suitable for the operation of small electronic device [1]. Among many problems that still exist for PEMFC, the sluggish reactions at the cathode electrode and poor mass transport of protons and electron decrease the fuel cell performance by increasing the activation overvoltage, or activation loss [2]. This problem can, however, be solved by raising the fuel-cell operating temperature [3], but only up to a certain temperature before the deformation or degradatation of polymeric components occurs. Thus, the reduction in the activation overvoltage for low-temperature fuel cell operation is still necessary when the PEMFC components are made of …show more content…
A H2/O2 proton−exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is a clean, sustainable energy source and suitable for the operation of small electronic device [1]. Among many problems that still exist for PEMFC, the sluggish reactions at the cathode electrode and poor mass transport of protons and electron decrease the fuel cell performance by increasing the activation overvoltage, or activation loss [2]. This problem can, however, be solved by raising the fuel-cell operating temperature [3], but only up to a certain temperature before the deformation or degradatation of polymeric components occurs. Thus, the reduction in the activation overvoltage for low-temperature fuel cell operation is still necessary when the PEMFC components are made of polymer.
For the electrode layers made of a carbon black−supported catalyst that has a tendency for agglomeration, previous studies have shown a significant decrease in the activation overvoltage by forming the three-phase boundary (i.e., ionomer, catalyst, and gas) in the primary pores, or the interspaces between carbon black particles in an agglomerate, and the secondary pores, or the interspaces between the agglomerates, which can expedite the redox reactions forward in electrodes, increase the catalyst utilization, and the fuel cell performance [4-6]. It has been demonstrated that the ionomer molecules that can be in the primary pores of carbon black particles (< 40 nm in diameter) should have a low molecular weight [7] or can be formed by

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