Catalyst-Specific Accelerated Stress Tests in Proton Exchange Membrane Low-Temperature Electrolysis for Intermittent Operation: Article No. 024505

Shaun Alia, Kimberly Reeves, Haoran Yu, Jae Hyung Park, Nancy Kariuki, A. Jeremy Kropf, Deborah Myers, David Cullen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Device-level stress tests are developed that focus on anode catalyst layer degradation and future anticipated operating conditions, including intermittent load and reduced platinum group metal content. Square-wave cycles with an upper load limit of 2.5 A cm-2 are utilized to screen commercial iridium (Ir) materials. Performance losses are primarily due to decreasing kinetics and are accompanied by catalyst migration into the membrane, worsening catalyst/ionomer integration, and weakening of the catalyst/membrane interface. For ruthenium-containing catalysts, the in situ performances are higher but durabilities lower than Ir baselines, and any performance advantage is lost within the test. Increased loss is likely due to the higher dissolution rate; microscopy confirmed greater degrees of ruthenium migration. For Ir metal or mixed oxides, ex situ activity improvements generally did not translate to in situ performance. The durability, however, is significantly lower and the loss rate increased from 3 (oxide) to 9 (metal) uV cycle-1. These results are consistent with historical findings in literature, rationalize the continued use of iridium oxide as a baseline catalyst, and demonstrate that traditional catalyst development approaches may not improve device-level durability when focused on low-cost applications. A shift in focus may therefore be more effective at improving catalyst utilization and lessening load requirements.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Volume171
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2024

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-88213

Keywords

  • degradation
  • electrolysis

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