Effects of the Transport/Catalyst Layer Interface and Catalyst Loading on Mass and Charge Transport Phenomena in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Water Electrolysis Devices

J. Lopata, Zhenye Kang, James Young, Guido Bender, J. Weidner, S. Shimpalee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus Citations

Abstract

The properties of porous transport layers (PTL) in electrolysis devices and their effects on cell performance have been studied extensively in recent literature. This paper provides a detailed analysis with regards to the transport in the catalyst layer (CL). The work demonstrated that the catalyst loading affects the sensitivity of electrolysis performance to PTL properties, particularly those of the PTL surface in contact with the CL. It was demonstrated that upon reducing catalyst loading, PTL properties had an increased effect on the performance of PEMWE cells. While we observed mild performance variations among PTLs when using a high anode catalyst loading, strong correlations between PTL surface properties and cell performance existed at a low catalyst loading. PTL properties affected performance by influencing the in-plane conductivity and permeability of the CL. The variation of apparent exchange current density and apparent CL bubble coverage with the stoichiometric flow rate was studied at low anode feed rates. This led to the emergence of a PTL grain size effect on apparent bubble coverage at high catalyst loading. We provide a descriptive analysis of the phenomena causing voltage losses in PEMWE devices. These findings are important for electrochemical modeling and designing the PTL/CL interface.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number064507
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Volume167
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s). Published on behalf of The Electrochemical Society by IOP Publishing Limited.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-76035

Keywords

  • catalyst layers
  • electrolysis
  • PEM
  • transport layers

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of the Transport/Catalyst Layer Interface and Catalyst Loading on Mass and Charge Transport Phenomena in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Water Electrolysis Devices'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this