Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy Analysis on SO2 Contamination in PEMFCs

Y. Zhai, K. Bethune, S. Dorn, G. Bender, R. Rocheleau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus Citations


Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) was applied to analyze the effects of 2 ppm SO2 on the electrochemical reactions in PEMFCs cathode during the two-stage performance degradation. An equivalent electrical circuit model (ECM) was used to fit the resistances of the fuel cell reactions. The extracted parameters of the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) suggested that during the first poisoning stage, the SO2 adsorption increased the charge transfer resistance of the ORR and caused the initial degradation in cell performance. During the second poisoning stage, SO2 adsorption might assist in shifting the ORR from the "direct four electron pathway" to the "series two electron pathway", which may have resulted in the subsequent degradation in cell performance.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)313-323
Number of pages11
JournalECS Transactions
Issue number23
StatePublished - 2010

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5600-52346


  • EIS
  • electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
  • fuel cells
  • proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs)


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