Evaluating the Effect of Membrane-Ionomer Combinations and Supporting Electrolytes on the Performance of Cobalt Nanoparticle Anodes in Anion Exchange Membrane Electrolyzers

Shraboni Ghoshal, Bryan Pivovar, Shaun Alia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus Citations

Abstract

In low temperature polymer electrolyte membrane electrolyzers, component choices and membrane electrode assembly (MEA) fabrication have pivotal roles in determining cell performance. In this work, cobalt anodes were used in combination with different ionomers, membranes, and supporting electrolytes to delineate their effect on MEA performance in anion exchange membrane (AEM) based electrolyzers. Changes to the ionomer type suppress or enhance catalyst redox and were found to alter the resulting exchange current densities and Tafel slopes. Changes in membrane conductivity account for large differences in performance and overpotential losses among the different MEAs, with higher conductivity minimizing ohmic losses. Within supporting electrolytes, lower concentration results in lower conductivity and lower MEA performance; the performance, however, is higher in potassium hydroxide than bicarbonate. These experiments address the influence of individual components and their integration on cell-level performance, to help develop a pathway to an electrolyte free system while providing a foundation for studying electrode composition and component incorporation into MEAs.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 229433
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume488
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-78116

Keywords

  • Anion exchange membrane
  • Low temperature electrolysis
  • Membrane electrode assembly

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