Exploring the Impacts of Conditioning on Proton Exchange Membrane Electrolyzers by In Situ Visualization and Electrochemistry Characterization

Weitian Wang, Kui Li, Lei Ding, Shule Yu, Zhiqiang Xie, David Cullen, Haoran Yu, Guido Bender, Zhenye Kang, Jacob Wrubel, Zhiwen Ma, Christopher Capuano, Alex Keane, Kathy Ayers, Feng-Yuan Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus Citations

Abstract

For a proton exchange membrane electrolyzer cell (PEMEC), conditioning is an essential process to enhance its performance, reproducibility, and economic efficiency. To get more insights into conditioning, a PEMEC with Ir-coated gas diffusion electrode (IrGDE) was investigated by electrochemistry and in situ visualization characterization techniques. The changes of polarization curves, electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS), and bubble dynamics before and after conditioning are analyzed. The polarization curves show that the cell efficiency increased by 9.15% at 0.4 A/cm2, and the EIS and Tafel slope results indicate that both the ohmic and activation overpotential losses decrease after conditioning. The visualization of bubble formation unveils that the number of bubble sites increased greatly from 14 to 29 per pore after conditioning, at the same voltage of 1.6 V. Under the same current density of 0.2 A/cm2 the average bubble detachment size decreased obviously from 35 to 25 μm. The electrochemistry and visualization characterization results jointly unveiled the increase of reaction sites and the surface oxidation on the IrGDE during conditioning, which provides more insights into the conditioning and benefits for the future GDE design and optimization.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)9002-9012
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume14
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 23 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
©

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-81876

Keywords

  • Bubble dynamics
  • Conditioning
  • Electrochemical impedance spectra (eis)
  • Green hydrogen
  • Proton exchange membrane electrolyzer cells (pemecs)
  • Visualization

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring the Impacts of Conditioning on Proton Exchange Membrane Electrolyzers by In Situ Visualization and Electrochemistry Characterization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this