Introducing a Novel Technique for Measuring Hydrogen Crossover in Membrane-Based Electrochemical Cells

Zhenye Kang, Magnolia Pak, Guido Bender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus Citations


Hydrogen crossover that is the unwanted hydrogen permeation across the membrane driven by the difference of gas concentrations causes a critical concern of safety and efficiency for electrochemical cells, such as fuel cells and electrolyzer cells. Although the hydrogen crossover measurement in fuel cells that employ platinum based catalysts is simple and widely used in laboratory settings, it is questionable to apply existing limiting current method to water electrolyzer cells and alkaline exchange membrane (AEM) systems, which is due to the typical catalyst materials used and membrane properties, respectively. In this work, we demonstrate the operation of a compact and low-cost method of measuring hydrogen crossover that works for both AEM and proton exchange membrane (PEM) systems. The method entails a tandem configuration that utilizes an upstream crossover cell with a downstream cell in hydrogen pump configuration to measure the crossover in the cell of interest. We have successfully measured the hydrogen crossover with different membranes at various differential pressures. The developed method can be applied to catalyst-free membranes (both PEM and AEM) as well as PGM free catalyst containing cells. It will be a promising technique for measuring hydrogen crossover in-situ for a real operating membraned-based electrochemical cell or stack.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)15161-15167
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number29
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-79628


  • Alkaline membrane
  • Differential pressure
  • Hydrogen crossover
  • PEM
  • Water electrolyzers


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