Understanding the Effects of PEMFC Contamination from Balance of Plant Assembly Aids Materials: In Situ Studies

Huyen Dinh, Guido Bender, Clay Macomber, Md. Opu, J.W. Zee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus Citations


In situ performance data were measured to assess the degree of contamination from leachates of five families of balance of plant (BOP) materials (i.e., 2-part adhesive, grease, thread lock/seal, silicone adhesive/seal and urethane adhesive/seal) broadly classified as assembly AIDS that may be used as adhesives and lubricants in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) systems. Leachate solutions, derived from soaking the materials in deionized (DI) water at elevated temperature, were infused into the fuel cell to determine the effect of the leachates on fuel cell performance. During the contamination phase of the experiments, leachate solution was introduced through a nebulizer into the cathode feed stream of a 50 cm2 PEMFC operating at 0.2 A/cm2 at 80°C and 32%RH. Voltage loss and high frequency resistance (HFR) were measured as a function of time and electrochemical surface area (ECA) before and after contamination were compared. Two procedures of recovery, one self-induced recovery with DI water and one driven recovery through cyclic voltammetry (CV) were investigated. Performance results measured before and after contamination and after CV recovery are compared and discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)F1011-F1019
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2015. Published by ECS.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-64088


  • assembly aids materials
  • balance of plant materials (BOP)
  • fuel cells
  • ion-exchange
  • system contaminants


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