Experimental and Simulation Investigations on Degradation of Catalyst Layers for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

Project Details


Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) are promising energy conversion devices that directly convert chemical energy into electrical energy. They have the characteristics of high efficiency, zero emission and low operating temperature, and are one of the future development directions of automotive power sources. However, the durability of the PEMFC has become an important factor restricting its large-scale promotion. In order to improve the durability of the fuel cell, it is necessary to have a deep understanding of the degradation mechanism of each component. The catalyst layer is the core component of the PEMFC, and the electrochemical reaction is carried out on the catalyst layer. Therefore, the catalyst layer has both the transmission of protons and electrons, and the transmission of reaction gases and products. The degradation of the catalyst layers will have an important impact on the performance of PEMFC.
The purpose of the PhD project is to study the mechanical degradation of the catalyst layer. The effects of relative humidity, temperature as well as the microstructure changes of the catalyst layer on cell performance will be investigated in this project. In addition, the mathematical model of the microstructure of the catalyst layer will be established to study the mechanism of the structure change. Through model and experimental investigation, the structural changes and influence on the overall performance of the catalyst layer under cyclic conditions are linked, mitigation strategies for alleviating the degradation of catalyst layers are expected to be proposed.

Funding:  China Scholarship Council
Effective start/end date01/11/202131/10/2024

Collaborative partners

  • BlueWorld
  • Forschungszentrum Jülich


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