Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) with 0.1 and 0.4 mg Pt cm−2
cathode catalyst loadings were separately contaminated with seven organic species: Acetonitrile, acetylene, bromomethane, iso-propanol, methyl methacrylate, naphthalene, and propene. The lower catalyst loading led to larger cell voltage losses at the steady state. Three closely related electrical equivalent circuits were used to fit impedance spectra obtained before, during, and after contamination, which revealed that the cell voltage loss was due to higher kinetic and mass transfer resistances. A significant correlation was not found between the steady-state cell voltage loss and the sum of the kinetic and mass transfer resistance changes. Major increases in research program costs and efforts would be required to find a predictive correlation, which suggests a focus on contamination prevention and recovery measures rather than contamination mechanisms.
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