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Energies 2018, 11(9), 2214; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11092214

In Operando Neutron Radiography Analysis of a High-Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Based on a Phosphoric Acid-Doped Polybenzimidazole Membrane Using the Hydrogen-Deuterium Contrast Method

1
IEK-3: Electrochemical Process Engineering, Institute of Energy and Climate Research, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, 52425 Jülich, Germany
2
Institute of Materials Science and Technologies, Technische Universität Berlin, Hardenbergstr, 36, 10623 Berlin, Germany
3
Institute of Applied Materials, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin GmbH, Hahn-Meitner-Platz 1, 14109 Berlin, Germany
4
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, 52062 Aachen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 July 2018 / Revised: 20 August 2018 / Accepted: 21 August 2018 / Published: 24 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Collection)
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Abstract

In order to characterize high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells (HT-PEFCs) in operando, neutron radiography imaging, in combination with the deuterium contrast method, was used to analyze the hydrogen distribution and proton exchange processes in operando. These measurements were then combined with the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements. The cell was operated under different current densities and stoichiometries. Neutron images of the active area of the cell were captured in order to study the changeover times when the fuel supply was switched between hydrogen and deuterium, as well as to analyze the cell during steady state conditions. This work demonstrates that the changeover from proton to deuteron (and vice versa) leads to local varying media distributions in the electrolyte, independent of the overall exchange dynamics. A faster proton-to-deuteron exchange was re-discovered when switching the gas supply from H2 to D2 than that from D2 to H2. Furthermore, the D2 uptake and discharge were faster at a higher current density. Specifically, the changeover from H to D takes 5–6 min at 200 mA cm−2, 2–3 min at 400 mA cm−2 and 1–2 min at 600 mA cm−2. An effect on the transmittance changes is apparent when the stoichiometry changes. View Full-Text
Keywords: neutron radiography; operando; polymer electrolyte fuel cell; phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole membrane; hydrogen-deuterium contrast method neutron radiography; operando; polymer electrolyte fuel cell; phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole membrane; hydrogen-deuterium contrast method
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Lin, Y.; Arlt, T.; Kardjilov, N.; Manke, I.; Lehnert, W. In Operando Neutron Radiography Analysis of a High-Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Based on a Phosphoric Acid-Doped Polybenzimidazole Membrane Using the Hydrogen-Deuterium Contrast Method. Energies 2018, 11, 2214.

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