Corrosion of bipolar plates in PEM fuel cells

Azimifar, Seyed Ali (2015). Corrosion of bipolar plates in PEM fuel cells. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Laboratory and synchrotron X-ray fluorescence (XRF) have been used to investigate the microscopic and macroscopic distribution of metallic contaminants in membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) which were used in proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEM FC) stacks. The laboratory XRF results were consistent with the synchrotron XRF results. Higher levels of contaminants observed for the areas near to the coolant outlet than the areas near to the coolant inlet. The cathode side of MEAs showed higher levels of contamination than the anode side of the MEAs.

Synchrotron XRF maps of MEAs generally showed higher levels of contaminants on the cathode side compared with the anode side. Fe was mainly observed in the cathode side microporous layers, whereas Ni, Cr and Cu were mostly accumulated in the cathode side or in the membrane. Synchrotron XRF maps of MEA plan views showed a crack-like distribution for Fe and Pt which were similar to cracks in the microporous layer of the MEAs.

A novel electrochemical cell that simulated galvanic and crevice corrosion, temperature cycles for a PEM fuel cell, and pressure across the stacks was designed and used to discriminate between the corrosion behaviour of candidate coatings for bipolar plates.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Metallurgy and Materials
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Innovate UK
Subjects: T Technology > TN Mining engineering. Metallurgy


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