Time-saving stack activation and effective long-term storage are one of most important issues that must be resolved for the commercialization of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). Herein, we developed the cost-effective stack activation method to finish the whole activation within 30 min and the long-term storage method by using humidified N2 without any significant decrease in cell's performance for 30 days. Specifically, the pre-activation step with the direct injection of DI water into the stack and storage at 65 or 80 °C for 2 h increases the distinctive phase separation between the hydrophobic and hydrophilic regions in Nafion membrane, which significantly reduces the total activation time within 30 min. Additionally, the long-term storage with humidified N2 has no effect on the Pt oxidation and drying of Nafion membrane for 30 days due to its exergonic reaction in the cell. As a result, the high water content in Nafion membrane and the decrease of Pt oxidation are the critical factors that have a strong influence on the activation and long-term storage for high-performance PEMFC.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was conducted under framework of the research and development program of the Korea Institute of Energy Research ( B6-2425 ).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering