Zhou, Fan


Project title: Degradation Mechanisms and Durability Test Methods of high Temperature PEM Fuel Cell with PBI Membrane

PhD period: 2012.10.15 – 2015.10.14.
Section: Fluid Mechanics and Combustion
Research Programme: Fuel Cell and Battery Systems
Supervisor: Søren Knudsen Kær
Contact information


Collaborator: China Scholarship Council.
Funding: China Scholarship Council.


As PEM fuel cell technology has advanced in terms of performance and cost in recent years, more emphasis has been put on durability and degradation mechanisms of PEM fuel cells, which maybe is the last major challenge on the road to commercialization. High temperature PEM fuel cells received great attention because of their increased tolerance of Pt based catalysts to CO impurity and simplified water management. Fuel cells with a phosphoric acid(PA) doped polybenzimidazole(PBI) membrane is one well known and successful type which operating temperature can reach 200 ◦C. Long-term PBI MEA and PBI fuel cell tests have been performed in a few works.

The research approaches would be a combination of experiments and numerical modeling. Single fuel cell experiments will be made under different operating conditions to investigate the effects of operating conditions on the durability of the fuel cell. At the same time, local performance of the fuel cell and its temperature distribution will be measured with a special segmented current collector. After that, post-mortem analysis will be done with SEM-EDX to investigate changes in the MEA components and the chemical elements. Besides the experiments, a mathematical model will be constructed to simulate polarization curves recorded at different time during durability test of fuel cell and the simulation results will be compared with the experimental results.


Publications in journals and conference papers may be found at VBN