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ECN publication
Air pollution: a problem for the SPFC cathode?
Published by: Publication date:
ECN 1-8-1998
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-RX--98-048 Article (scientific)
Number of pages:

Published in: To be published in the proceedings of 1998 Fuel cell seminar, Palm Springs, California, USA, 16-19 November 1998 (), , , Vol., p.-.

In the laboratory, fuel cells are generally operated at well controlledconditions and with purified gases. In 'real life', deviations from these conditions will occur. Contaminants may be present in amounts that could affect the performance and life-time of fuel cells. The effect of sulphur dioxide and of ammonia in the cathode feed have been studied. Using non-humidified air contaminated with ppm levels of the substances the performance of small scale SPFC cells were recorded. The effect of sulphur dioxide is much more severe than the effect of NH3. The addition of 10 ppm NH3 to the cathode feed leads to a decrease in current density of approximately 5%, and is largely reversible. The addition of 5 ppm SO2 leads to a complete loss in cell performance. The effect of 0.5 ppm S02 on the current density is limited to less than 10%, but in contrast to NH3 , the first exposure leads to permanent loss in performance. Additional exposures are partly reversible. All effects are ascribed to adsorption of the contaminants on the platinum surface, leading to a decrease in platinum sites which are available for oxygen reduction. 4 refs.

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