Stable Reference Electrode in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Electrolyser for Three-Electrode Measurements

Olli Sorsa, Jussi Nieminen, Pertti Kauranen, Tanja Kallio

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Abstract

In this study, various methods to study individual electrodes in polymer electrolyte membrane cells are reviewed and a novel reference electrode design is developed for a laboratory scale single cell polymer electrolyte membrane water electrolyser. The design uses an internal pseudo-reference electrode which is proven to enable galvanostatic electrochemical impedance spectroscopy studies. The setup is used to study the state-of-the-art electrode materials with high loadings in a start-stop cycling durability test. The cycled catalyst layers are characterized ex-situ with SEM, TEM and XRD. As a result, on the anode the mass transport resistance increases, the macro porosity increases and a structural change from amorphous IrOx towards crystalline IrO2 is detected. On the cathode the platinum particle size increases and an intensifying corrosion phenomenon is detected. In overall, this degradation has still low effect on the full cell performance during the studied 1750 hours. However, there is a clear indication that if the start-stop cycling is further continued, the cell will experience a dramatic performance loss much sooner than when operating it in a constant current mode.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)F1326-F1336
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Volume166
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • PEM Electrolyser
  • Reference Electrode
  • Three-Electrode Setup
  • Hydrogen Evolution Reaction
  • Oxygen Evolution Reaction

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  • Projects

    Closing the Loop for High-added-value Materials

    Lahtinen, K., Kallio, T. & Revitzer, H.

    01/04/201623/09/2019

    Project: Academy of Finland: Strategic research funding

    Sustainable platinum group metal free catalyst materials

    Sorsa, O., Kallio, T., Rauhala, T. & Davodi, F.

    01/09/201523/09/2019

    Project: Academy of Finland: Other research funding

    Rational design of non-noble metal (electro)catalyst materials for energy conversion applications

    Laasonen, K., Kronberg, R., Pakkanen, O. & Ali, F.

    01/01/201531/12/2018

    Project: Academy of Finland: Other research funding

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    OtaNano

    Anna Rissanen (Manager)

    Aalto University

    Facility/equipment: Facility

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