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Local measurement of current collector potential in a polymer electrolyte membrane water electrolyser

Becker, H; Castanheira, L; Hinds, G (2020) Local measurement of current collector potential in a polymer electrolyte membrane water electrolyser. Journal of Power Sources, 448. 227563 ISSN 03787753

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Abstract

Reduction in the cost of polymer electrolyte membrane water electrolyser (PEMWE) technology is urgently required for the realisation of commercially viable green hydrogen production. However, at present up to half of the manufacturing cost of a PEMWE stack is associated with the current collector components, with platinum-coated titanium a common material of choice. Here we report in situ measurements of local corrosion potential at PEMWE current collectors during cell operation, using a hydrogen reference electrode connected to the cell via a Nafion salt bridge. We demonstrate for the first time that significant polarisation of the anode current collector occurs only at the local interface with the anode electrode; away from this region the corrosion potential of the anode current collector is completely decoupled from the potential of the anode electrode due to the low ionic conductivity of the deionised water phase. Use of a thin porous titanium spacer layer at this interface would open up the possibility of using cheaper materials such as carbon and stainless steel for anode current collector components, which could lead to a step change in the cost of the technology.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Advanced Materials > Electrochemistry
Divisions: Electromagnetic & Electrochemical Technologies
Identification number/DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2019.227563
Last Modified: 29 May 2020 07:46
URI: http://eprintspublications.npl.co.uk/id/eprint/8708

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