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Life Prediction Model Estimating Chemical Degradation of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane for Fuel Cells

Article of Honda R&D Technical Review Vol.28 No.1

Summary

A calculation method was developed that can predict the lifetime of polymer electrolyte membrane for fuel cells. The chemical degradation of polymer electrolyte membrane is caused by two reaction mechanisms, scission of polymer main chains and unzipping reaction. It was made clear by both experimental and theoretical approaches that the degradation behaviors can be closely approximated with exponential function. By defining the coefficient of the exponential function as the accelerating factor of membrane degradation, the size of the effect of factors accelerating or mitigating chemical degradation could be evaluated quantitatively, and the influence of multiple factors could be represented by a single variable. With the development of a method for predicting membrane lifetime, it became possible to estimate the durability of the polymer electrolyte membrane under the specific fuel cell control as envisioned in the actual operation of an FCV. As a result, polymer electrolyte membrane design values related to the trade-off between fuel cell performance, efficiency, cost, and durability could be optimized.

Reference

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Author (organization or company)

Atsushi HIRAIDE(Automobile R&D Center)

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