Effect of operating cell voltage on the NaCl poisoning mechanism in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

Sunjin Park, Diana Shorova, Hansung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The mechanism of NaCl poisoning in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) depends on the operating cell voltage. Both the Pt dissolution and the liberation of Cl2 and CO2 gases are monitored using an on-line mass spectrometer to differentiate between the different poisoning mechanisms. The changes in the particle size and composition of the catalyst are measured by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy. At a cell voltage of 0.6 V the degradation of performance due to NaCl poisoning is primarily attributed to blockage of the active sites of the catalyst by the adsorption of Cl. This reduced performance can be fully restored by removing Cl in the form of Cl2 while slowing down the carbon corrosion reaction. However, NaCl poisoning at a high cell voltage of 0.9 V results in Cl-induced dissolution of the Pt catalyst, which prevents performance recovery. Thus, it has been demonstrated that the NaCl poisoning mechanism and the reversibility of the performance loss depends largely on the operating cell voltage of the PEMFC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number231590
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Aug 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Technology Innovation Program ( 20011633 ) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE, Korea) , and the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education ( NRF-2019R1A6A1A11055660 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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