Researchers will now be able to examine the degradation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC's) membranes in a matter of minutes.
Researchers will now be able to examine the degradation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC’s) membranes in a matter of minutes thanks to the work of Emil Roduner and his team from the University of Stuttgart Germany.
The team use a novel method to ’peek’ inside a running fuel cell and monitor the wanted and unwanted electrochemical processes taking place. The method uses spin traps that convert short-lived reactive intermediates into more stable radicals that accumulate and become observable by electron spin resonance.
As highly promising devices for converting chemical energy into electricity much effort has been directed at improving the efficiency and lifetimes of PEMFC’s.
This new technique should help researchers to determine the electrochemical operating conditions which lead to their membrane’s degradation and improve performance; information that will be very important for optimising fuel cell lifetimes.
A Panchenko et al, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2004, 6, 2891 <MAN>b404253k</MAN>
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