Influence of Ionomer Content in IrO 2 /TiO 2 Electrodes on PEM Water Electrolyzer Performance

  • Bernt M
  • Gasteiger H
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Abstract

In this study, the influence of ionomer content in IrO 2 /TiO 2 anode electrodes for a proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer is investigated (Nafion 212 membrane; 2.0 mg Ir cm −2 / 0.35 mg Pt cm −2 (anode/cathode)) and the contributions of ohmic losses, kinetic losses, proton transport losses in the electrodes, and mass transport losses to the overall cell voltage are analyzed. Electrolysis tests are performed with an in-house designed high pressure electrolyzer cell at differential pressure up to 30 bar. The best performance is obtained for an ionomer content of 11.6 wt% and a cell voltage of 1.57 V at 1 A cm −2 and less than 2 V at 6 A cm −2 (ambient pressure, 80 • C). Performance losses at lower ionomer contents are the result of a higher proton conduction resistance. For higher ionomer contents, on the other hand, performance losses can be related to a filling of the electrode void volume by ionomer, leading to a higher O 2 mass transport resistance, an increased electronic contact resistance, and the electronic insulation of parts of the catalyst by ionomer. At high pressure operation, the performance corrected by the shift of the Nernst voltage increases with H 2 pressure and we propose a new explanation for this effect.

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Bernt, M., & Gasteiger, H. A. (2016). Influence of Ionomer Content in IrO 2 /TiO 2 Electrodes on PEM Water Electrolyzer Performance . Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 163(11), F3179–F3189. https://doi.org/10.1149/2.0231611jes

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