A comparison of operating strategies to reduce DMFC degradation



Degradation is one of the most critical issues that hinder the commercialization of fuel cells. The experimental investigations of direct methanol fuel cell degradation are complicated by the presence of a temporary contribution that can be recovered adopting suitable operating strategies. In the present work, a methodology to distinguish temporary and permanent degradation is proposed. The capability of different operating strategies to mitigate temporary degradation is evaluated. A strategy, consisting in refresh cycles involving open circuit voltage and cathode air interruption, able to minimize temporary degradation and reduce permanent degradation, is identified and compared with steady-state operation. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.