The hydrogen and
fuel cell center

Investigations on the influence of pollutants and H2 quality

Since 2009, the ZBT has been engaged in the investigation of external pollutants on PEM fuel cells and system components (e.g. humidifiers). One focus is the analysis of the influence of air pollutant gases on the MEA or humidifier membrane under realistic conditions (pollutant gas concentration and operating parameters). In cooperation with partners, real occurring pollutant gas conditions in road traffic can be determined (highway, tunnel, land transport) and subsequently the influence of the gases can be analyzed under various load cycles and operating parameters. By determining limit values depending on the materials used and system conditions, filter manufacturers, for example, are provided with important information for component design. The ZBT is an international leader in this field.

Another focus is the investigation of the influence of H2 quality on the lifetime of the PEM fuel cell under system-oriented conditions. In the H2 recirculation circuit of a system an accumulation of harmful gases (CO, H2S, NH3) can occur, which leads to an accelerated degradation of the stack. An analysis in the ppb range supports short stack investigations close to the system.

Exemplary investigations and measuring methods

  • Hydrogen permeation measurement
  • Hydrogen embrittlement
  • Mechanical investigations
  • In situ characterization (i-V, EIS, CV, LSV, limiting current density)
  • REM-EDX analyses
  • µ-GC
  • IMR-MS
Shortstack test bench with recirculation and integrated gas analysis
Investigations on the influence of nitrogen oxides on the fuel cell - variation of pollutant gas concentration and cell temperature
Analysis of the influence of air pollutant gases on humidifier materials
Last update:  20.10.2020