Operational experiences of PEMFC pilot plant using low grade hydrogen from sodium chlorate production process

Jari Ihonen (Corresponding Author), Pauli Koski, Valtteri Pulkkinen, T. Keränen, H. Karimäki, Sonja Auvinen, Kaj Nikiforow, Mikko Kotisaari, H. Tuiskula, Jaana Viitakangas

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    A 50 kW PEMFC pilot plant has been operated 4400 h using hydrogen originating from a sodium chlorate production process after standard industry purification processes were applied. The first stage of the fuel cell system operation was performed using anode gas recirculation, while in the other stages an open anode configuration was applied. The fuel cell system did not show extensive degradation despite the low quality of the hydrogen and frequent shut-downs. The average degradation rate was 2–3 μV per hour at low and medium currents (10–150 A). The main causes for any unreliability were found to be hydrogen supply side system components, namely pressure reducers and valves. Recommendations are given for the improvement of both PEMFC power plant design and operation for industrial hydrogen applications.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)27269-27283
    Number of pages15
    JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
    Issue number44
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed



    • by-product hydrogen
    • carbon monoxide
    • fuel cell system
    • hydrogen quality
    • PEMFC
    • stack degradation

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