Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Chemical Engineering


Carbon support corrosion is one of the major degradation mechanisms of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell. Carbon oxidation occurs in PEM electrode and is accelerated at high potential created by adverse operating conditions and improper distribution of reactants and products [1, 2, 3]. Carbon corrosion can lead to the thinning of the electrode layer and severe performance degradation. The detailed mechanisms of carbon support corrosion induced performance loss are still not fully understood; it is believed that the following events contribute to the decay: (1) structural collapse of the porous electrode due to the loss of carbon; (2) carbon surface modification due to the formation of hydrophilic surface groups which can induce water accumulation and flooding of the electrode; (3) detachment and dissolution of platinum, which results in the reduction of platinum surface area. Together, these processes contribute to the loss of electrode performance.