Mechanical Engineering Seminar


Characterization, Mitigation, and Modeling of Degradation in Platinum Group Metal-Free Hydrogen Fuel Cells


Dr. Diana Beltran


Carnegie Mellon University


Tuesday, March 14, 2023 at 11:00:00 AM   


GTMI Building, Room Auditorium


Dr. Tequila Harris


Challenges to adopting proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) include catalyst costs and durability. Groups are actively addressing this problem by designing new platinum-group metal (PGM)-free oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts that continue to demonstrate significant advances in catalytic activity but not in catalytic stability. The presentation will cover work to characterize PGM-free cathode degradation in a fuel cell. This work includes partial performance recovery by an in-situ electrochemical method, presenting the effects of acetonitrile and sulfur dioxide contamination on operating PGM and PGM-free cathode fuel cells. Finally, it demonstrates the impact of operating conditions on the degradation rate of highly active Fe-based catalyst cathode PEMFCs. It explores methods to mitigate degradation and expands models to predict PGM-free fuel cell degradation due to voltage cycling.


Diana E. Beltran, a GEM alum, is a postdoctoral research associate at Carnegie Mellon University working with Prof. Shawn Litster. She earned her B.S. in Physics with a minor in Mathematics from Southwestern University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. Her work focuses on the characterization of stability and durability of platinum-group metal-free catalyst cathodes in hydrogen fuel cells.


Refreshments will be served.