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The lifetime and performance of a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) were investigatedto understand the correlation between thestructure of catalysts /membrane and cell performanceversus time.The cell polarization and performance curves were obtained during the DMFC operation with the time.The catalysts and Nafion~ membrane of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) from the lifetime test were comprehensively examined by XRD, HRTEM, FTIRand Raman spectroscope techniques.The results revealed that there was significant performance degradation during the first 200 hours operation; while the degradation was slowing down between 200 and 704hours operation.The degradation became worse after 1 002 h operation.The increases of the catalyst particle size from both anode and cathode catalysts wereobserved after the DMFC lifetime test.The changes of microstructure, surface composition, the interfacial structure of the MEA, and the aging of Nafion~ under the DMFC lifetime tests were also observed.


DMFC, Life time, Aging, Degradalion, Particle agglomeratiom

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