Corresponding Author

Jun-tao LU(jtlu@whu.edu.cn);
Lin ZHUANG(lzhuang@whu.edu.cn)


The alkaline polymer electrolyte fuel cell (APEFC) has made appreciable progress in recent years but is still suffering performance loss during discharge with air as the oxidant. Several theories have been suggested to interpret the loss. However, efforts are still needed to reach a clear quantitative understanding. Based on the major experimental findings in combination with thermodynamics and kinetics of the reactions involved in the anode, this paper presents a model featuring layered carbonization in the anode and relevant grouped equations. The simulation results generated from the latter are compared with experiments, and possible principles to suppress the performance loss are proposed.

Graphical Abstract


alkaline polymer electrolyte, fuel cell, carbonization, carbon dioxide, hydrogen oxidation reaction

Publication Date


Online Available Date


Revised Date


Received Date



[1] Li Q H, Peng H Q, Wang Y M, et al. The comparability of Pt to Pt-Ru in catalyzing the hydrogen oxidation reaction for alkaline polymer electrolyte fuel cells operated at 80oC[J]. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2019,58(5), 1442-1446.
URL pmid: 30548378

[2] Huang G, Mandal M, Peng X, et al. Composite poly(norbornene) anion conducting membranes for achieving durability, water management and high power(3.4 W/cm2) in hydrogen/oxygen alkaline fuel cells[J]. Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 2019,166(10):F637-F644.

[3] Matsui Y, Saito M, Tasaka A, et al. Influence of carbon dioxide on the performance of anion-exchange membrane fuel cells[J]. ECS Transactions, 2010,25(13):105-110.

[4] Inaba M, Matsui Y, Saito M, et al. Effects of carbon dioxide on the performance of anion-exchange membrane fuel cells[J]. Electrochemistry, 2011,79(5):322-325.

[5] Zheng Y W, Omasta T J, Peng X, et al. Quantifying and elucidating the effect of CO2 on the thermodynamics, kinetics and charge transport of AEMFCs[J]. Energy & Environmental Science, 2019,12(9):2806-2819.

[6] Zheng Y W, Huang G, Wang L Q, et al. Effect of reacting gas flowrates and hydration on the carbonation of anion exchange membrane fuel cells in the presence of CO2[J]. Journal of Power Sources, 2020,467:228350.

[7] John S S, Atkinson R W, Roy A, et al. The effect of carbonate and pH on hydrogen oxidation and oxygen reduction on Pt-based electrocatalysts in alkaline media[J]. Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 2016,163(3):F291-F295.

[8] Vega J A, Chartier C, Smith S, et al. Effect of carbonate on oxygen reduction, hydrogen oxidation and anion exchange membrane chemical stability[J]. ECS Transactions, 2010,33(1):1735-1749.
doi: 10.1149/1.3484663 URL

[9] Ziv N, Mustain W E, Dekel D R. The effect of ambient carbon dioxide on anion-exchange membrane fuel cells[J]. ChemSusChem, 2018,11(7):1136-1150.
doi: 10.1002/cssc.201702330 URL pmid: 29377635

[10] Krewer U, Weinzierl C, Ziv N, et al. Impact of carbonation processes in anion exchange membrane fuel cells[J]. Electrochimica Acta, 2018,263:433-446.

[11] Zheng J, Sheng W C, Zhuang Z B, et al. Universal dependence of hydrogen oxidation and evolution reaction activity of platinum-group metals on pH and hydrogen binding energy[J]. Science Advances, 2016,2(3):e1501602.
URL pmid: 27034988

[12] Tang D P, Lu J T, Zhuang L, et al. Calculations of the exchange current density for hydrogen electrode reactions: A short review and a new equation[J]. Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, 2010,644(2):144-149.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.