National Research Council of Canada. Energy, Mining and Environment
proton exchange membrane water electrolysis; durability; degradation mechanism; mitigation
Proton exchange membrane water electrolysis (PEMWE) is an advanced and effective solution to the primary energy storage technologies. A better understanding of performance and durability of PEMWE is critical for the engineers and researchers to further advance this technology for its market penetration, and for the manufacturers of PEM water electrolyzers to implement quality control procedures for the production line or on-site process monitoring/diagnosis. This paper reviews the published works on performance degradations and mitigation strategies for PEMWE. Sources of degradation for individual components are introduced. With degradation causes discussed and degradation mechanisms examined, the review emphasizes on feasible strategies to mitigate the components degradation. To avoid lengthy real lifetime degradation tests and their high costs, the importance of accelerated stress tests and protocols is highlighted for various components. In the end, R&D directions are proposed to move the PEMWE technology forward to become a key element in future energy scenarios.