Introduction

Aiming commercialization of Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell (PAFC) power plant, many researches and developments have been contributed. Over 20000 hours operations have been demonstrated by many PAFC power plants. But there is no effective method for the estimation of lifetime of electrochemical cells without a practical long-term operation.

Conducted by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), cooperative research projects aiming development of PAFC lifetime estimation method have started since 1995 FY in Japan. As part of this project, this work has been performed to clarify basic phenomena of the performance degradation at PAFCs jointly by Yamanashi University, Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell Technology Research Association (PAFC-TRA) and PAFC manufacturers (Toshiba Co., Mitsubishi Electric Co, Fuji Electric Co.).

Among several main causes of the cell performance degradation, effects of catalyst degradation (reduction in metal surface area, dealloying, changes in catalyst support) on PAFC cathode performances are discussed in this work.

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