Hydrogen Fuel Quality Screening Test of Chemicals for Fuel Cell Vehicle
The purpose of this Technical Information Report (TIR) is to establish Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) testing methods and characterization of chemicals used in Hydrogen Refueling Stations (HRS), during operation and maintenance that can influence the performance of commercial proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell vehicles.
Hydrogen quality standards such as SAE J2719 provide list of contaminants with maximum impurity levels that ensure safe operation of fuel cell vehicles. These contaminants are primarily from the hydrogen production. Less attention in these quality standards were given to the contaminants generated from the operation and maintenance of HRS. Common chemicals used during HRS operation are refrigerants, lubricants, etc.., and during HRS maintenance are solvents cleaning agents, lubricants etc... Some of these chemicals are found to have adverse impacts on PEM fuel cells.
The development of testing methods and characterization of chemicals in this report are based on similar methods used in SAE J2719 although the approach in this TIR is a direct evaluation of the chemical rather than specifying the contaminant level. These methods consider fuel cell performance characteristics for each chemical tested and the impacts of functional groups on PEM fuel cells. Adverse impact of contaminants on fuel cells are associated with performance drop after exposure to the chemical.
Rationale: Currently, the H2 quality standard SAE J2719 provides a good start to protect fuel cells from performance degradation due to H2 quality. However, this standard was developed with the primary focus of the supply chain-derived contaminants to PEM fuel cells, mainly from hydrogen production sources. Less attention was given to the contaminants introduced from the operation and maintenance of Hydrogen Refueling Stations (HRS).
There are concerns that despite meeting the H2 quality standard, fuel cells could show degradation of their performance due to contamination from HRS maintenance. In such circumstances there is no guidance to the station or to the industry on how to address such issues.
The proposed TIR will establish the testing methods and characterization of chemicals used during operation and maintenance in HRS.