A method of detecting defects in membranes such as ion exchange membranes of electrochemical cells. The electrochemical cell includes an assembly having an anode side and a cathode side with the ion exchange membrane in between. In a configuration step a chemochromic sensor is placed above the cathode and flow isolation hardware lateral to the ion exchange membrane which prevents a flow of hydrogen (H.sub.2) between the cathode and anode side. The anode side is exposed to a first reactant fluid including hydrogen. The chemochromic sensor is examined after the exposing for a color change. A color change evidences the ion exchange membrane has at least one defect that permits H.sub.2 transmission therethrough.
U.S. GOVERNMENT RIGHTS
This invention was made with U.S. Government support under Florida Hydrogen Initiative contract #DEFC3604GO14225 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.