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Fuel cell CO sensor

United States Patent

December 14, 1999
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
The CO concentration in the H.sub.2 feed stream to a PEM fuel cell stack is monitored by measuring current and/or voltage behavior patterns from a PEM-probe communicating with the reformate feed stream. Pattern recognition software may be used to compare the current and voltage patterns from the PEM-probe to current and voltage telltale outputs determined from a reference cell similar to the PEM-probe and operated under controlled conditions over a wide range of CO concentrations in the H.sub.2 fuel stream. A CO sensor includes the PEM-probe, an electrical discharge circuit for discharging the PEM-probe to monitor the CO concentration, and an electrical purging circuit to intermittently raise the anode potential of the PEM-probe's anode to at least about 0.8 V (RHE) to electrochemically oxidize any CO adsorbed on the probe's anode catalyst.
Grot; Stephen Andreas (Rochester, NY), Meltser; Mark Alexander (Pittsford, NY), Gutowski; Stanley (Pittsford, NY), Neutzler; Jay Kevin (Rochester, NY), Borup; Rodney Lynn (East Rochester, NY), Weisbrod; Kirk (Los Alamos, NM)
General Motors Corporation (Detroit, MI)
08/ 957,563
October 24, 1997
The Government of the United States of America has rights in this invention pursuant to Agreement No. DE-AC02-90CH10435 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy.