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Method of monitoring CO concentrations in hydrogen feed to a PEM fuel cell

United States Patent

May 16, 2000
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. The PEM-probe is intermittently purged of any CO build-up on the anode catalyst (e.g., by (1) flushing the anode with air, (2) short circuiting the PEM-probe, or (3) reverse biasing the PEM-probe) to keep the PEM-probe at peak performance levels.
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/ 957,562
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.