This chapter is devoted to various aspects of the degradation of polymer electrolyte fuel cells it describes an approach to this issue using computer modeling this approach is a very effective and powerful tool for two main reasons firstly degradation issues in polymer electrolyte fuel cells pefcs are very complex. Now that fuel cells are in commercial production in the rest of the world if not in the us one of the questions that remain is the long term durability of fuel cell systems here researchers review the current understanding of the durability of polymer electrolyte fuel cells. 1 introduction polymer electrolyte membrane pem fuel cell converts chemical energy stored in reactants directly into electrical energy and it has become a promising alternative power source for stationary portable and vehicular applications due to its unique advantages quiet operation process quick start up and load response efficient energy conversion and low exhaust emission. Polymer electrolyte fuel cell degradation performance decay in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell can result from changes in the gas diffusion layer particularly in the microporous layer . Polymer electrolyte fuel cell lifetime limitations the role of electrocatalyst degradation debbie myers xiaoping wang nancy kariuki stacy decrane tammy nowicki ram subbaraman srikanth arisetty and rajesh ahluwalia argonne national laboratory 2012 us doe hydrogen program and vehicle technologies program
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