Xianguo Li


University of Waterloo, Canada

Contact information

Department of Mechanical and mechatronics Engineering
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Presentation Title

 Degradation Mechanisms and Durability of Automotive PEM Fuel Cells


PEM fuel cells are playing key role in the post-pandemic economic recovery and climate change action/mitigation plans, with significant commercial activities to decarbonize the transportation sector. However, significant degradation of PEM fuel cell components during operation degrades the fuel cell performance, limits the durability of fuel cells in practical application, and significant cost is associated with the over-design to ensure the durability of the fuel cells. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms of degradation modes for different fuel cell components is of importance to the development of high-performing durable low-cost fuel cells. In this talk, the fundamental mechanisms for the degradation (or aging) of the fuel cell components will be described, and the effect of design and operating conditions will be presented. The degradation rate under steady and unsteady operation will be compared, and the impact of automotive driving conditions such as start/stop, variable load requirement, idling/high electrode potential, and high power demand for hill-climbing and high-speed overpassing will be reviewed. Since the component degradation rate depends on the driving cycles of the vehicle, and the differences in road conditions/designs and traffic conditions/regulations leading to the different “standard” driving cycles in North America, Europe and Japan, etc., complicates the design of PEM fuel cells for vehicles destined to the different markets of the world.






Dr. Xianguo Li is a Professor of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, and a University Research Chair, at the University of Waterloo. He received his Bachelor of Engineering degree from Tianjin University, China, in 1982, Masters and PhD degree from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA, in 1986 and 1989, respectively. His research is in the area of fuel cells, liquid fuel atomization and sprays, and green energy systems. He has published extensively, including over 220 peer-reviewed journal articles; three edited books, and Principles of Fuel Cells, the world’s first textbook on fuel cells. Dr. Li serves as the editor in chief for the International Journal of Green Energy, and also on the editorial/advisory board for many journals, book series, encyclopedia and handbooks. He is Vice President, Technical Program, Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering (CSME), and President of the Fuel Cell Division, International Association for Hydrogen Energy. He is a fellow of Canadian Academy of Engineering, Engineering Institute of Canada, and CSME.