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Research Progress, Trends, and Current State of Development on PEMFC-New Insights from a Bibliometric Analysis and Characteristics of Two Decades of Research Output


The consumption of hydrogen could increase by sixfold in 2050 compared to 2020 levels, reaching about 530 Mt. Against this backdrop, the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has been a major research area in the field of energy engineering. Several reviews have been provided in the existing corpus of literature on PEMFC, but questions related to their evolutionary nuances and research hotspots remain largely unanswered. To fill this gap, the current review uses bibliometric analysis to analyze PEMFC articles indexed in the Scopus database that were published between 2000–2021. It has been revealed that the research field is growing at an annual average growth rate of 19.35%, with publications from 2016 to 2012 alone making up 46% of the total articles available since 2000. As the two most energy-consuming economies in the world, the contributions made towards the progress of PEMFC research have largely been from China and the US. From the research trend found in this investigation, it is clear that the focus of the researchers in the field has largely been to improve the performance and efficiency of PEMFC and its components, which is evident from dominating keywords or phrases such as ‘oxygen reduction reaction’, ‘electrocatalysis’, ‘proton exchange membrane’, ‘gas diffusion layer’, ‘water management’, ‘polybenzimidazole’, ‘durability’, and ‘bipolar plate’. We anticipate that the provision of the research themes that have emerged in the PEMFC field in the last two decades from the scientific mapping technique will guide existing and prospective researchers in the field going forward.

Funding source: The research funding from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (Ural Federal University Program of Development within the Priority-2030 Program) is gratefully acknowledged: The youth laboratory. Grant number: FEUZ-2022-0031.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways

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