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Research Papers

Predicting Liquid Water Saturation Through Differently Structured Cathode Gas Diffusion Media of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

[+] Author and Article Information
N. Akhtar1

Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry,  Technical University Eindhoven, Eindhoven, 5600 MB, The Netherlandsnavtar433@yahoo.com

P. J. A. M. Kerkhof

Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry,  Technical University Eindhoven, Eindhoven, 5600 MB, The Netherlands

1

Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 9(2), 021010 (Mar 19, 2012) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005617 History: Received April 11, 2011; Revised November 30, 2011; Published March 09, 2012; Online March 19, 2012

The role of gas diffusion media with differently structured properties have been examined with emphasis on the liquid water saturation within the cathode of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The cathode electrode consists of a gas diffusion layer (GDL), a micro-porous layer and a catalyst layer (CL). The liquid water saturation profiles have been calculated for varying structural and physical properties, i.e., porosity, permeability, thickness and contact angle for each of these layers. It has been observed that each layer has its own role in determining the liquid water saturation within the CL. Among all the layers, the GDL is the most influential layer that governs the transport phenomena within the PEMFC cathode. Besides, the thickness of the CL also affects the liquid water saturation and it should be carefully controlled.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

The geometrical configuration

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Figure 2

The grid independency test

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Figure 4

Effect of change in permeability of the porous layers on liquid water saturation distribution for: (a) CL permeability, (b) MPL permeability and (c) GDL permeability

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Figure 7

Effect of hydrophobic treatment of the porous layers on liquid water saturation distribution for: (a) CL contact angle, (b) MPL contact angle and (c) GDL contact angle

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Figure 3

Effect of change in porosity of the porous layers on liquid water saturation distribution for: (a) CL porosity, (b) MPL porosity and (c) GDL porosity

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Figure 5

Effect of change in thickness of the porous layers on liquid water saturation distribution for: (a) CL thickness, (b) MPL thickness and (c) GDL thickness

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Figure 6

Effect of hydrophilic treatment of the porous layers on liquid water saturation distribution for: (a) CL contact angle, (b) MPL contact angle and (c) GDL contact angle

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