Effects of catalyst layer structure and wettability on liquid water transport in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1002/er.1873
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TypeArticle
Journal titleInternational Journal of Energy Research
ISSN0363-907X
Volume35
Issue15
Pages13251339; # of pages: 15
SubjectCathode catalyst layers; Dry-out; Effect of catalyst; Flow channels; Gas diffusion layers; Geometric characteristics; Hydrophilic catalysts; Liquid water saturation; Liquid water transport; Numerical models; PEM fuel cell; Surface wettability; Water balance; Computer simulation; Contact angle; Diffusion in gases; Polyelectrolytes; Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC); Surface structure; Two dimensional; Water levels
AbstractOptimal water levels in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells are the key to prevent liquid water flooding and to reduce membrane dry out. A good understanding of liquid water transport is therefore essential to maintain an optimum water balance. In this study, a two-dimensional, two-phase, volume-averaged numerical model is developed and used to simulate the effect of catalyst layer structure and its surface wettability on liquid water transport in the cathode catalyst layer (CCL) of PEM fuel cells. The model is capable of handling liquid water transport across both the catalyst and gas diffusion layers. The simulation results are compared with literature, and a good agreement is found. The highest liquid water saturation in the CCL is observed under the rib, and the lowest value is observed under the flow channel. It is also observed that the wetting and geometric characteristics of CCL have significant influence on the liquid water transport, and the mobile liquid water saturation in a hydrophilic catalyst layer decreases with CCL surface wettability, that is, lower CCL contact angle yields lower liquid water saturation. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); NRC Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21271948
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Record identifier31654df4-4098-4218-828c-b39a3a8a1431
Record created2014-05-13
Record modified2016-05-09
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