Application of water barrier layers in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell for improved water management at low humidity conditions

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2010.12.108
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TypeArticle
Journal titleInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
ISSN0360-3199
Volume36
Issue5
Pages36353648; # of pages: 14
SubjectCatalyst layers; Cathode flow fields; Dry condition; Dry gas; Extreme conditions; Gas diffusion layer; Gas diffusion layers; Low humidity conditions; Operational life; Perforated layers; Transport limitations; Voltage drop; Water barriers; Water saturations; Cathodes; Corrosion resistant alloys; Diffusion in gases; Durability; Failure analysis; Gas hydrates; Gas permeable membranes; Gases; Perforating; Porous materials; Protons; Stainless steel; Steel sheet; Water content; Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC)
AbstractThis study discusses the use of an additional layer in the cathode side of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) for improved water management at dry conditions. The performance of fuel cells deteriorates significantly when low to no gas humidification is used. This study demonstrates that adding a non-porous material with perforations, such as stainless steel, between the cathode flow field plate and the gas diffusion layer (GDL) improves the water saturation in the cathode GDL and catalyst layer, increases the water content in the anode, and keeps the membrane hydrated. The slight voltage drop in the performance as a result of transport limitations is justifiable since the overall durability of the cell at these extreme conditions is enhanced. The results show that the perforated layer(s) enhances the operational life of the PEMFC under completely dry conditions. These extreme conditions (dry gases without humidification, 90 kPa, 75 °C) were used to accelerate the failure modes in the fuel cells. © 2011, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); NRC Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation (IFCI-IIPC)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21271424
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Record identifier5d3205e6-c2b9-4a72-a54a-7cd240f22fe6
Record created2014-03-24
Record modified2016-05-09
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