Modeling an ordered nanostructured cathode catalyst layer for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2010.10.111
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TypeArticle
Journal titleJournal of Power Sources
ISSN0378-7753
1873-2755
Volume196
Pages45334544; # of pages: 11
SubjectOrdered nanostructured CCL; PEM fuel cell; Carbon nanotube (CNT); Knudsen diffusion
AbstractA 3D mathematical model of an ordered nanostructured cathode catalyst layer (CCL) has been developed for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. In an ordered nanostructured CCL, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are used as support materia for Pt catalyst, upon which a thin layer of proton-conducting polymer (Nafion) is deposited, which are then aligned along the main transport direction (perpendicular to the membrane) of various species. The model considers all the relevant processes in different phases of an ordered nanostructured CCL. In addition, the effect of Knudsen diffusion is accounted in the model. The model can predict not only the performance of an ordered nanostructured CCL at various operating and design conditions but also can predict the distributions of various fields in different phases of an ordered nanostructured CCL. The predicted nanostructured CCL performance with estimated membrane overpotential is validated with measured data found in the literature, and a good agreement is obtained between the model prediction and measured result. Moreover, a parametric study is conducted to investigate the effect of key design parameters on the performance of an ordered nanostructured CCL. In the absence of liquid water, it is found that oxygen diffusion in the pore phase is not the limiting factor for the performance of an ordered nanostructured CCL, owing to its parallel gas pores and high porosity. However, the transport of dissolved oxygen through the Nafion phase has a significant effect on the performance of an ordered nanostructured CCL. Further, it is found that increasing the spacing between CNTs results in a considerable drop in the performance of an ordered nanostructured CCL at the base case conditions considered in the simulation.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; NRC Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number16945696
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Record identifierfbf518a9-530e-46bc-9132-2431c9aaaa59
Record created2011-03-09
Record modified2016-05-09
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