Biomimetic flow fields for proton exchange membrane fuel cells: A review of design trends

A. Iranzo, C. H. Arredondo, A. M. Kannan, F. Rosa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Bipolar Plate design is one of the most active research fields in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) development. Bipolar Plates are key components for ensuring an appropriate water management within the cell, preventing flooding and enhancing the cell operation at high current densities. This work presents a literature review covering bipolar plate designs based on nature or biological structures such as fractals, leaves or lungs. Biological inspiration comes from the fact that fluid distribution systems found in plants and animals such as leaves, blood vessels, or lungs perform their functions (mostly the same functions that are required for bipolar plates) with a remarkable efficiency, after millions of years of natural evolution. Such biomimetic designs have been explored to date with success, but it is generally acknowledged that biomimetic designs have not yet achieved their full potential. Many biomimetic designs have been derived using computer simulation tools, in particular Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) so that the use of CFD is included in the review. A detailed review including performance benchmarking, time line evolution, challenges and proposals, as well as manufacturing issues is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116435
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Biologically-inspired design
  • Biomimetics
  • Bionic
  • Bipolar plate
  • Fuel cell
  • Nature-inspired design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Pollution
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Biomimetic flow fields for proton exchange membrane fuel cells: A review of design trends'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this