Design and development of gas diffusion layers with pore forming agent for proton exchange membrane fuel cells at various relative humidity conditions

G. Athanasaki, Q. Wang, X. Shi, N. Chauhan, V. Vimala, L. Cindrella, R. Ahmad, A. M. Kannan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Membrane electrode assemblies are developed by incorporating gas diffusion layers (GDL) to improve the lower and higher relative humidity performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). In the present study, gas diffusion layer samples containing microporous layers, are fabricated using carbon paper substrate, PUREBLACK® carbon powder and polyethylene glycol as pore forming agent. The GDLs are studied in single cell fuel cell, to evaluate the effect of porosity of the micro-porous layer on the performance at different operating relative humidity conditions and compared with commercial GDLs. Scanning electron microscopy and contact angle measurements indicate crack-free surface morphology and hydrophobic characteristics of the PUREBLACK® based GDLs, respectively. By varying the wt. % of PEG, fuel cell performance is evaluated under relative humidity conditions of 60 and 100% using H2/O2 and H2/Air at 70 °C and the durability is also evaluated for the GDL samples without and with 30% PEG. The fuel cell performance of the GDL with 30% pore forming agent (with a pore volume of 1.72 cc.g−1) exhibited higher performance (444 and 432 mW cm−2 at 60 and 100% RH conditions, respectively using H2 and air) compared to that without pore forming agent (436 and 397 mW cm−2).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6835-6844
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Volume46
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 3 2021

Keywords

  • Gas diffusion layer
  • Membrane-electrodes assembly
  • Microporous layer
  • PEM Fuel cell
  • PUREBLACK®

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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