Development of gas diffusion layer using water based carbon slurry for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

J. F. Lin, X. Liu, A. Adame, R. Villacorta, J. Wertz, R. Ahmad, M. Thommes, Arunachala Mada Kannan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The micro-porous layer of gas diffusion layers (GDLs) was fabricated with the carbon slurry dispersed in water containing sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), by wire rod coating process. The aqueous carbon slurry with micelle-encapsulation was highly consistent and stable without losing any homogeneity even after adding polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) binder for hundreds of hours. The surface morphology, contact angle and pore size distribution of the GDLs were examined using SEM, Goniometer and Hg Porosimeter, respectively. GDLs fabricated with various SDS concentrations were assembled into MEAs and evaluated in a single cell PEMFC under diverse operating relative humidity (RH) conditions using H2/O2 and H2/air as reactants. The peak power density of the single cell using the GDLs with optimum SDS concentration was 1400 and 500 mW cm-2 with H2/O2 and H 2/air at 90% RH, respectively. GDLs were also fabricated with isopropyl alcohol (IPA) based carbon slurry for fuel cell performance comparison. It was found that the composition of the carbon slurry, specifically SDS concentration played a critical role in controlling the pore diameter as well as the corresponding pore volumes of the GDLs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1591-1596
Number of pages6
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011


  • Gas diffusion layers
  • Membrane electrode assembly
  • PEM fuel cells
  • Water based carbon slurry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Electrochemistry


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