Effect of carbon paper substrate of the gas diffusion layer on the performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cell

J. F. Lin, J. Wertz, R. Ahmad, M. Thommes, Arunachala Mada Kannan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Gas diffusion layers (GDLs) were fabricated using non-woven carbon paper substrates with various thicknesses developed by Hollingsworth & Vose Co. Highly consistent carbon slurry containing Pureblack carbon and vapor grown carbon fiber (3:1 ratio) with 25 wt.% Teflon was prepared by using a dispersion agent, Novec-7300 in isopropyl alcohol. Micro-porous layer was coated by using a fully automated Coatema coating tool with a uniform carbon loading of 2.6-3 mg cm-2 using carbon slurry. The surface morphology, contact angle and pore size distribution of the GDLs were examined using SEM, Goniometer and Hg Porosimeter, respectively. Various cathode GDLs assembled into MEAs were evaluated in a single cell PEMFC under various operating relative humidity (RH) conditions using H2/O2 and H2/air as reactants. The peak power density of the single cell using the optimum carbon paper substrate thickness was about 1400 and 700 mW cm-2 with H2/O2 and H2/air at 60% RH, respectively. It was found that the pore diameter as well as the corresponding pore volumes of the GDLs played a key role in exhibiting the optimum fuel cell performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2746-2751
Number of pages6
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Volume55
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010

Keywords

  • Carbon paper
  • Dispersion agent
  • Gas diffusion layer
  • Pore size
  • Proton exchange membrane fuel cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Electrochemistry

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