Fückiger, Reto, Freunberger, [Unknown], Kramer, Denis, Wokaun, Alexander, Scherer, Günther . and Büchi, Felix N.
Anisotropic, effective diffusivity of porous gas diffusion layer materials for PEFC
Electrochimica Acta, 54, (2), . (doi:10.1016/j.electacta.2008.07.034).
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A comparative, experimental diffusivity study of gas diffusion layer (GDL) materials for polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC) is presented for the first time. The GDL plays an important role for electrochemical losses due to gas transport limitations at high current densities. Characterization and optimization of these layers is therefore essential to improve power density. A recently developed method which allows for fast diffusimetry is applied and data compared to the literature values. Measurements are made as a function of direction and compression and the effect of different binder structures and hydrophobic treatments on effective diffusivities are discussed. A better understanding of the results is gained by including novel GDL cross-section images and a meaningful unit cell model for the interpretation of the data. The diffusivity data is valuable for GDL manufacturers and future PEFC models. The study reveals that a binder-fiber ratio larger than 50% has a negative impact on the effective diffusion properties. The hydrophobic treatment which is necessary to improve the water management can impede diffusion and thus reduce the power density. Furthermore binder has an isotropic effect while compression pronounces the in-plane orientation of the fibers.
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