Kmiotek, Stephen J.
Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are showing promise as an energy source, but efficiency issues block commercialization. Research is currently focused on improving components of the fuel cell, and this report concerns gas transport when the gas diffusion layer (GDL) contains water. Through-plane permeability was measured using a pure nitrogen stream in GDLs saturated with water. Pressure-based and humidification-based saturation systems were constructed to hydrate the GDL, and subsequent permeability calculations were compared against dry GDL permeability values. It was found that the presence of liquid water in the GDL harms gas transport and damages GDL structure.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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