Modeling of two-phase behavior in the gas diffusion medium of PEFCs via full morphology approach

Volker Paul Schulz, Jürgen Becker, Andreas Wiegmann, Partha P. Mukherjee, Chao Yang Wang

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242 Scopus citations

Abstract

A full morphology (FM) model has been developed for studying the two-phase characteristics of the gas diffusion medium in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC). The three-dimensional (3D) fibrous microstructure for the nonwoven gas diffusion layer (GDL) microstructure has been reconstructed using a stochastic technique for Toray090 and SGL10BA carbon papers. The FM model directly solves for the capillary pressure-saturation relations on the detailed morphology of the reconstructed GDL from drainage simulations. The estimated capillary pressure-saturation curves can be used as valuable inputs to macroscopic two-phase models. Additionally, 3D visualization of the water distribution in the gas diffusion medium suggests that only a small number of pores are occupied by liquid water at breakthrough. Based on a reduced compression model, the two-phase behavior of the GDL under mechanical load is also investigated and the capillary pressure-saturation relations are evaluated for different compression levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)B419-B426
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Volume154
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 16 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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