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Ex-situ characterisation of gas diffusion layers for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

El-kharouf, A; Mason, TJ; Brett, DJL; Pollet, BG; (2012) Ex-situ characterisation of gas diffusion layers for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Journal of Power Sources , 218 393 - 404. 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2012.06.099. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper presents the first part of a complete ex-situ characterisation of a wide range of commercial Gas Diffusion Layers (GDLs) used in low temperature and high temperature Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Physical and electrical characteristics of the GDLs are reported. The results show that the substrate structure has a significant effect on the mechanical and electrical properties of the GDL. Moreover, the Micro Porous Layer (MPL) structure determines the roughness of the surface, and affects the permeability and porosity of the GDL. It was found that the substrate treatment with PTFE affects the GDL characteristics; PTFE loading increases the GDLs hydrophobicity and permeability, however, decreases its overall porosity and resistivity. Adding a MPL to the substrate, results in a decrease in porosity and permeability and an increase in resistivity. The contact resistance of the GDL and the bipolar plate increases when the GDL thickness and PTFE loading are increased. This technical paper shows a close relationship between GDL materials and their physical characteristics and highlights the importance of optimising GDLs for fuel cell applications.

Type: Article
Title: Ex-situ characterisation of gas diffusion layers for proton exchange membrane fuel cells
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2012.06.099
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2012.06.099
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: PEM fuel cell, GDL, MPL, Ex-situ characterization
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Chemical Engineering
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1363372
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