Liquid water breakthrough pressure through gas diffusion layer of proton exchange membrane fuel cell

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The dynamic behavior of liquid water transport through the gas diffusion layer (GDL) of the proton exchange membrane fuel cell is studied with an ex-situ approach. The liquid water breakthrough pressure is measured in the region between the capillary fingering and the stable displacement on the drainage phase diagram. The variables studied are GDL thickness, PTFE/Nafion content within the GDL, GDL compression, the inclusion of a micro-porous layer (MPL), and different water flow rates through the GDL. The liquid water breakthrough pressure is observed to increase with GDL thickness, GDL compression, and inclusion of the MPL. Furthermore, it has been observed that applying some amount of PTFE to an untreated GDL increases the breakthrough pressure but increasing the amount of PTFE content within the GDL shows minimal impact on the breakthrough pressure. For instance, the mean breakthrough pressures that have been measured for TGP-060 and for untreated (0 wt.% PTFE), 10 wt.% PTFE, and 27 wt.% PTFE were 3589 Pa, 5108 Pa, and 5284 Pa, respectively. © 2014, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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International Journal of Hydrogen Energy