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Exploration of significant influences of the operating conditions on the local O2 transport in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs)

Abstract

Although a drastic reduction of the Pt loading in cathode catalyst layers (CCLs) of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) is much desired, an unexpected local O2 transport resistance (rLocal) inevitably appears and severely weakens the fuel cell performance, especially the performance at high current densities. It is thus both urgent and meaningful to explore the impacts of operating conditions on rLocal in CCLs, and thereof to clarify the intrinsic mechanism. Herein, we systematically explore the influences of operating conditions on rLocal using limiting current measurements combined with mathematical calculations, in terms of the dry mole fraction O2, relative humidity, operating pressure and temperature. Results show that contrary to established rules, rLocal in CCLs of PEMFCs is both aggravated when increasing the dry mole fraction O2 or the operating pressure. It is also experimentally found that rLocal in CCLs is both alleviated as the increase in the relative humidity or the operating temperature. Moreover, an adsorption controlled solution-diffusion model is proposed to illuminate the local O2 transport behavior in CCLs of PEMFCs and well account for the influence of the dry mole fraction O2 on rLocal in CCLs.

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 Jul 2017, accepted on 06 Sep 2017 and first published on 06 Sep 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7CP04837H
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Exploration of significant influences of the operating conditions on the local O2 transport in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs)

    S. Shen, X. Cheng, C. Wang, X. Yan, C. Ke, J. Yin and J. Zhang, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7CP04837H

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