Characterization of transport phenomena in porous transport layers using X-ray microtomography Academic Article uri icon

  •  
  • Overview
  •  
  • Research
  •  
  • Identity
  •  
  • Additional Document Info
  •  
  • View All
  •  

abstract

  • Among different methods available for estimating the transport properties of porous transport layers (PTLs) of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, X-ray micro computed tomography (X-mCT) imaging in combination with image-based numerical simulation has been recognized as a viable tool. In this study, four commercially-available single-layer and dual-layer PTLs are analyzed using this method in order to compare and contrast transport properties between different PTLs, as well as the variability within a single sheet. Complete transport property datasets are created for each PTL. The simulation predictions indicate that PTLs with high porosity show considerable variability in permeability and effective diffusivity, while PTLs with low porosity do not. Furthermore, it is seen that the Tomadakis-Sotirchos (TS) analytical expressions for porous media match the image-based simulations when porosity is relatively low but predict higher permeability and effective diffusivity for porosity values greater than 80%. Finally, the simulations show that cracks within MPL of dual-layer PTLs have a significant effect on the overall permeability and effective diffusivity of the PTLs. This must be considered when estimating the transport properties of dual-layer PTLs. These findings can be used to improve macro-scale models of product and reactant transport within fuel cells, and ultimately, fuel cell efficiency.

publication date

  • June 2017