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Effect of Agglomerate Microstructure on Oxygen Reduction in Catalyst Layers of Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells

[+] Author Affiliations
Ehsan Sadeghi

Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, CanadaAutomotive Fuel Cell Cooperation, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Andreas Putz

Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Michael Eikerling

Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Paper No. FuelCell2012-91443, pp. 461-472; 12 pages
  • ASME 2012 10th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology collocated with the ASME 2012 6th International Conference on Energy Sustainability
  • ASME 2012 10th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • San Diego, California, USA, July 23–26, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division, Solar Energy Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4482-3
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


Cathode catalyst layers (CCLs) contribute to a major proportion, 30%–40%, of voltage losses in Polymer Electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC). The objectives of the present study are to investigate how the catalyst layer performance depends on electrostatic interaction between reacting protons and the charged metal phase and how these relations are affected by composition and microstructure of agglomerates. A model is developed to study oxygen reduction in catalyst layers based on a novel agglomerate microstructure with conical pores. The model consists of coupled relations for reactant transport, metal charging behaviour, and interfacial charge transfer kinetics, evaluated under steady state conditions. Results show an enhancement in the effectiveness factor of conical pores compared to cylindrical pores. Results of the model are evaluated by comparison with existing experimental data. The effectiveness factor calculated for catalyst layer is 3% which is comparable to existing experimental data.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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