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Flückiger, R; Marone, F; Stampanoni, M; Wokaun, A; Büchi, F N (2011). Investigation of liquid water in gas diffusion layers of polymer electrolyte fuel cells using X-ray tomographic microscopy. Electrochimica Acta, 56(5):2254-2262.

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Abstract

In polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs), condensation of water within the pore network of the gas diffusion layers (GDL) can influence the gas transport properties and thus reduce the electrochemical conversion rates. The use of X-ray tomographic microscopy (XTM), which allows for a resolution in the order of one micrometer is investigated for studying ex situ the local saturation in GDL's. The strength of XTM is the high spatial resolution with simultaneous contrast for water and carbon, allowing for non-destructive 3D-imaging of the solid and the contained water. The application of this method for imaging the ex situ water intrusion into the porous network of GDLs is explored using absorption and phase contrast methods. It is shown that the inhomogeneous filling behavior of GDL materials can indeed be visualized with sufficient resolution. For Toray paper TGP-H-060 the local saturation was measured as function of the water pressure. The results, evaluated in 1D, 2D and 3D show a liquid water retention effect at the denser layers near the surface. A comparison with established capillary pressure functions is presented. Altogether, the results show the potential of the XTM-method as a tool for studying the liquid water behavior in PEFC on a microscopic scale.

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Engineering
DDC:170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:26 Jan 2012 20:16
Last Modified:28 Nov 2013 00:02
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0013-4686
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.electacta.2010.12.016
Citations:Web of Science®. Times Cited: 22
Google Scholar™
Scopus®. Citation Count: 29

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