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Multiscale imaging and transport modeling for fuel cell electrodes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2019

Jasna Jankovic
Affiliation:
Materials Science and Engineering Department, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269-3136, USA; and Research and Development Department, Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation Corporation, Burnaby, British Columbia V5J3J8, Canada
Shawn Zhang
Affiliation:
Research and Development Department, DigiM Solution LLC, Burlington, Massachusetts 01803, USA
Andreas Putz
Affiliation:
Research and Development Department, MistyWest, Vancouver, British Columbia V5T2R5, Canada
Madhu S. Saha
Affiliation:
Materials Science and Engineering Department, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269-3136, USA
Darija Susac
Affiliation:
Materials Science and Engineering Department, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269-3136, USA
Corresponding
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Abstract

Transport properties, performance, and durability of a proton exchange fuel cell (PEMFC) highly depend on microstructure and spatial distribution of components in the gas diffusion layer (GDL), microporous layer (MPL), and catalyst layers (CLs) of the fuel cell. Modeling of transport properties and understanding of these effects are challenging due to limited understanding of actual three-dimensional (3D) structure of the components, especially over a wide range of length scales. In this work, 3D imaging on multiple scales, namely electron tomography on a nanoscale, focused ion beam–scanning electron microscopy on a microscale, and 3D X-ray microscopy on a macroscale, was applied to obtain 3D reconstructions of the actual CL, MPL, and GDL microstructure. Direct numerical simulations on 3D data sets with an upscaling approach were applied to demonstrate the capability to simulate overall electrical conductivity of the system. Details of the process, challenges, and results are described.

Type
Invited Paper
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2019 

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