Bulk and contact resistances of gas diffusion layers in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

Donghao Ye, Eric Gauthier, Jay B. Benziger, Mu Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

A multi-electrode probe is employed to distinguish the bulk and contact resistances of the catalyst layer (CL) and the gas diffusion layer (GDL) with the bipolar plate (BPP). Resistances are compared for Vulcan carbon catalyst layers (CL), carbon paper and carbon cloth GDL materials, and GDLs with microporous layers (MPL). The Vulcan carbon catalyst layer bulk resistance is 100 times greater than the bulk resistance of carbon paper GDL (Toray TG-H-120). Carbon cloth (CCWP) has bulk and contact resistances twice those of carbon paper. Compression of the GDL decreases the GDL contact resistance, but has little effect on the bulk resistance. Treatment of the GDL with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) increases the contact resistance, but has little effect on the bulk resistance. A microporous layer (MPL) added to the GDL decreases the contact resistance, but has little effect on the bulk resistance. An equivalent circuit model shows that for channels less than 1 mm wide the contact resistance is the major source of electronic resistance and is about 10% of the total ohmic resistance associated with the membrane electrode assembly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-456
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume256
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Keywords

  • Catalyst layer
  • Contact resistance
  • Gas diffusion layer
  • Lateral resistance
  • PEMFC

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