Ignition and front propagation in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

Jay Burton Benziger, E. S. Chia, Y. De Decker, Yannis Kevrekidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Water produced in a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell enhances membrane proton conductivity; this positive feedback loop can lead to current ignition. Gas-phase convection and membrane diffusion of water coupled with water production in a simplified two-dimensional PEM fuel cell leads to localized ignition and current density front propagation in the cell. Co-current gas flow in the anode and cathode channels causes ignition at the cell outlet, and membrane diffusion causes the front to slowly propagate toward the inlet; counter-current flow in the anode and cathode channels causes ignition in the interior of the cell, with the current density fronts subsequently spreading toward both inlets. The basic chemistry and physics of the spatiotemporal nonlinear dynamics of the two-dimensional fuel cell current can be captured by extending a simple one-dimensional stirred tank reactor model to a "tanks-in-series" model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2330-2334
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Volume111
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 8 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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    Benziger, J. B., Chia, E. S., De Decker, Y., & Kevrekidis, Y. (2007). Ignition and front propagation in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 111(5), 2330-2334. https://doi.org/10.1021/jp065682c