Liquid water transport in PEM fuel cells

Jay Benziger, Tamara Whitaker, Erin Kimball, I. G. Kevrekidis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


Liquid water transport and flooding in PEM fuel cells is gravity dependent. Liquid water accumulates at the cathode/membrane interface until a hydraulic pressure sufficient overcomes the hydrophobic surface energy pushes the water through the largest pores of the Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL). Liquid water drops grow on the GDL surface until sufficient force overcomes the interfacial tension between the water in pore and the drop on the surface. When the gas flow channels are horizontal, with the cathode facing down, gravity pulls the water drops from the GDL surface permitting stable fuel cell operation. When the cathode faces up the water drops accumulate on the GDL surface creating a mass transfer resistance that cause the local current density to fluctuate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationECS Transactions - Fuel Cell Seminar 2007
PublisherElectrochemical Society Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781566776394
ISBN (Print)9781566776394
StatePublished - 2008
EventFuel Cell Seminar 2007 - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: Oct 15 2007Oct 19 2007

Publication series

NameECS Transactions
ISSN (Print)1938-5862
ISSN (Electronic)1938-6737


OtherFuel Cell Seminar 2007
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Antonio, TX

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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