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Characterization of pore network structure in catalyst layers of polymer electrolyte fuel cells

El Hannach, Mohamed and Soboleva, Tatyana and Malek, Kourosh and Franco, Alejandro A. and Prat, Marc and Pauchet, Joël and Holdcroft, Steven Characterization of pore network structure in catalyst layers of polymer electrolyte fuel cells. (2014) Journal of Power Sources, 247 (1). 322-326. ISSN 0378-7753

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2013.08.049


We model and validate the effect of ionomer content and Pt nanoparticles on nanoporous structure of catalyst layers in polymer electrolyte fuel cells. By employing Pore network modeling technique and analytical solutions, we analyze and reproduce experimental N2-adsorption isotherms of carbon, Pt/ carbon and catalyst layers with various ionomer contents. The porous catalyst layer structures comprise of Ketjen Black carbon, Pt and Nafion ionomer. The experimental pore size distributions obtained by N2- adsorption are used as an input to generate porous media using the pore network approach. Subsequently, the simulated porous structures are used to produce simulated N2-adsorption isotherms, which are then compared to the experimentally measured isotherms. The results show a good agreement in the prediction of the effect of the ionomer content on the microstructure of catalyst layers. Moreover, the analysis of the isotherms confirms the hypothesis of ionomer distribution on the surface of agglomerates as well as the existence of different sorption regimes in primary and secondary pores of fuel cell catalyst layers.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Elsevier editor. The definitive version is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378775313013979
HAL Id:hal-01004332
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique et aux énergies alternatives - CEA (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Other partners > National Research Council of Canada (CANADA)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Other partners > Simon Fraser University (CANADA)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:11 Jun 2014 09:38

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