In-situ Oxygen Concentration Measurement in the Catalyst Layer and underneath of the Catalyst Layer of the PEMFC
Publication Date: 2012-Apr-26
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In-situ Oxygen Concentration Measurement in Catalyst Layer of Fuel Cell
Oxygen concentration in the cathode is vital for the performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). Particularly, providing high oxygen concentration at the high current density operations is critically important to enhance the area specific power density, which is a significant opportunity to reduce the total active area. In the fuel cell, oxygen concentration at the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) area is locally lowered by unsatisfactory water management in the gas diffusion layer (GDL). A new method to detect the oxygen concentration in the cathode gas diffusion layer was developed. It used small particles of the oxygen sensitive fluorophore molecules which were dispersed in the GDL. This method enable measurement of the oxygen concentration in the GDL, however, it unable to measure the oxygen concentration in the cathode catalyst layer where the ORR is exactly happening, because the dense micro-porous layer (MPL), which is formed lower part of the GDL, is not enough transparent for excitation light and fluorescent signals.
Previous Approach New Approach
A proposed method is to detect oxygen concentration in the cathode catalyst layer while the fuel cell is working. Fluorophore molecules are dispersed in the cathode catalyst layer without using polymer binder. A small window is formed in the anode side for excitation light and fluorescence signal detection. This window is formed while the fabrication of the catalyst coated membrane to remove anode catalyst layer, anode MPL/GLD. For instance, a masking process can be used to form this window. The size of the...