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Title: Investigation of thin/well-tunable liquid/gas diffusion layers exhibiting superior multifunctional performance in low-temperature electrolytic water splitting

Abstract

Liquid/gas diffusion layers (LGDLs), which are located between the catalyst layer (CL) and bipolar plate (BP), play an important role in enhancing the performance of water splitting in proton exchange membrane electrolyzer cells (PEMECs). They are expected to transport electrons, heat, and reactants/products simultaneously with minimum voltage, current, thermal, interfacial, and fluidic losses. Here in this study, the thin titanium-based LGDLs with straight-through pores and well-defined pore morphologies are comprehensively investigated for the first time. The novel LGDL with a 400 μm pore size and 0.7 porosity achieved a best-ever performance of 1.66 V at 2 A cm -2 and 80 °C, as compared to the published literature. The thin/well-tunable titanium based LGDLs remarkably reduce ohmic and activation losses, and it was found that porosity has a more significant impact on performance than pore size. In addition, an appropriate equivalent electrical circuit model has been established to quantify the effects of pore morphologies. The rapid electrochemical reaction phenomena at the center of the PEMEC are observed by coupling with high-speed and micro-scale visualization systems. Lastly, the observed reactions contribute reasonable and pioneering data that elucidate the effects of porosity and pore size on the PEMEC performance. This study can bemore » a new guide for future research and development towards high-efficiency and low-cost hydrogen energy.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [1];  [1]
  1. Univ. of Tennessee Space Inst. (UTSI), Knoxville, TN (United States). Dept. of Mechanical, Aerospace & Biomedical Engineering
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Fuels, Engines and Emissions Research Center (FEERC); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). National Transportation Research Center (NTRC); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1354648
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energy & Environmental Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1754-5692
Publisher:
Royal Society of Chemistry
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY

Citation Formats

Kang, Zhenye, Mo, Jingke, Yang, Gaoqiang, Retterer, Scott T., Cullen, David A., Toops, Todd J., Green, Jr, Johney B., Mench, Matthew M., and Zhang, Feng-Yuan. Investigation of thin/well-tunable liquid/gas diffusion layers exhibiting superior multifunctional performance in low-temperature electrolytic water splitting. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1039/C6EE02368A.
Kang, Zhenye, Mo, Jingke, Yang, Gaoqiang, Retterer, Scott T., Cullen, David A., Toops, Todd J., Green, Jr, Johney B., Mench, Matthew M., & Zhang, Feng-Yuan. Investigation of thin/well-tunable liquid/gas diffusion layers exhibiting superior multifunctional performance in low-temperature electrolytic water splitting. United States. doi:10.1039/C6EE02368A.
Kang, Zhenye, Mo, Jingke, Yang, Gaoqiang, Retterer, Scott T., Cullen, David A., Toops, Todd J., Green, Jr, Johney B., Mench, Matthew M., and Zhang, Feng-Yuan. Tue . "Investigation of thin/well-tunable liquid/gas diffusion layers exhibiting superior multifunctional performance in low-temperature electrolytic water splitting". United States. doi:10.1039/C6EE02368A. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1354648.
@article{osti_1354648,
title = {Investigation of thin/well-tunable liquid/gas diffusion layers exhibiting superior multifunctional performance in low-temperature electrolytic water splitting},
author = {Kang, Zhenye and Mo, Jingke and Yang, Gaoqiang and Retterer, Scott T. and Cullen, David A. and Toops, Todd J. and Green, Jr, Johney B. and Mench, Matthew M. and Zhang, Feng-Yuan},
abstractNote = {Liquid/gas diffusion layers (LGDLs), which are located between the catalyst layer (CL) and bipolar plate (BP), play an important role in enhancing the performance of water splitting in proton exchange membrane electrolyzer cells (PEMECs). They are expected to transport electrons, heat, and reactants/products simultaneously with minimum voltage, current, thermal, interfacial, and fluidic losses. Here in this study, the thin titanium-based LGDLs with straight-through pores and well-defined pore morphologies are comprehensively investigated for the first time. The novel LGDL with a 400 μm pore size and 0.7 porosity achieved a best-ever performance of 1.66 V at 2 A cm-2 and 80 °C, as compared to the published literature. The thin/well-tunable titanium based LGDLs remarkably reduce ohmic and activation losses, and it was found that porosity has a more significant impact on performance than pore size. In addition, an appropriate equivalent electrical circuit model has been established to quantify the effects of pore morphologies. The rapid electrochemical reaction phenomena at the center of the PEMEC are observed by coupling with high-speed and micro-scale visualization systems. Lastly, the observed reactions contribute reasonable and pioneering data that elucidate the effects of porosity and pore size on the PEMEC performance. This study can be a new guide for future research and development towards high-efficiency and low-cost hydrogen energy.},
doi = {10.1039/C6EE02368A},
journal = {Energy & Environmental Science},
number = 1,
volume = 10,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {10}
}

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Works referenced in this record:

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