skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Direct Simulations of Pore-Scale Water Transport through Diffusion Media

Abstract

Here, a numerical framework is developed for simulating pore-scale liquid water transport in polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) diffusion media (DM) as measured by X-ray computed tomography. Accuracy of the model is evaluated by benchmarking it with micro-scale tomographic observations of liquid water in DM at different inlet pressures. Application of the model to nano-scale morphology of the micro porous layer (MPL) shows that cracks in MPL facilitate water management by keeping nano-pores dry. Simulations in macro-scale morphology of DM indicate that liquid water saturation is approximately two-times higher in DM without an MPL. This is shown to be a consequence of water accumulation in the middle-lower height of the DM in the absence of an MPL which is demonstrated to limit the water intrusion into DM. Simulation of the land-channel configuration shows water accumulation predominantly under the land of DM with an MPL whereas considerable amount of water is also observed under the channel without an MPL. Additionally, we performed direct reactant transport simulations showing that MPL facilitates significantly better O 2 transport in wet DM (~ two-times higher formation factor in land-channel configuration) but it induces slightly less facile O 2 transport in dry DM (12% lower formationmore » factor).« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Lemont, IL (United States)
  2. Tufts Univ., Medford, MA (United States)
  3. Tufts Univ., Medford, MA (United States); Univ. of California, Irvine, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fuel Cell Technologies Office (EE-3F)
OSTI Identifier:
1489434
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1494601
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-06CH11357; AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of the Electrochemical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 166; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4651
Publisher:
The Electrochemical Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
25 ENERGY STORAGE; Fuel Cells - PEM; Pore scale multiphase simulation; Water management with MPL; Water transport

Citation Formats

Cetinbas, Firat C., Ahluwalia, Rajesh K., Shum, Andrew D., and Zenyuk, Iryna V. Direct Simulations of Pore-Scale Water Transport through Diffusion Media. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1149/2.0011907jes.
Cetinbas, Firat C., Ahluwalia, Rajesh K., Shum, Andrew D., & Zenyuk, Iryna V. Direct Simulations of Pore-Scale Water Transport through Diffusion Media. United States. doi:10.1149/2.0011907jes.
Cetinbas, Firat C., Ahluwalia, Rajesh K., Shum, Andrew D., and Zenyuk, Iryna V. Thu . "Direct Simulations of Pore-Scale Water Transport through Diffusion Media". United States. doi:10.1149/2.0011907jes.
@article{osti_1489434,
title = {Direct Simulations of Pore-Scale Water Transport through Diffusion Media},
author = {Cetinbas, Firat C. and Ahluwalia, Rajesh K. and Shum, Andrew D. and Zenyuk, Iryna V.},
abstractNote = {Here, a numerical framework is developed for simulating pore-scale liquid water transport in polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) diffusion media (DM) as measured by X-ray computed tomography. Accuracy of the model is evaluated by benchmarking it with micro-scale tomographic observations of liquid water in DM at different inlet pressures. Application of the model to nano-scale morphology of the micro porous layer (MPL) shows that cracks in MPL facilitate water management by keeping nano-pores dry. Simulations in macro-scale morphology of DM indicate that liquid water saturation is approximately two-times higher in DM without an MPL. This is shown to be a consequence of water accumulation in the middle-lower height of the DM in the absence of an MPL which is demonstrated to limit the water intrusion into DM. Simulation of the land-channel configuration shows water accumulation predominantly under the land of DM with an MPL whereas considerable amount of water is also observed under the channel without an MPL. Additionally, we performed direct reactant transport simulations showing that MPL facilitates significantly better O2 transport in wet DM (~ two-times higher formation factor in land-channel configuration) but it induces slightly less facile O2 transport in dry DM (12% lower formation factor).},
doi = {10.1149/2.0011907jes},
journal = {Journal of the Electrochemical Society},
number = 7,
volume = 166,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {1}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1149/2.0011907jes

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 3 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Experimental data (green color) and simulated (blue color) liquid water volume distribution at 14 cm water pressure head (solid boundaries in computational domain is shown in gray color).

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

An Experimental Investigation of Water Transport in PEMFCs
journal, January 2007

  • Karan, Kunal; Atiyeh, Hasan; Phoenix, Aaron
  • Electrochemical and Solid-State Letters, Vol. 10, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1149/1.2398728

Modelling water intrusion and oxygen diffusion in a reconstructed microporous layer of PEM fuel cells
journal, October 2014


Determination of Material Properties of Gas Diffusion Layers: Experiments and Simulations Using Phase Contrast Tomographic Microscopy
journal, January 2009

  • Becker, Jürgen; Flückiger, Reto; Reum, Mathias
  • Journal of The Electrochemical Society, Vol. 156, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1149/1.3176876

Random Pore Network Modeling of Fibrous PEMFC Gas Diffusion Media Using Voronoi and Delaunay Tessellations
journal, January 2013

  • Gostick, Jeff T.
  • Journal of The Electrochemical Society, Vol. 160, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1149/2.009308jes

Effects of polytetrafluoroethylene treatment and compression on gas diffusion layer microstructure using high-resolution X-ray computed tomography
journal, November 2014


TomoPy: a framework for the analysis of synchrotron tomographic data
journal, August 2014

  • Gürsoy, Dogˇa; De Carlo, Francesco; Xiao, Xianghui
  • Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, Vol. 21, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1107/S1600577514013939

Finite-Difference Approximation for Fluid-Flow Simulation and Calculation of Permeability in Porous Media
journal, June 2012

  • Shabro, Vahid; Torres-Verdín, Carlos; Javadpour, Farzam
  • Transport in Porous Media, Vol. 94, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1007/s11242-012-0024-y

Calculation of effective transport properties of partially saturated gas diffusion layers
journal, February 2017


Water management studies in PEM fuel cells, part III: Dynamic breakthrough and intermittent drainage characteristics from GDLs with and without MPLs
journal, May 2010


Experimental investigation of liquid water formation and transport in a transparent single-serpentine PEM fuel cell
journal, July 2007


Pore-Level Liquid Water Transport Through Composite Diffusion Media of PEMFC
journal, January 2010

  • Ji, Yan; Luo, Gang; Wang, Chao-Yang
  • Journal of The Electrochemical Society, Vol. 157, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.1149/1.3491359

Pore-network modeling of liquid water transport in gas diffusion layer of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell
journal, November 2007


Evaporation, two phase flow, and thermal transport in porous media with application to low-temperature fuel cells
journal, October 2013


Effect of Thickness and Hydrophobic Polymer Content of the Gas Diffusion Layer on Electrode Flooding Level in a PEMFC
journal, January 2005

  • Lin, Guangyu; Nguyen, Trung Van
  • Journal of The Electrochemical Society, Vol. 152, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1149/1.2006487

Three-dimensional study of compressed gas diffusion layers using synchrotron X-ray imaging
journal, May 2014


Experimental investigation of the role of a microporous layer on the water transport and performance of a PEM fuel cell
journal, June 2007


Gas-diffusion-layer structural properties under compression via X-ray tomography
journal, October 2016


Investigation of Charge-Transfer and Mass-Transport Resistances in PEMFCs with Microporous Layer Using Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy
journal, January 2009

  • Malevich, Dzmitry; Halliop, Ela; Peppley, Brant A.
  • Journal of The Electrochemical Society, Vol. 156, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1149/1.3033408

Progress in In Situ X-Ray Tomographic Microscopy of Liquid Water in Gas Diffusion Layers of PEFC
journal, January 2011

  • Eller, Jens; Rosén, Tomas; Marone, Federica
  • Journal of The Electrochemical Society, Vol. 158, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1149/1.3596556

Determination of transport parameters for multiphase flow in porous gas diffusion electrodes using a capillary network model
journal, September 2007


Modeling of Two-Phase Behavior in the Gas Diffusion Medium of PEFCs via Full Morphology Approach
journal, January 2007

  • Schulz, Volker Paul; Becker, Jürgen; Wiegmann, Andreas
  • Journal of The Electrochemical Society, Vol. 154, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1149/1.2472547

Synchrotron X-ray radiographic investigations of liquid water transport behavior in a PEMFC with MPL-coated GDLs
journal, April 2013


Micro-Scale Analysis of Liquid Water Breakthrough inside Gas Diffusion Layer for PEMFC Using X-ray Computed Tomography and Lattice Boltzmann Method
journal, January 2017

  • Satjaritanun, P.; Weidner, J. W.; Hirano, S.
  • Journal of The Electrochemical Society, Vol. 164, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1149/2.0391711jes

Water Transport Mechanisms in PEMFC Gas Diffusion Layers
journal, January 2010

  • Owejan, Jon P.; Owejan, Jeanette E.; Gu, Wenbin
  • Journal of The Electrochemical Society, Vol. 157, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1149/1.3468615

Microstructural Analysis and Transport Resistances of Low-Platinum-Loaded PEFC Electrodes
journal, January 2017

  • Cetinbas, Firat C.; Wang, Xiaohua; Ahluwalia, Rajesh K.
  • Journal of The Electrochemical Society, Vol. 164, Issue 14
  • DOI: 10.1149/2.1111714jes

Pore-Morphology-Based Simulation of Drainage in Porous Media Featuring a Locally Variable Contact Angle
journal, December 2014

  • Schulz, Volker P.; Wargo, Eric A.; Kumbur, Emin C.
  • Transport in Porous Media, Vol. 107, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1007/s11242-014-0422-4

X-ray computed tomography reconstruction and analysis of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell porous transport layers
journal, December 2012


Investigating Inlet Condition Effects on PEMFC GDL Liquid Water Transport through Pore Network Modeling
journal, January 2015

  • Fazeli, M.; Hinebaugh, J.; Bazylak, A.
  • Journal of The Electrochemical Society, Vol. 162, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1149/2.0191507jes

Effect of liquid water on transport properties of the gas diffusion layer of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells
journal, May 2011


Investigation of liquid water in gas diffusion layers of polymer electrolyte fuel cells using X-ray tomographic microscopy
journal, February 2011


In-Plane Effective Diffusivity in PEMFC Gas Diffusion Layers
journal, February 2016


Two-Phase Transport in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells with Bilayer Cathode Gas Diffusion Media
journal, January 2005

  • Pasaogullari, Ugur; Wang, Chao-Yang; Chen, Ken S.
  • Journal of The Electrochemical Society, Vol. 152, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1149/1.1938067

Effective diffusivity and water-saturation distribution in single- and two-layer PEMFC diffusion medium
journal, November 2003

  • Nam, Jin Hyun; Kaviany, Massoud
  • International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 46, Issue 24, p. 4595-4611
  • DOI: 10.1016/S0017-9310(03)00305-3

Effects of Microporous Layers in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells
journal, January 2005

  • Weber, Adam Z.; Newman, John
  • Journal of The Electrochemical Society, Vol. 152, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1149/1.1861194

Investigating Evaporation in Gas Diffusion Layers for Fuel Cells with X-ray Computed Tomography
journal, December 2016

  • Zenyuk, Iryna V.; Lamibrac, Adrien; Eller, Jens
  • The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Vol. 120, Issue 50
  • DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.6b10658

Probing water distribution in compressed fuel-cell gas-diffusion layers using X-ray computed tomography
journal, April 2015


An approach to modeling two-phase transport in the gas diffusion layer of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell
journal, January 2008


Versatile and efficient pore network extraction method using marker-based watershed segmentation
journal, August 2017


NIH Image to ImageJ: 25 years of image analysis
journal, June 2012

  • Schneider, Caroline A.; Rasband, Wayne S.; Eliceiri, Kevin W.
  • Nature Methods, Vol. 9, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.2089

Characterization of Liquid Water Saturation in Gas Diffusion Layers by X-Ray Tomographic Microscopy
journal, December 2015

  • Lamibrac, A.; Roth, J.; Toulec, M.
  • Journal of The Electrochemical Society, Vol. 163, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1149/2.0401603jes

On the role of the microporous layer in PEMFC operation
journal, March 2009

  • Gostick, Jeff T.; Ioannidis, Marios A.; Fowler, Michael W.
  • Electrochemistry Communications, Vol. 11, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.elecom.2008.12.053

Integration of TomoPy and the ASTRA toolbox for advanced processing and reconstruction of tomographic synchrotron data
journal, April 2016

  • Pelt, Daniël M.; Gürsoy, Dogˇa; Palenstijn, Willem Jan
  • Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, Vol. 23, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1107/S1600577516005658

    Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.