Increased performance of PEFCs with engineered mass-transport pathways

M. P. Manahan, M. M. Mench

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

15 Scopus citations


The present experimental study investigates the introduction of laser-cut perforations designed to create engineered pathways for improved gas and liquid transport in the diffusion media (DM) of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). Conceptually, the perforations allow for increased gas and vapor access to the catalyst layer (CL) at low current, and at high current they act as water conduits for removing excess liquid water. If not properly engineered, however, perforations lead to excessive flooding or dryout, depending on the conditions. The effect of perforation diameters of 100 μm and 300 μm was studied using steady state polarization testing, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), and limiting current analysis. Each of these experimental methods lends insight into the observed performance changes between the different cells. It was found that perforations are beneficial under low-humidity conditions, increasing the limiting current by up to 7% compared to the unaltered DM. Optimization of the perforation diameter is critical to produce similarly beneficial results with high-humidity conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPolymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells 11
PublisherElectrochemical Society Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781607682547
ISBN (Print)9781607682547
StatePublished - 2011
Event11th Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Symposium, PEFC 11 - 220th ECS Meeting - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Oct 9 2011Oct 14 2011

Publication series

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


Other11th Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Symposium, PEFC 11 - 220th ECS Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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