Evaporation of Water from Gas Diffusion Layers

Tuesday, 3 October 2017: 09:20
National Harbor 3 (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
F. N. Büchi, S. Lal, and A. Lamibrac (Electrochemistry Laboratory, Paul Scherrer Institut)
Evaporation of water from gas diffusion layers (GDL) is an important process for water management in polymer electrolyte fuel cells. At temperatures around 80 °C and locally under-saturated conditions, evaporation can have a significant impact on the GDL saturation.

 However, little is known about the evaporation rates of water in gas diffusion layers. First ex-situ results at room temperature and for low saturations have been reported in [1]. But for a better understanding of the evaporation rates under real operating temperatures, generic data is required at different temperatures and saturation levels.

 Using a special setup, which is applicable also for X-ray imaging of water saturation, water surface and GDL structure, evaporation rates are determined for well-controlled gas speeds (over the surface of the GDL),, temperatures of up to 80 °C and relevant liquid saturations. Figure 1 shows data (including reproducibility) for Toray TGPH 060 material as function of temperature up to 80 °C, at a capillary pressure of 10 mbar and gas velocity of 6 m/s.

[1] I. V. Zenyuk, A. Lamibrac, J. Eller, D. Y. Parkinson, F. Marone, F. N. Büchi, and A. Z. Weber, J. Phys. Chem. C2016120 (50), pp 28701–28711

Figure 1: Evaporation rates from Toray TGPH 060 gas diffusion layer material a) as function of temperature at a gas velocity of 6.0 m/s; b) as function of gas velocity on the GDL surface at 60 °C; both for a dry gas stream and capillary pressure of 10 mbar; data shown based on preliminary set-up.