Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2013, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (03): 559-568.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201301082

• ELECTROCHEMISTRY AND NEW ENERGY • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Micro-Modelling of PEMFC Taking Account of Gaseous and Liquid Water inside the Catalyst Layer

CHEN Qiu-Xiang1, ZHANG Jie-Jing1,2, WANG Yu-Xin1   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Chemical Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, P. R. China;
    2 School of Life Sciences, Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun 130118, P. R. China
  • Received:2012-10-31 Revised:2013-01-08 Published:2013-02-25
  • Supported by:

    The project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (20606025).


The performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) was simulated with a microstructure lattice model of the catalyst layer, including the effect of liquid and gaseous water. Comparisons of simulations where liquid water was and was not factored in were carried out, demonstrating the necessity of including liquid and gaseous water effects in the catalyst microstructure. The distribution of the degree of liquid water saturation, oxygen concentration, and rate of oxygen reduction with catalyst layer thickness were calculated, and factors affecting these distributions were investigated. Water‘flooding’in the catalyst layer had a significant influence on PEMFC performance. Higher catalyst layer porosity facilitated water drainage and was beneficial to PEMFC performance.

Key words: Catalyst layer, Proton exchange membrane fuel cell, Lattice model, Liquid water transport, Liquid water saturation