Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Chem Phys. 2013 Feb 14;138(6):064903. doi: 10.1063/1.4789960.

A macroscopic model of proton transport through the membrane-ionomer interface of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell.

Author information

1
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996, USA.

Abstract

The membrane-ionomer interface is the critical interlink of the electrodes and catalyst to the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM); together forming the membrane electrode assembly in current state-of-the-art PEM fuel cells. In this paper, proton conduction through the interface is investigated to understand its effect on the performance of a PEM fuel cell. The water containing domains at this interface were modeled as cylindrical pores/channels with the anionic groups (i.e., -SO(3)(-)) assumed to be fixed on the pore wall. The interactions of each species with all other species and an applied external field were examined. Molecular-based interaction potential energies were computed in a small test element of the pore and were scaled up in terms of macroscopic variables. Evolution equations of the density and momentum of the species (water molecules and hydronium ions) were derived within a framework of nonequilibrium thermodynamics. The resulting evolution equations for the species were solved analytically using an order-of-magnitude analysis to obtain an expression for the proton conductivity. Results show that the conductivity increases with increasing water content and pore radius, and strongly depends on the separation distance between the sulfonate groups and their distribution on the pore wall. It was also determined that the conductivity of two similar pores of different radii in series is limited by the pore with the smaller radius.

PMID:
23425489
DOI:
10.1063/1.4789960
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Institute of Physics
    Loading ...
    Support Center