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Mass transport in polymer electrolyte membrane water electrolyser liquid-gas diffusion layers: A combined neutron imaging and X-ray computed tomography study

Maier, M.; Dodwell, J.; Ziesche, R.; Tan, C.; Heenan, T.; Majasan, J.; Kardjilov, N.; Markötter, H.; Manke, I.; Castanheira, L.; Hinds, G.; Shearing, P.R.; Brett, D.J.L. (2020) Mass transport in polymer electrolyte membrane water electrolyser liquid-gas diffusion layers: A combined neutron imaging and X-ray computed tomography study. Journal of Power Sources, 455. 227968 ISSN 03787753

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Abstract

The increasing use of intermittent renewable energy sources calls for novel approaches to large-scale energy conversion and storage. Hydrogen can be readily stored and produced from renewable sources using polymer electrolyte membrane water electrolysers (PEMWEs). Mass transport of water and product gas in the liquid-gas diffusion layer (LGDL) is critical for PEMWE performance, particularly at high current densities. In this work, neutron radiography is deployed to measure the spatial distribution of water within three different LGDLs, while X-ray micro-computed tomography (XCT) is used to characterize the microstructure of the LGDL materials. The combination of these two techniques yields valuable insight into water transport within the LGDL. Significant local water heterogeneity is observed and a link between flow-field geometry/location and LGDL mass transport is identified. It is further shown that the pore volume in these LGDLs is significantly under-utilized, pointing the way towards design optimisation of LGDL materials and architectures.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: PEM water electrolyser; Neutron imaging; Mass transport; X-ray micro-computed tomography; Liquid-gas diffusion layer; Two-phase flow
Subjects: Advanced Materials > Fuels Cells
Divisions: Electromagnetic & Electrochemical Technologies
Identification number/DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2020.227968
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2020 10:08
URI: http://eprintspublications.npl.co.uk/id/eprint/8756

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