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Energies 2017, 10(12), 2063; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10122063

Performance Evaluation and Durability Enhancement of FEP-Based Gas Diffusion Media for PEM Fuel Cells

Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering “Giulio Natta”, Polytechnic University of Milan and INSTM RU-POLIMI, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, 20133 Milan, Italy
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Received: 23 September 2017 / Revised: 16 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells 2017)
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Abstract

Nowadays, micro-porous layers (MPLs) for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are commonly deposited onto gas diffusion layer (GDL) substrates starting from hydrophobic carbon-based dispersions. In this work, different quantities of fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP), a fluorinated copolymer proven to be superior to polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) for a proper water management, were used to make both GDL and MPL hydrophobic. After the identification of the optimal amount of FEP, carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) was also added to gas diffusion media (GDM) to reduce overall ohmic resistance of the whole device and adhesion of MPLs to GDLs. Ex-situ chemical and mechanical accelerated stress tests (ASTs) were carried out to accelerate degradation of materials aiming to assess their durability. The highest quantity of FEP in GDMs led to the best electrochemical and diffusive properties. The presence of CMC allowed reducing overall ohmic resistance due to a better electrolyte hydration. A satisfactory durability was proven since the fundamental properties related to gas diffusion medium, such as wettability, ohmic and mass transport resistances, revealed to be quasi-stable upon ASTs. View Full-Text
Keywords: durability; gas diffusion medium; GDL coating; electrochemical impedance spectroscopy; PEM fuel cell durability; gas diffusion medium; GDL coating; electrochemical impedance spectroscopy; PEM fuel cell
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Latorrata, S.; Gallo Stampino, P.; Cristiani, C.; Dotelli, G. Performance Evaluation and Durability Enhancement of FEP-Based Gas Diffusion Media for PEM Fuel Cells. Energies 2017, 10, 2063.

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