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Energies 2015, 8(7), 7070-7083; doi:10.3390/en8077070

Development and Characterization of Non-Conventional Micro-Porous Layers for PEM Fuel Cells

Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Chimica, Materiali e Ingegneria Chimica "G. Natta", Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, 20133 Milano, Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Academic Editor: Vladimir Gurau
Received: 16 June 2015 / Revised: 2 July 2015 / Accepted: 6 July 2015 / Published: 13 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells 2015)
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Abstract

Gas diffusion medium (GDM) is a crucial component in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Being composed of a gas diffusion layer (GDL) with a micro-porous layer (MPL) coated onto it, it ensures a proper water management due to the highly hydrophobic materials employed in cell assembly. In current commercial applications, the desired water repellent behaviour is usually obtained by using polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). In this work, Fluorolink® P56 (Solvay Specialty Polymers, Milan, Italy), a commercially available, anionic, segmented high molecular weight polyfluorourethane with perfluoropolyether groups was extensively evaluated as an alternative to PTFE for micro-porous layer hydrophobization. A change in polymer used is desirable in order to simplify the production process, both in terms of ink formulation and thermal treatment, as well as to get a higher hydrophobicity and, consequently, more efficient water management. Innovative prepared samples were compared to a PTFE-based GDM, in order to assess differences both from morphological and from an electrochemical point of view. View Full-Text
Keywords: PEMFCs; perfluoropolyethers; electrochemical impedance spectroscopy; micro-porous layer; hydrophobic coatings PEMFCs; perfluoropolyethers; electrochemical impedance spectroscopy; micro-porous layer; hydrophobic coatings
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Balzarotti, R.; Latorrata, S.; Stampino, P.G.; Cristiani, C.; Dotelli, G. Development and Characterization of Non-Conventional Micro-Porous Layers for PEM Fuel Cells. Energies 2015, 8, 7070-7083.

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