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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Transport in Proton Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cell Applications—A Systematic Non-Equilibrium Approach

Chemical Engineering, Delft University of Technology, 2629 HZ Delft, The Netherlands
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Academic Editor: Haolin Tang
Materials 2017, 10(6), 576; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma10060576
Received: 20 March 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 25 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells)
We hypothesize that the properties of proton-exchange membranes for fuel cell applications cannot be described unambiguously unless interface effects are taken into account. In order to prove this, we first develop a thermodynamically consistent description of the transport properties in the membranes, both for a homogeneous membrane and for a homogeneous membrane with two surface layers in contact with the electrodes or holder material. For each subsystem, homogeneous membrane, and the two surface layers, we limit ourselves to four parameters as the system as a whole is considered to be isothermal. We subsequently analyze the experimental results on some standard membranes that have appeared in the literature and analyze these using the two different descriptions. This analysis yields relatively well-defined values for the homogeneous membrane parameters and estimates for those of the surface layers and hence supports our hypothesis. As demonstrated, the method used here allows for a critical evaluation of the literature values. Moreover, it allows optimization of stacked transport systems such as proton-exchange membrane fuel cell units where interfacial layers, such as that between the catalyst and membrane, are taken into account systematically. View Full-Text
Keywords: non-equilibrium; interfacial effects; transport properties; coupling effects; transport coefficient matrix; PEM fuel cell; proton conductivity; water permeability; hydrogen permeability; diffusivity; electro-osmotic drag non-equilibrium; interfacial effects; transport properties; coupling effects; transport coefficient matrix; PEM fuel cell; proton conductivity; water permeability; hydrogen permeability; diffusivity; electro-osmotic drag
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rangel-Cárdenas, A.L.; Koper, G.J.M. Transport in Proton Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cell Applications—A Systematic Non-Equilibrium Approach. Materials 2017, 10, 576.

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