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A Study on Mass Transfer in the Cathode Gas Channel of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

  • K.-T. Jeng (a1), C.-Y. Wen (a2) and L. D. Anh (a3)


A two-dimensional, transient mathematical model for the mass transfer of a reactant gas in the cathode gas channel of a PEMFC is developed. This model accounts concurrently for gas flow and multicomponent species (oxygen, water vapor and nitrogen) transport in the gas channel at specified cell current densities. The governing equations along with the boundary and initial conditions are solved numerically by using finite-difference methods. The numerical results show that the oxygen and water vapor concentrations in the gas channel are strong functions of stoichiometry. However, at a fixed stoichiometry, the current density has only a slight influence on the concentration variations. The fully-developed Sherwood number for oxygen mass transfer in the gas channel was found to be 6.0, which agrees well with the Sherwood number estimated from the correlation between mass and heat transfer. The current mathematical model and numerical results are confirmed by the experimental verification of the location of first appearance of liquid water at the channel/GDL interface.


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*Associate professor
***Graduate student


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