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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3VD0R

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Investigation of the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell catalyst layer microstructure Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
fuel cell
parameter estimation
agglomerate
catalyst layer
modeling
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Dobson, Peter
Supervisor and department
Secanell, Marc (Mechanical Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Lange, Carlos (Mechanical Engineering)
Mitlin, David (Chemical & Materials Engineering)
Department
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Specialization

Date accepted
2011-09-30T20:53:30Z
Graduation date
2011-11
Degree
Master of Science
Degree level
Master's
Abstract
Computer modeling is critical for catalyst layer (CL) design in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. Water-filled and ionomer-filled agglomerate models have been suggested as representations of the CL microstructure. In this thesis, improved water-filled and ionomer-filled agglomerate models are developed. Results indicate that the agglomerates provide identical current densities at low and high overpotentials, but differ at mid-range values. These models are integrated in a multiscale simulation of a 2D membrane electrode assembly (MEA) model. A comparative analysis shows that the choice of agglomerate alters the reaction distribution in the CL but does not significantly change the model's performance. Lastly, it is proposed that the CL microstructure be characterized by optimization-based parameter estimation, which matches MEA model predictions to experimental data. Results suggest that experimental data is not readily characterized by an agglomerate model; the MEA model requires more detail to describe the phenomena across a range of operating conditions.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3VD0R
Rights
License granted by Peter Dobson (pdobson@ualberta.ca) on 2011-09-29T21:23:04Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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