Insights into the Rapid Two-Phase Transport Dynamics in Different Structured Porous Transport Layers of Water Electrolyzers through High-Speed Visualization

Weitian Wang, Shule Yu, Kui Li, Lei Ding, Zhiqiang Xie, Yifan Li, Gaoqiang Yang, David Cullen, Haoran Yu, Zhenye Kang, Jacob Wrubel, Zhiwen Ma, Guido Bender, Christopher Capuano, Alex Keane, Feng-Yuan Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus Citations

Abstract

In proton exchange membrane electrolyzer cells (PEMECs), maintaining efficient two-phase transport is one of the most important functions of porous transport layers (PTLs). To enhance the two-phase transport in PTLs, thin/titanium liquid/gas diffusion layers (TT-LGDLs) are introduced in PEMECs, and their difference from the conventional Ti felt PTLs are analyzed in-situ through high-speed and microscale visualization and electrochemical characterizations. The visualization results show that unfavorable large slugs can be greatly reduced in the PEMEC with a TT-LGDL compared to the PEMEC with a Ti felt PTL. More importantly, the recovery capability of water starvation with different PTLs is studied. After water starvation, the PEMEC with the TT-LGDL can recover the water starvation much more rapidly than the Ti felt cell, benefiting from its short and straight-through flow paths. Furthermore, the TT-LGDL tends to generate oxygen bubbles that are almost six times smaller and 236 times more frequently than the Ti felt PTL, indicating significantly boosted removal efficiency of produced oxygen and PEMEC performance. This study offers new insights into the dynamic processes of two-phase transport and the recovery capability of water starvation for different PTLs, which will provide valuable guidance for further optimization of PTLs and performance enhancement of PEMECs.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number230641
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume516
DOIs
StatePublished - 31 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-82895

Keywords

  • Bubble removal
  • Hydrogen energy
  • PEM electrolyzer
  • Porous transport layer
  • Two-phase flow
  • Visualization

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Insights into the Rapid Two-Phase Transport Dynamics in Different Structured Porous Transport Layers of Water Electrolyzers through High-Speed Visualization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this