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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Communication — Modeling polymer-electrolyte fuel-cell agglomerates with double-trap kinetics


A new semi-analytical agglomerate model is presented for polymer-electrolyte fuel-cell cathodes. The model uses double-trap kinetics for the oxygen-reduction reaction, which can capture the observed potential-dependent coverage and Tafel-slope changes. An iterative semi-analytical approach is used to obtain reaction rate constants from the double-trap kinetics, oxygen concentration at the agglomerate surface, and overall agglomerate reaction rate. The analytical method can predict reaction rates within 2% of the numerically simulated values for a wide range of oxygen concentrations, overpotentials, and agglomerate sizes, while saving simulation time compared to a fully numerical approach.

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