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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Understanding impacts of catalyst-layer thickness on fuel-cell performance via mathematical modeling

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In this article, a two-dimensional, multiphase, transient model is introduced and used to explore the impact of catalyst-layer thickness on performance. In particular, the tradeoffs between water production and removal through transport or evaporation are highlighted, with a focus on low-temperature performance. For the latter, a case study of an ultra-thin catalyst layer is undergone to explore how various material properties alter the steady-state and startup performance of a cell. The findings provide understanding and guidance to optimize fuel-cell performance with thin electrodes.

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