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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Detachment of Liquid-Water Droplets from Gas-Diffusion Layers


A critical issue for optimal water management in proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells at lower temperatures is the removal of liquid water from the cell. This pathway is intimately linked with the phenomena of liquid-water droplet removal from surface of the gas-diffusion layer and into the flow channel. Thus, a good understanding of liquid-water transport and droplet growth and detachment from the gas-diffusion layer is critical. In this study, liquid-water droplet growth and detachment on the gas-diffusion layer surfaces are investigated experimentally to improve the understating of water transport through and removal from gas-diffusion layers. An experiment using a sliding-angle measurement is designed and used to quantify and directly measure the adhesion force for liquid-water droplets, and to understand the droplets? growth and detachment from the gas-diffusion layers.

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