COATINGS, vol.13, no.1, 2023 (SCI-Expanded)
A proton exchange membrane fuel cell is an energy convertor that produces environmentally friendly electrical energy by oxidation of hydrogen, with water and heat being byproducts. This study investigates the gas diffusion layer (GDL) of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). In this regard, the key design concerns and restraints of the GDL have been assessed, accompanied by an inclusive evaluation of the presently existing models. In addition, the common materials used for the GDL have been explored, evaluating their properties. Moreover, a case study of step-by-step modeling for an optimal GDL has been presented. An experimental test has been carried out on a single cell under various compressions. Lastly, a parametric study has been performed considering many design parameters, such as porosity, permeability, geometrical sizes, and compression of the GDL to improve the overall efficiency of the fuel cell. The results are presented in this paper in order to help ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of PEMFCs and facilitate their development further.