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Reconciling temperature-dependent factors affecting mass transport losses in polymer electrolyte membrane electrolyzers

Published

Author(s)

Jacob LaManna, Aimy Bazylak, ChungHyuk Lee, Jason K. Lee, Kieran F. Fahy, Eli Baltic, Daniel S. Hussey, David L. Jacobson

Abstract

In this work, we investigated the impact of temperature on two-phase transport in low temperature (LT)-polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolyzer anode flow channels via in operando neutron imaging and observed a decrease in mass transport overpotential with increasing temperature. We observed an increase in anode oxygen gas content with increasing temperature, which was counter-intuitive to the trends in mass transport overpotential. We attributed this counterintuitive decrease in mass transport overpotential to the enhanced reactant distribution in the flow channels as a result of the temperature increase, determined via a one-dimensional analytical model. We further determined that gas accumulation and fluid property changes are competing, temperature-dependent contributors to mass transport overpotential; however, liquid water viscosity changes led to the dominate enhancement of reactant water distributions in the anode. We present this temperature-dependent mass transport overpotential as a great opportunity for further increasing the voltage efficiency of PEM electrolyzers.
Citation
Energy Conversion and Management

Keywords

polymer electrolyte membrane electrolyzer, mass transport, anode flow channels, two-phase pressure drop, operating temperature

Citation

LaManna, J. , Bazylak, A. , Lee, C. , Lee, J. , Fahy, K. , Baltic, E. , , D. and Duewer, D. (2020), Reconciling temperature-dependent factors affecting mass transport losses in polymer electrolyte membrane electrolyzers, Energy Conversion and Management, [online], https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enconman.2020.112797, https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=930022 (Accessed March 4, 2024)
Created June 1, 2020, Updated April 18, 2021