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Influence of Stoichiometry on the Two-Phase Flow Behavior of Proton Exchange Membrane Electrolyzers

Panchenko, Olha; Giesenberg, Lennard; Borgardt, Elena; Zwaygardt, Walter; Kardjilov, Nikolay; Markötter, Henning; Arlt, Tobias; Manke, Ingo; Müller, Martin; Stolten, Detlef; Lehnert, Werner

In order for electrolysis cells to operate optimally, mass transport must be improved. The key initial component for optimal operation is the current collector, which is also essential for mass transport. Water as an educt of the reaction must be evenly distributed by the current collector to the membrane electrode assembly. As products of the reaction, hydrogen and oxygen must also be directed quickly and efficiently through the current collector into the channel and removed from the cell. The second key component is the stoichiometry, which includes the current density and water volume flow rate and represents the ratio between the water supplied and water consumed. This study presents the correlation of the stoichiometry, two-phase flow in the channel and gas fraction in the porous transport layer for the first time. The gas-water ratio in the channel and porous transport layer during cell operation with various stoichiometries was investigated by means of a model in the form of an ex situ cell without electrochemical processes. Bubble formation in the channel was observed using a transparent cell. The gas-water exchange in the porous transport layer was then investigated using neutron radiography.
Published in: Energies, 10.3390/en12030350, MDPI