Effective diffusivity of gas diffusion layer in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

D. Shou, Jintu Fan, F. Ding

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


In gas diffusion layers (GDLs) of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), effective gas diffusivity is a key parameter to be determined and engineered. Existing theoretical models of effective diffusivity are limited to one-dimensional (1D) regular fiber arrays. Numerical simulations were carried out to simulate gas diffusion through more realistic fibrous materials like GDLs, in which fibers are randomly distributed in a two-dimensional (2D) plane or three-dimensional (3D) space, but they could not fully reveal the underlying mechanisms. In this paper, we propose an analytical model to predict the effective diffusivities of 1D, 2D and 3D randomly distributed fiber assembles. The present model is established by extending the model of 1D regular fiber alignments to 1D random fiber arrangements through Voronoi Tessellation method, and using the 1D local diffusivities to determine the 2D and 3D diffusivities based on mixing rules. The predicted effective diffusivities agree well with experimental results and numerical data. With the new model, the influences of porosity, fiber distribution, and fiber orientation are analyzed in this study. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-186
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013


  • Analytical model
  • Effective diffusivity
  • Fibrous media
  • Gas diffusion layers
  • Proton exchange membrane fuel cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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