Archives for July 2012

ELAT-1400 Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) Not “Discontinued”

After the original manufacturer of ELAT Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) stopped producing the material, many of the fuel cell industry had to scramble for replacements and were continuing their projects based on inventory already purchased.  We were no exception.  After a fair amount of searching and evaluation, we finally found a replacement that had very similar mechanical properties.So, for a number of years we educated our customers about the replacement as, well, a replacement for the … [Read more...]

What Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) do I use for a Hydrogen Generator (Electrolyzer)?

We've spoken already about Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) selection for a Fuel Cell; today we will cover some GDL considerations for Electrolyzers.The Hydrogen side (Cathode) of an Electrolyzer (EZ) can be almost any gas diffusion layer GDL (or even no GDL) that you would like and that fits your own mechanical design.  This can be common GDL materials like Toray Paper, Sigracet, Freudenberg, AvCarb, etc.  The Catalyst layer can either be applied to the membrane (as in a 3-layer or Catalyst Coated … [Read more...]

What Nafion Membrane Thickness is Right for an Electrolyzer / Hydrogen Generation?

Nafion membranes come in many different thickness and types.  How do you know which to choose when designing an electrolyzer (hydrogen generator)?Choosing the proper thickness depends primarily on the differential pressure you expect across the membrane (i.e. what pressure you will be generating the hydrogen at vs. the oxygen), the type of support the membrane will have, and the operating lifetime (both hours and on/off cycles). Our Standard … [Read more...]

Why is Humidity / Moisture Control Important in a Fuel Cell?

The root of all of this is that Nafion membranes must stay hydrated to function properly. If they are not fully humidified the conductivity decreases and therefore more of the electricity is converted directly to heat before it leaves the membrane (I2R heating). If it gets too dry it basically stops functioning as a proton transporter.  All this sounds great since a Hydrogen Fuel Cell consumes Hydrogen and Oxygen to generate electricity and water, so you would think there should be plenty … [Read more...]