What is the Purpose of a Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL)?

The Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) plays several critical roles in a typical fuel cell application and is often integrated as part of the Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA). Typical applications that use GDLs consist of Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells (PEMFC) and Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC). When a GDL is coated with a catalyst it is than referred to as a Gas Diffusion Electrode (GDE), which are sometimes sold or installed separately from the Membrane or MEA.  Acting as an electrode is the easy … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]