An x-ray tomography based lattice Boltzmann simulation study on gas diffusion layers of polymer electrolyte fuel cells

This work reports a feasibility study into the combined full morphological reconstruction of fuel cell structures using X-ray computed micro- and nanotomography and lattice Boltzmann modeling to simulate fluid flow at pore scale in porous materials. This work provides a description of how the two techniques have been adapted to simulate gas movement through a carbon paper gas diffusion layer (GDL). The validation work demonstrates that the difference between the simulated and measured absolute permeability of air is 3%. The current study elucidates the potential to enable improvements in GDL design, material composition, and cell design to be realized through a greater understanding of the nano- and microscale transport processes occurring within the polymer electrolyte fuel cell.