Carbon nano-chain and carbon nano-fibers based gas diffusion layers for proton exchange membrane fuel cells
Gas diffusion layers (GDL) for proton exchange membrane fuel cell have been developed using a partially ordered graphitized nano-carbon chain (Pureblack ® carbon) and carbon nano-fibers. The GDL samples' characteristics such as, surface morphology, surface energy, bubble-point pressure and pore size distribution were characterized using electron microscope, inverse gas chromatograph, gas permeability and mercury porosimetry, respectively. Fuel cell performance of the GDLs was evaluated using single cell with hydrogen/air at ambient pressure, 70 °C and 100% RH. The GDLs with combination of vapor grown carbon nano-fibers with Pureblack carbon showed significant improvement in mechanical robustness as well as fuel cell performance. The micro-porous layer of the GDLs as seen under scanning electron microscope showed excellent surface morphology showing the reinforcement with nano-fibers and the surface homogeneity without any cracks.