Comparing through-plane diffusibility correlations in PEFC gas diffusion layers using the lattice Boltzmann method

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


One of the key elements in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) is the gas diffusion layer (GDL). The GDL offers mechanical support to the cell and provides the medium for diffusing the reactant gases from the flow plates to the electrolyte enabling the electrochemical reactions, and therefore the energy conversion. At the same time, it has the task of transporting the electrons from the active sites, near to the electrolyte, towards the flow plates. Describing the fluid flow and mass transport phenomena through the GDLs is not an easy task not only because of their complex geometries, but also because of these phenomena occur at microscale levels. Most of the PEFC models at cell scale make assumptions about certain microscale transport parameters, assumptions that can make a model less close to the reality. The purpose of this study is to analyze five different proposed correlations to estimate the through-plane (TP) diffusibility of digitally created GDLs and using lattice Boltzmann (LB) models. The correlations are ranked depending on their precision, accuracy and symmetry. The results show that the best estimation is given when the porosity and gas-phase tortuosity are taken into account in the correlation.


External organisations
  • Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL)
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Energy Engineering


  • Diffusibility, Gas diffusion layer, Lattice Boltzmann method, Polymer electrolyte fuel cell, Transport parameters
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11689-11698
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Apr
Publication categoryResearch