A 3D model for PEM fuel cells operated on reformate

Tianhong Zhou, Hongtan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


A three-dimensional mathematical model for PEM fuel cells operated on reformate is developed based on our previous established fuel cell model [Int. J. Transport Phenomena 3 (2001) 177], by incorporating the adsorption and oxidation kinetics of CO on platinum surface proposed by Springer et al. [Proceedings of the Electrochemical Society, Montreal, Canada, 1997; J. Electrochem. Soc. 148 (2001) All]. This model is capable of studying the effect of CO poisoning as well as the hydrogen dilution effect by inert gases. The adsorption and oxidation kinetics of CO on a platinum surface are incorporated in the source terms of the species equations; thus, the basic form of the mathematical equations are the same as those used for PEM fuel cells operated on pure hydrogen. With this model, we can obtain detailed information on the CO poisoning and variation of CO and hydrogen concentrations inside the anode. The results from this 3D model reveal many new phenomena that cannot be obtained from previous ID or 2D models. Results of the effects of various operating and design parameters, such as anode flow rate, gas diffuser porosity, gas diffuser thickness, and the width of the collector plate shoulder, are also presented. The modeling results demonstrate the value of this model as a design and optimization tool for the anode of PEM fuel cells operating on reformate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-110
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Nov 15 2004


  • CFD
  • Fuel cell modeling
  • PEM fuel cells
  • Reformate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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