A two-phase flow and transport model for the cathode of PEM fuel cells

Lixin You, Hongtan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

428 Scopus citations


A unified two-phase flow mixture model has been developed to describe the flow and transport in the cathode for PEM fuel cells. The boundary condition at the gas diffuser/catalyst layer interface couples the flow, transport, electrical potential and current density in the anode, cathode catalyst layer and membrane. Fuel cell performance predicted by this model is compared with experimental results and reasonable agreements are achieved. Typical two-phase flow distributions in the cathode gas diffuser and gas channel are presented. The main parameters influencing water transport across the membrane are also discussed. By studying the influences of water and thermal management on two-phase flow, it is found that two-phase flow characteristics in the cathode depend on the current density, operating temperature, and cathode and anode humidification temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2277-2287
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Issue number11
StatePublished - Apr 2 2002


  • Fuel cells
  • Mathematical model
  • Porous electrode
  • Proton exchange membrane (PEM)
  • Simulation
  • Two-phase flow
  • Water and thermal management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Energy(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering


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