Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Vol.815, 90-97, 2018
A new method for optimal fabrication of carbon composite paper as gas diffusion layer used in proton exchange membrane of fuel cells
Carbon Papers (CPs) have been widely used as a Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) for high performance fuel cells. Herein we report a novel method for production of GDL, without the need to carbonization and graphitization steps that is common steps in GDL production. CP is provided by a dry-laying of carbon fibers (CFs) and expanded graphite (EG) in the phenolic resin and the composites are compared with carbon paper of Toray Co., Ltd. The effect of paper thickness, aspect ratio of CF and EG value of the composite are investigated. The characterizations are performed by scanning electron microscope, maximum pore size, mean pore size, permeability, electrical conductivity, flexibility, and performance (I-V) curve. The results shown that in the optimized state of the composition in the manufactured composite, the values of mean pore size, permeability, electrical conductivity, and performance curve is reasonable and near the Toray paper, however the manufactured composite show a much higher flexibility than that of Toray paper in a qualitative test. In addition, due to removing the graphitization and carbonization steps for production of carbon paper, the produced carbon paper costs are much lower than Toray paper.