Determination of mass diffusion overpotential distribution with flow pulse method from current distribution measurements in a PEMFC

M Noponen*, T Hottinen, T Mennola, M Mikkola, P Lund

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


The mass diffusion overpotential distribution in a free-breathing proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) was determined from current distribution measurements using a flow pulse approach. The current distribution measurements were conducted with a segmented flow-field plate. Flow pulses were fed to the cathode channels to form a uniform oxygen concentration distribution along the channels. Simultaneously, the cell resistance was monitored using the current interruption method. From the experimental data, the mass diffusion overpotential distribution was calculated using the Tafel equation. The results show that the mass diffusion overpotential in different parts of the cell may vary considerably, for example, at 180 mA cm(-2) the mass diffusion overpotential difference between the bottom and top part of the cell was 0.1 V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1081-1089
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Electrochemistry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • current distribution
  • free-breathing cathode
  • mass diffusion overpotential distribution
  • resistance distribution
  • 2-PHASE

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