Simultaneous visualization of oxygen distribution and water blockages in an operating triple-serpentine polymer electrolyte fuel cell

Kenji Takada, Yuta Ishigami, Junji Inukai, Yuzo Nagumo, Hiroshi Takano, Hiroyuki Nishide, Masahiro Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


Visualization inside polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) is important for elucidating reaction distributions to improve the performance and durability of the cells. An O2-sensitive porphyrin luminescent dye film was used to visualize oxygen partial pressures and water blockages simultaneously in triple-serpentine gas flow channels in an operating PEFC. Water droplets formed near the exit of a gas-flow channel lowered the oxygen partial pressure noticeably over the channel by blocking air flow near the entrance. Meanwhile, air was continuously supplied from the other channels through the gas diffusion layer, thus allowing power to be generated in the blocked channel. With water blockages, however, the catalyst layer under the channel became flooded by the water produced during the reaction, and the flooded state continued to exist in the catalyst and/or porous layers, even after blowing the water droplet out, so that the power generation was lowered along the channel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2635-2639
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Mar 1



  • Flooding
  • Fuel Cell
  • Gas diffusion layer
  • Oxygen partial pressure
  • Porphyrin
  • Simultaneous visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this