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Gas Diffusion Electrodes and Methods for Fabricating and Testing Same

Brookhaven National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary

A typical membrane electrode assembly (MEA) consists of five distinct layers: A polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) sandwiched between an anode and a cathode catalyst layers, each with a gas diffusion layer (GDL) to provide electrical connection and the path for inlet gaseous reactants in fuel cells or outlet products in hydrogen generators. To make highly efficient MEAs with low catalyst loadings, the nanocatalysts need to be well connected electronically to the GDLs and protonically to the PEM, yet the catalyst layer (CL) must be sufficiently porous to allow gases in or out.


This invention describes the advantages of coating nanocatalysts on a GDL, preferably with a microporous layer (MPL), for simultaneously minimizing electronic, protonic, and gas diffusion resistances, and thus, enhancing performance and lowering costs.

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Application 20150376803
Gas Diffusion Electrodes and Methods for Fabricating and Testing Same
Highly effective, standalone gas-diffusion electrodes (GDEs) and the methods for their manufacture and test are disclosed, Nanocataiysis are directly bonded on a gas diffusion layer, so that the integrity of the catalyst layer holds without polymer electrolyte membrane, facilitating minimization of electronic, prottmtc, and diffusion resistances in the catalyst layer. The devised embodiments provide examples showing a facile hanging-strip method for testing the standalone GDEs in a solution electrochemical cell, which removes the mA-cm.sup.-2-scale mass transport limited currents on rotating disk electrodes to allow studies of reaction kinetics on single electrode over sufficiently wide current ranges (up to A cm.sup.-2) without mass transport limitation. Ultralow-Pi-content GDEs are fabricated as the cathode for hydrogen evolution in water eiectrolyzers and as the anode for hydrogen oxidation in hydrogen fuel cells. High performance GDEs with low loadings of platinum group metals are being developed for oxygen evolution reaction at the anode of water electrolyzers and for the oxygen reduction reaction at the cathode of fuel cells.
Brookhaven National Laboratory 10/09/2013
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
BSA 13-02PrototypeAvailable03/30/201503/30/2015

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To: Poornima Upadhya<>