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Novel fractal gas distributor

Research Achievements

Novel fractal gas distributor

A chemical engineering student, Jeff Marquis, has focused on the design and fabrication of a novel fractal gas distributor and the modeling and design of a structured macroporous cathode catalyst layer. A gas distributor inspired by the fractal geometry found in the human lung has been designed that will evenly distribute reactant gases over the catalyst layer. This design has been replicated in a computer aided design program. Additionally a structured macroporous cathode catalyst layer model has been generated based on the agglomerate catalyst model. Broad pore networks have been introduced into this layer to allow for bulk transport of reactant gases. The size and distribution of these macroporous channels has been optimized for a cell operating at high current density under fully flooded conditions. It has been shown that even under such severe operating conditions this design still meets the 2015 DOE target for grams of platinum per kW of power.