Numerical investigation on surface coverage of weakly-adsorbed molecular SO 2 contaminant in a PEM fuel cell cathode

Saiful Hasmady, Kazuyoshi Fushinobu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper describes attempt to numerically predict surface coverage of SO 2 contaminant in a PEMFC cathode, as a step towards assessing its impact towards cell performance. Three-dimensional macro-homogeneous conservation equations of two-phase fluid flow is coupled with micro-scale cathode ORR kinetics to solve for surface coverage distribution of O-ad and SO 2 -ad at the surface of the catalyst layer for bulk SO 2 concentrations of 2.5 and 5.0 ppm. At 2.5 ppm, SO 2 -ad is predicted to block ca. 20% of the active sites at cell current density of 0.2 A/cm 2 . The effect of SO 2 -ad blockage is then correlated with loss in cell performance. The numerical results are compared with experimental data from literature, which confirms that though the model successfully predicted higher potential loss with higher bulk SO 2 concentration in the reactant feed, inclusion of only weakly-adsorbed SO 2 will under-predict the exact potential loss experienced by the cell. This means strongly adsorbed sulfur containing species must be adopted into the model in order to better predict the severity of degradation of the cell due to SO 2 contamination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)796-802
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering and Technology(UAE)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Hardware and Architecture

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