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PEM Fuel Cells, 2nd Edition by Frano Barbir

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Chapter Four

Main Cell Components, Material Properties, and Processes

4.1 Cell Description

The heart of a fuel cell is a polymer, a proton-conductive membrane. On each side of the membrane is a porous electrode. The electrodes must be porous because the reactant gases are fed from the back and must reach the interface between the electrodes and the membrane, where the electrochemical reactions take place in the so-called catalyst layers or, more precisely, on the catalyst surface. Technically, the catalyst layer may be a part of the porous electrode or part of the membrane, depending on the manufacturing process. The multilayer assembly of the membrane sandwiched between the two electrodes is commonly called the membrane electrode assembly, or ...

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