Effect of microporous layer on MacMullin number of carbon paper gas diffusion layer

Michael J. Martínez-Rodríguez, Tong Cui, Sirivatch Shimpalee, Supapan Seraphin, Binh Duong, J. W. Van Zee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The effect of the microporous layer (MPL) and wet proofing on the MacMullin number has been evaluated for a custom series of Toray TGP-H-060 carbon paper gas diffusion layer (GDL). Complementary characterizations for these GDLs were performed by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images, pore size distribution (PSD) and fuel cell performance. The GDLs were customized by the addition of a microporous layer (MPL) and the treatment of, either or both, the substrate and MPL with 10% and 40% hydrophobic agent. SEM images correlated very well with the data shown for PSD. Distinction between the substrate layer and the MPL were clearly shown as two different slopes in the integral distribution and two different peaks in the differential distribution. The MacMullin number increased with increase in wet proofing but decreased with the addition of the MPL. The MacMullin number is a key parameter that contains the missing information for the path length in GDLs, which is generally approximated with the Bruggeman expression. The results provided an overview for the interpretation of the combined effect of the substrate and MPL properties as well as the cell operating conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-100
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Power Sources
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012


  • Effective diffusion
  • Fuel cells
  • Gas diffusion layer
  • MacMullin number
  • Pore size distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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