Higher efficiency operation of PEM fuel cells needs an advanced passive way to remove product water. Water flooding in gas flow channels reduces efficiency and needs to be mitigated by a support of balance of plant design and components which results in parasitic power losses. ElectroChem’s Integrated Flow Field (IFF) design with the integration of hydrophobic and hydrophilic matrix has been proven to solve these challenges with no impact on the performance. The hydrophobic and hydrophilic matrix facilitates two phase (gas and liquid) flow to and away from the interface between the electrode membrane assembly and the flow field. A phase-separation feature of the IFF allowed the fuel cells to operate on a flow rate at its consumption rate. The IFF fuel cell has demonstrated operation at the ideal one stoichiometric ratio with 100% gas utilization and orientation independent. The IFF also served as gas humidifier through the creation of simultaneous distribution of gas and water within the cell. The self-humidification capability keeps the cell operating without the humidity of the input gas. The IFF design also enhanced the performance of water electrolysis which is a reverse process of fuel cell. The IFF supported the passive water feed to the cell and gas separation from the cell.

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