Determination of fuel utilisation and recirculated gas composition in dead-ended PEMFC systems

Pauli Koski (Corresponding Author), Jaana Viitakangas, Jari Ihonen

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    This work presents a fundamental theory and methods for understanding the gas composition dynamics in PEMFC anode fuel supply compartments operated dead-ended with recirculation. The methods are applied to measurement data obtained from a PEMFC system operated with a 1 kW short stack. We show how fuel utilisation and stack efficiency, two key factors determining how well a fuel supply system performs, are coupled through the anode gas composition. The developed methods allow determination of the anode fuel supply molar balance, giving access to the membrane crossover rates and the extent of recirculated gas exchanged to fresh fuel during a purge. A methane tracer gas is also evaluated for estimating fuel impurity enrichment ratios. The above theory and methods may be applied in modelling and experimental research activities related to defining hydrogen fuel quality standards, as well as for developing more efficient and robust PEMFC system operation strategies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23201-23226
    JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
    Issue number43
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2020
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    The research leading to these results has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Technology Initiative under the European Unions’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreement n° 621223 (HyCoRA) and from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking for the European Unions’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement n° 779475 (HYDRAITE).


    • Anode recirculation
    • Dead-end anode
    • Fuel utilisation
    • Gas crossover
    • PEMFC
    • Tracer gas


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