In this study, the performance of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell with double-side microporous layer (MPL) coating on gas diffusion layer (GDL) is investigated experimentally. A standard commercial SGL® 10BA carbon paper is used as the substrate and it is coated with MPL on both sides of the paper with different composition. Three different carbon powders are used in the experiments, including Vulcan XC-72R, Acetylene black, and Black Pearls 2000. The effect of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) content is also considered. A single cell testing apparatus is constructed to measure the cell performance and evaluate the effect of GDL with double-side MPL coating. Accordingly, the optimal fabrication parameters of double-side MPL are determined. The result shows that under the same operating conditions, the performance of fuel cell using GDL with double-side MPL is better than that using general single-side MPL. The Acetylene black is found to give the best cell performance than the others. The optimal composition of MPL on the surfaces facing to the catalyst layer and flow-channel plate are 1.25 mg/cm2 and 0.25 mg/cm2, respectively. Besides, the optimal PTFE content is the same on both sides of MPL which is found to be 20 wt%.

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