Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Chemical Engineering


Oxygen reduction in a gas-fed porous electrode attached to a proton exchange membrane is discussed. Experimental data and a mathematical model are presented for the test cell used. Various membrane and electrode assemblies were tested at different levels of platinum loading and Teflon® content. The model accounts for the diffusion and reaction of oxygen and the diffusion and reaction of hydrogen ions. Sulfuric acid was placed above the membrane in the test cell reservoir to provide a source of protons for the reduction of oxygen at the cathode. Based upon model predictions, it is shown that the transport of the protons in the active layer of the cathode is an important factor in the operation of the test cell.