A numerical study is presented to investigate the turbulent, two-phase, steady state, isothermal, bubbly flow characteristic in the anode channel of a passive, tubular direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) in order to accurately predict the gas volume fraction distribution along the channel. Accumulation of carbon dioxide gas bubbles at the channel’s wall hinders the diffusion of the fuel from the channel to the catalyst layer. The conservation governing equations of the mass and momentum for both the continuous (methanol and water solution) and dispersed (CO2 bubbles) phases in the bubbly regime are solved using the multi-fluid technique. Turbulence in the liquid phase is formulated by employing the classical, two-equation k–ε model. Due to the lack of experimental data regarding the gas volume fraction in the anode channel of DMFCs, the proposed model was initially applied to the bubble plum in a cylindrical liquid bath in which air is injected into the water from a nozzle located at the bottom-center of the bath. The results are compared with the existing experimental data in the literature for the gas volume fraction and the liquid velocity in the bath. Finally, the model is successfully extended to the anode channel of a tubular DMFC operating passively in the vertical orientation in which the CO2 gas bubbles are injected through the wall. The rate of gas injection depends on the cell current density which is assumed to be uniform along the anode catalyst layer and the channel’s wall. It is found that the gas volume fraction significantly changes along the channel from a large value at the bottom of the channel to a lower value at the top. The flow field inside the channel is also investigated for different cell current densities.
- Advanced Energy Systems Division
Bubbly, Two-Phase Flow in the Anode Channel of a Passive, Tubular Direct Methanol Fuel Cell
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Bahrami, H, & Faghri, A. "Bubbly, Two-Phase Flow in the Anode Channel of a Passive, Tubular Direct Methanol Fuel Cell." Proceedings of the ASME 2011 9th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology collocated with ASME 2011 5th International Conference on Energy Sustainability. ASME 2011 9th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology. Washington, DC, USA. August 7–10, 2011. pp. 195-204. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/FuelCell2011-54732
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