Journal of Applied Electrochemistry

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 583–590 | Cite as

A 27-3 fractional factorial optimization of polybenzimidazole based membrane electrode assemblies for H2/O2 fuel cells

  • R. Kannan
  • Md. N. Islam
  • D. Rathod
  • M. Vijay
  • U. K. Kharul
  • P. C. Ghosh
  • K. VijayamohananEmail author
Original Paper


We describe the usefulness of a statistical fractional factorial design to obtain consistent and reproducible behavior of a membrane-electrode-assembly (MEA) based on a phosphoric acid (PA) doped polybenzimidazole (PBI) membrane, which allows a H2/O2 fuel cell to operate above 150 °C. Different parameters involved during the MEA fabrication including the catalyst loading, amount of binder, processing conditions like temperature and compaction load and also the amount of carbon in the gas diffusion layers (GDL) have been systematically varied according to a 27-3 fractional factorial design and the data thus obtained have been analyzed using Yates’s algorithm. The mean effects estimated in this way suggest the crucial role played by carbon loading in the gas diffusion layer, hot compaction temperature and the binder to catalyst ratio in the catalyst layer for enabling continuous performance. These statistically designed electrodes provide a maximum current density and power density of 1,800 mA cm−2 and 280 mW cm−2, respectively, at 160 °C using hydrogen and oxygen under ambient pressure.


PEMFC Fractional factorial optimization MEA PBI Carbon loading 



The authors are grateful to the Council of Science and Industrial Research, New Delhi, India, for funding through a NMITLI programme to carry out this work. RK thanks University Grants Commission for financial support. We also thank Dr. S. Sivaram, Director, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune and Prof. A.K. Shukla, Director, Central Electrochemical Research Institute, Karaikudi, for several valuable discussions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Kannan
    • 1
  • Md. N. Islam
    • 1
  • D. Rathod
    • 1
  • M. Vijay
    • 1
  • U. K. Kharul
    • 1
  • P. C. Ghosh
    • 1
  • K. Vijayamohanan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.National Chemical LaboratoryPuneIndia

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