MINA-NEWS #13 - February 2011
X-rays look deep inside fuel cells
What happens to fuel cell membrane water content and distribution when the cell is actually in use? Liten and INAC set out to answer precisely that question. Following several previous observations, this time the researchers used the ESRF’s neutron beamline for deeper insight into the problem. The beamline offered the researchers spatial resolution of one millimeter (instead of the one-centimeter resolutions in their previous experiments) and acquisition times of one second down from ten minutes. The conditions were ideal for looking at the fuel cell during transitory regimes, which are the most difficult to understand, and for generating additional real-world data for Liten models. The experiment’s success prompted a French National Research Agency (ANR) project titled In Extremis. This new project will focus on x-ray, Raman spectroscopy, and neutron beam observations; the latter being the least disruptive to the fuel cell.