PEM Fuel Cells

2nd Edition

Theory and Practice

Authors: Frano Barbir
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123877109
eBook ISBN: 9780123983725
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 25th September 2012
Page Count: 444
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Demand for fuel cell technology is growing rapidly. Fuel cells are being commercialized to provide power to buildings like hospitals and schools, to replace batteries in portable electronic devices, and as replacements for internal combustion engines in vehicles. PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) fuel cells are lighter, smaller, and more efficient than other types of fuel cell. As a result, over 80% of fuel cells being produced today are PEM cells.

This new edition of Dr. Barbir’s groundbreaking book still lays the groundwork for engineers, technicians and students better than any other resource, covering fundamentals of design, electrochemistry, heat and mass transport, as well as providing the context of system design and applications. Yet it now also provides invaluable information on the latest advances in modeling, diagnostics, materials, and components, along with an updated chapter on the evolving applications areas wherein PEM cells are being deployed. 

Key Features

  • Comprehensive guide covers all aspects of PEM fuel cells, from theory and fundamentals to practical applications
  • Provides solutions to heat and water management problems engineers must face when designing and implementing PEM fuel cells in systems
  • Hundreds of original illustrations, real-life engineering examples, and end-of-chapter problems help clarify, contextualize, and aid understanding


Renewable Energy Engineers, Chemical Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Civil Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Government Researchers and Policy Makers, Engineering Students

Table of Contents


Preface and Acknowledgments

Preface to the Second Edition

Chapter One. Introduction

1.1 What is a Fuel Cell?

1.2 A Very Brief History of Fuel Cells

1.3 Types of Fuel Cells

1.4 How Does a PEM Fuel Cell Work?

1.5 Why Do We Need Fuel Cells?

1.6 Fuel Cell Applications


Chapter Two. Fuel Cell Basic Chemistry and Thermodynamics

2.1 Basic Reactions

2.2 Heat of Reaction

2.3 Higher and Lower Heating Value of Hydrogen

2.4 Theoretical Electrical Work

2.5 Theoretical Fuel Cell Potential

2.6 Effect of Temperature

2.7 Theoretical Fuel Cell Efficiency

2.8 Carnot Efficiency Myth

2.9 Effect of Pressure

2.10 Summary




Chapter Three. Fuel Cell Electrochemistry

3.1 Electrode Kinetics

3.2 Voltage Losses

3.3 Cell Potential: Polarization Curve

3.4 Distribution of Potential Across a Fuel Cell

3.5 Sensitivity of Parameters in Polarization Curve

3.6 Fuel Cell Efficiency

3.7 Implications and Use of Fuel Cell Polarization Curve




Chapter Four. Main Cell Components, Material Properties, and Processes

4.1 Cell Description

4.2 Membrane

4.3 Electrodes

4.4 Gas Diffusion Layer

4.5 Bipolar Plates




Chapter Five. Fuel Cell Operating Conditions

5.1 Operating Pressure

5.2 Operating Temperature

5.3 Reactant Flow Rates

5.4 Reactant Humidity

5.5 Fuel Cell Mass Balance

5.6 Fuel Cell Energy Balance




Chapter Six. Stack Design

6.1 Sizing a Fuel Cell Stack

6.2 Stack Configuration

6.3 Uniform Distribution of Reactants to Each Cell

6.4 U


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About the Author

Frano Barbir

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Split, Croatia; Board of Directors, International Hydrogen Association


"Of the numerous books on fuel cells I have seen come through our lab in the past few years, I find this one the most useful…I’m already planning to incorporate many items I have gleaned from this book into my public and classroom presentations on hydrogen energy." – Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Letter, September 2005
PEM Fuel Cells "are the primary candidates for light-duty vehicles, for buildings, and potentially for much smaller applications such as replacements for rechargeable batteries in video cameras." – United States Department of Energy