Journal of Inorganic Materials ›› 2023, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (11): 1316-1322.DOI: 10.15541/jim20230127

Special Issue: 【能源环境】燃料电池(202312)

• RESEARCH ARTICLE • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Biomass-derived High-conductivity Carbon Cloth: Preparation and Application as Gas Diffusion Layers in Fuel Cells

TIAN Yubin1(), TIAN Chaofan1, LI Sen1, ZHAO Yongxin1, XING Tao2, LI Zhi2,3, CHEN Xiaoru1, XIANG Shuairong1, DAI Pengcheng1()   

  1. 1. College of New Energy, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao 266580, China
    2. New Energy Division, Shandong Energy Group Co., Ltd., Jining 273500, China
    3. School of Materials Science and Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China
  • Received:2023-03-13 Revised:2023-05-28 Published:2023-06-16 Online:2023-06-16
  • Contact: DAI Pengcheng (1986-), male, associate professor. E-mail:
  • About author:TIAN Yubin (1997-), male, Master candidate. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(51702365);Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province(ZR2022MB133)


The gas diffusion layer (GDL) is a critical component of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) and accounts for 40%-50% of the fuel cell membrane's cost. Developing a low-cost and high-performance GDL is imperative to advance the commercialization of PEMFCs. In this study, we generated a flexible carbon cloth with high electrical conductivity and porosity from cellulose cloth at a low temperature (1500 ℃). The carbon cloth is composed of micron-sized carbon fibers with a porosity of up to 76.93%. Through catalytic graphitization of iron-based compounds, massive carbon nanotube clusters were formed in situ on the surface of carbon fibers, which effectively enhanced the electrical conductivity of the carbon cloth. The in-plane resistance was as low as 34 mΩ·cm while the through-plane resistance was 2.8 mΩ·cm under a pressure of 2 MPa, meeting the performance standard of commercial carbon cloth. Furthermore, the PEMFC with the prepared carbon cloth as GDLs exhibits a power density of 0.4 W·cm-2 at current density of 0.7 A·cm-2, exceeding the device with commercial carbon cloth (0.34 W·cm-2 at 0.7 A·cm-2). This study demonstrates that the prepared biomass-derived carbon cloth with low-cost and high- performance holds great potential for advanced GDLs for PEMFCs.

Key words: biomass, carbon cloth, carbon nanotube, gas diffusion layer, fuel cell

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