3D Computational Model for an Electrochemical Gas Separation and Inerting System

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Journal of The Electrochemical Society
Aircraft fuel tank inerting is employed to reduce the flammability of the fuel vapor in the ullage (air volume above the fuel) by restricting its oxygen concentration to a safe value—12% for commercial aircraft and 9% for military aircraft. Inerting is typically accomplished by displacing oxygen in the ullage with an inert gas like nitrogen. Electrochemical gas separation and inerting system (EGSIS) is an on-board method to generate and supply nitrogen-enriched air (NEA) to the fuel tank. EGSIS combines a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolyzer anode which dissociates water to evolve oxygen, and a PEM fuel cell cathode which reduces oxygen from atmospheric air to produce NEA at its outlet. This paper represents the first attempt to model and simulate EGSIS using a three-dimensional, steady state, isothermal model. Various EGSIS performance indicators such as current density, reactant concentration distribution, and polarization curves are studied as a function of operating conditions and design parameters. The results from the computational model are validated against our previous experimental results for various operating conditions. The simulation results reveal the effects of temperature, reactant flowrates, and material property optimization on EGSIS performance. Different operating strategies are explored with the goal of improving system performance.
This article was originally published in Journal of The Electrochemical Society. The version of record is available at: https://doi.org/10.1149/1945-7111/ac669e
electrolyzer, fuel cell, fuel tank, gas separation, inerting, nitrogen-enriched air, affordable and clean energy
Aryal, Utsav Raj, Majid Aziz, and Ajay K. Prasad. 2022. “3D Computational Model for an Electrochemical Gas Separation and Inerting System.” Journal of The Electrochemical Society 169 (4): 043516. https://doi.org/10.1149/1945-7111/ac669e.