Gas diffusion layer or GDL is a key part of any fuel cell. It is generally made of woven carbon cloth and non-woven carbon fiber paper. The main objective of fuel cell GDL is to support the catalyst layer that provides good mechanical strength, enhance the electrical conductivity and easy gas access to catalyst. GDL is main supporting material in the membrane electrode assembly (MEA). Numerous standard gas diffusion layers come with hydrophobic treatment (PTFE) and micro porous layer (MPL). The micro porous layer & hydrophobic treatment supports with the contact to membrane & water management. The micro porous layer provides smooth layer with sufficient surface area, for good contact with the membrane & catalyst. The fuel cell GDL acts as an electrode that enables the diffusion of reactant over the catalyst layered membrane. The porosity & surface area of the GDL enables the reactants in the path of bi-polar plate to diffuse along the dynamic area of the membrane.
As per analysis, “Global Fuel Cell Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) Market Status (2015-2019) and Forecast (2020-2024) by Region, Product Type & End-Use” the key companies operating in the global fuel cell gas diffusion layer market include Ballard, NuVant Systems, Toray, SGL and among others.
Based on type, fuel cell gas diffusion layer market is segmented as carbon fiber woven cloth substrate, carbon fiber paper substrate and metal substrate. Carbon cloth substrates are created to cater to the necessities in hydrogen & direct methanol fuel cells. These layers are made through proprietary woven technology. Additionally, carbon fiber paper substrates are basically designed to meet the requirements in direct methanol fuel cells and & methanol fuel cell by proprietary non-woven technology. Carbon fiber paper substrate segment holds major share in global market owing to its excellent features such as high gas permeability, high conductivity, smooth surface and corrosion resistance.
Furthermore, carbon fiber paper substrate have various features like corrosion resistance, low cost, high conductivity, high gas permeability and smooth surface, therefore they are extensively used in different end-use industries. In addition, based on application, market is categorized as hydrogen / oxygen air fuel cells, polymer electrolyte fuel cells, direct methanol fuel cells and others. In polymer electrolyte fuel cell operation, gas diffusion layer plays an important role. GDL helps in transporting the reactants to active phase of the electro catalysts and enabling the water removal apart from the active sites for preventing the flooding. GDL provides electron pathways from the catalyst layer back to the rigid flow fields in hydrogen and oxygen air fuel cells. GDL is used to attain the better cell performance to achieve better water management for system in direct methanol fuel cells.
Based on geography, the North-America holds major share in global fuel cell gas diffusion layer market owing to rise in demand for fuel cell-powered electric vehicles across the region. The Europe and Asia-pacific regions are estimated to exhibit higher growth rate due to increase in investments by government for cleaner energy source over the forecast period. It is predicted that future of the global market will be bright as a result of rapid expansion of various industries during the forecast period.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications