Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Yitung Chen

Number of Pages



Numerical simulations of electrochemical process for hydrogen production were performed for the purpose of examining the phenomena occurring within the proton exchange membrane (PEM) water splitting cell. A steady-state isothermal two dimensional model of the cell is developed. Finite element method was used to solve the multi-component transport model coupled with flow in porous medium, charge balance and electrochemical kinetics; Parametric studies were performed based on appropriate mass balances, transport, and electrochemical kinetics applied to the cell. It is observed that, as the water on the anode side flows from the inlet to the outlet, the mass fraction of oxygen increases because of the oxidation of oxygen. Similarly, on the cathode side, as the mass fraction of water decreases, the hydrogen mass fraction increases resulting in the formation of hydrogen by reduction of protons. Effects of cell temperature, length of the current collector and thickness of the membrane on the cell performance are examined. As the cell temperature increases, the current density across the cell and mass fraction of hydrogen increases respectively. Increase in thickness of membrane causes a decrease in the cell current density. The current density across the cell tends to increase as the length of the current collector increases.


Cell; Computational; Electrolysis; Exchange; Hydrogen; Membrane; Modeling; Production; Proton

Controlled Subject

Mechanical engineering

File Format


File Size

2068.48 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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