The design, fabrication, and performance characterization of a passive gas-liquid separation system is presented in this paper. The gas-liquid separation system is silicon-based and its fabrication is compatible with the existing CMU design of the microscale direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). Both gas and liquid separators consist of staggered arrays of etched-through holes fabricated by deep reactive ion etching (DRIE). The gas separator is coated with a thin layer of hydrophobic polymer to substantiate the gas-liquid separation. To visually characterize the system performance, the gas-liquid separation system is made on a single wafer with a glass plate bonded on the top to form a separation chamber with a narrow gap in between. Benzocyclobutene (BCB) is applied for the low-temperature bonding. The maximum pressure for the liquid leakage of the gas separators is experimentally determined and compared with the values predicted theoretically. Several successful gas-liquid separations are observed at liquid pressures between 14.2 and 22.7 cmH2O, liquid flow rates between 0.705 and 1.786 cc/min, and CO2 flow rates between 0.15160 to 0.20435 cc/min.

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