Clean Energy Consortium to Develop Next-Generation Electrolyzers to Enhance Green Hydrogen Production

Source: Press release

A consortium comprising Johnson Matthey, Bekaert and TNO aims to improve green hydrogen production by optimizing the most important components of the electrolyzer. The move is expected to support the development of next-generation electrolyzers which will lead to lower electricity consumption and assist in cheaper hydrogen production.

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The consortium’s goal is to accelerate Proton Exchange Membrane technology development, by optimizing the most important components of the electrolyzer stack.
The consortium’s goal is to accelerate Proton Exchange Membrane technology development, by optimizing the most important components of the electrolyzer stack.
(Source: Metreco - stock.adobe.com)

London/UK – Johnson Matthey (JM) has partnered with Bekaert, a leading PTL supplier for PEM electrolysers, and TNO, a leading independent research institute in the field of hydrogen. The consortium aims to develop cells to be used within electrolysis with the components optimized to work together for a step-change in efficiency. It brings together each company’s leading individual capabilities to drive forward next generation technologies to reduce the levelized cost of hydrogen and improve component efficiency. The shared research programme will run over the next three years.

Renewable hydrogen will play a role in all net zero scenarios and is critical in decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors. Electrolysis is the technology used to produce renewable hydrogen with water and power from renewables and is therefore a key enabling technology for zero emission energy. The Irena 1.5°C scenario forecasts approximately 5,000 GW of electrolyzer capacity in 2050, which will enable sufficient hydrogen to meet 12 % of total energy demand globally. But to ensure this happens, technology innovation and accelerated adoption are crucial.

The consortium’s goal is to accelerate Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology development, by optimizing the most important components of the electrolyzer stack. This will ultimately support the development of the next generation of PEM electrolyzers, enabling lower electricity consumption, cheaper hydrogen production and smaller footprint. The team will also investigate more efficient use of scarce critical elements and components which offer increased efficiency over today’s electrolyzers.

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To achieve this, the partners will collaborate in a shared research programme which will span three years and lay the foundation for a highly efficient, durable and lower cost generation of electrolyzers. This is part of the Voltachem program, a business-driven Shared Innovation Program that supports the chemical industry, the energy sector, and equipment suppliers & licensors to move towards a climate neutral future.

This leading international consortium of Schaeffler, Bekaert, Johnson Matthey and TNO will jointly work on the shared research. To further accelerate, the research programme is open to new participants.

“The energy transition is gathering pace and governments are making ambitious targets to reach ‘net zero’ emissions. Green hydrogen is a truly carbon neutral solution and here we have the opportunity to drive the innovation which will make hydrogen more affordable and reliable. The collaboration envisaged by this consortium aims to accelerate not just in the area where JM is focused, but of PEM technology as a whole,” states Ralph Calmes - Managing director, Hydrogen Technologies, Johnson Matthey.

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