Heraeus Launches new Catalyst for PEM Electrolysis
2nd October 2020
Heraeus has launched a new catalyst for Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolysis which, according to the company, contains 50-90% less iridium than conventional products and offers up to three times higher catalyst performance. The lower precious metal content of the product can reduce costs by up to 43%.
The new catalyst, says Heraeus, makes the production of green hydrogen on an industrial scale affordable.
"Green hydrogen is the energy carrier of the future. The cheaper it can be produced, the better its chances of success" says Christian Gebauer, Head of Hydrogen Systems at Heraeus Precious Metals. "The global supply of the precious metal iridium is simply not sufficient to meet the EU Commission's hydrogen targets with conventional catalysts. We are therefore very proud to be able to achieve such a low iridium content through our product development.”
According to Heraeus, the global iridium supply is about 8 t/y. A PEM electrolyzer uses about one to two grams of iridium per kW electrolysis capacity. With a target of 40 GW electrolysis capacity for renewable hydrogen by 2030, 20 to 40 t of iridium would be needed (at 20 GW of PEM electrolysis). Thus, a significant iridium reduction down to a tenth of today’s needs is required. Its new catalyst will therefore help to overcome this resource bottleneck, said Heraeus.
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