Sibanye-Stillwater and Heraeus Precious Metals have agreed to collaborate on the research and development of novel Platinum Group Metals (PGM) containing electrocatalysts with high activity and stability for Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolysers (the partnership), utilised in the production of Green Hydrogen, amongst others.
The parties will equally fund the project over a three-year period. The results will be mutually commercialised, and the parties will cooperate on the communication and marketing of the novel catalyst.
Platinum and iridium are currently essential components of electrocatalysts for the generation of green hydrogen using PEM electrolysis. Iridium, however, is one of the scarcest PGMs, and its limited availability is a potential constraint on the future widespread adoption of PGM PEM electrolysers. Reducing iridium loadings in PEM electrocatalysts is key to ensuring a sustainable hydrogen ecosystem, enabling PEM technology to be cost competitive to make triple-digit giga-watt-scale a reality within the next decade.
Technologies that reduce or replace iridium with, for example, ruthenium offer significant potential. The partners aim to develop a new, robust solution based on looking at substituting iridium with other metals and developing more sophisticated metal oxide structures.
Dr Philipp Walter, Executive VP at Heraeus Precious Metals, said, “Without cost-effective PEM electrolysis, the targets for the ramp-up of the hydrogen economy cannot be achieved. We are ready to invest in a sustainable raw material strategy to make it happen.”
Neal Froneman, CEO of SibanyeStillwater, said, “The partnership with Heraeus and the investment in the successful development and commercialisation of catalysts for PEM electrolysers will enable another aspect of a greener future.”