Heraeus on Monday launched what the German technology group says is a cost-effective and efficient catalyst for proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis.
The new catalyst contains 50 to 90% less iridium than conventional products with up to three times higher catalyst performance, Heraeus said.
The lower precious metal content of the Heraeus product reduces costs by up to 43%. The cost savings make green hydrogen affordable – an important step for the successful conversion to sustainable energy sources.
With this product, Heraeus said it has reached a milestone for the production of green hydrogen on an industrial scale.
Affordable green hydrogen is an important cornerstone for the hydrogen and climate goals of the EU Commission.
“Green hydrogen is the energy carrier of the future. The cheaper it can be produced, the better its chances of success,” said 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.”
The global iridium supply is about eight tonnes per year. A PEM electrolyser uses about one to two grams of iridium per kW electrolysis capacity.
With a target of 40GW electrolysis capacity for renewable hydrogen by 2030, 20 to 40 tonnes of iridium would be needed (at 20GW of PEM electrolysis). Thus, a significant Iridium reduction down to a tenth of today’s needs is required.
With the new Heraeus catalyst these goals are achievable – a sustainable solution to the resource bottleneck.