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Schaeffler, Johnson Matthey, Bekaert and TNO partner to boost renewable hydrogen production

Schaeffler, Johnson Matthey, Bekaert and TNO partner

Supplier to the automotive and industrial sectors Schaeffler and sustainable technologies provider Johnson Matthey have partnered with Bekaert, a porous transport layer supplier for PEM electrolysers and TNO, an independent research institute in the field of hydrogen to develop cells with the components optimised to work together for a step-change in efficiency to be used within electrolysis. The consortium brings together each company’s leading individual capabilities to drive forward next generation technologies to reduce the levelised 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 decarbonising 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 electrolyser 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 PEM technology development, by optimizing the most important components of the electrolyser stack. This will ultimately support the development of the next generation of PEM electrolysers, 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 electrolysers.

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 electrolysers. 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.

“We are very proud that we are able to contribute to the competitive production of green hydrogen and to support this team of strong international business partners with our experience and developments in the field of PEM water electrolysis,” says Bernd Hetterscheidt – Senior Vice President Strategic Business Hydrogen at Schaeffler. “Enabling and accelerating the energy transition is one of the core objectives of our strategy at Schaeffler and is an essential part of our Roadmap 2025, which comprises a fast ramp-up of a highly competitive, scalable stack production process. We strongly believe, that participating in such promising projects as the Next Gen electrolysis Shared Research Program with global leading partners is the right way to drive this technology forward.”

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.

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