Sibanye-Stillwater and Heraeus Precious Metals have committed to collaborate on the research and development of innovative Platinum Group Metals (PGM)-containing electrocatalysts with high activity and stability for Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolysers, amongst other applications.
The parties will fund the project evenly over a three-year period. The results will be mutually commercialized, and the parties will work together to promote the unique catalyst.
Platinum and iridium are currently crucial electrocatalyst components for the production of green hydrogen via PEM electrolysis. Iridium, however, is one of the rarest PGMs, and its limited availability may impede the broad adoption of PGM PEM electrolysers in the future. Reducing iridium loadings in PEM electrocatalysts is essential for guaranteeing a sustainable hydrogen ecosystem, allowing PEM technology to be cost-competitive and making triple-digit gigawatt-scale a possibility in the next decade.
Technologies that minimize or replace iridium with ruthenium, for instance, have considerable potential. The partners intend to build a new, robust solution based on the substitution of iridium with other metals and the creation of more complex metal oxide frameworks.