This catalyst technology has the ability to revolutionize the storage and use of hydrogen in FCEVs.
Anglo American Platinum, through its PGMs company, has announced a research and development agreement with Umicore to develop PGM-based catalysts for liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) applications in fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and other mobile applications.
FCEVs are powered by compressed hydrogen. However, one of the key obstacles to more widespread hydrogen use in the automotive sector is a lack of infrastructure and refueling networks for compressed hydrogen. By chemically bonding hydrogen to a solid organic liquid carrier, LOHC technologies provide an effective alternative solution that eliminates the need for compression and makes hydrogen transportation safer, more practical, and more cost effective using existing traditional fuel networks.
New PGM-based catalyst technologies for LOHC that can be deployed directly on FCEVs and other mobile applications are the focus of the joint research and development program. This will make the fueling process much easier: the LOHC containing hydrogen can be unloaded directly onto the FCEV, and the dehydrogenation step will take place onboard. The new catalyst technologies will allow this dehydrogenation phase to be carried out at lower temperatures and pressures, which is needed for mobile applications, resulting in a simpler and less expensive alternative to onboard compressed hydrogen storage.