Bekaert and Toshiba sign PEM electrolyser agreement

29 February 2024

Bekaert and Toshiba Energy Systems have entered into a global partnership that includes a strategic co-operation agreement, and a manufacturing technology licence for membrane electrode assemblies, a key component for proton exchange membrane electrolysers (PEM) that is expected to help accelerate the advance towards green hydrogen production. The agreement formalises a recent collaboration agreement to combine the two companies’ technological, manufacturing and commercial strengths.

PEM electrolysers split water into oxygen and hydrogen. When the electricity they use is from a renewable energy source, the hydrogen is produced with zero greenhouse gas emissions. The catalyst in PEM anode electrodes uses iridium, one of the scarcest traded metals. Consequently, solutions that reduce iridium content present a significant break-through towards the scale adoption of these technologies.

Under the agreement, Bekaert’s expertise in porous transport layers (PTL), a key component in the ME assemblies of water electrolysers, will be coupled with Toshiba’s recently developed iridium-saving technology for MEA, which will enable a 90% reduction in iridium usage in the production of PEM electrolysers. This reduction in iridium will promote a more stable supply of MEA and support the scale expansion of green hydrogen production.

Bekaert will undertake commercialisation of MEA production to serve its hydrogen customers. Toshiba will license its iridium-saving MEA technology to Bekaert, granting them the right to manufacture and distribute MEAs. Meanwhile, Toshiba will focus on further enhancing the technical performance of its technology. The agreement is global, with the exception of Japan-related projects, which will be subject to a separate agreement.

Shigehiro Kawahara, vp of Toshiba Energy Systems, commented: "Addressing the surging demand for green hydrogen requires wider adoption of PEM electrolysis equipment … we believe this collaboration will effectively meet the rapid growth in demand and contribute significantly to the realization of a green hydrogen society."

Image: Toshiba's Membrane Electrode Assembly (courtesy of Toshiba)

Linkedin Linkedin   
Privacy Policy
We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.