British speciality chemicals and sustainable technologies company Johnson Matthey Plc (LON:JMAT), or JM, plans to collaborate with Norwegian firm Hystar AS on the development of next-generation proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysers for green hydrogen production.
Johnson Matthey said on Monday it has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Hystar. The former has committed to provide catalyst coated membranes (CCMs) for use in Hystar’s PEM stack and electrolyser system package.
“The Hystar cell design offers significant performance improvements for electrolyser users and JM’s CCMs have a much thinner, lower resistance membrane than those typically used in today’s commercial PEM systems,” said Eugene McKenna, Managing Director, Green Hydrogen. In turn, Hystar’s co-founder and CTO Alejandro Barnett commented that JM’s CCMs “have performed extremely well under Hystar operating conditions.”
Hystar is a high-tech spin-out from independent research institution SINTEF that is backed by London-based investor AP Ventures.
In May 2021, JM signed a similar pact with Plug Power Inc (NASDAQ:PLUG) to develop a roadmap to accelerate the joint development of electrolyser technology incorporating its advanced materials.
Earlier this month, JM pledged to invest about GBP 1 billion (USD 1.35bn/EUR 1.2bn) in the research, development and deployment of clean hydrogen technologies by 2030. The British company has been involved in numerous parts of the hydrogen value chain, including hydrogen production catalysts and processes, fuel cell components and new technologies for ultra-low carbon hydrogen production.
In late July, it acquired the assets and intellectual property of former lithium-sulfur battery developer Oxis Energy Ltd with plans to adapt its facility for the manufacture of components for green hydrogen production. JM said at the time that the purchase was aimed at helping its own hydrogen business to step up the scale-up of CCM production in line with market demand.
Earlier in November, JM announced plans to shed its Battery Materials business and focus on more attractive growth areas such as hydrogen technologies, circularity and the decarbonisation of the chemicals value chain.
“In recent months, as JM has been exploring strategic partnerships, it has also become clear that our capital intensity is too high compared with other more established large scale, low cost producers. The Board has therefore decided to pursue the sale of all or parts of this business with the ultimate intention of exiting,” the company said in a statement at the time.
(GBP 1.0 = USD 1.347/EUR 1.188)
Choose your newsletter by Renewables Now. Join for free!