H2U Technologies demonstrates iridium-free PEM electrolyzer for hydrogen production

In its strategic effort to reduce the costs of Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyzers, H2U Technologies has demonstrated electrolyzer stacks that replace expensive and scarce iridium catalysts with inexpensive and abundant catalyst materials.

H2U’s PEM electrolyzer stacks leverage readily available catalyst materials to enable cost-effective green hydrogen generation. The development of alternative catalysts is significant as highly constrained sources of costly platinum group metal (PGM) materials, such as iridium, a mainstay electrolyzer catalyst, will lead to supply chain shortages and price increases.

With this successful demonstration, H2U is on track to ship its first proof-of-concept electrolyzer systems in 2023. Customers looking to advance their green hydrogen projects will be able to view several operational, iridium-free, multi-kilowatt electrolyzer stacks at H2U’s lab facilities in Chatsworth, Calif. Guests will also be able to tour H2U’s Catalyst Discovery Engine™ (CDE™) facilities to see how H2U discovers the non-iridium catalysts used in its electrolyzers.

The catalysts used in the new electrolyzer stack are optimized with H2U’s CDE originally developed by Caltech. The data-driven CDE rapid-screening process allows scientists to make, characterize, and quantify the catalytic activity of thousands of material compositions per week – faster than any other screening process available. The H2U scientists then explore multiple options to get the ideal materials into the electrolyzer using their expertise in catalyst coatings, binders, and deposition methods. The materials used in the demo stack have separately been evaluated and verified through independent third-party testing.

“This is such an extraordinary time to research and develop solutions for real-world decarbonization,” stated Mark McGough, CEO of H2U Technologies. “Our iridium-free electrolyzers have the potential to revolutionize green hydrogen production. We will cut nearly half the cost of today’s offerings by producing electrolyzers with economical and readily available materials. We are fortunate to have some of the brightest minds in the industry working on developing and proving novel catalyst materials. We’re confident that our electrolyzer approach will be a game-changer.”

“This initial demonstration shows the efficacy of our non-iridium catalyst materials. By leveraging our CDE, H2U will continue to improve the efficiency and durability of its catalyst materials with each subsequent electrolyzer system,” noted Michael Lichterman, Ph.D., Principal Scientist. “Moreover, the lessons learned from this demonstration build our expertise in incorporating catalytic materials into stacks. These lessons can be applied no matter what catalyst we use.”

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