Article published on Maritime Reporter & Engineering News, 25 June 2024. Read the magazine here

Electrolyzer technology is going to have to get cheaper and more scalable if it is going to enable a global green hydrogen economy. 

Somewhere on a benchtop in Brimsdown, London, there is a lab-scale prototype that can extract the platinum and polymers from PEM electrolyzer membranes so they can be recycled into new membranes.

Why? To reduce the cost of electrolyzers and therefore green hydrogen. Electrolyzers use electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, and to meet global expectations for 2030 and then 2050, they must produce green hydrogen cheaper than hydrocarbon-based methods. They must also be able to do this at scale.
Electricity makes up most of the production cost of green hydrogen, and researchers around the world are trying to reduce that, but Johnson Matthey’s benchtop unit is also representative of the fact that, despite new electrolyzer technologies well past lab-scale testing, there will still be a major role played by more established technologies such as PEM and alkaline electrolyzers…