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Bekaert and Toshiba Sign a Partnership Agreement on MEA Technology for PEM Electrolyzers to Accelerate the Advance Towards Green Hydrogen Production at Scale

Bekaert and Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions Corporation (“Toshiba”), have entered into a global partnership which includes a strategic cooperation agreement, and a manufacturing technology license for Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEA), a key component for Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyzers, that will help to accelerate the advance towards green hydrogen production. The agreement formalizes recent collaboration to leverage both companies’ technological, manufacturing and commercial strengths since signing an MoU in September 2023.

Image Credit: Toshiba

PEM electrolyzers use electricity to split water into its component elements of oxygen and hydrogen. When the electricity is from a renewable energy source, the hydrogen is produced without any 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 leading expertise in Porous Transport Layers (PTL), a key component in the MEA of water electrolyzers, will be coupled with Toshiba’s innovative iridium-saving technology for MEA, which will enable a 90% reduction in iridium usage in the production of PEM electrolyzers. This reduction in iridium will enable a more stable supply of MEA and support the scale expansion of green hydrogen production.

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

Inge Schildermans, Senior Vice-President of Bekaert’s Energy Transition business commented: “Bekaert is a leading player in the development of green hydrogen production and is therefore delighted to partner with Toshiba on the industrialization and commercialization of this innovative new PEM MEA technology. Furthermore, we are delighted to be able to offer this to our green hydrogen customers and help them achieve their cost and sustainability challenges. Bekaert is establishing itself as a green hydrogen technology and industrialization partner, helping the electrolyzer industry to scale and deliver the energy transition.”

Shigehiro Kawahara, Vice-President of Toshiba ESS commented: "Addressing the surging demand for green hydrogen requires wider adoption of PEM electrolysis equipment. Our advanced iridium-saving MEA technology, coupled with Bekaert’s longstanding expertise in PTL, forms a promising partnership. We believe this collaboration will effectively meet the rapid growth in demand and contribute significantly to the realization of a green hydrogen society."

Source: https://www.global.toshiba/ww/contact/energy.html

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