Specialty metals for water electrolysis

Are iridium and platinum critical materials?

Hydrogen will have a crucial role to play in transforming the energy market. The first element of the periodic table has great potential to decarbonize much of the steel, cement and chemical industries as well as aviation, heavy-duty road haulage and maritime transportation. As a result, politicians across the EU are mapping out plans to support electrolyzer capacity increases and hydrogen production methods.

Read more

Iridium could slow down electrolyser run-up

Vulcano plot of different metal oxides for oxygen evolution.
Fig. 1: Vulcano plot of different metal oxides for oxygen evolution, according to [2] © Trasatti S., Electrocatalysis by oxides – attempt at a unifying approach, J. Electroanal. Chem. 1980; 125-131.

Although hydrogen produced from renewable energies has been under discussion for decades as a possible alternative to fossil fuels, it has so far only played a minor role. Recently, however, there have been signs of change, so that “green” hydrogen could gain momentum in the energy sector: More and more powerful electrolysis systems are available, and the prices for these systems are falling. If, however, PEM electrolysers were to be added on a large scale, iridium could become scarce and thus more expensive and thus stand in the way of a reduction in the already considerable investment costs.

Read more