Pioneering Green Hydrogen: Bekaert and Toshiba’s Strategic Alliance Unveiled

Blue items on table, small wind mills, capacitors, hydrogen bubble representation

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by | Mar 11, 2024

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Bekaert and Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions Corporation are entering a partnership to help the advancement of green hydrogen production. They’ve agreed to work together globally, including sharing information for a critical part of water-to-hydrogen converters, known as Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs) which will speed up production of this clean energy source.

Sealing the Deal for Sustainable Hydrogen Production

These two companies started working toward this collaboration after a preliminary memorandum of understanding in September 2023. They’re combining their technological know-how and production capabilities to push forward.

Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolysers, the machines they’re focusing on, use electricity to turn water into hydrogen and oxygen. If the electricity comes from clean sources, like wind or solar, then the hydrogen doesn’t contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. A big challenge has been the use of iridium, a very rare metal, in these machines. Finding a way to use less iridium could help to scale up adoption of this impactful technology.

Under their agreement, Bekaert’s knowledge of making parts of the water-to-hydrogen converters will be combined with Toshiba’s new way to save on iridium. They’ve figured out how to use 90% less iridium, which could make it easier to get the parts needed and help more people start producing green hydrogen.

Fueling Global Ambitions to Enable Green Hydrogen Expansion

Bekaert plans to start making these important parts, using its worldwide network and its production base in Belgium, to meet the needs of its hydrogen customers. Toshiba will share its iridium-saving secrets with Bekaert, allowing them to make and sell these parts. Toshiba, meanwhile, will keep working on making their technology even better. This partnership applies everywhere except Japan, where they’ll need a separate agreement.

Inge Schildermans, Sr. Vice-President of Bekaert’s Energy Transition business expressed excitement about working with Toshiba to bring this new technology to their green hydrogen customers, aiming to tackle their cost and environmental concerns. Bekaert aims to be a key partner in growing the green hydrogen industry and supporting the switch to cleaner energy.

Shigehiro Kawahara, Vice-President of Toshiba ESS also highlighted the importance of their collaboration, noting that meeting the growing demand for green hydrogen needs more adoption of their advanced, iridium-saving technology. Together, they believe they can support the fast-growing need for green hydrogen and contribute significantly to creating a cleaner hydrogen-powered society.

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