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Hydrogen Power

Plug Power, JM form hydrogen partnership

Companies plan to build world’s largest facility for catalyst coated membranes

by Michael McCoy
February 1, 2023 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 101, Issue 5


A closeup of a fuel cell stack.
Credit: Plug Power
Plug Power is a leading producer of hydrogen-based fuel cells.

Plug Power and Johnson Matthey (JM) are joining to build what they say will be the world’s largest facility for catalyst-coated membranes, materials that are at the heart of the electrolyzers used to produce green hydrogen from water using renewable electricity.

Plug Power is a player in the growing field of green hydrogen. JM is a specialist in platinum group metal chemistry and catalysis, and it has been investing in hydrogen to help offset the expected decline of its automotive emissions catalyst business.

“By bringing together one of the largest green hydrogen and fuel cell companies in the world with JM’s technology and manufacturing capabilities, we’re creating volume and scale for green hydrogen that hasn’t existed until now.” JM CEO Liam Condon says in a press release.

The firms say the plant, to be built in the US by 2025, will be able to make catalyst-coated membranes for 5 GW of electrolyzer capacity initially, and 10 GW longer term.

JM will become a supplier of a “substantial portion” of the catalysts, membranes, and catalyst-coated membranes that Plug needs. Plug has a goal of reaching $5 billion in sales by 2026 and $20 billion by 2030. Its sales last year were less than $900 million.

Electrolysis membranes may be in demand as firms launch big green hydrogen projects. For example, Linde, which says it is the largest US liquid hydrogen producer, just announced plans to increase output in Ontario, California, by building several 5 MW protein exchange membrane electrolyzers.



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