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Bekaert and Toshiba ink MoU on MEA technology for PEM electrolyzers

Toshiba's iridium saving MEA technology. Source: Toshiba.

Bekaert and Toshiba Corporation's energy arm, Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions (Toshiba ESS)have entered into a global partnership that includes a strategic cooperation agreement and a manufacturing technology license for Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEA) that will support green hydrogen production at scale.

MEA technology is a key component of PEM electrolyzers. Under the agreement, Bekaert's 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 (an expensive and rare precious metal) usage in the production of PEM electrolyzers. This reduction in iridium will enable a more stable supply of MEA and support to scale the expansion of green hydrogen production.

"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," said Shigehiro Kawahara, Vice-President of Toshiba ESS.

"We believe this collaboration will effectively meet the rapid growth in demand and contribute significantly to the realization of a green hydrogen society."

As part of the deal, Bekaert will undertake the commercialization of MEA production, leveraging its global network and established manufacturing base in Belgium. Toshiba will license its iridium-saving MEA technology to Bekaert, granting them the ability to manufacture and distribute MEAs.

The agreement is global, except for Japan-related projects, which will be subject to a separate agreement.

"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," commented Inge Schildermans, Senior Vice-President of Bekaert's Energy Transition business.

"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." 

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