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Comment Sustainability

Johnson Matthey and Hystar collaborate on development of advanced electrolyzers for green hydrogen

By Mary Page Bailey |

Johnson Matthey plc (London) announced a Memorandum of Understanding with newly established Norwegian company Hystar AS, a high-tech spin-out from Sintef (Trondheim, Norway), one of Europe’s largest independent research institutions. Hystar is backed by AP Ventures, a significant investor focused on breakthrough technologies in the fast-growing hydrogen industry. Under the agreement, Johnson Matthey will collaborate with Hystar to provide catalyst coated membranes (CCMs) for use in their innovative proton exchange membrane (PEM) stack and electrolyzer system package, which offers a significant improvement in efficiency.

The collaboration will focus on stack development and manufacturing scale-up using CCMs provided by JM and patented cell design from Hystar. This next-generation cell design and PEM electrolyser system can improve performance by 10%, enabling greater hydrogen production or lower power consumption, ultimately reducing the costs associated with green hydrogen production.

Johnson Matthey and Hystar are committed to building the hydrogen economy by developing the next generation of PEM electrolyzers. Johnson Matthey has a proven track record and strong expertise in developing innovative, high-performance coating materials and CCM solutions, building on decades of experience developing fuel cell components. In addition, as the world’s largest secondary refiner of platinum group metals, JM is well placed to drive the creation of closed loop recycling systems within the green hydrogen supply chain.

“Everything we do contributes towards JM’s vision of a cleaner, healthier world, so we’re excited to be working with Hystar to take their game-changing, innovative electrolyser system to the next level”, commented Eugene McKenna, Managing Director, Green Hydrogen. “The Hystar cell design offers significant performance improvements for electrolyser users and JM’s CCMs have a much thinner, lower resistance membrane than those typically used in today’s commercial PEM systems.”

“JM CCMs have performed extremely well under Hystar operating conditions and we are very thrilled to have the possibility to integrate CCMs that can be produced by high volume manufacturing methods into our electrolyzer platform,” commented Alejandro Barnett, CTO and co-founder of Hystar. “This is a clear game changer when it comes to improving the performance of our electrolyzers even further.”

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