Bekaert has partnered with Toshiba’s green energy division, Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation (Toshiba ESS), to develop new technologies for green hydrogen electrolysis.  

The new partnership follows an MOU signed by the two companies in September 2023, committing them to developing a formal partnership. Bekaert is one of the world leaders in the development of Porus Transport Layers (PTL), which form a major part of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) of water electrolysers crucial to the green hydrogen market.  

Toshiba ESS is currently developing MEAs for large-scale water electrolysers and has developed a technology that reduces the amount of iridium needed by 90%. As iridium is an expensive and rare metal, this development could bring down the cost of water electrolysers significantly, along with the cost barrier for green hydrogen

Under the partnership, Bekaert will commercialise MEA production to serve its hydrogen customers, while Toshiba will licence its iridium-saving technology to Bekeart, allowing it to manufacture and distribute MEAs using the tech. Toshiba will continue to research and develop the technology to further enhance the green hydrogen market. 

Inge Schildermans, senior vice-president of Bekaert’s Energy Transition business, commented: “Bekaert is a leading player in the development of green hydrogen production and is therefore delighted to partner with Toshiba on the industrialisation and commercialisation of this innovative new PEM MEA technology. 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 industrialisation partner, helping the electrolyser industry to scale and deliver the energy transition.” 

Shigehiro Kawahara, vice-president of Toshiba ESS, added: “Addressing the surging demand for green hydrogen requires wider adoption of PEM electrolysis equipment. Our advanced iridium-saving MEA technology, coupled with Bekaert’s long-standing expertise in PTL, forms a promising partnership. We believe this collaboration will effectively meet the rapid growth in demand and contribute significantly to the realisation of a green hydrogen society.” 

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