H2U Technologies, an American Department of Energy (DOE) funded electrolyser company announced on 25 October its Catalyst Discovery Engine (CDE) which accelerates the identification of catalyst alternatives to iridium and other rare platinum group metals (PGM) used in electrolysers.
H2U’s CDE can make and test readily available catalyst materials 10,000 times faster than other methods, the company claims.
This is a significant breakthrough as the planet has only about one-tenth the iridium it needs to meet the rapidly growing global demand for hydrogen electrolysers, pushing iridium prices up.
The CDE is a rapid screening process developed over ten years at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) through a $122M Department of Energy (DOE) grant. This data-driven, high-throughput process allows scientists to make, characterize, and quantify the catalytic activity of thousands of material compositions per week. H2U scientists then close the loop with big data analysis to refine and guide the search for the optimum catalysts in a continuing improvement cycle.
H2U is leveraging its CDE to develop a suite of novel catalysts that could replace expensive, rare materials like iridium.
“Our Catalyst Discovery Engine is a major breakthrough in testing and identifying non-PGM catalyst materials,” stated Mark McGough, CEO of H2U Technologies. “The CDE is like looking at the stars with a Hubble telescope rather than through binoculars – it can see the full picture in a way no other tool can.
“With our CDE and non-iridium electrolyzers, H2U Technologies offers a clear pathway for the hydrogen industry to scale quickly without facing bottlenecks due to a lack of material supply or volatile, high costs. We are the only company with a tool like the CDE that can rapidly screen novel catalyst materials.”