Since end of 2021, Hahn-Schickard and Electric Hydrogen collaborate on polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolysis, a process that converts water into hydrogen and oxygen gas. Electric Hydrogen has recently gained a lot of attention as it secured 200 million dollar funding from influential investors, while the company started in 2021 with just a few people. „Hahn-Schickard has played a key role for us, especially in our early phase. We are happy to have found a partner that shares our fast pace and we can certainly say that we would not be where we are now without the head-start of Hahn-Schickard“ says David Eaglesham, Co-Founder and CTO of Electric Hydrogen and former CTO of First Solar.
For Hahn-Schickard this multi-million dollar collaboration also plays an essential role to the young team of the Electrochemical Energy Systems division: „We are honored that Electric Hydrogen chose us as one of their primary research partners right from the beginning and not one of the many other long-standing research institutions“ says the head of division Severin Vierrath.
Hahn-Schickard’s role in this collaboration is to develop membrane electrode assemblies and reduce the amount of iridium catalyst per kilowatt. Iridium, with an annual production of about 8 tons, is one of the scarcest materials on earth and therefore can be seen as a major limiting factor on the way to scale up PEM electrolysis. As the collaboration moves on some challenges are overcome, while new ones arise. “The expertise and versatile portfolio of Hahn-Schickard is ideal for us to tackle such a complex challenge as reducing the amount of iridium in PEM electrolysis” adds Danielle Gobron, project lead and head of testing at Electric Hydrogen.
„We are truly impressed by the steep learning curve and pace of their team. At the same time it is nice to see that such a young team can achieve a lot, if everybody moves in the same direction” adds Melanie Bühler, project lead and head of the PEM electrolysis group at Hahn-Schickard. Planned next steps for the collaboration are to improve longevity of the approach, as electrolyzers require lifetimes beyond 50.000 hours.
About Electric Hydrogen
Electric Hydrogen (EH2) is a deep decarbonization company pioneering new technology for low-cost, high-efficiency, fossil-free hydrogen systems. Focusing on industrial applications of hydrogen in steel, ammonia and freight transport, EH2’s goal is to help eliminate more than 30% of global GHG emissions from hard-to-electrify industries. Their leadership team has revolutionized other clean energy sectors at Tesla and First Solar and they are backed by world-class climate tech investors like Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Prelude Ventures, Capricorn Investment Group, Energy Impact Partners, Fifth Wall Climate Tech and S2G Ventures. The company also has partnerships with strategic investors that are leaders in their target sectors, including Amazon Decarbonization Fund, Cosan, Equinor Ventures, Honeywell, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Rio Tinto.