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The world produces only 7 t/yr of iridium, a key metal in electrolyser production
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Precious metal recovery vital – panel

Recycling proton-exchange membrane electrolysers and fuel cells at the end of their lives will help address supply concerns

Recycling proton-exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysers to recover the precious metals used as catalysts will help ensure sustainability and drive down costs for green hydrogen, industry insiders say. PEM electrolysers require platinum, iridium and ruthenium as catalysts for water electrolysis. The same three platinum group metals (PGMs), plus palladium and manganese, are also needed in fuel cell electric vehicles that run on electricity generated from hydrogen. While efforts are underway to substitute some of these metals with cheaper, more durable alternatives, recovering them will be key given that global PGM output amounts to just 500t/yr, according to Takahito Furuya, president of Toky

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