A FTSE 100 chemicals giant is seeking to win taxpayer backing for a factory to build components for hydrogen-powered cars, in another potential boost for Britain’s car industry. The Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, met with Johnson Matthey in May about financial support for a plant to make vehicle parts including membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs). A core component for hydrogen-powered vehicles, the assemblies contain the materials needed to convert hydrogen into electricity to power the vehicle. The only byproduct is water. Talks with Government officials have since continued and up to £10m of state backing for a UK plant is understood to be on the line, with Johnson Matthey likely to contribute a much larger amount.
Telegraph 19th July 2021 read more »
Generating “entirely renewable clean energy”, from which water would be the only waste product, is feasible — and scientists are “homing in” on the exact means of achieving it, according to new research. A team from Trinity College Dublin is “fine-tuning” a means of using renewable electricity to split water molecules into their constituent atoms, to release energy-rich hydrogen, which they say could be stored and used in fuel cells. The process is already possible, and can be done using wind or solar power to generate the electricity required to split the water molecules. But the idea is yet to take off in a big way, as the amount of energy required from these renewable resources to produce hydrogen remains very high. However, the new research suggests instead of harnessing large amounts of renewable energy, the same result can be achieved through using a particular combination of other elements as catalysts which drive this reaction. It is already known that elements such as ruthenium or iridium are highly effective catalysts which can split the hydrogen and oxygen molecules in water, but they are “prohibitively expensive” and too scarce to be used on an industrial scale. Instead, the scientists turned to powerful computing methods and advanced quantum chemical modelling to come up with combinations of metals which could drive the necessary reaction.
Independent 19th July 2021 read more »