SHANGHAI — Johnson Matthey (JM), a global leader in sustainable technologies, has begun fuel cell recycling in China. Located in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu province, the plant is refining and recycling the platinum group metal content from membrane electrode assemblies (MEA), a key component of an automotive fuel cell, from Unilia, one of the world’s leading providers of fuel cell stack technology.
Whilst the volume of materials for refining will be small to begin with, JM has sufficient capacity and ability to scale up its facilities to meet the demand expected over the coming years.
China is the biggest PGM market in terms of demand but with very limited natural resource, so recycled precious metals will be critical to meeting this challenge. On average, around 80% of the platinum group metals used by JM are sourced internally, creating a resilient supply of metal for JM as a leading global player in the automotive catalyst and fuel cell sectors.
Simon Wang, PGM Services Commercial Lead at Johnson Matthey in China, says: “PGM based fuel cells are critical in decarbonising transport, particularly for heavy duty vehicles such as trucks and buses, but the cost of PGMs are relatively high. Therefore, it is important we put in place the ability to recycle fuel cells at end of life. We are confident that having in place the capacity and ability to recycle will enable our customers in China to create a circular economy, supplying them with some of the world’s scarcest metals, whilst driving long term circularity.”
Secondary supply of PGMs is expected to grow globally at roughly 3-5% per annum. Recycled metals cost less and have a much lower carbon footprint (up to 98% lower) than primary supply PGMs. They also provide security of supply of these scarce resources, which becomes ever more critical with global supply chain disruption.
Johnson Matthey is a global leader in sustainable technologies that enable a cleaner and healthier world. With over 200 years of sustained commitment to innovation and technological breakthroughs, we improve the performance, function and safety of our customers’ products. Our science has a global impact in areas such as low emission transport, energy, chemical processing and making the most efficient use of the planet’s natural resources. Today about 15,000 Johnson Matthey professionals collaborate with our network of customers and partners to make a real difference to the world around us. For more information, visit www.matthey.com
SOURCE: Johnson Matthey