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POSCO International to Expand Production of Fuel Cell Separators

By March 8, 2021 3   min read  (575 words)

March 8, 2021 |

POSCO International to Expand Production of Fuel Cell Separators
  • POSCO International, full-fledged advance into the hydrogen electric vehicle parts business Expansion of the future foundation for eco-friendly vehicles
  • Increase the production of fuel cell separators for electric vehicles to 10,000 tons by 2027. Enough to manufacture about 245,000 fuel-cell electric vehicles

POSCO Group launched ‘e Autopos’, an integrated eco-friendly vehicle brand to secure leadership in the new mobility era, while POSCO International has a system for mass production of key parts for hydrogen electric vehicles and rapidly increasing demand. In line with this, the company started to expand production in earnest.

The product POSCO International is paying attention to the electric vehicle drive motor core which is made up of the hydrogen fuel cell separator, which is called the heart of hydrogen electric vehicles.

The separator is one of the key components of the hydrogen fuel cell stack. The stack is assembled by stacking hundreds of unit cells, and each unit cell is composed of an anode and an anode. The separator serves as a channel for supplying hydrogen to the anode and oxygen to the cathode, and also functions as a support between unit cells constituting the stack.

The hydrogen fuel cell separator ‘Poss470FC’ produced by POSCO SPS, a subsidiary of POSCO International, is made of POSCO’s highly conductive stainless steel, showing superior properties in terms of;

  • corrosion resistance
  • conductivity
  • durability
  • uniformity compared to other materials.

In particular,’Poss470FC’ boasts a thin thickness of 0.1mm. This secret is due to POSCO SPS’ surface treatment and precision ultra-thin rolling technology. In addition,’Poss470FC’ is evaluated as an eco-friendly material as it can avoid environmentally harmful substances generated during the plating process. The POSCO Group has promoted the development of metal separators for hydrogen electric vehicles through the POSCO Research Institute since 2006, and based on POSCO’s proprietary steel material’Poss470FC’, POSCO SPS began producing ultra-thin materials for separators from 2018.

The membranes produced by POSCO SPS are applied to hydrogen fuel cells for drones as well as hydrogen electric vehicles, and are expected to spread to mobility markets such as robots and UAM (city center air mobility) in the future. 

Currently, POSCO SPS has a production capacity of 1,400 tons, which is equivalent to supplying 35,000 hydrogen electric vehicles, and plans to increase its production capacity to about 10,000 tons by 2027. 

According to McKinsey data, the global hydrogen economy market will reach 2,940 trillion won in 2050, and the number of hydrogen electric vehicles supplied will reach 400 million passenger cars and 20 million trucks and buses. 

The promotion of the Green New Deal project is expected to accelerate the supply of infrastructure such as subsidy for commercial hydrogen electric vehicles and hydrogen production bases. 

In addition, in the case of hydrogen fuel cells, there are many fields that can be applied broadly, such as ships, aviation, and power plants, and experts say that the potential for future development is endless. 

POSCO International plans to invest in new facilities and expand manpower to keep pace with the rapidly growing eco-friendly car market. In addition, it will not only expand its global market share of the drive motor core, but also continue to achieve substantial results in the future hydrogen electric vehicle parts market, and will play a pivotal role in the future mobility business of POSCO Group. 

 POSCO SPS STS business manager Jeong Hae-ik said, “As the release of new hydrogen electric vehicle models expands in the future, the demand for the material’Poss470FC’ is expected to increase rapidly.” 

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