Hydrogen is a new demand driver for platinum - report
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(Kitco News) - According to the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC), growing demand for platinum from the emerging hydrogen industry has the potential to become the largest platinum demand segment by 2040.
In its recent report, WPIC explained that proton exchange membrane (PEM) technology uses platinum catalysts in two key applications – electrolysers and hydrogen (H2) fuel cells to produce electricity. Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are a major market for hydrogen fuel cells.
WPIC said that a PEM electrolyser produces carbon-free green hydrogen from renewable energy. If a FCEV is powered with green hydrogen, it provides "completely emissions-free transportation", providing an alternative to battery electric solutions as a way of electrifying the global fleet of vehicles.
"Platinum is the catalyst that is used in PEM fuel cells as it provides the durability, stability and reactivity necessary to strip the hydrogen of electrons to produce electricity," it added.
According to the report, fuel cells in heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks and buses are currently leading the growing market for FCEVs. PEM fuel cells can also be used to provide stationary or back-up power in, for example, data centres or for cell phone masts.
Importantly, WPIC noted that platinum-based PEM technologies that enable the use of green hydrogen in decarbonisation could deliver up to 11% of global CO2 reduction targets.
"The Paris Agreement set 2050 CO2 reduction targets to limit global warming to at least 2°C or better still, 1.5°C; PEM technologies could help achieve these important goals," WPIC said.
The council noted that platinum demand from PEM electrolysers and FCEVs is expected to become a meaningful component of global demand by 2030 and potentially the largest segment by 2040.
"While hydrogen-related platinum demand is currently relatively small, it is expected to grow substantially in the medium-term, becoming a meaningful component of global platinum demand by 2030, and potentially the largest demand segment for platinum by 2040," WPIC said.
WPIC pointed out that hydrogen will play a "pivotal role" in efforts to reach net zero, and investment, collaboration and the roll-out of supportive government policies are intensifying in order to achieve this, directly benefiting platinum demand.
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