North-West University Signs Agreement with Anglo American Platinum to Support HySA Infrastructure on Hydrogen Electrochemical Compression and Separation

03 Dec 2013

HySA Infrastructure Center of Competence

North-West University (NWU) recently signed an agreement with Anglo American Platinum to support the development of electrochemical hydrogen compression and separation (EHC&S) technologies as part of the HySA Infrastructure mandate. HySA Infrastructure will receive co-funding for the project from Anglo American Platinum, http://www.angloplatinum.com/ for the period 2014-2016. The technology involves the use of platinum-based components and advanced membranes. The use of platinum group metals (PGMs) is a critical element in the matrix of requirements set out by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) in South Africa, as it furthers the demand for these domestically produced metals.

The total contribution towards the EHC&S project is approximately 400,000 USD. The project aims to develop and demonstrate technology as well as generate local expertise and know-how. Dr Dmitri Bessarabov, Director of the HySA Infrastructure CoC, noted that the EHC&S technology for fuel cell applications and other hydrogen-related technologies still remains an area of development which is open to many improvements. He also noted that it is an honor to sign the agreement for co-funding taking into account the challenges that the South African mining industry faces. The cost of hydrogen compression remains very high and with the development of such technology, a significant-cost reduction opportunity exists. Kleantha Pillay, responsible for International Market Development at Anglo American Platinum noted that the deployment of hydrogen fuel cell technology is very much dependent upon the availability of cost competitive fuel production and infrastructure.

HySA Infrastructure Center of Competence http://www.hysainfrastructure.org/ is co-hosted by NWU and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and is actively involved in a number of projects related to hydrogen production, storage and distribution. One of the objectives of HySA is to contribute towards value added technology development and demonstration in South Africa in the area of hydrogen and fuel cell deployment. HySA projects are primarily funded by the DST.

     

Source: HySA Infrastructure

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