Tanaka Precious Metals Constructs Dedicated Plant for the Development and Manufacture of Fuel Cell Catalysts

26 Feb 2013

Tanaka CatalystTanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K. has constructed a dedicated plant for the manufacture of fuel cell catalysts, parent company Tanaka Precious Metals has announced. The plant is located within the premises of the Shonan Plant (Hiratsuka-shi, Kanagawa).

Established with an investment of approximately 1 billion yen, the new plant has a total floor space of 1,000 square meters. The relocation of the fuel cell catalyst R&D, product inspection and shipment functions from the Hiratsuka Technical Center (Hiratsuka-shi, Kanagawa) and the merging with manufacturing functions in the Shonan Plant into the dedicated plant is currently underway. This new facility will allow Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo to quickly and flexibly increase production capacity to meet increased demand for fuel cell catalysts in the future.

Increased demand is expected for fuel cell vehicles and for distributed power supplies such as the Ene-Farm systems, which are already experiencing rapid market growth. Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo judged that it would be unable to scale manufacturing adequately to meet this demand in the future under its existing catalyst manufacturing organization, and therefore decided to construct a dedicated plant.

Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo will combine the precious metal catalyst technology and electrochemical technology that the company has been cultivating over many years to develop highly active platinum catalyst for polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEMFC) cathodes (air electrodes) and platinum alloy catalyst with excellent resistance to the poisoning of carbon monoxide for PEMFC anodes (fuel electrodes). The company will continue to focus on R&D with the aim of making highly durable fuel cell catalysts and reducing platinum loadings by increasing performance. Process improvements at the new plant will facilitate cost reductions and the company also intends to make full use of platinum recycling technology.

The plant is scheduled to be complete in March 2013; functions will be transferred in phases and it is expected to be in full operation in October 2013.

Source: Adapted from Tanaka Holdings Co., Ltd Press Release.

The company will display its PEMFC electrode catalyst at the FC EXPO 2013, the 9th International Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Expo at the Tokyo Big Sight from February 27 (Wed) until March 1 (Fri). Technical staff will be available for interviews.


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