Enterprise Europe Network

Catalyst material for fuel cells and electrolyzers, and its manufacturing process

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Partner keyword: 
Transport and storage of hydrogen
Power to gas technology
Fuel cells
Hydrogen production
Other alternative energy
Energy Storage
Energy Distribution
Energy for Transport
Membranes and membrane-based products
Production of electricity
Distribution of electricity


Whereas catalysts of today facilitate either the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) or the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), the innovation presented here enables the combination of both reactions in a single catalyst for use in fuel cells and electrolyzers. A German technical university seeks expertise in alkaline anion exchange membrane (AEM) technology to advance this technology from TRL 4 to TRL 6-7 in an R%26D cooperation (jointly with the university) or via licensing agreement (independently).



For broad applications of fuel cells and electrolyzers as regenerative energy storage and conversion systems, the catalysis of oxygen-based reactions is decisive. A possible long-term application requires the catalysis of the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) as well as the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Catalysts of today facilitate only one or the other. A German technical university invented an innovative dual-catalyst, combining the two types of catalysts and meeting both requirements in this way. As the two catalysts do not compete, they do not impair each other's specific catalyzed reactions. Possible applications include reversible fuel cells, energy conversion systems and alkaline-air-batteries. The university is interested in a partnership on the basis of a licence agreement or a research cooperation agreement in order to develop a large-scale prototype of the catalyst technology at demonstration level (TRL 6-7). To achieve this goal, the university requires expertise in alkaline anion exchange membrane (AEM) technology.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
The technology offered herein outperforms comparable technology in terms of economics and ease of manufacturing. The technology's foremost advantage is its combination of OER and ORR within a single catalyst. The dual-catalyst utilizes commonly used transition metals, making it more cost-efficient than comparable technologies. Due to its focus on limited complexity, it is easy to manufacture, thus providing yet another economic advantage. The limited complexity enables the technology to be applied in small space environments. Whereas corrosion usually poses a significant problem to the longevity of catalysts, the graphitic substrate used in this technology does not experience any carbon corrosion. Hence, the catalyst requires less maintenance and enjoys higher longevity. The manufacturing is conducted with a catalyst ink, forming the catalyst material on the substrate with common processes.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Under development/lab tested

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
The university is looking for a partner who is willing to continue the development of the technology under a licensing agreement or within a research collaboration. The partner sought can be a research institution or a private company experienced in the field of alkaline anion exchange membrane (AEM) technology. The aim is to develop a prototype at demonstration level (TRL 6-7) of the catalyst technology. The type of cooperation has been chosen because further research and development is needed in order to reach prototype level. The development can either be done by the partner alone (under a licensing agreement), or in cooperation with the university (within a research cooperation agreement).