Tanaka Precious Metals is completing a dedicated plant for fuel cell catalysts within the premises of its Shonan Plant. With an investment of approximately ¥1 billion (US$10.8 million), the 1,000 square meter plant will host the merged and relocated fuel cell catalyst R&D, product inspection and shipment functions currently in the Hiratsuka Technical Center and the manufacturing functions.
Tanaka says that this will enable further strengthen its development and manufacturing of fuel cell catalysts, and will position it for expansion to match anticipated increased demand for catalysts. The dedicated plant is scheduled to complete in March 2013, and functions will be transferred in phases and expected in full operation in October 2013.
In the dedicated plant, the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEFCs) used in fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) and distributed cogeneration power supplies such as “ENE-FARM” household fuel cells will be developed and manufactured.
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 used in PEFCs cathodes (air electrodes) and platinum alloy catalysts with excellent resistance to the poisoning of carbon monoxide (CO) used in PEFCs anodes (fuel electrodes).
The company will continue to focus on research and development with the aim of making high durable fuel cell catalysts, and reducing the platinum consumption by providing greater performance.