Umicore inaugurated its new production facility for fuel cell catalysts in SongDo Incheon City (Seoul area), Korea, close to Umicore’s technology development center for catalysts. The facility will support the growth of Hyundai Motors Group as well as other automotive customers.
Umicore expects to ramp up production in 2020 and allows for further expansion beyond 2020. With this production expansion in Korea and the existing production capacity in Hanau, Germany, Umicore is well placed to serve the growing demand for fuel cell catalysts from its automotive customers globally.
The fuel cell catalysts market is gaining momentum, supported by a combination of intensifying clean mobility legislation and growing global awareness of the challenges of climate change.
Umicore has a competitive product portfolio with a strong R&D pipeline and has entered into close collaboration agreements with Hyundai Motors Group and other leading car OEMs for existing car platforms as well as future development programs.
As a leading supplier of automotive and homogeneous chemical catalysts, Umicore has developed fuel cell catalysts for a broad range of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell technologies since the end of 1980s. Its experience in those areas has led to the development of superior fuel cell catalysts.
Its catalysts are designed for superior performance and durability requirements in fuel cell vehicles, in PEM Electrolysis and other fuel cell based applications.
The application of platinum as a catalyst for generating electric power through conversion of hydrogen with oxygen is more than 100 years old. In the move to cleaner mobility, the application has gained importance as fuel cell drivetrains combine the environmental advantages of battery drivetrains with the driving range and refueling time of internal combustion engines.
These advantages make the fuel-cell powered automotive attractive in long-distance or energy-demanding haulage applications, in particular for trucks, but it is no substitute for batteries, Umicore notes. As a complementary technology, fuel cells are clearly part of the engine mix, providing one of the various technologies required to move towards clean and sustainable mobility.
Umicore is a global materials technology and recycling group and focuses on application areas in which its expertise in materials science, chemistry and metallurgy makes a real difference. Its activities are organized in three business groups: Catalysis, Energy & Surface Technologies and Recycling.