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Climate Change

Toshiba, Toray lead Japan foray into cheap 'green' hydrogen tech

Less iridium and more durable membranes are keys to an inexpensive process

A liquefied hydrogen storage tank is seen at a receiving terminal in Kobe.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese manufacturers such as Toshiba and Toray Industries are developing new technology that produces cheaper "green" hydrogen, part of efforts geared toward promoting the use of the clean-burning fuel.

Green hydrogen, which is made with renewable energy, is typically produced with electrolyzers that break down water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. Electrolyzers that use polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM) require electrodes containing iridium, a rare metal.

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