Hydrogen fuel cells may be a boon for the platinum industryJuly 16, 2015
Fuel cells continue to grow in popularity, which may increase the demand for platinum
The growth of the fuel cell industry may also lead to the rise in demand for platinum. For Vodacom, a mobile communications company based in Africa, some 300 fuel cells are being used to power telecommunication sites where access to conventional power in unreliable. These fuel cells are expensive, as the catalysts that they use are primarily comprised of platinum, but they have proven that they are very proficient at generating electrical power. As such, more companies like Vodacom are beginning to show interest in hydrogen fuel cells.
Platinum industry is beginning to suffer due to high costs and low demand
In recent years, the platinum industry has suffered from relatively low interest and a significant fall in the price of platinum. As one of the most expensive materials in the world, as well as one of the scarcest materials, platinum is often used but at great cost. As alternatives to platinum become more common, the platinum industry is beginning to suffer. The rising demand for fuel cells, however, could help the platinum industry rally, as these energy systems require a significant amount of the material in order to operate effectively.
Platinum companies are helping boost the popularity of fuel cells
In order to help the fuel cell industry grow, companies that refine platinum are beginning to showcase the capabilities of these energy systems. Last year, Anglo American Platinum, one of the world’s largest producers of platinum, entered into a partnership with the South African government. Through this partnership, the two parties are using hydrogen fuel cells to provide power for 34 homes in a rural village that does not have reliable access to an existing energy grid.
Auto industry may lead to an increase in demand for platinum
Fuel cell vehicles are likely to improve the standing of the platinum industry as well. Automakers are beginning to push for the commercialization of these vehicles, which use hydrogen fuel cells to produce electricity without generating any emissions. If these vehicles can be successfully commercialized, the demand for platinum among automakers will likely increase by a significant degree.