Kolon Industries announces hydrogen fuel cell material mass productionNovember 27, 2020
The company has established a system for producing polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) in volume.
Kolon Industries has announced the establishment of a new system capable of the mass production of polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM) which are core materials required for manufacturing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
The company plans to complete its new PEM production line before the end of the month.
Kolon Industries will open the PEM production line in Gumi, South Korea so that it will be ready following test operations to begin operations in 2021.
Last year, the company announced in September that it would be mass producing fluorine PEMs before it would start the production of hydrocarbon PEMs in order to boost commercialization.
PEMs are among the four primary hydrogen fuel cell components. They are a form of separator with selective permeability. When H2 is introduced as a gas, they are then separated from the electrode layer into hydrogen ions and electrons. That process generates currents along a wire.
The new Gumi facility provides the company with a base from which to manufacture membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs). Those are essentially PEMs that have electrodes attached. The company has already obtained the interface control technology patents it requires. These patents are for tech that make it possible to simultaneously boost the durability and performance of MEAs.
Kolon Industries is currently the only Korean company producing both PEMs and MEAs in the country.
As such, the company will have a stronger foundation against raw material supply uncertainties, as well as performance, prices, and other issues that are commonplace in early market stages. Kolon’s solitary position in the country gives it a better opportunity to overcome those challenges if or when they should occur.
This is particularly true in the case of the new PEM mass production facility. The reason is that it is capable of producing redox flow batteries for energy storage systems (ESSs) for which the market is also seeing rapid growth. That same facility can manufacture separators applied to water electrolysis technology which can be used for green hydrogen production. Kolon Industries’ goal is to establish itself with a global tech advantage for the purpose of commercializing early.