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    Expert warns of shortfall in raw materials for hydrogen production

    June 6, 2023 - dpa English


      Karlsruhe, Germany (dpa) - Shortfalls in Europe's supply of raw materials used in hydrogen production need to be urgently adressed if the fuel is to become an affordable alternative, one expert warns.

      Certain chemical elements such as iridium and scandium are currently only available in limited quantities, and are mainly imported from countries such as Russia and China.

      "When scarcity situations arise, they usually lead to rising raw material prices," said Maike Schmidt, who heads the Systems Analysis department at the Stuttgart-based Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg.

      This pushes up the cost of the electrolysers used to produce hydrogen.

      "Rising capital costs in turn lead to rising hydrogen costs," Schmidt said.

      At the moment it is not possible to predict the magnitude of these increases, she said, adding that industry must reduce the use of these critical raw materials to prevent this from happening.

      She said recycling and the circular economy should be pursued more strongly, in order to recover valuable raw materials wherever possible.

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