Bosch plans recycling of fuel cell stacks

Bosch plans recycling of fuel cell stacks

Von Carrie Hampel

14.09.2023 - 16:32 Uhr

Bosch is aiming to buy back and recycle its fuel cell stacks at the end of their service life. The technology group is primarily targeting the recovery of so-called platinum group metals (PGMs) that are processed in fuel cells.

According to Bosch, at least 95 per cent of platinum, for example, can be recovered from the stacks and used in new stacks. Platinum acts as a catalyst in the fuel cell, accelerating the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen. “By recycling, we can make the stacks more economical and at the same time reduce the carbon emissions associated with platinum mining,” says Thomas Pauer, the president of the Bosch Powertrain Solutions division. “We’re already laying the groundwork for recovering rare raw materials like platinum. Our estimates suggest that by 2030 at the latest, appreciable numbers of fuel cells will need recycling,” he adds.

A first step in Bosch’s recycling plan is a contract with mobility provider Hylane that governs the possible buyback of fuel cell stacks by Bosch at the end of their service life. The Cologne-based startup rents out hydrogen trucks equipped with Bosch fuel cell drive systems, among other things — specifically, the Iveco Heavy Duty FCEV (previously Nikola Tre FCEV). The new contract model with Hylane assures Bosch a buy-back option of the stacks for mobile applications. They are to be recycled at a third-party supplier. Bosch intends to use the recovered platinum in the following year.

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