German expert warns of lack of raw materials for hydrogen production

A German expert has warned that the shortage of supplies of raw materials in Europe used in hydrogen production needs to be urgently addressed if there are already serious efforts to make this type of fuel an affordable alternative.

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

"When raw materials are scarce, they usually lead to higher prices," said Mike Schmidt, head of systems analysis at the Stuttgart-based Baden-Württemberg Solar and Hydrogen Research Centre, noting that this leads to an increase in the cost of electrolyzers used to produce hydrogen.

Schmidt stated that it is currently not possible to predict the magnitude of these increases, adding that the industry must reduce the use of these important raw materials to prevent this from happening, stressing the need to strive towards recycling and the circular economy more vigorously, in order to recover valuable raw materials where possible.