Bosch Boosts Platinum Recovery from Fuel Cells

Bosch, a leading technology firm, has initiated its recycling program coinciding with its fuel-cell power module’s volume production. The goal of this program is to reclaim almost 95% of the platinum found in fuel-cell stacks. Bosch’s strategy involves buying back these stacks when they reach the end of their functional lifespan.

Why It Matters

Recycling platinum from used fuel cells has twofold benefits. It makes the fuel-cell stacks more cost-effective and considerably diminishes the carbon emissions traditionally linked to platinum mining. As platinum serves as a catalyst in fuel cells, it’s an essential component. Recycling the metal slashes over 95% of the carbon footprint compared to sourcing it through new mining operations.

Key Points

  • Fuel cells contain Platinum Group Metals (PGMs), valuable resources in the circular economy.
  • By 2030, a significant number of fuel cells will be ripe for recycling, as projected by Bosch.
  • Bosch has crafted a pioneering agreement with mobility service Hylane, allowing Bosch to buy back fuel-cell stacks once they’ve outlived their use. Numerous hydrogen trucks, leased by the Cologne-based startup Hylane, incorporate Bosch’s fuel-cell power modules.
  • Thomas Wintrich, who heads Bosch’s mobile fuel-cell business unit, emphasized the sustainable and reliable supply chains made possible through recycling. This approach notably shrinks the overall carbon emissions of the fuel-cell stacks.

Bottom Line

The heightened demand for platinum across various industries underscores the critical nature of Bosch’s recycling endeavors. A 2021 German Mineral Resources Agency report forecasts a 20% surge in global platinum demand by 2040. Bosch’s holistic approach to the circular economy showcases its commitment to sustainability as the automotive sector increasingly leans on platinum. Beyond recycling platinum, the company is also making strides in battery recycling and the use of recycled materials in household appliances and power tools, underscoring its broader eco-conscious vision.


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