Fuel Cells were first demonstrated in the 1830s when William Grove used hydrogen to generate an electric current with the help of a platinum catalyst supplied by Johnson and Matthey.
For more than one hundred years, the fuel cell remained an invention without a practical application, only to emerge in the 1960s as the ideal source of onboard electricity and water for manned spacecraft. Johnson Matthey continues to supply electrocatalysts for fuel cell systems used in the NASA space programmes
In the early 1990s, Johnson Matthey began intense research and development efforts in PEM fuel cells, specifically fuel cell components. Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells Ltd was formed in 2000 and demonstrates Johnson Matthey’s commitment to fuel cell technology.
Anglo Platinum, the largest platinum supplier in the world and a long-standing collaborator with Johnson Matthey in fuel cells research over the years, took a 17.5% stake in Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells Ltd in 2002.
Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells’ MEA manufacturing facility in Swindon, UK was completed in 2003. This purpose built facility uses state of the art, flexible manufacturing methods to produce large volumes of fuel cell components for the hydrogen and methanol fuelled systems.