Sustainable technologies group Johnson Matthey this week acquired the assets of lithium-sulfur battery developer Oxis Energy. The deal was completed for an undisclosed sum just over two months after the UK-based company was forced into administration after failing to find fresh investment on May 19.
Besides acquiring the assets and intellectual property of Oxis Energy, Johnson Matthey will take over the lease at the company’s premises near Oxford, which it will use to develop, test, and produce catalyst coated membranes. A spokesperson for Johnson Matthey said that with some additional investment, the acquisition will “significantly scale-up of [our] growing green hydrogen business.”
Johnson Matthey indicated that it also intends to build on Oxis’s work in developing rechargeable lithium-sulfur batteries. The company did not say whether it is looking to exploit applications for these in the aviation sector, which Oxis had been doing through an agreement with electric aircraft developer Bye Aerospace.
“Acquiring Oxis Energy’s assets enables us to support our customers as they meet the strong demand for proton exchange membrane electrolyzers used to produce green hydrogen,” commented Eugene McKenna, Johnson Matthey’s managing director for green hydrogen. “Improving electrolyzer efficiency and reducing the cost of hydrogen are key to the further development of the green hydrogen market and scaling up carbon capture machine manufacturing will help bring Johnson Matthey and our customers closer to achieving this goal.”
Green hydrogen is produced using new sources of renewable energy, such as wind or solar power, to split water into oxygen and hydrogen using electrolysis. It is viewed as the only zero-carbon option for using hydrogen as a power source.