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Incorporating platinum circular economy into China’s hydrogen pathways toward carbon neutrality

21 May 2024

Authors: Peng Wang, Chenyang Wang, Jiashuo Li, Klaus Hubacek, Laixiang Sun, Fan Yang, Kuishuang Feng, Wei-Qiang Chen



Hydrogen is gaining tremendous traction in China as the fuel of the future to support the country’s carbon neutrality ambition. Despite that hydrogen as fuel largely hinges on the supply of platinum (Pt), the dynamic interlinkage between Pt supply challenges, hydrogen development pathways, and climate targets in China has yet to be deeply analyzed. Here, we adopt an integrated assessment model to address this important concern and corresponding strategies for China. The results indicate that the booming hydrogen development would drive China’s cumulative demand for Pt metal to reach 4,200–5,000 tons. Much of this demand, met through a limited supply pattern, is vulnerable to price volatility and heightened geopolitical risks, which can be mitigated through circular economy strategies. Consequently, a coordinated approach to leverage both global sustainable Pt sourcing and a robust domestic Pt circular economy is imperative for ensuring cost-effective hydrogen production, aligned with a climate-safe future.

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Last modified:23 May 2024 12.49 p.m.

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